Wilhelm Heidkamp
Pumpenmeister Wilhelm Heidkamp (1883 – 1926) was a German sailor who fought in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...


Heidkamp was born in Herkenrath and joined the German Navy as a machinist in 1902. He transferred to SMS Seydlitz in 1912.

He was a Petty Officer (equiv) on SMS Seydlitz
SMS Seydlitz
SMS Seydlitz"SMS" stands for "Seiner Majestät Schiff", or "His Majesty's Ship" in German. was a 25,000-metric ton battlecruiserAdmiral Alfred von Tirpitz referred to the ship as a large cruiser in his annual budgets in an attempt to reduce opposition from the Reichstag; the ship was not referred...

 during the Battle of the Dogger Bank
Battle of Dogger Bank (1915)
The Battle of Dogger Bank was a naval battle fought near the Dogger Bank in the North Sea on 24 January 1915, during the First World War, between squadrons of the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet....

 in January 1915. During the battle, the ship was hit by gunfire from HMS Lion
HMS Lion (1910)
HMS Lion was a battlecruiser of the Royal Navy, the lead ship of her class, which were nicknamed the "Splendid Cats". They were significant improvements over their predecessors of the in terms of speed, armament and armour...

 that knocked out both rear turrets and caused a cordite flashover. Heidkamp prevented his ship from exploding by flooding the magazines. He turned the valves even though they were glowing red-hot. During this action his hands and lungs were severely injured, and he eventually died of consequent lung disease in 1926.

After the war Heidkamp took over his father's grocery store in Untereschbach. Heidkamp was married and had four children.

The World War II German destroyer Z21 was named Wilhelm Heidkamp
German destroyer Z21 Wilhelm Heidkamp
Z21 Wilhelm Heidkamp was a built for the Kriegsmarine in the late 1930s.-External links:*...

in his honour.
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