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Hauptmann der Reserve
Eberspächer Dipl.-Ing., Helmut

* 18.11.1915 Tübingen
+ June 19th, 2011 (Esslingen at the Neckar/Baden-Württemberg, Germany)

Awarded Knights Cross: 26.01.1945
as: Hauptmann der Reserve Staffelkapitän 3./NSGr 20
Postwar signed photo measuring 4” x 6”

Eberspächer was born on 18 November 1915 in Tübingen, at that time part of the Kingdom of Württemberg, a federated state of the German Empire. In 1934 he volunteered for military service in the Reichswehr, and served in an armoured reconnaissance battalion. In parallel to his military service he studied mechanical engineering at the University of Stuttgart. Following his graduation in 1939, he transferred to the Luftwaffe. From July 1940 to January 1943 he served with the 7.(Fernaufklärungs-) Staffel of Lehrgeschwader 2 on both Western and Eastern Fronts. He then converted to a ground attack role, and from March 1943 served with Schnellkampfgeschwader 10 (SKG 10—10th Fast Bomber Wing), flying fighter-bomber missions over southern England and anti-shipping operations in the English Channel. He was promoted to the rank of Hauptmann on 1 May 1944 and appointed as Staffelkapitän in Kurt Dahlmann's I./SKG 10 .
Early on D-Day 6 June 1944, Hauptmann Eberspächer was ordered to lead four Focke-Wulf Fw 190s of 3/SKG 10 over Normandy. Two hours later, the flight landed at Evreux having achieved the first Luftwaffe aerial victories of D-Day. At 05:01 they had intercepted a formation of Royal Air Force Avro Lancasters, and in the next three minutes, four were shot down. The first fell over Isigny-sur-Mer and the others near Carentan. Three were claimed as downed by Eberspächer, one of them being Lancaster ND739 of No. 97 Squadron RAF, flown by the squadron's commanding officer, W/C Jimmie Carter. His seven-man crew had earned four Distinguished Flying Crosses and three Distinguished Flying Medals. The wreckage of ND739 was located and excavated in 2012. An assortment of items were recovered including the wedding ring belonging to crew member Albert Chambers.
Eberspächer was awarded the Knight's Cross on 24 January 1945, after 170 Jabo missions over the Western Front. He flew sorties during the Battle of the Bulge and against the Remagen bridge and the established US Army bridgehead. His unit, I/SKG 10 , was assigned to Kampfgeschwader 51 as III. Gruppe on 30 June 1944. His squadron was then redesignated as the 3. Staffel/Nachtschlachtgruppe 20 night harassment attack squadron in October 1944. He survived the war and was credited with a total of seven aerial victories, including three at night.

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