Which famous people have you outlived?
Died when: 32 years 60 days
Star Sign: Leo
Erwin Clausen (5 August 1911 – 4 October 1943) was a German Luftwaffe military aviator during World War II, a fighter ace credited with 132 aerial victories—that is, 132 aerial combat encounters resulting in the destruction of the enemy aircraft—claimed in 561 combat missions. Born in Berlin-Steglitz, Clausen volunteered for military service with the Reichsmarine in 1931. He transferred to the Luftwaffe of Nazi Germany in 1935. Following flight training, he was posted to Lehrgeschwader 2 (LG 2—2nd Demonstration Wing). He flew his first combat missions in the invasion of Poland, claiming his first aerial victory on 9 September 1939. Clausen then fought in the Battle of France, Battle of Britain, invasion of Yugoslavia and Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union. In June 1942, he was appointed Staffelkapitän (squadron leader) of 6. Staffel (6th squadron) of Jagdgeschwader 77 (JG 77—77th Fighter Wing). One month later, he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross followed by the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves on 23 July 1942 after 101 victories. In June 1943, Clausen was appointed Gruppenkommandeur (group commander) of I. Gruppe of Jagdgeschwader 11 (JG 11—11th Fighter Wing), tasked with defense of the Reich missions. He was posted as missing in action after aerial combat over the North Sea on 4 October 1943. He was promoted to Major (major) posthumously.