|Born||4 May 1920
|Died||24 December 1944
|Years of service||? - 1944|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Klaus Bretschneider (4 May 1920 – 24 December 1944) was a German Luftwaffe ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
Bretschneider was posted into the newly raised Jagdgeschwader 300 (JG 300) in July 1943, joining 5 Staffel. Flying "Wilde Sau" single-seat night operations, he claimed his first victory, a Lancaster, on 5–6 September south of Mannheim. By April 1944 he had 14 night victories. In July 1944, Bretschneider was appointed Staffelkapitän of 5./JG 300. By this time JG 300 were employed in a more conventional day fighter role, intercepting USAAF four-engined bombers.
On 7 October 1944 he downed two bombers in one attack and then rammed a third. He bailed out safely. On 18 November 1944 he received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for 31 victories.
On 24 December 1944 Bretschneider was killed whilst leading II.(Sturm)/JG 300 in attacking four-engined bombers over Kassel, his Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-8/R8 "Red 1" probably downed by a P-51 Mustang of the 357th Fighter Group.
Klaus Bretschneider shot down 34 enemy aircraft; 14 RAF bombers at night, and 20 day-victories including 17 USAAF four-engined heavy bombers.
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