Name:  Meyer, Heinz (LW-Fallschirmjäger)
Date of birth: April 9th, 1916 (Magdeburg/Saxony, Germany)
Date of death:  December 22nd, 1987 (Viersen/North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)
Nationality:  German
Heinz Meyer reported to the crack Luftwaffe regiment 'General Göring' on November 2nd, 1937. On April 1st, 1938, he volunteered for the new section of paratroopers, the 1st Batallion Paratroopers (Fallschirmjäger-Regiment, FJR) under the command of Major Bruno Brauer and was posted to 4 Kompanie (Company). As a soldier, his capabilities were recognized and he was sent to NCO training. October 1939, he was promoted to Unteroffizier. Later on he was chosen to attend officers training in Berlin-Gatow after which he was promoted to Feldwebel. Shortly after his promotion he made his first operational jump during the invasion of Holland. At the time, he served with II/FJR.1 under Hauptmann Prager which was tasked to capture the vital bridges near Moerdijk and Dordrecht. When these had finally been captured, the Fallschirmjäger (Paratroopers) had to hold them for three days until the arrival of the 9 Panzerdivision (Armoured Division). Meyer was awarded an Eisernes Kreuz 2e Klasse (Iron Cross 2nd Class) for his participation in this operation.
August 1940, he received his posting as an officer, was promoted to Leutnant and named platoon leader (Zugführer) of 11 Company III FJR 3. Later on, Meyer was in action again during the attack on Greece, being temporarily assigned to FJR 2 which was dropped to capture the bridge on the Corinth Canal. A month later, serving with FJR 3 under Oberst Richard Heidrich, Meyer would be awarded an Eisernes Kreuz 1ste Klasse (Iron Cross 1st Class) for his participation in Operation Merkur, the invasion of Crete.
After the heavy fighting in the Mediterranean, Meyer was transferred to the area around Leningrad where he served with 7 Flieger-Division (Pilots Division) until March 1943. Still in Russia, he transferred to FJR 4 and was promoted to Oberleutnant on July 1st, 1942. Later on, he saw action on the river Mius and river Volkhov.
May 1943, the 7 Flieger Division was transformed into 1 Fallschirmjäger-Division (Parachute Division) and after a period of recuperation in France, part of the division was rushed to Sicily. There, in August 1943, Meyer's regiment joined in the battle for Primasole against a numerically superior British force. After succesfully having retreated to the Italian mainland, FJR 3 and 4 soon engaged the Allies in the Salerno landings. November 12th, 1943, Heinz Meyer was promoted to Hauptmann. A temporary commander of III Batallion/FJR 3, he led his unit in the defence of the infamous Mount Calvary near Monte Cassino. February 10th, 1944, on returning to 11 Company, Meyer recaptured Mount Calvary together with his new batallion commander Major Kratzert. Subsequently, Meyer was named commander of III/FJR 4, repulsing a combined attack by American and New Zealand tanks near Albaneta. Six enemy tanks were knocked out by light anti-tank weapons such as the Panzerschreck (German version of the Bazooka) and the Tellermine. Another 16 were rendered unservicable and consequently, the Allies were forced to break off their attack and retreat. Repulsing this dangerous and unexpected assault, which posed a serious threat to the German positions on Monte Cassino, earned Meyer and the commander of the regiment, Major Franz Grassmel, a Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes).
The next month, Meyer was Leader (Führer) of III/FJR 15 of the newly formed 5 FJR in France. June 1944, as part of II Fallschirm Korps under Generalleutnant Meindl, the division was heavily engaged in the fighting in Normandy. III Batallion repulsed various American armour attacks near Mont Castre. Having suffered severe losses, the survivors barely escaped from the Falaise pocket. Later on, Meyer and his paratroopers fought in the Netherlands and at the close of 1944 on the southern flank of the ill-fated offensive in the Ardennes. November 18th, Meyer was awarded the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves (Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub) for his consistent and capable leadership.
May 8th, 1945, at the end of the war, in the Harz mountain region, Meyer was captured fighting against the Americans and was released December 1945.
Rank: Feldwebel
Unit: 4. / I. / Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 1
Awarded on: May 23rd, 1940
Rank: Leutnant (2nd Lieutenant)
Unit: Zugführer 11. / III. / Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 3
Awarded on: June 21st, 1942
Rank: Oberleutnant (1st Lieutenant)
Unit: III. / Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 4
Awarded on: June 21st, 1943
Details: Award 8/250.
Rank: Hauptmann der Reserve (Captain of Reserves)
Unit: Chef 8. / Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 4 / 1.Fallschirmjäger-Division / XIV.Armee-Korps / 10.Armee / Heeresgruppe C
Awarded on: April 8th, 1944
Details: 1132nd Award.
Rank: Hauptmann der Reserve (Captain of Reserves)
Unit: Führer III. / Fall.j.-Rgt. 15 / 5.Fall.j.-Division / 17. SS-Panzergrenadier-Division / II.Fallschirmkorps / 7.Armee / Heeresgruppe B
Awarded on: November 18th, 1944
Details: 654th Award.
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Picture source:   - fallschirmartz
Information source(s):   - Die Ordensträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht (CD), VMD-Verlag GmbH, Osnabrück, 2002
- Kwasny A., Kwasny G., Die Eichenlaubträger 1940-1945 (CD), Deutsches Wehrkundearchiv, Lage-Waddenhausen, 2001
- Fellgiebel W.P., Elite of the Third Reich, The recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939-1945: A Reference, Helion & Company Limited, Solihull, 2003, ISBN 1-874622-46-9
- Patzwall K., Scherzer V., Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941-1945, Geschichte und Inhaber Band II, Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall, Norderstedt, 2001, ISBN 3-931533-45-X
- Knight's Cross and Oak-Leaves Recipients 1941-45 by Gordon Williamson
- Knight's Cross Holders of the Fallschirmjäger by Franz Kurowski
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