* 09.04.1920 Datteln/Westfalen
+ 13.12.2004 Morsbach/Sieg
Awarded Knights Cross: 06.10.1941
as: Unteroffizier Flugzeugführer 10./JG 51
The following newspaper excerpt (dated 17.10.1941) describes why Beerenbrock received the Knight’s Cross…
“Despite being quite young himself, Unteroffizier Franz Beerenbrock has shot down 40 enemy aircraft whilst engaged in combat against both England and the Soviet Union. Such a result is a testament to both his incredible flying skills as well as his offensive spirit. Particularly praiseworthy was his conduct during an especially fierce aerial battle over a Soviet airfield, where he shot down 3 enemy fighters despite being outnumbered by the foe. He has also inflicted heavy losses on the enemy over the course of many boldly executed ground attack missions.”
Awarded Oakleaves as the 108th Recipient : 03.08.1942 as Oberfeldwebel
Flugzeugführer 10./JG 51 "Mölders"
Awarded after 102 aerial victories. He had particularly distinguished himself by shooting down 9 aircraft in one day on the 01.08.1942.
Postwar signed photo measuring 3 ¾” x 6”
Franz-Josef Beerenbrock joined a flak artillery unit on 1 October 1938, but, in 1939, received pilot training. In March 1941, Beerenbrock was transferred to JG 51. Unteroffizier Beerenbrock was assigned to 12./JG 51. Flying as Rottenflieger to Oberleutnant Karl-Gottfried Nordmann (78 victories, RK-EL), he recorded his first two victories on 24 June. He claimed at least 13 victories in July. In August 1941, now serving in the Stabstaffel of IV./JG 51, Beerenbrock claimed at least 20 victories, including his 25th victory on 12 August and three victories on 30 August to record his 38th through 40th victories. Unteroffizier Beerenbrock was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 6 October after 42 victories. On 6 December, he recorded his 50th victory. During June and July 1942, Beerenbrock was to claim about 26 victories. Feldwebel Beerenbrock was decorated with the Deutsches Kreuz in Gold on 17 June 1942. He claimed four enemy aircraft on 6 July (77-80) and 11 July (88-91). On 1 August, he claimed nine Russian aircraft shot down (94-102), including six Il-2 Sturmovik ground-attack aircraft. Oberfeldwebel Beerenbrock was awarded the Eichenlaub (Nr 108) and promoted Leutnant on 3 August. At this time he was the most successful ace of JG 51. Beerenbrock was then granted leave and would not return to combat duty until the end of October. Leutnant Beerenbrock was serving as Staffelkapitän of 10./JG 51 in November. On 9 November 1942, after claiming three enemy aircraft shot down, Beerenbrock was then shot down. He force-landed behind Russian lines and was captured. Beerenbrock was finally repatriated to Germany in mid-December 1949. Post-war he joined the post-war Bundesluftwaffe.
Franz-Josef Beerenbrock was credited with 117 victories in approximately 400 missions, all on the Eastern Front of which at least 12 were Il-2 Sturmoviks.
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