|German Warplanes of the Second World War preserved in Canada
German Warplanes of the Second World War preserved in Canada
During the Second World the Royal Canadian Air Force faced a number of well-equipped enemy opponents, often paying the highest price in the engagements that took place in the air war. Candian casualty statistics for the war amounted to 46,998 dead, including 17,974 who served with our Air Forces. Canadian Museums have done stellar work in preserving much of our military history, and for the aviation enthusiast, examples of most (but not all) of the aircraft flown by the RCAF and CF have been well taken care of for the public to see. I wanted to see more of the RCAF aircraft that fought in the Second World War but also examples of the opponents they faced in hostile skies. Where were the Focke-Wulf Fw 190s and the Messerschmitt Bf 109s? What about the Messerschmitt Me 262 Sturmvogel jets and Me 163 Komet rocket fighters, the Heinkel He 162 Volksjäger and the Mitsubishi A6M Zero-Sen? I began reading up on them. Two Me 262s did come to Canada in 1945. They were destroyed. So were many other types. A small handful of captured War Prizes survived, and we do have a Komet and a Volksjäger preserved in the Canada Air and Space Museum, but where did the rest go? Other countries must have lots of them, or so I thought, and so I began to hunt for them in earnest, and unfortunately discovered the same story elsewhere – most of them have been destroyed. The handfuls that exist make for a very short list of the survivors. A few are being recovered from crash sites and being put back together for display. You will need to carve a very long and exaggerated travel itinerary for yourself if you want to see the few that still exist. I must mention that in most cases a number of gifted restorers have done a wonderful service in preserving the handful of rare and historic warplanes described here. Dedicated museum staffs, researchers and technicians have provided a wonderful chance for the aviation enthusiast to see what those airplanes in the history book photographs actually looked like. You just need to know where to look. The Axis aircraft listed here are or were located in Canada. Good hunting to you.
For additional details and photos on captured Axis Warplanes visit the webpages on "RCAF War Prize Flights", "Axis Warplane Survivors", "German (Luftwaffe) Warplane Survivors", "Italian Warplane Survivors", and "Japanese Warplane Survivors" on this website. Photos are by the author except where credited.
Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel Harold A. Skaarup
Data presented here is current to 23 March 2017.
Canadian War Trophy Aircraft from the Second World War
After the war, a number of Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighters were gathered at Lechfeld, Germany in June 1945, prior to their move to Melun in France, where captured German aircraft were collected for shipment to the USA. Selected aircraft were sent to the Royal Aircraft Establishment in Farnborough, England. A number were cocooned and loaded onto the deck of HMS Reaper for shipment to the USA. Two were brought to Canada.
* Photos 1-3. Messerschmitt Me 262A-2a (Wk Nr. 500210), coded "Yellow 17", designated RAF AM52, Serial No. VH509 in Germany, May 1945. This aircraft was one of two sent to Canada. (RAF Photos)
* Photo. Messerschmitt Me 262a (Wk Nr. 500210), previously coded "Yellow 17", painted as RAF AM52, Serial No. VH509, stored at RCAF Station Downsview, Ontario. (Leslie Corness, CANAV Books Collection Photo)
Messerschmitt Me 262A-1 (Werk Nummer 500210), AM 52, coded "Yellow 17" of I./JG 7, surrendered at Fassberg and was taken over by No. 616 Squadron, RAF. It was flown to Lübeck on 29 May 1945, and then ferried to Schleswig and on to Farnborough on 9 June 1945. It was allocated RAF Serial No. VH509 on 14 June, and made at least one test flight in July at Brize Norton. AM 52 was shipped to Canada from Ellesmere Port on board the SS Manchester Shipper on 23 August 1946, arriving at Montréal on 1 September. AM 52 was sold to Cameron Logan of New Scotland, Ontario, about 1947, with 300 other war-surplus RCAF aircraft, and was eventually scrapped by him at New Scotland.
* Photos 1-3. Messerschmitt Me 262A-1 (Wk Nr. 111690), coded "White 5", of I./JG 7, designated RAF AM80, alongside an RCAF de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito at Aylmer, Ontario in 1952. (RCAF Photos)
Me 262A-1 (Werk Nummer 111690), coded "White 5" of I./JG 7, was built by Messerschmitt at Schwabisch Hall. It was surrendered at Fassburg, where it had been flown by Fritz Stehle, who was responsible for the last kill of the war, after arriving there from Melsbroek on 5 August 1945. The aircraft was transferred to Farnborough via Manston on 6 and 7 August. It later appeared in a static display during a German Aircraft Exhibition coded as RAF AM 80. AM 80 was packed and shipped to Canada on SS Manchester Shipper on 23 August 1946, arriving in Montréal on 1 September. This aircraft was scrapped near Aylmer, Ontario , ca. 1949. 
One Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet rocket fighter was test flown by Canadians (but only as a glider). Three Komets were brought back to Canada as War Prizes. One is preserved in the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario; one has been gifted to the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio, and one was scrapped at Aylmer, Ontario.
* Photos 1 & 2. Messerschmitt Me 163B (Werk Nummer 191916) or (Wk. Nr. 191914), designated RAF AM 220, belonged to JG 400. It was surrendered at Husum and shipped to the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough and from there went to No. 6 MU, Brize Norton, on 1 August 1945. Recorded at No.6 MU in the Census of 21 March 1946 and despatched to No. 47 MU, Sealand, on 17 June 1945. It was crated at Sealand for shipment to Canada and left Salford Docks aboard the SS Manchester Commerce on 28 August 1946, arriving at Montréal on 9 September. It was stored in various locations until arriving at Rockcliffe where it is currently preserved in the Canada Aviation and Space Museum (CASM), Ottawa, Ontario; coded "Yellow 26". There is some doubt about the accuracy of the Werk-Nummer of this aircraft, which has also been reported both as (Wk. Nr. 191913), and (Wk. Nr. 191916). (Author Photos)
* Photos. Messerschmitt Me 163B Komet rocket-propelled fighter (Wk Nr. 191095), RAF AM 211 on display at RCAF Station St Jean, Quebec. (RCAF Photos)
* Photo. Messerschmitt Me 163B Komet rocket-propelled fighter (Wk Nr. 191095), with the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio. (NMUSAF Photo)
Messerschmitt Me 163B-1a Komet, (Wk. Nr. 191095), also belonged to JG 400. It was surrendered at Husum and shipped to the RAE where it was designated RAF AM 211. It was despatched from Farnborough to No. 6 MU, Brize Norton, on 25 July 1945. AM 211 was sent to No. 47 MU, Sealand on 26 June and crafted for shipment to Canada, leaving Salford Docks on board the SS Manchester Commerce on 28 August, and arriving at Montréal on 9 September 1945. Subsequently, it was used as a gate guardian at RCAF Station St Jean, Québec, until it was taken over by the Canadian War Museum (CWM) in Ottawa. This aircraft passed to the Canadian National Aeronautical Collection (CNAC), now the CASM, at Rockcliffe, near Ottawa, Ontario, in 1964. AM 211 was restored to display standard in the CNAC workshops and loaned to the NMUSAF from 1978-1985. It was a gift from the CASM jto the NMUSAF in 1999. During the aircraft's restoration in Canada it was discovered that the aircraft had been assembled by French “forced labourers” who had deliberately sabotaged it by placing stones between the rocket's fuel tanks and its supporting straps. There are also indications that the wing was assembled with contaminated glue. Patriotic French writing was found inside the fuselage.
* Photos 1 & 2. Messerschmitt Me 163B (Werk Nummer 191454), coded "Yellow 11" of JG400, was also surrendered at Husum and shipped to the RAE where it was designated RAF AM 204. It was despatched from Farnborough to No. 6 Maintenance Unit (MU), Brize Norton, England, on 12 July 1945 and used as a static exhibit in Hyde Park, London, England in September 1945. It was later returned to No.6 MU, being recorded there at the Census on 21 March 1946. On 25 June 1946, this Komet was transferred to No. 47 MU, Sealand, for packing and transfer to Canada. AM204 left Solford Docks on 28 August 1946, and arrived at Montréal on 9 September. One of the records for this aircraft has been interpreted as reading (Wk. N. 191452), as painted post war, but photographic and other documentary evidence supports the view that (Wk. Nr 191454) is the correct identity. This aircraft was scrapped at Arnprior, Ontario, ca. 1957.  (Photos courtesy of Ed Das)
* Photo. Heinkel He 162A-2 Volksjäger, (Wk. Nr. 120076), coded "Yellow 4", I./JG 1 was surrendered at Leck, and was moved to Farnborough by surface transport on 15 June 1945. It was designated RAF AM59, Serial No. VH523 on 19 June and test flown from Farnborough on 29 June and on 5, 6, and twice on 23 July 1945. None of the flights lasted more than 20 minutes. An additional test flight was made on 2 August 1945 before it went into storage. On 29 June 1946, AM 59 was handed over to No. 47 MU, Sealand, for despatch to Canada. It left Salford Docks on 26 August aboard SS Manchester Commerce, arriving at Montréal on 9 September 1946. It was on display in the CASM from 1964 to 2006. At the end of 2006, an airworthy Bristol Fighter (G-AANM, D-7889) with Aero Vintage in England was exchanged with the CASM's duplicate Heinkel He 162 (Wk. Nr. 120076), Air Ministry 59, RAF (Serial No. VH-523). This aircraft is curently on display in the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin, Germany. (Author Photo)
* Photos 1-4. Heinkel He 162A-2 Volksjäger, (Wk. Nr. 120086), coded "Yellow 2", JG1, designated RAF AM62, currently on display in the Canada Air and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario. This aircraft surrendered at Leck, and was moved to Farnborough by surface transport on 22 August 1945. AM 62 was allocated to No. 47 MU, Sealand, on 29 May 1946 for packing and shipping to Canada. It also left Salford Docks on 26 August aboard SS Manchester Commerce, arriving at Montréal on 9 September 1946. It has been in the CASM since 1964. (Author Photos)
* Photos 1 & 2. Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4/Z, (Wk. Nr. 10132), coded CD+LZ, 2./JG 5, Stab II./JG 54, is on display in the Canada Air and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario. This aircraft incorporates parts of (Wk. Nr. 26129). (Wk. Nr. 10132) was allocated to JG 5 in May/June 1942, where it was assigned to Hauptmann Horst Carganico, an air ace with 15 victories serving with 6. /JG 5. On 8 August 1942, his aircraft was hit in the fuselage, wings and the oil cooler by gunfire during an air battle above the Arctic port of Murmansk in the former Soviet Union, causing him to make an emergency landing on enemy territory. Carganico was rescued by a crew flying a Fieseler Fi 156 Storch. The Soviets recovered (Wk. Nr.10132), and sent it to the “Museum of the North” in Severomorsk. In 1995, the Russians sold the plane to Aero Vintage Ltd. in England, where it was restored in its original colours. The restoration team made the decision to preserve the aircraft’s historical integrity, and thus the original bullet holes were not repaired and remain visible. One of the bullet hits is visible on one of the propeller blades for example. On 9 June 1999, the plane was transferred to Canada by Canadian Forces aircraft and delivered to the Canada Aviation Museum in Ottawa, where it was reassembled and put on display. CASM. (Author Photos)
 Phil Butler, War Prizes, p. 89.
 The Bristol arrived in Canada in early December. The exchange also included rare aero engines which will enable Aero Vintage to complete restoration work. The package included an extremely scarce Siddeley Puma engine in excellent condition, now destined for their DH9 (Serial No. E-8894), G-CDLI, which is to be made airworthy.
 Phil Butler, War Prizes, p. 90. Apparently this aircraft still retains 100% of its original factory applied camouflage, only the markings have been altered.
 Phil Butler, War Prizes, p. 106.
 Phil Butler, War Prizes, p. 105.
* Photo. Canadian soldier and a member of the French Resistance (F.F.I.) examining the wreckage of a German V-1 flying bomb, Foucarmont, France, 5 September 1944. (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3239436)
* Photos 1-3. Fieseler FZG-76/Fi-103 V-1 Flying Bomb, one of the War Prizes collected by Canadians, on display in the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum, near the airport at Halifax, Nova Scotia. (Author Photos)
* Photo. Fieseler Fi-103R-4 Reichenburg IV piloted flying bomb on display on Air Force Day at RCAF Station Trenton, Ontario, 16 June 1947. This piloted version of the "Buzz Bomb" was brought to Canada in 1945 by Captain Farley Mowat's Intelligence Collection Team in 1945. This R.IV has recently been put on display in the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario. (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584067)
* Photo. Fieseler Fi-103R-4 Reichenburg IV piloted flying bomb on Air Force Day at RCAF Station Trenton, Ontario, 9 June 1951. (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584520)
* Photo. Fieseler Fi-103R-4 Reichenburg IV piloted flying bomb in the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario. This is the same R4 as the one shown at RCAF Station Trenton, Ontario in 1949. (Author Photo)
* Photos 1 & 2. Aggregat-4/Vergeltungswaffe-2/V-2 rocket on display at the Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto, Ontario, 1950. This rocket was recovered from Europe in 1945 by Captain Farlehy Mowat and his DHH Intelligence Collection Team, examined at Camp Valcartier, and shown here at the CNE. Its present location is unknown. (CNE Photos)
When hostilities ceased, Allied Armies had advanced beyond what was to be the eventual boundary between the British, American and Russian zones. There were huge underground factories at Nordhausen which had been producing V1 and V2 weapons as well as jet engines. 128 V2s, (plus A-4 rocket component parts) were evacuated from Nordhausen before the site was handed over to the Russian forces.
* Photo. Captured V-2 rocket set up at Altenwalde, Germany, Oct 1945. (RAF Photo)
The V2 that came to Canada in 1945 has been missing since ca. 1960, last seen near Picton, Ontario. Any information to confirm its whereabouts or demise would be most welcome.
For more photos on preserved V-2s see the web page here on German Aggregat A-4/ Vergeltungswaffe-2, V-2 Rocket Survivors of the Second World War (1939-1945)