Who was Anton Benning?

Introduction

Anton Hermann Benning (15 May 1918 to 29 September 2013) was a German Luftwaffe ace and recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II.

Career

Benning joined the Luftwaffe in 1938 and was initially posted as a flying instructor. As a transport pilot flying the Junkers Ju 52, he took part in supplying the Stalingrad pocket in early 1943, before retraining as a single engined fighter pilot with Jagdgeschwader 106 (JG 106). In June 1943 Oberfeldwebel Benning was transferred to 2./Jagdgeschwader 301 (JG 301) to operate as a “Wilde Sau” night fighter. He was transferred to 2./Jagdgeschwader 302 (JG 302) as a Leutnant, before becoming Staffelkapitän of 10./JG 301 in late 1944.

He received the Ritterkreuz on 13 April 1945.

Benning was credited with 28 victories (inc. 18 four engined bombers, of which 3 were RAF Lancasters), all on the Western Front.

Death

He died 29 September 2013, aged 95 in Recklinghausen.

Awards

  • Flugzeugführerabzeichen.
  • Iron Cross (1939).
  • 2nd Class (1 September 1940).
  • 1st Class (31 January 1942).
  • German Cross in Gold on 01 January 1945 as Oberfeldwebel in the 2./Jagdgeschwader 302.
  • Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on 13 April 1945 as Leutnant and Staffelkapitän of the 1./Jagdgeschwader 301.
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