1 September 1922|
Zoppot, Free City of Danzig (now Sopot, Poland)
|Died||14 March 2002
|Years of service||1939–1945|
|Unit||JG 52, JG 106|
|Commands held||7./JG 52|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Heinz "Esau" Ewald (1 September 1922 – 14 March 2002) was a German Luftwaffe fighter ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
Heinz Ewald was credited with 84 victories in 395 combat missions.
On 1 December 1941 Ewald volunteered for military service. After his pilot training, which included flight training with the Fliegerausbildungsregiment 23 in Kaufbeuren, he was posted, in the fall of 1943, to 6./JG 52 on the Eastern Front and was soon one of the best young pilots of his group. He accompanied Gerhard Barkhorn (301 victories), on over 100 missions as a wingman. On his fourth sortie, and on his first enemy encounter, he shot down his first opponent on 11 December 1943. He was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class, on 8 January 1944; the Iron Cross 1st Class on 7 March. He was promoted to leutnant on 1 May, and he received the Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe on 25 May.
On 24 June 1944 he was shot down and wounded in Romania, but saved the parachute. In October, he returned to the front in Hungary, where he received the German Cross in gold on 30 November. On 1 March 1945 he was shot down by his own anti-aircraft guns. Fortunately, he was rescued unscathed. On 3 April his engine was hit while carrying out low-level attacks on Russian positions. He made a forced landing between the lines. He achieved his last victory (a Yak-9), on 16 April. Four days later he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
Heinz Ewald reached 84 victories in 395 combat missions, 82 (plus 15 unconfirmed), on the Eastern Front, including 14 Il-2 Sturmoviks. He was held as a Prisoner of War at Fürstenfeldbruck Lager from 8 May until 22 June 1945.
- Iron Cross (1939)
- 2nd Class (January 8, 1944)
- 1st Class (March 7, 1944)
- Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe in Gold (March 22, 1944)
- Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe (May 25, 1944)
- Wound Badge in Black (August 1, 1944)
- German Cross in Gold (November 30, 1944)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (April 20, 1945)
- Norbert Beyerlein/Traditionsgemeinschaft JG 52 e.V.
- Die Ordensträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht (CD), VMD-Verlag GmbH, Osnabrück, 2002
- Esau, Heinz Ewald, als Jagdflieger im Erfolgreichsten Jagdgeschwader 1943-1945, 2.Auflage, Heinz Ewald (Eigenverlag)
- Fellgiebel W.P., Elite of the Third Reich, The recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939-1945: A Reference, Helion & Company Limited, Solihull, 2003, ISBN 1-874622-46-9
- Patzwall K., Scherzer V., Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941-1945, Geschichte und Inhaber Band II, Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall, Norderstedt, 2001, ISBN 3-931533-45-X
- Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945