Gerardus Mooyman on the day he received the Knight’s Cross, the highest award made by Germany to recognize extreme battlefield bravery.
On the 26th of February 1943, Mooyman stood in front of a guard of honour. The commander of 28. Jäger Division, Generalleutnant Johan Sinnhuber, held a short speech and then decorated Mooyman with the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross.
The young SS-Sturmmann Gerardus Mooyman was the first Dutch volunteer to receive the Knights Cross decoration after single handedly destroying 13 Soviet tanks on 13 February 1943 with his 75mm anti-tank and continuing to operate the weapon alone after his fellow gun crew members had been killed or disabled. During the Battle of Lake Ladoga, around the city of Mga, Mooyman destroyed a total of 23 tanks in snow and freezing cold conditions.
Only 19 years of age, Mooyman served as an anti-tank gunner with the Panzerjäger Kompanie in Volunteer Legion Nederland on the Leningrad front.“Nederland” swiftly obtained a reputation for valor and achievement. In June 1942, the Legion succeeded in capturing 3,500 prisoners, including General Andrey Vlasov, who was to become leader of the Russian Liberation Army.