Lippe Weissenfeld, Egmond Prinz zur, born on 14-07-1918 in Salzburg, Austria as a member of a cadet line of the aristocratic House of Lippe. Only months after his birth, Germany became a Republic and all the German royal houses were forced to abdicate. Prinz zur Lippe-Weißenfeld in his younger years was very enthusiastic about the mountains and wildlife. From his fourteenth year he participated in hunting. At the same time he was also very much interested in music and sports and discovered his love for flying at the Gaisberg near Salzburg. Here he attended the glider flying school of the Austrian Aëro Club. He attended a basic flying course with the second air regiment in Graz and Wiener Neustadt even before he joined the military service. Prinz zur Lippe-Weißenfeld never married or had children. In January 1941 he became acquainted with Hannelore Ide, nicknamed Idelein. She was a secretary for a Luftgau. The two shared a close relationship and spent as much time together as the war permitted, listening to music and sailing on the IJsselmeer until his death in 1944. Prinz zur Lippe-Weißenfeld joined the Austrian Bundesheer in 1936 at the age of 18, initially serving in the infantry. In the aftermaths of the 1938 Anschluss, the incorporation of Austria into Greater Germany by Nazi Germany, he transferred to Hermann Goering’s (did you know) Luftwaffe and was promoted to Leutnant in 1939. He had earned his Lufwaffe Pilots Badge on 05-10-1938 and underwent further training at Fürstenfeldbruck, Schleißheim and Vienna-Aspern. His Luftwaffe career started with the II. Gruppe of the Zerstörergeschwader 76 before he was transferred to the night fighter wing Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 under commander Hauptmann Günther Radusch , on 04-08-1940. By the end of the war it was the most successful night fighter unit and had claimed some 2.311 victories by day and night, for some 676 aircrew killed in action The unit was based at Gütersloh where he familiarized himself with the methods of the night fighters. By the summer of 1940, the first night fighters were transferred to Leeuwarden in the Netherlands. Prinz zur Lippe-Weißenfeld was one of the pilots included in this sm, on all detachment. As early as 20-10-1940, he had taken over command of an independent night fighter commando at Schiphol and later at Bergen. On his first encounter with the Royal Air Force bomber, in the night of 16 to 17 November 1940, he claimed a Vickers Wellington bomber from No.115 Squadron RAF shot down at 0205 hours. His second victory was claimed on the night of 15-01-1941, when he shot down an Armstrong Whitworth Whitley
Amstrong Whitley. Wolfgang Falck. Josef Renette. Rudolf Schoenert.
of the Linton-on-Ouse based No. 58 Squadron RAF over northern Holland, near the Dutch coast in the Zwanenwater at a nature reserve at Callantsoog. He was wounded in action on 13-03-1941, while flying Bf 110 D-2 of the 4./NJG1 with his radio operator Josef Renette when he made an emergency landing at Bergen after their aircraft was hit by the defence fire, wounding them both. Shortly after midnight on 10-04-1941, Prinz zur Lippe-Weißenfeld claimed a No. 12 Squadron RAF Wellington over the IJsselmeer, raising NJG 1’s victory score to 100. This achievement was celebrated at the Amstel Hotel in Amsterdam with General der Flieger, Chef Kommandeur der Luftwaffe, Josef Kammhuber, Flyer Ace, Oberst Wolfgang Falck
he died old age 96, on 13-03-2007 in Canada, Kommandeur ./N.J.G.1, Werner Streib
, Ace, Major, Nachtjagdgeschwader 1(NJG 1), Helmut Lent
and others attending. On 30-06-1941 while flying Bf 110 C-4 on a practice intercept mission over Noord Holland, he collided with Bf 110 C-7 piloted by Leutnant Rudolf Schoenert, he died age 74, on 30-11-1985, of the 4./NJG 1 and crashed near Bergen aan Zee. On 19-06-1941 he earned his first of four references in the daily Wehrmachtbericht, a daily radio report made by the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht regarding the military situation on all fronts. By July 1941 his number of aerial victory claims stood at 10. Promoted to Oberleutnant he became Staffelkapitän of the 5th Staffel of Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 on 15-11-1941. One of his victims were George Russell Large and Sergeant Thomas Leith-Ross . There Halifax JB790 took off at 23.39 hrs from Leeming, Yorkshire to join a massive attack of 503 aircraft on Bochum. Weather conditions were favourable (small amounts of cloud, moderate visibility and a half moon). .They were shot down at 01.22 at 15,000 ft over Sellen, 3 km North West of Burgsteinfurt
Some 24 aircraft of this operation failed to return home. By the end of 1941 he had claimed a total of 15 aerial victories. He was awarded the German Cross in Gold on 25-01-1942 and the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on 16-04-1942 after he had shot down 4 RAF bombers in the night of 26 to 27 March 1942, his score standing at 21 aerial victories. This feat earned him his third reference in the, Wehrmachtbericht on 27-03-1942. In July 1942 he was one of the leading German night fighter aces with 37 aerial victories. Promoted to Hauptmann, Prinz zur Lippe-Weißenfeld was made Gruppenkommandeur of the I. Gruppe of Nachtjagdgeschwader 3 on 01-10-1942, where he claimed 3 further aerial victories. He was transferred again, taking command of the III. Gruppe of NJG 1 on 31-05-1943. One month later he claimed his 45th aerial victory for which he was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves on 02-08-1943.
After a one month hospital stay, Prinz zur Lippe-Weißenfeld was promoted to Major and made Geschwaderkommodore of Nachtjagdgeschwader 5 on 20-02-1944, where he succeeded Oberst Günther Radusch, . Radusch survived the war and died, age 75 on 29-07-1988 in Nordstrand, West Germany.
Death and burial ground of Lippe Weissenfeld, Egmond Prinz zur.
Lippe Weissenfeld and his crew, Oberfeldwebel Josef Renette and Unteroffizier Kurt Röber, were killed in a flying accident on 12-03-1944 on a routine flight from Parchim to Athies-sous-Laon. Above Belgium, they seem to have encountered a bad weather zone with low clouds and a dense snowstorm and it was assumed that the aircraft hit the high Ardennes ground after being forced to fly lower because of ice forming on the wings. The exact circumstances of this flight may never be known, the Bf 110 G-4 crashed into the Ardennes mountains near St. Hubert where the completely burned-out wreck was found the following day. The funeral service was held in the city church of Linz on 15-03-1944. Prinz Egmont zur Lippe-Weißenfeld, age 25 and Prinz Heinrich zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, age 27, are buried side by side at Ysselsteyn war cemetery, in the Netherlands.