German ww2 uniforms & decorations

Discussion in 'Axis Units' started by stevenhunt, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. stevenhunt

    stevenhunt Junior Member

    In common with many English families, including our Queen Elizabeth's, my family has German roots. I had cousins on both sides in WW2. I trained as a pilot in the Royal Air Force after the war in 1957.

    A couple of weeks ago I visited my very last living German relative, who lives in Stuttgart and she kindly allowed me to re-photograph the photos on her wall of her brother and her father, Gerhardt and Johannes Herter. She told me that my cousin was a pilot in the Lufwaffe and both had died in 1942 in Russia.

    Perhaps someone who is familiar with German uniforms and decorations would enlighten me regarding what is to be learned from these two photographs. My only observation is that my uncle had been awarded an Iron Cross, if I am not mistaken.

    I have entered both names on Ancestry with no success. Are there other places to search for German service personnel.

    Thank you, Steven

    Attached Files:

  2. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Both images indicate members of the Wehrmacht, the medals visible seems like WWI decorations and the lanyard indicates a staff officer/aide de camp.

    Medals Look Like Iron Cross 1 & II, Hindenburg Cross with Swords, and a Merit Cross
  3. Heimbrent

    Heimbrent Well-Known Member

    Are there other places to search for German service personnel.

    You can contact the WASt; but you need to know the full name and d.o.b. Knowing these you could also contact the Bundesarchiv, they might have further information on your relatives (more likely since at least one of them was an officer).
  4. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    This is probably the details for Johannes:

    Nachname/Last name: Herter
    Vorname/First name: Johannes
    Dienstgrad/Rank: Major
    Geburtsdatum/Date of Birth: 28.06.1889
    Geburtsort/Place of birth: Ebingen
    Todes-/Vermisstendatum / Date of death: 26.09.1941
    Todes-/Vermisstenort / Place of death: Nowopopowka

    ( Source: Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e. V. | Arbeit für den Frieden )

    Although there is another possible:
    Nachname: Herter
    Vorname: Johannes
    Geburtsdatum: 18.09.1905
    Todes-/Vermisstendatum: 01.01.1945
    Todes-/Vermisstenort: Kielce / Lysa Gora

    I could not find a death entry for Gerhardt.

    As Steven (Jedburgh22) said above both are army (Heer).

    Johannes is an officer and WWI veteran. I can't quite tell from the photo if he is a Leutnant or Oberleutnant. I see Ebingen is not too far from Stuttgart and he could of been promoted to Major by 1941.

    Heimbrent likes this.
  5. Heimbrent

    Heimbrent Well-Known Member

  6. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  7. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    I hope you manage to obtain the information you require.

  8. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Checking Johannes date of birth is key to verifying if that's the correct record or not.

    On the one hand the elderly relative could be mistaken about the year of death, either because of failing memory due to passage of time or perhaps the family was not notified about his death until early 1942?

    On the other hand, I'm led to believe that the Volksbund database is far from complete in regard to East Front casualties. There are only two Johannes Herters listed on the database but it's quite possible there are others who are not recorded.

    I'd be interested to know from those more familiar with the Volksbund records about how complete the database is.


    Herter is quite a common name; considering that both entries Lee found do not match with 1942 as year of death you should really know when they were born.
  9. stevenhunt

    stevenhunt Junior Member

    Thank you everybody who answered my query so quickly. I am staggered by the wealth of knowledge and the helpfulness you all have shown.

    I have added an additional photo of my cousin taken on the ocasion of my mother's honeymoon in Germany in 1937 - this may provide another hint.

    My uncle was born about 1889 and my cousin Gerhardt about 1920.

    I will try to ascertain more information from my living cousin as she is fully competent mentally; but that will require at least a few weeks waiting whilst the pigeon wings its way to Stuttgart and back again.

    If I learn more from my cousin I will add the information to this forum. Thanks again for the info and suggestions. Steven

    Attached Files:

  10. stevenhunt

    stevenhunt Junior Member

    Yes! I have confirmed the date and place of birth of my uncle Johannes. It agrees with Lee's very useful research into deaths on the Eastern Front.

    In addition my cousin tells me that her brother was born 24 June 1923 and died on 28 July 1941 at Smolensk.

    Pity about that - I had spent my life imagining he was the German fighter bomber pilot who chased me up the road in south London during the war.

    Thanks again everyone.

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