Nowotny, Walter

BORN 7 Dec 1920, Gmünd (now: Ceske Velenice, Czech Republic) - DIED 8 Nov 1944, Epe, Niedersachsen (near Hesepe)
CAUSE OF DEATH killed in action (plane shot down)
GRAVE LOCATION Wien: Zentralfriedhof, Simmeringer Hauptstraße 234, Simmering (Gruppe 14 C, Nummer 12)

Walter Nowotny was the son of a railway official. He went to school in Schwarzenau until his father was transferred to Mistelbach. In 1936 he visited the Olympics in Berlin. He joined the NSDAP in 1938. For his mandatory Labour Service he joined the Luftwaffe on 1 October 1939.

He was trained as a pilot and promoted several times. In 19 July 1941 he claimed to have brought down his first two Russian aircrafts before he was shot down himself. After three days in a dinghy he reached the Latvian shore. He quickly recovered and in rapid succession he shot down a hundred enemy aircrafts until June 1943. In September 1943 he was promoted to hauptmann and on 14 October 1943 he was the first pilot to reach 250 victories. He was congratulated by Hitler himself on the telephone and received a high decoration.

After a propaganda tour in Germant he received the command over Kommando Nowotny that flew the new Messerschmidt Me 262. On 8 November 1944 he stated that he had shot down two enemy planes before he reported that an engine failed. His last word was 'burning'. It is unclear if he died by engine failure or was shot down by the US Army.

He had a state funeral in Vienna and was buried in a grave of honour at the Zentralfriedhof. In 2003 the status of honour was removed by the Landtag of Vienna.


The grave of Walter Novotny at the Zentralfriedhof, Vienna.
Picture by Androom (25 Aug 2005)


Walter Nowotny - Wikipedia

Nüll, Eduard van der

Published: 28 Apr 2018
Last update: 18 Aug 2022