Salvage Halifax 1944 Foundation

Karl-Heinz Scherfling


Karl-Heinz Scherfling was a German Luftwaffe night 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. Karl-Heinz Scherfling claimed 33 aerial victories, all of them at night

Scherfling was born on 6 September 1918 in Gelsenkirchen. He was posted to III./Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 (NJG 1) in late 1940, and claimed his first victory on 31 March-1 April 1941; a Vickers Wellington over Groningen. On 9/10 April he recorded his second, a Short Stirling near Lingen.

Scherfling en bemanning In the spring of 1942 Scherfling transferred to 5./Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 (NJG 2) and by late 1942 he had a victory total of six. 5./NJG 2 was redesignated as 10./NJG 1 soon after. He claimed three Lancaster bombers downed on 25–26 June. Scherfling was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross in April 1944 for 29 victories.

On 20–21 July 1944 Scherfling recorded his last victory as shortly afterwards he was shot down and killed near Mol, Belgium by a Mosquito night fighter of No. 169 Squadron, flown by W/C NBR Bromley and F/L PV Truscott. Scherfling’s Bordschütze was also killed in the engagement, but his Bordfunker survived badly wounded.

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Counter attack

Ofw.Karl-Heinz ScherflingAt about midnight, the German "Nachtjagdgeschwader 1" reported a bomber attack on Aachen. From their base in St. Truiden in Belgium, Oberfeldwebel (Ofw) Karl-Heinz Scherfling and his crew from IV/NJGI were scrambled in their radar-equipped Messerschmitt Bf110 nightfighter to intercept the bomber attack.
For the first time in weeks, nightfighter activity was described as "very intense". As the Halifaxes reached Antwerp, on the way in, the first losses began to occur. The railways to the east of Aachen were particularly hard hit. The war-industry factory and the town's gasworks were among the many buildings destroyed.

On their way back the bomber stream passed near Tilburg, Holland, at 0125 hours, a massive air-battle had developed between the bombers and night fighters. When the middle of the stream, where LV905 was, reached Geertruidenberg, a number of aircraft were in serious difficulty. First victim of Karl-Heinz Scherfling and his Messerschmitt was the Halifax LW137,429 Squadron, of Pilot Officer Rawlinson. The plane was in serious problems and the airmen try to save their lives.

At about 0120 hours, Ofw Scherfling vectored onto the Halifax LV905 of Pilot Officer Eric Wilson flying at 17,000 feet. By 0127 hours, contact was established and the Messerschmitt of Karl-Heinz Scherfling began its attack. After two minutes of intense fire from both aircraft, flames appeared on the Halifax as it corkscrewed down to ground level about one kilometre south of Hank and one and a half kilometres north of Geertruidenberg, Holland. This was the 32nd victory of Scherfling.

As per Captured Cerman Document, KE8726:
"A Halifax a/c was shot down by a Night-Fighter at 01:30 hrs., (LV 905 or LW 137) approximately one kilometer South of Hank and one and a half kilometers North of Geertruidenberg, Holland.
Night-fighter. Homeward bound a/c crashed & burst into flames 99% destroyed."

Cause of Loss:
Night-fighter, at 17,000 ft.
Time of Crash: 01:30.
Place: Oranjepolder, near Hank, Holland.
Claimant: Owf Karl Heinz Scheriling of IV ./NJC 1, based in St- Trond, Belgium.
Probable pursuit 01:23 to 01:29 hrs.
Course N.N. Westerly (2 vectors)
Height 17,000 ft.
Speed 300 km/h.

Messerschmitt BF 110 G4


Karl-Heinz Scherfling

Born: 6 September 1918 Gelsenkirchen

Died: 21 July 1944(1944-07-21) (aged 25) Mol, Belgium

Buried at: Lommel German war cemetery (Block 21-grave 140)

Allegiance:  Nazi Germany

Service/branch: Luftwaffe

Years of service: 1938–1944

Rank: Oberfeldwebel

Unit: NJG 1 NJG 2

Awards: Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross


Crash location in the Oranjepolder near to Hank.

Crash location of the Halifax LV905.
(Old and new situation transparent above each other).