Rudolf Scheffel was born on 9 July 1914. In 1935,
he transferred from the police force to the Luftwaffe to undergo flying
training as a bomber pilot. Scheffel flew bomber missions with KG 76 during
the French campaign and the Battle of Britain. However,
in November 1941, Leutnant Scheffel transferred to 1./SKG 210, which operated
the Bf 110 Zerstörer twin-engine fighter-bomber. On 24 September, with
the unit now based on the Eastern front, he was appointed Staffelkapitän
of 1./SKG 210. On 4 January 1942, 1./SKG 210 was redesignated 1./ZG 1.
Scheffel led the unit in the performance of many effective ground support
missions. So effective was the unit in this role that, on 12 July 1942,
their air support resulted in the German army being able to encircle an
attacking Russian infantry division. On 26 July, Scheffel was shot down
in Bf 110 F-4 (W.Nr. 2688) “S9 + CH” and badly wounded by flak. Leutnant
Scheffel was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 29 October for five victories.
In October 1943, Scheffel, now flying Reichsverteidigung missions with
I./ZG 26, was again wounded. On 17 February 1944, he returned to ZG 26
in a staff role. He was later appointed Geschwader Adjutant of ZG 26. On
1 August 1944, ZG 26 was redesignated JG 6. On 1 February 1945, Scheffel
was transferred to the Schießschule Vaerlöse in an instructional role.
Scheffel survived the war but died on 18 December 1983 at Mönchengladbach.
Rudolf Scheffel was credited with seven victories
in 259 missions, including 99 bombing missions. He recorded five victories
over the Eastern front. In addition, he is credited
with destroying 50 tanks.
Victories : 7
Awards : Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (6 March 1942)
Ritterkreuz (29 October 1942)
Units : KG 76, SKG 210, ZG 1, ZG 26, JG 6