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Knight's Cross And Oak-Leaves Recipient Dr Rolf Karl Ernst Jager

Discussion in 'German WWII Medals and Awards' started by Jim, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. Jim

    Jim Active Member

    Sep 1, 2006
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    Oberarzt Dr Rolf Karl Ernst Jager

    Rolf Jager was born in Klein Kunterstein in the Graudenz on 1 November 1912. He joined the military on 15 September 1934 when he enlisted into the First Aid section of 6.Infanterie-Division of the Reichsheer. In November of that year he attended the Military Medical Academy in Berlin, and one year later transferred to the Luftwaffe. After briefly attending the Ariel Warfare School at Berlin-Gatow, he transferred to the Luftwaffe Sports School where his medical training continued. In January 1937 he was promoted to the rank of Unterarzt, a medical corps rank equivalent to that of Leutnant, whereupon he was posted to Luftgau VI in Minister. Promotion to Arzt (Oberleutnant) followed in December 1928 and to Oberarzt (Hauptmann) in February 1939. Jager was posted to Fallschirm-Sturm-Bataillon Koch during preparations for the campaign in the West. He took part in the attack on the bridges over the Albert Canal in Belgium, being landed along with the battalion staff element near Vroenhoven. As soon as he arrived, Jager began tending to the numerous wounded and injured paratroopers. Along with other medics he personally recovered the bodies of seven of his fallen comrades and recovered 24 wounded men whilst under heavy enemy fire, ignoring the severe risk to his own life. Such devotion to the welfare of his injured comrades did not go unnoticed and on 12 May 1940 he was awarded the Iron Cross Second Class. This, however, was merely to fulfil the first required stage before the Knight's Cross bestowal. The Iron Cross First Class followed on 13 May, and on 15 May Oberarzt Dr Jager was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for conspicuous gallantry in tending Fallschirmjager wounded whilst under heavy enemy fire. This great distinction was followed just five days later by promotion to Stabsarzt (Major). Jager's distinguished career was to continue through many more campaigns. He served during the invasion of Crete, on the Eastern Front (where Jager was promoted to Oberstabsarzt/Oberstleutnant) and in Italy during the Allied landings at Anzio and Nettuno. He was always in the forefront of care for the wounded. Jager was ultimately appointed to command the Military Hospital at Tarvis in the north of Italy. When the war ended, Jager entered British captivity. He returned to civilian life in 1947 after his discharge as a prisoner of war, and died in retirement in 1984. Jager was one of only a small number of medical officers to be decorated with Germany's premier award for combat gallantry.

    Dr Rolf Jager was a member of an elite group medical officers who were decorated with Germany's highest award for gallantry under fire.


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