Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
RCAF War Prize Flights, German and Japanese Warbird Survivors (Book)

This handbook concerns the collection of Air Technical Intelligence, and the test flying of war prizes carried out by two RCAF bomber pilots who were posted to the Royal Aircraft Establishment's Foreign Aircraft Flight, Farnborough, in the United Kingdom in May 1945. Their primary task was to visit former Luftwaffe airfields, and to find and fly back any aircraft they deemed worthy of evaluation.

The information presented here is current to 17 April 2016.

As a member of the Canadian Aviation Preservation Association and the Canadian Aviation Artists Association, the author strongly supports the preservation of Canada's aviation heritage. The primary intent of this handbook is to provide information for aviation artists and enthusiasts looking for that unusual "never before painted" military aviation subject, and to support the efforts of those engaged in the search for those missing warbirds for which no examples currently exist.

Order book, soft cover: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000034932/RCAF-War-Prize-Flights-German-and-Japanese-Warbird-Survivors.aspx

E-book: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000034933/RCAF-War-Prize-Flights-German-and-Japanese-Warbird-Survivors.aspx

Order book in Canada: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/Rcaf-War-Prize-Flights-German-Harold-Skaarup/9780595396023-item.html?ikwid=harold+skaarup&ikwsec=Books

E-book: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/RCAF-War-Prize-Flights-German/book-RuBbcmxf1UaiNQwccdoiTA/page1.html?utm_source=indigo&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=retailer&ikwid=harold+skaarup&ikwsec=Books

http://www.amazon.ca/Flights-German-Japanese-Warbird-Survivors/dp/059539602X/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322339388&sr=1-3

On finding things lost

I have always been fascinated by military aircraft, especially the propeller driven warplanes of the Second World War. Perhaps it was because my father served in the Royal Canadian Air Force when I was a boy, and as a result of his occupation our family spent a fair amount of time near military aircraft at various bases in Canada and overseas in Germany. In 1972, a year after I joined the Canadian Militia as a young Sapper in the Royal Canadian Engineers and later as a Signaller in the Royal Canadian Signal Corps serving in Ottawa, I took up the sport of skydiving. Within a few years of indulging in this sport, I was on the Canadian Forces Parachute team, the Skyhawks, and taking part in numerous airshows where there were often warplanes taking part that had seen service during the Second World War. We flew in and jumped out of a twin-engine Douglas CC-129 (DC-3) Dakota transport aircraft that had been built in 1943, as well as single eingine de Havilland CSR-123 (DH-3) Otters and de Havilland CC-138 (DH-6) Twin Otters, four-engine Lockheed CC-130 Hercules transports and various helicopters such as the Bell CH-118 (UH-1H) Iroquois, Boeing CH-147 (CH-47C) Chinook and in more recent years the Bell CH- 146 Griffon helicopter.[1] You could say I was an enthusiastic fan of the aviation community. Prior to becoming an Army Intelligence Officer I had prided myself on being pretty good at aircraft recognition, and so when I had the chance to actually see the aircraft up close that I had only known through photographs, it was quite a surprise to learn how few of them had been preserved.

My first visit to the Canadian Aviation Museum (now the Canada Aviation and Space Museum) based at Rockcliffe, Ottawa, came that same summer of 1972. The North American P-51D Mustang (known as the Mustang Mk IV in Canada) had been a favourite of mine since my first collection of fighter postcards when I was nine years old in 1960. At that time our home was near the end of a runway for No. 3 Fighter Wing, RCAF Station Zweibrücken, Germany, where we lived for four years from 1959 to 1963. In those days, known as the “RCAF Golden Years”, there were over a thousand Canadair CL-13 (F-86) Sabres serving our country, with 12 Squadrons of them based overseas, including a number of them at 3 (F) Wing.[2] Today there are less than 100 Canadian fighters that could take to the same skies, although they continue to do so as was very capably demonstrated recently in the air over Libya.[3]

I wanted to see more of the RCAF aircraft that fought in the Second World War as well as 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 I will describe for you in this handbook. 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 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 rare and 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, and that is the purpose of this book.  Good hunting to you.

[1] Eight CH-47C Chinooks were delivered to the Canadian Forces in 1974. These Chinooks were in Canadian service until 1991, with the designation CH-147. T hese aircraft were subsequently sold to the Netherlands. In 2008, Canada purchased 6 CH-47Ds for use with the Canadian Helicopter Force Afghanistan from the United States. On 10 August 2009, Canada signed a contract to purchase 15 CH-47Fs for delivery in 2013–14, entering service with the Royal Canadian Air Force, after its planned withdrawal from combat operations in Afghanistan, at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, Ontario. Internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_CH-47_Chinook.

[2] On 6 January 1953, the 3rd Wing, (also known as 3(F) Wing) Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), commanded by Group Captain A.C. Hull, arrived to assume control of RCAF Station Zweibrücken. 3 Wing operated the station for over 16 years, from 6 Jan 1953 - 29 Aug 1969. RCAF Station Zweibrücken was one of four RCAF bases of No. 1 Air Division Europe that were established to support NATO during the Cold War. Other bases were located in Marville France 1 (F) Wing; Grostenquin, France 2 (F) Wing, and Baden-Soellingen, West Germany 4 (F) Wing. Three squadrons flying F-86 Sabres were located at Zweibrücken: 413, 427, and 434. No. 413 Squadron was replaced in 1957 by 440 Squadron flying the new CF-100 all-weather interceptor. In 1959 Canada adopted a new and controversial nuclear strike roll in accordance with NATO's doctrine of "limited nuclear warfare" and began re-equipping with the new CF-104 Starfighter that could handle the delivery of nuclear weapons. This aircraft also had a reconnaissance role. In the fall of 1962 the Sabre squadrons of the Air Division, including those at 3 Wing, began flying Starfighters. No. 440 Squadron was disbanded in December 1962. No. 430 Squadron moved to Zweibrücken from Grostenquin when 2 Wing closed down in 1964. The RCAF left Zweibrücken 29 August 1969 as an austerity measure following unification of the Canadian Armed Forces. Upon the departure of the RCAF, control of the station was transferred to the United States Air Force Sixteenth Air Force, USAFE. Internet: http://wingsoffreedom.ning.com/.

[3] The Royal Canadian Air Force deployed seven (six front line, one reserve) CF-18 fighter jets, two CC-150 Polaris refueling airplanes, two CC-177 Globemaster III heavy transports, two CC-130J Super Hercules tactical transports, and two CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft. The Royal Canadian Navy deployed the Halifax-class frigates HMCS Charlottetown and HMCS Vancouver. A total of 440 Canadian Forces personnel participated in Operation Mobile. T here were reports that special operations were being conducted by Joint Task Force 2 in association with Britain's Special Air Service (SAS) and Special Boat Service (SBS) as part of Canada's contribution.  Royal Canadian Air Force Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard was appointed to command the NATO military mission. Internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_military_intervention_in_Libya.

About this book

“Never land in an airplane if you don’t want to die in one.” That has been my skydiver’s philosophy for many years. On the other hand, I can’t easily get to where I want to go with my parachutes without using an aircraft or ballon in most cases. It has been said that the most important thing to learn about flying is how to land safely, and this of course applies to all operators of flying machines. This is much more difficult to do when someone has been shooting at you and your machine has been banged up like a drum with various explosive elements and FlaK. The machines lost to the resident perils of war need to be replaced, and to that end, when an airplane was written off during the Second World War, all efforts were made to recover and salvage parts and materials from shot down and crashed machines for recycling purposes.

Thousands of flying machines and weapons of war were assembled by the large numbers of combatant nations taking part in the conflict from 1939 to 1945, and a great number of them were lost in the battles that eventually brought the war to an end. Post war, all participating nations quickly needed to get their economies back on a practical footing, and the race began in earnest to add as much surplus metal to the industries that put stoves, washing machines, cars, radios and all the conveniences of the future back in the market place. Keeping old worn out warplanes on hand in large numbers served no practical purpose to the nations in need at that time, and the scrapping and destruction processes began almost as quickly as the war ended.

A handful of visionaries thought some of the former “enemy” technology might be useful to future forces. As the Cold War set in, it became increasingly oBVious that if power were to remain in the hands of free nations, they had to be prepared to be armed with better equipment than that in the hands of potential aggressors. In post-war 1945, Russian, British, French, Canadian and American technical experts began scouring Europe and Asia looking for any and all technology that could be of interest and benefit to the conquering nations. In the case of aviation, technical intelligence was the priority, and to that end, key teams of experts were assembled and sent overseas to gather, collect and bring home captured foreign aircraft and equipment for evaluation and where useful, integration into future programs for the defence of the West. Who and what these teams were, and the equipment they collected, is summarized in the next few chapters, in order to understand what specific aircraft are preserved in Museums and institutions around the world – and why there are so few of them.

The reader will find a fair amount of technical data included in annotative form throughout this story. The various marks and improvements in each type of aircraft can lead to some confusion as to which aircraft is being referred to. For this reason, the serial number both from the manufacturer and the identifying number assigned by the capturing forces is included with each aircraft where known, to help identify each specific aircraft referred to in the narrative. Captured aircraft flown by the RAF, for example, were assigned an Air Ministry (AM) number. The Axis aircraft flown by the Americans were initially given a Foreign Equipment (FE) number and later a technical (T) number. These numbers were primarily used to “identify aircraft of intelligence interest at their place of surrender in Germany or Denmark, and to clearly segregate such aircraft from the far larger number of aircraft which were to be destroyed as being of no further use.”[1] Wherever these numbers can be identified with a known aircraft of interest, they have been included in the articles that follow, because a significant number of them are the survivors listed here.

A number of aviation authors have carried out a considerable amount of research into the collection of captured War Prize aircraft and their eventual disposal. Detailed information on the final disposition of war prize aircraft has been extracted from Phil Butler’s authoritative reference book, War Prizes, An illustrated survey of German, Italian and Japanese aircraft brought to Allied countries during and after the Second World War; and the companion volume, War Prizes – The Album.[2] 

Aircraft flown by Royal Navy Captain (N) Eric M. Brown

 (RN Photo)

* Photo.  The most interesting pilot associated with these aircraft is Captain (N) Eric Melrose “Winkle” Brown, CBE, DSC, AFC, MA, Hon FRAeS, RN (born 21 January 1919), a former Royal Navy officer and test pilot who flew more types of aircraft than anyone else in history. He was also the Fleet Air Arm’s most decorated pilot and holds the world record for aircraft carrier landings.[3]

He joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) as a Fleet Air Arm (FAA) pilot, where he was posted to No. 802 Squadron, initially serving on the escort carrier HMS Audacity flying the Grumman Martlet fighter. During his service on board the Audacity he shot down two Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor maritime patrol aircraft. The Audacity was torpedoed and sunk on 21 December 1941 by U-751, commanded by Gerhard Bigalk. Eric Brown was one of only two survivors of the squadron. In 1943 Brown was seconded to Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) squadrons flying escort operations to United States Army Air Force (USAAF) Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses over France.  He also flew several stints with Fighter Command in the air defence of Great Britain. He served with the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) in southern Italy evaluating captured Regia Aeronautica and Luftwaffe aircraft. He returned to RAE’s Aerodynamics Flight department at Farnborough, where he flew a captured Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger.

With the end of the European war in sight, the RAE prepared itself to acquire German aeronautical technology and aircraft before it was either accidentally destroyed or taken by the Soviets, and due to his skills in the German language Brown was made CO of “Enemy Flight”. He flew to northern Germany.

Among the targets for the RAE was the Arado Ar 234, a new jet bomber that the Allies, particularly the Americans, were very much interested in. A number of the jets were based at an airfield in Denmark, the German forces having retreated there. He expected to arrive at a liberated aerodrome, just after it had been taken by the British Army, however German resistance to the Allied advance meant that the ground forces had been delayed and the airfield was still an operational Luftwaffe base. Luckily for Brown, the Commanding Officer of the Luftwaffe airfield at Grove offered his surrender, with Brown taking charge of the airfield and its staff of 2,000 men until Allied forces arrived the next day.

Subsequently, Brown and Martindale, along with several other members of the Aerodynamics Flight and assisted by a co-operative German pilot, later ferried twelve Ar 234s across the North Sea and on to Farnborough. The venture was not without risk, as before their capture the Germans had destroyed all the engine log books for the aircraft, leaving Brown and his colleagues no idea of the expected engine hours remaining of the machines, which, due to the scarcity of the special high-temperature alloys available to use in their construction, resulted in the Junkers Jumo 004 engines having a very short life, only twenty five hours - they thus did not know whether the engines were brand new, or just about to expire.

After the war‚ Brown commanded the Enemy Aircraft Flight, an elite group of pilots who test-flew captured German aircraft. That experience makes Brown one of the few men qualified to compare both Allied and Axis warplanes as they actually flew during the war. He flight-tested 53 German aircraft, including the Me 163 rocket plane (in gliding flight only) and the Messerschmitt Me 262, Arado Ar 234 and Heinkel He 162 jet planes.

Fluent in German, he helped interview many Germans after the Second World War, including Wernher von Braun and Hermann Göring, Willy Messerschmitt, Dr. Ernst Heinkel, Kurt Tank and top Luftwaffe fighter ace with 352 victories, Erich Hartmann. In addition, Brown spoke to Heinrich Himmler. Coincidently, Brown had himself been using Himmler’s very own personal aircraft, a specially-converted Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor that had been captured and was being used by the RAE Flight based at the former Luftwaffe airfield at Schleswig. He was also able to renew acquaintances with German aviatrix Hanna Reitsch, whom he had met in Germany before the war.

In 1954 Brown, by then a Commander, became Commander (Air) of the Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Brawdy, where he remained until returning to Germany in late 1957, becoming Chief of British Naval Mission to Germany, his brief being to re-establish German naval aviation after its pre-war integration with and subornment to, the Luftwaffe. During this period Brown worked closely with Admiral Gerhard Wagner of the German Naval Staff. Training was conducted initially in the UK on Hawker Sea Hawks and Fairey Gannets.

During this time Brown was allocated a personal Percival Pembroke aircraft by the Marineflieger, which, to his surprise, the German maintenance personnel took great pride in. It was in fact, the first exclusively naval aircraft the German Navy had owned since the 1930s. Brown successfully led the re-emergence of naval aviation in Germany to the point that in 1960 Marineflieger squadrons were integrated into NATO.

Later Brown enjoyed a brief three month period as a test pilot for the Focke-Wulf company, helping them out until they could find a replacement after the company’s previous test pilot had been detained due to having relatives in East Germany.[4]

Brown died aged 97 on 21 February 2016 at East Surrey Hospital in Redhill, Surrey, England after a short illness.

[1] A typical airfield at the time of the surrender in May 1945 held perhaps 400 or more Luftwaffe aircraft of which perhaps ten were selected for evaluation in the UK, while a few others such as communications or trainer types were allocated for use by the RAF in Germany or to Allied governments for re-equipment of their own air forces. Phil Butler, War Prizes, p. 75.

[2] Phil Butler, War Prizes, An illustrated survey of German, Italian and Japanese aircraft brought to Allied countries during and after the Second World War (Midland Counties Pub., Leicester, England, 1994).

[3] A more detailed biography of Captain (N) Eric M Brown may be found in the book.

[4] Internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Brown_(pilot).

British Air Forces of Occupation (BAFO), Germany, Dissolution of the Luftwaffe, Volumes I & II, Feb – Dec 1946, Air HQ BAFO, July 1947

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) was heavily involved in the disposal of captured German aircraft when the war ended.  There were at least 134 Key Appointments in the RAF Disarmament Organization of which 14 were RCAF Officers.  The Disposal of Enemy War Material (DEWM) was a tremendous task resulting in the discovery and disposal of 4,810 enemy aircraft and gliders found in Germany, Denmark, Norway and Belgium.  Although the vast majority were destroyed, arrangements were made to send a number of serviceable aircraft to the Commonwealth nations of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa as well as to Allied countries including the USA, France, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Holland (the Netherlands) and Czechoslovakia.  Of these aircraft, many were also destroyed, and thus only a handful survive in Aviation museums worldwide.

The Canadian personnel involved in the disposal operations primarily served in RAF No. 8402 Air Operations (AO) Wing (RCAF), and included 70 Officers and 315 Other Ranks, for a total of 385 personnel. No. 8402 AO Wing operated in Oldenburg, Germany, with the RCAF Staff later moving to Celle, also in Germany. The following is a list of the RCAF Key Appointments, most serving within 84 Group:

Air Commodore W.W. Brown, RCAF GD, Senior Disarm Staff Officer, HQ 84 Gp BAFO.

Gp Capt W.E. Bennett, RCAF GD, OC 8402 (RCAF) AO Wing.

Gp Capt D.S. Blaine, RCAF GD, Disarm Staff HQ 84 Gp BAFO.

Gp Capt R.A. Cameron, RCAF GD, GAF Admin Disarm € AHQ BAFO.

Gp Capt W.W. Hows, RCAF Equip, DEWM HQ 84 Gp BAFO.

Wing Comd J.L. Berven, RCAF GD, Disarm Plans HQ 84 Gp BAFO.

Wing Comd H. Birchall, RCAF GD, Disarm Plans HQ 84 Gp BAFO.

Wing Comd H.E. Cartwright, RCAF Equip, DEWM, HQ 84 Gp BAFO.

Wing Comd J.H. Foan, RCAF Equip, SESO 8402 (RCAF) AO Wing.

Wing Comd G.O. Godson, RCAF ARM GD, DEWM HQ, HQ 84 Gp BAFO.

Wing Comd W.A. Nield, RCAF Int, Disarm Staff HQ 84 Gp BAFO.

Wing Comd J.A. Ross, RCAF SIGS G, DEWM HQ 84 Gp BAFO.

Wing Comd W.H. Stapley, RCAF GD, Disarm Staff HQ, HQ 84 Gp BAFO.

Wing Comd J.R. Thompson, RCAF GD, Deputy CO 8402 RCAF AD Wing.

* Photo.  Captured Luftwaffe aircraft and advanced RAF aircraft on display at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough November1945.  The German aircraft allotted to the airshow, including a number on display indoors as well as shown here outdoors, included: Arado Ar 232B, AM17; Arado Ar 234B-1, AM26/VK877; Blöhm und Voss Fw 189 155B (partially sectioned); Dornier Do 217M, AM106; Dornier Do 335A-12, AM223; Fieseler Fi 156C-3, AM100; Fieseler FZG-76; Focke-Achgelis Fa 330; Focke-Wulf Fw 189A (Wk Nr. 0173), AM27; Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-4 (partially sectioned); Focke-Wulf Fw 190F, AM111; Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-12 (Wk Nr. 210079), derelict; Focke-Wulf Fw 200C Condor, AM94; Focke-Wulf Ta 152H (Wk Nr. 150168), AM11; Heinkel He 111H (Wk Nr. 701152); Heinkel He 162A-2 (partially sectioned); Heinkel He 219A-7 (Wk Nr. 310189), AM22; Horten Ho IV; Junkers Ju 52/3m, AM104; Junkers Ju 88A-6 Mistel composite (Wk Nr. 2492), AM77, with Focke-Wulf Fw 190A (Wk Nr. 733759) mounted on top; Junkers Ju 88G-1 (Wk Nr. 712273), AM231/TP190; Junkers Ju 88G-6 (partially sectioned); Junkers Ju 188A (We Nr 230776), AM 08; Junkers Ju 290A, AM57; Junkers Ju 352, AM109; Junkers Ju 388L, AM83; Messerschmitt Bf 108B-1, AM84; Messerschmitt Bf 109G-14 (partially sectioned); Messerschmitt Bf 109G, VD358; Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4 (Wk Nr .730037), AM30; Messerschmitt Me 163B-1a (partially sectioned); Messerschmitt Me 262A (Wk Nr. 111690), AM80, later allocated to Canada; Messerschmitt Me 410B, AM74/V-3 ; Fieseler Fi 103 Reichenberg IV (piloted Fieseler Fi 103/V-1); and, Siebel Si 204D-1, AM4.  (RAF Photo)

The list of aircraft found here does not include all German combat aircraft that fought in the Second World War, as it focuses on those warbirds captured and flown by members of the RCAF, or sent to Canada as war prizes.  Very few of these rare aircraft exist today, and therefore, information on known locations where German, Japanese and Italian warbird survivors may be found is included. 

RCAF Research Team

While still in Europe when the war ended there in May 1045, Captain Farley Mowat was tasked by Canada's Directorate of History and Heritage (DHH) to form an Intelligence Collection Team to gather and bring back German weapons and equipment that could prove useful to the Canadian Intelligence and Scientific community.  He succeeded in bringing back more than 700 tons of captured German equipment to Canada. These items ranged in size from the pair of complex Enigma cryptographic machines to a giant V-2 rocket. In 1946, his list of this equipment went into the storage files of the Library and Archives Canada collections. Some of the equipment he and his Intelligence Collection Team arranged to be transported to Canada has survived, such as the Fiesler Fi 103R Reichenberg IV piloted flying bomb currently on display in the Canadian War Museum, and some, such as the exceptionally large V-2 rocket, the Marten II, Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks, are missing.

The DHH Team also considered procurement of examples of equipment used by the Luftwaffe.  They were in contact with RAF No. 8402 Air Operations (AO) Wing (RCAF), British Air Forces of Occupation (BAFO) Germany, who had the primary responsibility for the dissolution of the Luftwaffe, operating in Oldenburg, Germany.  The Army DHH Team was assured that these items were being procured by them for return to Canada and so no further action was taken in this field by the team.  The RCAF members of 84 Group requested examples of most aircraft used by the “enemy” and as will be shown, many were thoroughly examined and a few were brought to Canada.[1]

Aircraft Salvage

It has been said that the most important thing to learn about flying is how to land safely, and this of course applies to all operators of flying machines.  This is much more difficult to do when someone has been shooting at you and your machine has been banged up like a drum because someone has been shooting at you with cannon, machine guns and FlaK.  The combat aviation machines lost to the persistent perils of war need to be replaced, and to that end, when an airplane was written off during the Second World War, all efforts were made to recover and salvage parts and materials from shot down and crashed machines for recycling purposes.

Thousands of flying machines and weapons of war were assembled by the large numbers of combatant nations taking part in the conflict from 1939 to 1945, and a great number of them were lost in the battles that eventually brought the war to an end.  Post war, all participating nations quickly needed to get their economies back on a practical footing, and the race began in earnest to add as much surplus metal to the industries that put stoves, washing machines, cars, radios and all the conveniences of the future back in the market place.  Keeping old worn out warplanes on hand in large numbers served no practical purpose to the nations in need at that time, and the scrapping and destruction processes began almost as quickly as the war ended. 

A handful of visionaries thought some of the former “enemy” technology might be useful to future forces.  As the Cold War set in, it became increasingly obvious that if power were to remain in the hands of free nations, they had to be prepared to be armed with better equipment than that in the hands of potential aggressors.  In post-war 1945, Russian, British, French, Canadian and American technical experts began scouring Europe and Asia looking for any and all technology that could be of interest and benefit to the conquering nations.  In the case of aviation, technical intelligence was the priority, and to that end, key teams of experts were assembled and sent overseas to gather, collect and bring home captured foreign aircraft and equipment for evaluation and where useful, integration into future programs for the defence of the West.  Some of the aviation equipment captured or seized as war prizes made its way to Canada.  Their present status and location where known is summarized here.

Captured aircraft flown by the RAF and members of the RCAF were assigned an Air Ministry (AM) number.  The Axis aircraft flown by the Americans were initially given a Foreign Equipment (FE) number and later a Technical (T) number.  These numbers were primarily used to “identify aircraft of intelligence interest at their place of surrender in Germany or Denmark, and to clearly segregate such aircraft from the far larger number of aircraft which were to be destroyed as being of no further use.”[2]

Of the aircraft that were eventually shipped to Canada from England, the following British Air Ministry Numbers were assigned:

AM No.           Type and Werk Number (Wk Nr.)           

AM52              Messerschmitt Me 262A-2a Schwalbe, (Wk. Nr. 500210), RAF VH509.

AM59              Heinkel He 162A-2 Volksjäger, (Wk. Nr. 120076), RAF VH523.

AM62              Heinkel He 162A-2 Volksjäger, (Wk. Nr. 120086).

AM80              Messerschmitt Me 262A-1 Schwalbe, (Wk. Nr. 111690).

AM204            Messerschmitt Me 163B-1a Komet, (Wk. Nr. 191454).

AM211            Messerschmitt Me 163B-1a Komet, (Wk. Nr. 191095).[3]

AM220            Messerschmitt Me 163B-1a Komet, (Wk. Nr. 191914), possibly (Wk Nr. 1919176).

 (JustSomePics Photo)

 (Author Photos)

* Photos 1-3.  Messerschmitt Me 163B Komet, (Wk. Nr .191916 or 191914), RAF AM220, 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 Air and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario, with the code ‘Yellow 26’.  There is some doubt about the accuracy of the Werk-Nummer of this aircraft, which h

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Messerschmitt Me 163B-1a Komet, (Wk. Nr. 191454) captured at Husum.  Designated RAF AM204, it is shown  here on display in Hyde Park, London, in Sep 1945.  This aircraft was shipped to Canada.  

 (Photos courtesy of Ed Das)

* Photos 1 & 2.  Messerschmitt Me 163B Komet, (Wk. Nr. 191454), coded Yellow 11 of JG400, was surrendered at Husum and shipped to the RAE.  Designated RAF AM204, it was despatched from Farnborough to No. 6 MU, Brize Norton, on 12 July 1945 and used as a static exhibit in Hyde Park, London, during 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. Nr. 191452), 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.

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Heinkel He 162A-2 Volksjäger, (Wk. Nr. 120086), Yellow 2, JG1, captured at Leck.  Designated RAF AM62, this aircraft was on display in Hyde Park, London, England post war.  This aircraft was later shipped to Canada and is on display in the Canada Air and Space Museum. 

(JustSomePics Photo)

* Photo.  Heinkel He 162A-2 Volksjäger, (Wk. Nr. 120086), captured at Leck.  Designated RAF AM62, this aircraft is on display in the Canada Air and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario. 

 (CASM Photo)

* Photos 1 & 2.  Heinkel He 162A-2 Volksjäger, (Wk. Nr. 120076), captured at Leck.  Designated RAF AM59, later RAF Serial No. VH523, this aircraft was held by the Canada Air and Space Museum in Ottawa.  It was traded to Aero Vintage in the UK for a Bristol Fighter (G-AANM, D-7889) in December 2006.  This aircraft is now on display at the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin, Germany.

Heinkel He 162A-2 Volksjäger, (Wk Nr. 120076), RAF AM59, marked Yellow 4, I./JG 1 was surrendered at Leck, and was moved to Farnborough by surface transport on 15 June 1945.  It was allocated RAF 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 dispatch 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 Canada Aviation Museum from 1964 to 2006.[6]  At the end of 2006, an airworthy Bristol Fighter (G-AANM, D-7889) with Aero Vintage in the UK was exchanged with the Canada Aviation and Space Museum’s duplicate Heinkel He 162 (Wk Nr. 120076), Air Ministry 59, RAF (Serial No. VH-523).[7] This aircraft was on display in an aviation museum in German and may be for sale on the aviation market.

 (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1 & 2.  Messerschmitt Me 262A-2a Schwalbe, recorded as (Wk. Nr. 500210), this is an incorrect number, as this aircraft came from the 1123xx block of Werk Numbers, "Yellow 17", captured at Schlesweg.  Designated RAF AM52, Serial No. VH509, this aircraft was one of two sent to Canada.

 (Leslie Corness, CANAV Books Collection Photo)

* Photo.  Messerschmitt Me 26A-2a Schwalbe, (Wk. Nr. 1123xx), "Yellow 17", captured at Schleswig.  Designated RAF AM52, later VH509, stored at RCAF Station Downsview, Ontario. 

 (RCAF Photos)

* Photos 1-4.  Messerschmitt Me 262A-1 Schwalbe, (Wk. Nr. 111690), White 5, captured at Fassberg.  Designated RAF AM80, it is shown here alongside an RCAF De Havilland Mosquito at Aylmer, Ontario in 1952.  This aircraft was destroyed in 1959. 

A number of aviation authors have carried out a considerable amount of research into the collection of captured War Prize aircraft and their eventual disposal.  Detailed information on the final disposition of war prize aircraft brought to Canada has been extracted from Phil Butler’s authoritative reference books on War Prizes.[4]

The collection of ex-Luftwaffe aircraft for evaluation had been initiated by the British Air Ministry’s Branch Al 2 (g), the group which had been the intelligence gatherer and collator of Luftwaffe aircraft information since before the start of the Second World War.  It was this group which, with assistance from the British wartime Ministry of Aircraft Production, had drawn up a “Requirements List” of items needed for evaluation in England after the war.

The list had been initiated during 1944 and was in the hands of Air Technical Intelligence teams in Europe prior to the German collapse in May 1945.  The list was amended as new requirements were identified; these amendments included previously unknown aircraft or items of equipment found on the ground by the intelligence teams.  With the end of hostilities the Air Technical Intelligence teams were reinforced by experienced pilots and engineers, many of them from the RAF Central Fighter Establishment (CFE) at Tangmere in England.  The personnel included members of the former No. 1426 Flight which had been incorporated into the CFE shortly before the end of the war.

It was quickly determined that it would be a good idea to conduct the ferrying of unfamiliar aircraft types by trained test pilots.  The business of selecting German aircraft and pilots to ferry them to England was handed over to the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE).  Wing Commander Eric M. Brown was placed in charge of the reception of German aircraft at Farnborough, and his superior, Group Captain Alan F. Hards, Commanding Officer experimental Flying at RAE, took over responsibility for the selection of suitable aircraft.  The servicing of aircraft prior to their delivery to Britain remained an RAF responsibility and this task was carried out by No. 409 Repair and Salvage Unit, based at Schleswig in northern Germany.

The Royal Aircraft Establishment was a British research establishment known by several different names during its history that eventually came under the aegis of England Ministry of Defence (MoD), before finally losing its identity in mergers with other institutions.  The first site was at Farnborough Airfield (RAE Farnborough) in Hampshire to which was added a second site RAE Bedford (Bedfordshire) in 1946.  During the Second World War, the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment, then based at Helensburgh in Scotland, was also under the control of the RAE. [6]

The RAE set up an outpost at Schleswig, commanded by RCAF Squadron Leader Joe McCarthy, to co-ordinate the delivery of selected aircraft to Schleswig for overhaul, and to control the acceptance test flights of individual aircraft at the completion of their servicing routine.  The RAE then took over the delivery of the aircraft to England via one or more established staging posts in Holland or Belgium which were provided with jet fuel and other support facilities.

As a Canadian the author has a particular interest in two RCAF pilots who flew many of the captured Luftwaffe aircraft discussed in this Chapter.  Much of their story is related in a marvellous book on the RCAF put together by aviation authors Larry Milberry and Hugh A. Halliday entitled: The Royal Canadian Air Force at War 1939-1945.[7]  The RCAF pilots were Squadron Leader (later Wing Commander) Joseph C.  McCarthy and Squadron Leader Ian Somerville who flew with the RAE at at Farnborough in England.  The author has corresponded with Joe’s son Joe McCarthy Jr and with Ian’s daughter Sheri Somerville Street and they have kindly provided a number of interesting details to add to their story. [8]


[1] Catalogue of Canadian War Museum Equipment Collection, p. 123.

[2] A typical airfield at the time of the surrender in May 1945 held perhaps 400 or more Luftwaffe aircraft of which perhaps ten were selected for evaluation in England, while a few others such as communications or trainer types were allocated for use by the RAF in Germany or to Allied governments for re-equipment of their own air forces.  Phil Butler, War Prizes, p. 75.

 (NMUSAF Photos)

* Photos 1-3.  Messerschmitt Me 163B Komet, (Wk. Nr. 191095), captured at Husum.  Designated RAF AM211, this aircraft is on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio.  AM211 was acquired from the Canadian National Aviation Museum (now the Canada Aviation and Space Museum), where it had been restored, and was placed on display on 10 December 1999.  Komet test pilot Rudolf “Rudi” Opitz was on hand for the dedication of the aircraft and discussed his experiences of flying the rocket-propelled fighter to a standing room only crowd.  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.  The aircraft is displayed without any unit identification.

[3] Messerschmitt Me 163B Komet rocket-propelled fighter (Wk Nr. 191095), RAF AM211 was later presented by the Canadian Air & Space Museum as a gift to the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Dayton, Ohio.

[4] Phil Butler, War Prizes, An illustrated survey of German, Italian and Japanese aircraft brought to Allied countries during and after the Second World War (Midland Counties Pub., Leicester, England, 1994); and the companion volume, War Prizes – The Album, (Midland Publishing, Hinkley, England, 2006).

[5] This example was the only Me 163B to be flown in Britain. VF241 arrived at Farnborough during April 1945 and by July, was partly repainted in RAF camouflage, with roundels, fin flash, serial number and yellow ‘P’ prototype marking.  Internet: http://naziscienceliveson.devhub.com/blog/744854-post-ve-day-raf-testing-farnborough-phase-two/.

[6] Internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Aircraft_Establishment.

[7] Larry Milberry and Hugh A. Halliday, The Royal Canadian Air Force at War 1939-1945.  (CANAV Books, Toronto, 1990).

[8] While attending an Intelligence Branch Mess Dinner at CFB Kingston on 25 Oct 2008, the author was introduced to the Senior RAF Exchange Officer to Canada, Group Captain David Robertson, who also happened to be the Chairman of the 617 Squadron Association (Dam Busters).  He connected the author with Chris Henderson who turn put him in touch with W/C Joe McCarthy‘s son also named Joe.  The author also corresponded with S/L Ian Somerville‘s daughter Mrs Sheri Steele in British Columbia.  The direct connection with their families provided considerable incentive to tell the stories found here.

Wing Commander Joe McCarthy and Squadron Leader Ian Somerville

As a Canadian the author has a particular interest in two RCAF pilots who flew many of the captured Luftwaffe aircraft listed here. Much of their story was found in the marvellous book on the RCAF put together by aviation authors Larry Milberry and Hugh A. Halliday titled: The Royal Canadian Air Force at War 1939-1945.[1] The RCAF pilots were Squadron Leader Joe McCarthy and Squadron Leader Ian Somerville who flew with the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough in the UK.[2] The author has corresponded with Joe’s son Joe McCarthy Jr and with Ian’s daughter Sheri Somerville Street and they have kindly provided a number of interesting details to add to their story.

[1] Larry Milberry and Hugh A. Halliday, The Royal Canadian Air Force at War 1939-194 (CANAV Books, Toronto, 1990).

[2] Following a chance encounter at a military mess dinner in Kingston, Ontario with the Senior RAF Exchange Officer to Canada who just happened to also be the President of the Dam Buster’s Association, the author was put in touch with S/L Joe McCarthy’s son also named Joe. The author also corresponded with S/L Ian Somerville’s daughter Mrs Sheri Steele in British Columbia. The direct connection with their families provided considerable incentive to tell the story found here.

Wing Commander Joseph C. McCarthy, DSO, DFC & Bar

 (RCAF Photo)

* Pilot Officer Joe McCarthy, RCAF.

Joseph Charles McCarthy was born in St James on Long Island, New York on 31 August 1919 and grew up in Brooklyn, New York City.  Fascinated by aircraft and flying, he worked as a lifeguard at Coney Island and many other beaches in the New York area and at other odd jobs to pay for flying lessons.  On three occasions he attempted to join the Army Air Corps.  Each time he was told that he would hear back from them but he never did.  The Air Corps knew that it had to expand but the US military was simply unprepared for any large-scale expansion.

During May 1941, twenty months after the beginning of the war and with the United States still neutral, Joe’s good friend Don Curtin suggested that they head up to Canada and join the Royal Canadian Air Force.  “Within two days,” McCarthy recalled, “we were boarding a bus and heading for Ottawa. We spent the night at the Ottawa YMCA and the following morning proceeded to the air force recruiting office.”  There they were told that they’d have to come back at a later date.  Their response was, “Take us today as we don’t have the money to return again.”  The warrant officer in charge took a second look at the lads from the States.  He wouldn’t likely see a healthier, stronger pair of prospects for a while and the next day they were at Manning Depot in Toronto. 

Joe was formally enlisted in Ottawa on 5 May 1941, (J9346).  He trained at No. 1 ITS, graduating on 11 August 1941 and then No. 12 Elementary Flight Training School (EFTS) at Goderich, Ontario flying Fleet Finch biplane training aircraft, graduating on 26 September 1941.  He was then assigned to No. 5 SFTS at Brantford, Ontario where he trained on Avro Anson twin engine trainers, graduating on 18 December 1941.  One day during his training he had his map fly out a window and Joe became utterly lost.  With fuel running low he had to land in a farmer’s field to ask directions.  Despite this, he received his wings and a commission on 17 December 1941. Most of the sixty or so graduates became pilots with RAF Bomber Command.  Most, including Joe’s friend Don Curtain, would not return from Europe.

Following Christmas, McCarthy sailed from Halifax for England aboard a banana boat.  The ship was separated from their convoy during bad weather and proceeded alone for eleven days before docking in Liverpool.  When McCarthy and his fellow aircrew arrived at Bournemouth they were surprised that they had arrived before the rest of the convoy.

Following further training on Airspeed Oxford twin engine trainers at No. 12 Advanced Flying Unit (AFU) from 9 April to 19 May 1942, Pilot Officer (P/O) McCarthy completed his training at No. 14 Operational Training Unit (OTU) on 22 August 1942.  During his training with the OTU, he flew three operational missions to the Ruhr in a twin-engined Handley Page Hampden bomber.  On 11 September, 1942 he was assigned to No. 97 Squadron RAF at Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire and began flying official operations against the enemy.  He was highly regarded on the squadron and awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the citation reading, “On many occasions this officer has attacked targets in Germany.  As captain of aircraft he has participated in sorties to the heavily defended objectives in the Ruhr and took part in the successful raid on Essen on a night in March 1943.  He has also attacked Berlin three times and Italian targets on five occasions.  Throughout his whole career, his conduct has set an example of high courage and efficiency to other members of the squadron”.[1]

He received his DSO and DFC from King George VI at an investiture at Buckingham Palace on 22 June 1943.  He received the Bar to his DFC from King George VI at a second investiture at Buckingham Palace on 11 August 1944.[2]

The Air Officer Commanding (AOC) No. 5 Group, Sir Ralph Cochrane, had tasked Wing Commander (W/C) Guy Gibson with setting up a Squadron for “Special Operations”.  Gibson knew nothing about the target itself at that stage, but he was given carte blanche by Cochrane to comb Bomber Command for its best aircrew.  While flying with No. 97 Squadron, Joe had met Gibson who was stationed at nearby Coningsby.  As Joe was completing his tour he received a telephone call from Gibson who told him, “I’m forming a new squadron. I can’t tell you much about it except that we may be doing only one trip.  I’d like you and your crew to join us.”

Joe was excited about the opportunity but his crew were a bit cool.  They had just beaten the odds and completed a tour of operations.  However all but one of the crew decided to follow their captain to the new squadron.  Transferred to No. 617 Squadron on 25 March, they made their first flight with the new squadron on 31 March 1943.

After several weeks of intensive and dangerous low-level training with No. 617 Squadron, Joe very nearly was unable to participate in the raid itself.  On the evening of 16 May 1943, he and his crew entered their four-engined Avro Lancaster “Q for Queenie” only to discover that the bomber could not be flown because of leaking hydraulics.  Joe then rushed his crew then rushed over to the spare plane, “T for Tom”, only to find it virtually unserviceable too since the card giving the compass deviations vital for accurately flying the carefully charted route to the dams was not in the cockpit.  The chances of navigating through the enemy anti-aircraft sites to their target were zero without it.  Angry over this second setback Joe left the cockpit, and stomped over to the hangar where he was met by Flight Sergeant “Chiefy” Powell, the squadron’s senior NCO.  Chief Powell took off at the high port to the instrument section and successfully located the missing compass deviations card.

Finally Joe was airborne but he had taken off twenty minutes after the rest of his section.  He was the commander of the squadron’s second wave that was assigned to attack the third of the three priority dams targeted.  This was the Sorpe dam which, unlike the Mohne and Eder dams, was built of earth covering a concrete core which would absorb more of the shock waves created by the bomb and reduce its intended effect.  For this target the “bouncing-bomb” mode of attack was not used.[3]

Joe was the only one of his five plane wave to reach the Sorpe.  Of the four other aircraft, one was shot down and another was so badly shot up by flak that it had to abort.  Another crashed into an electrical pylon supporting power cables and the fourth had to abort because it was flying so low that it bounced off the water and lost its bomb.  The target was located between high hills that necessitated a steep dive from the attacking aircraft and, to complicate matters further, a thick mist filled the valley making it difficult to locate the dam.

When at last the dam was identified Joe made his bombing run along the crest of the 2297’ dam wall.  The Sorpe, because of its earthen construction, had no vertical wall to stop the skipping mine and hence had to be attacked by flying parallel to the dam and not at right angles to it as with the Mohne and Eder.  This necessitated coming over the top of the hill and closely following the slope down to the dam, using flaps to keep speed under control, dropping the mine and then climbing out quickly as the hill rose on the other end of the dam.  It was not until the tenth run over the dam that bomb-aimer Sgt. George “Johnny” Johnson was satisfied and released the bomb from a height of about thirty feet.  The explosion sent a huge tower of water into the sky but when Joe flew over again he could see that the wall had survived although the parapet had been damaged.

Although the Sorpe Dam wasn’t breached as were the Mohne and Eder, the crest of the dam had crumbled for 50 yards and eventually the Germans were forced to draw off some of the capacity of the Sorpe Reservoir.  Canadian pilot Ken Brown flew the only other aircraft that attacked the Sorpe.  Flight Lieutenant (F/L) McCarthy was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his efforts on the Dams Raid.  His W/C, Guy Gibson, was awarded the Victoria Cross.  At the Buckingham Palace investiture, the Queen took his massive hand in hers and asked him about his home life in Brooklyn.  (Joe wore a shoulder patch with both Canada and USA on it).

Joe’s DSO has the following citation: “on the night of the 16th of May 1943, a force of Lancaster bombers was detailed to attack the Moehne, Eder and Sorpe dams in Germany.  The operation was one of great difficulty and hazard, demanding a high degree of skill and courage and close co-operation between the crews of the aircraft engaged.  Nevertheless, a telling blow was struck at the enemy by the successful breaching of the Moehne and Eder dams.  This outstanding success reflects the greatest credit on the efforts of the above mentioned personnel who participated in the operation, in various capacities as members of aircraft crew.”[4]

 (RAF Photo courtesy of Joe McCarthy Jr)

* Photo.  Crew Members of No. 617 Dambuster Squadron Lancaster bomber (Serial No. ED285), AJ-T, "T for Tommy", at Scampton, Lincolnshire, England on 22 July 1943 .  RCAF Pilot Flight Lieutenant Joe McCarthy (centre), Flight Engineer Sergeant W.G. Radcliffe, Navigator Flight Sergeant Donald Arthur MacLean (front left), Wireless Operator Flight Sergeant L. Eaton, Bomb Aimer Sgt G.L. Johnson, Front Gunner Sergeant R. Batson, and Rear Gunner Flying Officer D. Roger.  (RAF Photo courtesy of Joe McCarthy Jr)

The Dams Raid was the first of many special operations that No. 617 Squadron would carry out during the war.  Joe continued to fly with the squadron, serving under two of W/C Gibson’s successors, including Leonard Cheshire, who had a high estimate of his abilities, promoting him to Squadron Leader (S/L) and making him a flight commander.  Cheshire noted that Joe “was a brave and thoughtful pilot who saw the value of flare marking long before the Pathfinder Force was established to take on that task.”

 In April 1944, S/L McCarthy was awarded a “Bar” to his DFC with the citation, “Since being awarded the Distinguished Service Order this officer has completed numerous sorties as captain of aircraft in which he has taken part in difficult and hazardous operations at low level.  Squadron Leader McCarthy has displayed exemplary skill and courage which, combined with his unfailing devotion to duty, have contributed much to the success achieved”.

From 1941 until late 1944, he flew Hampden, Manchester, Lancaster and Mosquito bombers and completed a total of 80 combat missions.  Joe was also involved with the use of a new Stabilizing Automatic Bomb Site (SABS) that gave great accuracy from high altitudes.  This had been invented in 1941 to enable aircrew drop big bombs more accurately, but for it to work an aircraft had to run straight and level for ten miles in the period immediately before the bomb was dropped. It was claimed that if the sight was used properly a bomb could be dropped from 20,000 feet with an accuracy of under a hundred yards.[5]

Joe flew a number of operations on selected, small targets in France that could be hit without causing damage to nearby residential areas.  No. 617 also flew operations as “Pathfinders”, dropping target indicators (TI) for the main force which would follow.  On one occasion, McCarthy’s reference point was a small building.  Somehow his TI went right inside the building and he had to come around again to place another marker!

Joe began his third tour with a raid to Toulouse on 5 April, 1944.  On the night prior to the D-Day invasion, he flew with the squadron as they followed racetrack shaped circuits at 800 feet off Calais with three-minute turns, dropping special types of aluminum foil (code-named “chaff”).  This duped the German coastal radar into thinking that a large surface fleet was approaching the Pas de Calais while the real force was approaching Normandy far to the west.

Joe was also involved in the dropping of the first 12,000 pound “Tallboy” bomb on the Saumar railway tunnel in France.  The weapon was released from 10,500 feet and struck within 100 yards of the target, causing the tunnel to collapse.  Joe dropped other Tallboys on submarine pens and a V-1 factory where he spent fifty minutes over the target.  His 67th and last operation took place on 4 July 1944 when he placed a Tallboy on a target near Criel, France.  During his war time career with No. 617 Squadron, Joe’s aircraft featured a unique collection of nose art that was related to his American, Canadian, and British connections.

Following a brief period with No. 6 Group Headquarters and another as the Commanding Officer of a fighter affiliation unit where he flew Hawker Hurricanes and Supermarine Spitfires, S/L McCarthy was posted to the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) at Farnborough in November, 1944.  Following the end of the war, McCarthy continued at Farnborough where he served with the “Foreign Aircraft Flight”.  This group had the task of locating a wide range of Luftwaffe aircraft types, ferrying them to England, and evaluating them.  Some 75 ex-Luftwaffe aircraft were flown to Farnborough and approximately 50 others were delivered by sea.  Joe flew more than 20 different types of these War Prizes, including the Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor long range anti-shipping aircraft.

 (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1 & 2.   S/L Joe McCarthy meeting the King and Queen in England in May 1943. (Photo courtesy of Joe McCarthy Jr & the RAF)

Axis Aircraft flown by RCAF Wing Commander Joseph C. McCarthy

At the end of the Second World War, S/L Joe McCarthy of the Dambusters chose to remain in the RCAF.[1] After three tours with Bomber Command, he won a flying slot at the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) at Farnborough, located south of Reading in the United Kingdom. Initially, he spent a few weeks there becoming familiar with a host of aircraft from single to four engine types. From 4 April to 13 May 1945, he was seconded to Vickers-Armstrong to test fly the Windsor bomber during armament trials.

* Photo. Vickers-Armstrong Windsor four-engine heavy bomber prototype. (RAF Photo)

S/L McCarthy then joined the Foreign Aircraft Flight (FAF) under S/L H.J. King.[2] The Foreign Aircraft Flight had the task of locating a wide range of Luftwaffe aircraft types, ferrying them back to England and evaluating them. Initially, this involved some survey flights around Europe looking for aircraft.

S/L McCarthy commanded an RAE outpost at Schleswig in northern Germany. His task was “to coordinate the delivery of selected aircraft to Schleswig for overhaul, and to control the acceptance test flights of individual aircraft at the completion of their servicing routine. The RAF then took over the delivery of the aircraft to England via one or more established staging posts in Holland or Belgium which were provided with jet fuel and other support facilities.”[3]

Aircraft were flown or transported by ground from 18 May 1945 through to 18 January 1946. German aircraft were documented according to their Werk Nummer, (Wk. Nr.) before being given an Air Ministry Number. The first German aircraft to be moved was a Messerschmitt Me 262B-1a/U1, (Wk. Nr. 110305), AM50, a two-seat jet night fighter version equipped with FuG218 radar, which was flown from Schleswig to Gilze-Rijen on 18 May, and onwards to Farnborough on 19 May 1945.  This aircraft is currently displayed in the South African National Museum of Military History, Saxonwold, Johannesburg.[4]

 (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1 & 2.  Messerschmitt Me 262B-1a/U1 Schwalbe, (Wk. Nr. 110305), two-seat jet night fighter version equipped with FuG218 radar, 10.NJG11, "Red 8" captured at Schleswig.   Designated RAF AM50, later VH519, this aircraft was flown from Schleswig to Gilze-Rijen on 18 May, and onwards to Farnborough on 19 May 1945.  It was damaged on its first landing at RNAS Ford, but quickly repaired. 

 (NJR ZA Photo)

* Photo.  Messerschmitt Me 262B-1a/U1 Schwalbe, (Wk. Nr. 110305), two-seat jet night fighter version equipped with FuG218 radar, 10.NJG11, "Red 8"This aircraft is currently displayed in the South African National Museum of Military History, Saxonwold, Johannesburg, South Africa. 

Approximately 75 ex-Luftwaffe aircraft were flown to Farnborough, and nearly 50 others arrived there by surface transport. A few others were flown in from other places. The aircraft arriving by ground transport included 23 Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet fighters, 11 Heinkel He 162 single engine jet fighters, and the Messerschmitt Me 262C jet fighter prototype, along with a prototype Blohm + Voss BV 155B high-altitude fighter, and the first prototype DFS 228 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft.  The BV 155B and DFS 228 were loaned to the British authorities before their intended shipment to the USA.[5]

 (Luftwaffe Photos)

* Photos 1-3.  Blohm + Voss BV 155B V-2.

Blohm + Voss Bv 155B V-2

The BV 155 was designed to be a single-engine high performance fighter aircraft capable of capable of intercepting bombers at high altitudes and conducting reconnaissance as a secondary mission. One variant was also intended to operate from aircraft carriers with a tailhook system. The Bv 155 was powered by one Daimler-Benz DB 603 U engine and the Heinkel-Hirth TKL 15 turbo supercharger. It was armed with one MK 108 30-mm cannon in the nose and two 20-mm MG 151 cannons in the wing.

The BV 155 featured an armoured, pressurized cabin with an ejection seat, high aspect ratio laminar-flow wings, wide-track landing gear, and a very advanced, though troublesome and complex, propulsion system. An air scoop located on the underside of the fuselage at the trailing edge of the wing fed outside air to the TKL 15 turbo-supercharger. The supercharger compressed the air and fed it to an intercooler mounted above. A pipe semi-recessed into the left fuselage (visible below the cockpit and above the long exhaust pipe) fed the cooled, high-pressure air from the intercooler forward to the engine-driven supercharger.  Blohm + Voss designed the BV 155 to reach speeds of about 430-mph at over 50,000’.

   (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1-4.  Blohm + Voss BV 155B V-2, Farnborough, England. before being transferred to the USAAF, where it was designated USA FE-505.

Blohm + Voss completed the BV 155B V1 (V for Versuch, German for experiment) and the first of three prototypes flew on 8 February 1945 out of newly armoured hangars at Finkenwerder, near Hamburg. On 8 February the V1 took to the air but the right radiator leaked badly and chief test pilot Helmut “Wasa” Rodig terminated the flight. Following repairs, the aircraft flew twice more on 10 and 26 February. Repairs followed each flight but it is doubtful that the airplane flew again after the 26th.

All work had stopped on the third prototype, BV 155 V3, as Blohm + Voss concentrated on finishing the V2, but the war ended first. The British Army occupied Hamburg on 3 May 1945 and found the three prototypes at the factory. British officials examined the V1 and decided it was airworthy then directed an RAF pilot to fly it to England. The airplane crashed shortly after takeoff from the factory and was destroyed.  The British gathered up V2 and V3 and shipped them to the test establishment at Farnborough, England, for evaluation. They seriously considered completing the V2 for flight test but in the end, simply displayed the aircraft in October-November 1945 and then stored it.

  (NASM Photo)

* Photo.  Blohm + Voss Bv 155B V2, USA FE-505, in storage at the Garber Facility, Paul E. Garber Facility in Silver Hill, Maryland.

For years, the identification of the National Air & Space Museum's Bv 155B was mysterious. Historians knew the British shipped a Bv 155B to the US after the war and that the US Army Air Forces evaluated it at Wright Field, Ohio. They eventually transferred it (bearing Foreign Equipment Number FE-505) to the National Air & Space Museum. Most sources claimed this was the unfinished V3 prototype. In 1998, two restoration specialists reassembling the parts stored at the Paul E. Garber Facility in Silver Hill, Maryland, were amazed to discover nearly the entire V2 airframe. Except for wiring harnesses the factory never hooked up and other small parts, the aircraft appears to be 90-95% complete, including most of the propulsion system. German documents verify that the V3 was only half-finished at war’s end and the discovery of “V2” stamped into both sides of the windshield frame seemed to prove conclusively that the NASM aircraft is in fact the second prototype. The BV 155B V-2, (Wk. Nr. 360052) in the NASM is also the last surviving aircraft built by Blöhm und Voss during the company’s 12-year foray into aviation.[1]

 (Luftwaffe Photo)

* Photo.  DFS 228, rocket-powered reconnaissance aircraft (prototype).

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  DFS 228, rocket-powered reconnaissance aircraft (prototype), remains in the scrapyard at Farnborough, 1946.

 (Luftwaffe Photos)

* Photos 1-4. DFS 228 mounted on a Dornier Do 217, ca 1943.

The DFS 228 was a rocket-powered, high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft designed by the Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Segelflug (DFS,"German Institute for Sailplane Flight") during the Second World War. By the end of the war, the aircraft had only flown in the form of two unpowered prototypes. The first prototype was completed in March 1944 and was undergoing gliding tests by August, carried aloft piggyback, strut-mounted atop a Dornier Do 217. The aircraft was of conventional sailplane design, with long, slender wings, and intended to land on a retractable skid mounted on its belly. The nose of the aircraft could be separated in an emergency, and formed a self-contained, pressurised escape capsule for the pilot. Because of problems with the cabin pressurisation system, the second prototype accommodated the pilot in a prone position.

Some forty flights were made with the prototypes, and installation of a Walter HWK 109-509 rocket was to have taken place in February 1945, but the project fell by the wayside as the war situation became more desperate. The second prototype was destroyed in an air raid in May 1945, and the first prototype was captured by US troops in June. In 1946, it was sent to the United Kingdom for study, where it was apparently scrapped in 1947, although its exact fate is unknown. (Wikipedia)S/L McCarthy‘s first involvement in the operation took place on 28 May when he flew an Avro 683 Lancaster bomber to Brunswick in northern Germany.

 (Arpingstone Photo)

* Photo. Avro 683 Lancaster B-1 from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight in the markings of No. 550 squadron (BQ-B) on the starboard side for the Air Fighting Development Unit, and No. 100 squadron on the other (HW-R).

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Siebel Si 204D-1, (Wk. Nr. 322127), captured at Flensburg.  Designated RAF AM4, this aircraft was likely scrapped in 1945.

Siebel Si 204D-1, (Wk. Nr. 321523), captured at Flensburg.  Designated RAF AM5, this aircraft was scrapped at Woodley ca. 1948.

Siebel Si 204D-3, (Wk. Nr. 321547), captured at Leck.  Designated RAF AM12, this aircraft was scrapped at Brize Norton in 1947.

Siebel Si 204D-1, (Wk. Nr. 251922), captured at Leck.  Designated RAF AM13, this aircraft was scrapped at RAF Newton in 1947.

Siebel Si 204D-1, (Wk. Nr. 221558), captured at Grove, Denmark.  This aircraft was designated RAF AM28.  It was scrapped at Brize Norton in 1947.

Siebel Si 204D-1, (Wk. Nr. 251147) captured at Kastrup.  This aircraft was scrapped at Woodley, England in 1948.

Siebel Si 204D-1, (Wk. Nr. unknown).  Designated RAF AM46, this aircraft was scrapped at Brize Norton in 1947.

Siebel Si 204D-1, (Wk. Nr. 251104), captured at Lutenholm.  Designated RAF AM49, this aircraft was scrapped at Brize Norton in 1947.

Siebel Si 204D-1, (Wk. Nr. 321288), RAF AM55 was scrapped at brize Norton in 1947.

Siebel Si 204D-1, (Wk. Nr. 321308), RAF AM56 was scrapped at Schlesweg.

Siebel Si 204D, (Wk. Nr. 251190), RAF AM56A was likely scrapped at Schlesweg.

On 10 and 13 June, he flew his first German aircraft, Siebel Si 204D-1, (Wk. Nr. unknown), AMGD, a light twin-engine transport at Flensburg on the Danish border, where hundreds of German aircraft had been assembled for disposal

 (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1-3.  Junkers Ju 352A-0 Herkules, transport, (Wk. Nr. 100010) coded KT+VJ, of V/Transportgeschwader 4, RAF AM8 and later VP550.  This aircraft was scrapped at Farnborough after 1946.

Junkers Ju 352A-1 Herkules, transport, (Wk. Nr. 100015), captured at Eggebek.  This aircraft was designated RAF AM18.  It was scrapped at Farnborough in 1946.

Junkers Ju 352A Herkules, transport, (Wk. Nr. unknown), captured at Eggebek.  This aircraft was designated RAF AM19.  It was scrapped at Schlesweg in 1945.

Junkers Ju 352A Herkules, transport (Wk. Nr. unknown), captured at Eggebek.  This aircraft was designated RAF AM109.  It was scrapped at Farnborough in 1946.

Junkers Ju 352A Herkules, transport, (Wk. Nr. unknown), captured at Eggebek.  This aircraft was designated RAF AM110.  It was scrapped at Knokke in 1946.

On 11 and 19 June he flew a Junkers Ju 352A-0, (Wk. Nr. 100010), RAF AM8, four-engine heavy transport, and then ferried the aircraft to Farnborough on 23 June.

 (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1 & 2. Junkers Ju 88G-6, (Wk. Nr. 622838), RAF AM3, VK884 on display in Hyde Park.

On 16 June S/L McCarthy flew a Junkers Ju 88G-6, (Wk. Nr. 622838), RAF AM3, VK884, from Schleswig to Farnborough. This aircraft had been selected for investigation of FuG217 and FuG224 radars. It was later put on display at Hyde Park.

   (RAF Photos)

* Photo. Messerschmitt Bf 108B-1 possibly (Wk. Nr. 370114), RAF AW167 in flight. This aircraft was origninally registered as D-IJHW. It survives today, Reg. No. D-ESBH.  Second aircraft unidentified. 

On 11 and 19 June he test flew a Messerschmitt Bf 108B, (Wk. Nr. 1547), AM84, single engine light liaison aircraft at Schleswig.

 (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1 & 2.  Focke-Wulf Fw 200C-4/U1 Condor, (Wk. Nr. 0137), GC+AE. This Condor was the personal aircraft of Heinrich Himmler and later Grand Admiral Doenitz. This aircraft was found intact at Achmer in 1945 and flown to Farnborough on 3 July 1945.  Designated RAF AM94, this aircraft was flown in the UK.  It was scrapped at Farnborough in 1946.

Focke-Wulf Fw 200C Condor, (Wk. Nr. 0240), captured at Flensburg.  Designated RAF AM95, this aircraft was  scrapped at Schleswig.

Focke-Wulf Fw 200A-02 Condor, (Wk. Nr. 2984), OY-DAM and G-AGAY, RAF DX177, flown in the UK until scrapped in Jan 1942.

Focke-Wulf Fw 200C, (Wk. Nr. 081), captured at Flensburg.  Designated RAF AM97, this aircraft crashed at Schleswig on 28 Feb 1946.

On 19 June he flew a Focke-Wulf Fw 200C-4/I1 Condor, (Wk. Nr. 176), RAF AM94, a German four-engine long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-shipping bomber.

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Junkers Ju 290A-2 long-range bomber, (Wk. Nr. 110157), coded 9V+BK of 2/Fernaufklarungs-gruppe (FAGr)5.  This aircraft was captured at Flensburg and flown to Farnborough on 21 Sep 1945 where it was assigned RAF AM57.  It was one of the last German War Prize aircraft to be scrapped at Farnborough in 1946.

Junkers Ju 290A-7, (Wk. Nr. 110186) captured at Flensburg was designated RAF AM6.  This aircraft was scrapped at Brize Norton in 1947.

On 22 June he flew a Junkers Ju 290A-7, (Wk. Nr. 110186), RAF AM6, and went up again on the same aircraft on 28 June. This aircraft was the first production Ju 290A-7. He later ferried this aircraft from Lübeck on the north German coast to Wormingford on 2 July. On 29 June he test flew a Siebel Si 204D-1-1, (Wk. Nr. 321523), AM5, at Leck.

 (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1-5.  Arado Ar 232B-0, (Wk. Nr. 305002), RAF AM17.[1]

Arado Ar 232B-0 (Wk. Nr. 305002) A3+RB,  previously flown by the Luftwaffe's "Special Duties" unit, KG 200 and captured at Eggebek in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.  This aircraft was designated RAF AM17 and pressed into service to ferry spare parts from occupied Europe to Farnborough, often flown by Squadron Leaders McCarthy and Somerville.  It was scrapped at RAF Sealand in 1948.

[1] This aircraft was the 7th Luftwaffe Arado Ar 232B-0 (A3+RB) of 3./KG 200 (3rd Sqn, 200th Bomb Wing, (it was a Special Operations Wing). The aircraft was surrendered to British forces at Eggebek, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, in 1945.  It was then flown to the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough (UK), for testing and was later scrapped.

Two of the B-0s were captured by British forces at the end of the war. The Ar 232B-0s were test flown by Capt (N) Eric “Winkle” Brown, who gave the design excellent marks, they were used by the Royal Air Force on flights between England and Germany after the war. RCAF S/L Joe McCarthy[4] flew these aircraft with the Royal Aircraft Establishment’s Foreign Aircraft Flight at Farnborough, UK at the end of the war. None appear to have survived.

On 11 July he flew an Arado Ar 232B-0, (Wk. Nr. 305002), AM17, a large four-engine twin-boom, multi-wheeled heavy transport (nick-named the “millipede”), from Gilze-Rijen to Farnborough. This aircraft was the only complete example known to have been surrendered to the Allies. It had been flown by the Luftwaffe “Special Duties” unit, Kampfgeschwader (KG) 200, coded A3+RB. It was captured at Eggebek in Schleswig-Holstein and flown to Farnborough on two ferry trips.

Also in July he flew a Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger fighter.

Squadron Leader McCarthy also flew the big Arado Ar 232 transport, the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighter, and Germany’s most advanced night-fighter, the Heinkel He 219 Uhu (Owl).

 

 (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1-3.  Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-3 Würger, (Wk. Nr. 313), single chevron, Stab III./JG2, flown by Oblt Arnim Faber.  This aircraft landed in error at RAF Pembrey in South Wales on 23 June 1942.  The Fw 190 was designated RAF MP499.  It was the first of its type to fall into Allied hands, and after its capture it was taken by road to Farnborough and flown extensively in comparative trials with Allied fighters.  It was struck off charge (SOC) in Sep 1943. 

   (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1-4.  Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-3 Würger, (Wk. Nr. 313), repainted as RAF MP499.  It was SOC in Sep 1943. 

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-4/U8, (Wk. Nr. 7155), H+ from II./SKG10.  Designated RAF PE822, this aircraft crashed in Oct 1944.

   (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1-3.  Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-4/U8, (Wk. Nr. 7155), repainted as RAF PE822, this aircraft crashed in Oct 1944.

    (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1-3.  Mistel S3A, Focke-Wulf Fw 190A, (Wk. Nr. 733682), designated RAF AM75 combined with Junkers Ju 88A-6, (Wk. Nr. 2492), designated AM77.  The Focke-Wulf Fw 190A is preserved in the Imperial War Museum, London, England, while the Junkers Ju 88A-6 was scrapped at Farnborough.

  (Gustav Gullberg Photo)

* Photo.  Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8/R6, (Wk. Nr. 733682), RAF AM75 on display in the Imperial War Museum, London, England.  This aircraft was captured at Tirstrup, Denmark where it was found mounted on top of a Junkers Ju 88A-6 bomber, (Wk. Nr. 2492), RAF AM77, as part of a Mistel S3B combination.  This aircraft has faired-over gun ports and a belly-mounted ETC-501 bomb rack.  The Ju 88 was scrapped at Farnborough.

  (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1-3.  Mistel S3A designated RAF AM75 combined Fw 190A-8, (Wk. Nr. unknown) with Ju 88H-1, (Wk. Nr. unknown). Both aircraft were scrapped at Schleswig.  One of three Mistel combinations captured at Tirstrup.  (RAF Photo)

Mistel S3A designated RAF AM76 combined Fw 190A-8, (Wk. Nr. unknown) with Ju 88H-1, (Wk. Nr. unknown). Both aircraft were scrapped at Schleswig.

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Focke-Wulf Fw 190. 11./JG 1, 1+-, captured at Skrydstrup, Denmark, May 1945. 

 (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1 & 2.  Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-4/U8, (Wk. Nr. 5843), "Red 9" from 1.SKG10, RAF PM679.  This aircraft crashed on 25 June 1944 and the remains were used for spare parts.

      (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1-9.  Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-5/U8, (Wk. Nr. 2596), "White 6" from 1.SKG10, flown by Unteroffizier Werner Ohne operating from St. Omer, France.  Ohne landed accidentally at the RAF airbase at Manston on the night of 21 May 1943 and was quickly taken into custody.  After capture, the aircraft was designated RAF PN999.  This aircraft had a temporary black finish which was removed and British roundels added.  PN999 was probably scrapped after July 1946.

Focke-Wulf Fw 190A, (Wk. Nr. unknown), RAF NF754 and Fw 190A, (Wk. Nr. unknown), RAF NF755 were used in England for spare parts.  Both were later scrapped at Tangmere.

Focke-Wulf Fw 190F-8/U1, (Wk. Nr. 580058), captured at Kastrup.  Designated RAF AM36, this aircraft was likely scrapped at Kastrup.

Focke-Wulf Fw 190S-1, (Wk. Nr. 582044), captured at Kastrup.  Designated RAF AM37, this aircraft crashed at Sonning, England on 30 Nov 1945.

Focke-Wulf Fw 190F-8/U1, (Wk. Nr. 580392), captured at Kastrup.  Designated AM40, this aircraft was scrapped at Schlesweg.

 (RCAF Photos)

* Photos 1 & 2.  Focke-Wulf Fw 190F-8, RCAF JFE.

 (Luftwaffe Photo)

* Photo.  Focke-Wulf Fw 190F-F8/R15, (Wk. Nr. unknown), TD+SI, in Luftwaffe service.   The aircraft had an enlarged fin and lengthened tailwheel leg.  Gun armament was restricted to wing-root mounted MG 151s.  It carried the LTF 5b torpedo on an adapted ETC 501 rack.   One was captured at Travemunde, designated RAF AM111 was sent to the UK in July 1945.  It was scrapped at Cranfield, Englad, ca 1950.

 (Luftwaffe Photo)

* Photo.  Focke-Wulf Fw 190F-8/R15, (Wk. Nr. unknown), RAF AM111.

Focke-Wulf Fw 190F-8/R15, (Wk. Nr. unknown), captured at Travemunde where it had been flown by the Luftwaffe Torpedowaffen Versuchsanstalt (TVA) on operational trials.  Flown to Farnborough on 19 July 1945 this aircraft was designated RAF AM111.  It was scrapped at Cranfield, England, ca. 1950.

Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8, (Wk. Nr. 171747).  Designated RAF AM230, this aircraft was crashed in England on 30 Aug 1944.  The remains were scrapped at Little Rissington, England.

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighter captured by British forces having RAF roundels painted on it by German prisoners post war.

* Photo.  Focke-Wulf Fw 190 with freshly painted RAF roundels in a German hangar, post war.  (RAF Photo)

 (Armée de l’Air Photo)

* Photo.  French-built NC.900 (Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8) in Armée de l’Air markings.  In the immediate postwar period, the French Armée de l’Air operated a number of Fw 190 fighters (designated NC.900).  65 NC.900s were built in 1945 and 1946 by the Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques du Centre (S.N.C.A.C.) at Cravant, France.

  (Pine Photo)

* Photo.  NC.900 (Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8), (Wk. Nr. 730923) preserved at the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace, Le Bourget, France.  The NC.900 No. 62 on display in the Musée de l'Air at Le Bourget is a Focke-Wulf 190A-8 made to represent an A-7.   It is painted in the colours of Oberst Josef Priller, Luftwaffe Kommodore of JG 26, who accumulted 101 victories, many of them in Fw 190s.

Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8, (Wk. Nr. 173056), coded "White 14", I./JG11, Reg. No. N91169 (53116656), was originally built at the Focke-Wulf factory in Marienburg in 1944,.  White 14 ended its service in Rheims, France, where it was buried at the train yards after being stripped of parts.  It was restored by Don Hansen, Piping Analysis Inc., Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Its first flight with a Russian-sourced radial engine took place on 9 October 2011.[1]

[1] Internet: http://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/N91169.html; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focke-Wulf_Fw_190_operational_history#Survivors.

 (USAAF Photo)

* Photo.  Focke-Wulf Fw-190s at the end of the Second World War, April-May 1945.

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Focke-Wulf Fw 190 with freshly painted RAF roundels in a German hangar, post war.

On 1 August S/L McCarthy flew a Heinkel He 219A-2 Uhu (Owl), (Wk. Nr. 290126), AM20, a twin-engine two-seat night fighter, which had been a deadly adversary against allied bomber formations. An He 219A-0 (G9+FB) flown by Major Werner Streib and a back-seater named Fisher flying out of Venlo, Holland, on the Uhu’s first combat mission, destroyed five RAF Avro 683 Lancasters on their way to Berlin on the night of 11-12 June 1943.

On 2 and 12 August, he flew a Junkers Ju 352A, (Wk. Nr. unknown), AM110, at Farnborough.

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Messerschmitt Bf 110 C-5, (Wk. Nr. 2177), coded 5F+CM, flew with Luftwaffe reconnaissance unit 4(F)/14.  It force-landed at Goodwood Racecourse, Sussex, after being hit by gunfire, on 21 July 1940.  RAF AX772.

 (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1-3.  Messerschmitt Bf 110 C-5, (Wk. Nr. 2177), coded 5F+CM, repaired at Royal Aircraft Establishment Farnborough with parts of another Bf 110 that was shot down near Wareham on 11 July.   It was flown for the first time on 15 February 1941.  Later it was tested at RAE Duxford wearing a new colour scheme and designated RAF AX772.  After the trials, the aircraft was assigned to No. 1426 Squadron.  It was stored in November 1945 and subsequently scrapped in November 1947.

Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4/R8, (Wk. Nr. 180560) captured at Eggebek.  Designated RAF AM15, this aircraft was struck off charge on 30 May 1946.

Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4/R3, (Wk. Nr. 730037), captured at Grove, Denmark.  Designated RAF AM30, this aircraft was scrapped at Farnborough in 1946.

Messerschmitt Bf 110G, (Wk. Nr. 180850), captured by the RAF.  It was not allocated an Air Ministry number, and was scrapped.

 (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1 & 2.  Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4/R6, (Wk. Nr 730301) with FuG220 radar, captured at Grove, Denmark.  Designated RAF AM34, this aircraft is preserved in the RAF Museum, Hendon.

 (Kogo Photo)

 (Calgaco Photo)

* Photos 1 & 2.  Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4/R6, (Wk. Nr. 730301) with FuG220 radar, captured at Grove, Denmark in May 1945.  Designated RAF AM34, this aircraft is displayed in the RAF Museum, Hendon. 

Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4/R8, (Wk. Nr. 180551), captured at Kastrup, Denmark.  Designated AM38, this aircraft was likely scrapped at Kastrup.

Messerschmitt Bf 110G-5/R1, (Wk. Nr. 420031), captured at Eggebek.  Designated RAF AM85.  This aircraft was scrapped at Brize Norton in 1947.

Messerschmitt Bf 110G, (Wk. Nr. unknown).  Designated RAF AM86.  This aircraft was possibly scrapped at West Raynham.

Messerschmitt Bf 110G, (Wk. Nr. unknown).  Designated RAF AM88.  This aircraft was scrapped at Schleswig.

On 3 August he ferried Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4/R6, (Wk. Nr. 730301), RAF AM34, from Schleswig to Farnborough. This twin-engine night fighter was equipped with FuG220b Liechtenstein SN-2 radar. Likely constructed in 1944 this G model was developed as a night fighter. Wk. Nr. 730301 was surrendered to the Allies at Grove airfield, Denmark (now known as Karup). Luftwaffe coded D5+RL; this aircraft had served with the 1st Staffel of Nachtjagdgeschwader 3 (1/NJG3) in the night defence of Denmark and Northern Germany. Of the 1,146 German aircraft found on Danish airfields after the German surrender, 37 were Bf 110 variants. Of these, five were allocated Air Ministry evaluation numbers AM15, AM30, AM34, (Wk. Nr. 730301), AM38 and AM85.

On 1 August 1945, AM34 was ferried from Grove to Schleswig, Northern Germany by Squadron Leader Ian Somerville. Schleswig hosted a Royal Aircraft Establishment outpost to coordinate the delivery of selected German aircraft to Schleswig for overhaul and delivery to the UK for evaluation. On 3 August AM34 was ferried from Schleswig to RAE Farnborough by Squadron Leader Joe McCarthy. On 5 September it was ferried from Farnborough to No. 6 MU Brize Norton (Aircraft Storage Unit) by Lieutenant-Commander E.M. “Winkle” Brown, the CO of the Enemy Aircraft Pool 1945-1946. Brown stated that the Bf 110’s controls were light and well harmonised, the airplane very manoeuvrable and the rate of climb excellent. Other surviving Bf 110s include Bf 110F-2, (Wk. Nr. 5052) at the Deutsches Technik Museum, Berlin; and the wings, tail and fuselage parts of another at the Technik Museum, Speyer, Germany.[7]

 (Luftwaffe Photos)

* Photos 1-3.  Heinkel He 219A-7 Uhu night fighter in Luftwaffe service. 

 (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1 & 2.  Heinkel He 219A-7 Uhu, (Wk. Nr. 290126), captured at Grove.  This aircraft was designated RAF AM20.  It has a night camouflage paint scheme.  It was scrapped at Brize Norton in 1948.

Heinkel He 219A-7 Uhu, (Wk. Nr. 310109), captured at Grove.  This aircraft was designated RAF AM21.  It was scrapped at Sleap in 1948. 

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Heinkel He 219A-7 Uhu, (Wk. Nr. 310189), D5+CL of I/NJG 3 night fighter captured at Grove, Denmark.  This aircraft was designated RAF AM22.  It was scrapped at Farnborough in 1946.  Squadron Leaders Joe McCarthy and Ian Somerville both flew these aircraft. 

Heinkel He 219A-7 Uhu, (Wk. Nr. 310200), captured at Grove, Denmark.  This aircraft was designated RAF AM23.  It crashed at Grove on 21 July 1945.

Heinkel He 219A Uhu, (Wk. Nr. 310215), or (Wk. Nr. 310114) captured at Sylt.  Designated RAF AM43, this aircraft may have had the vertical tail fins from two different aircraft.  It was likely scrapped at Ford, England.

Heinkel He 219A Uhu, (Wk. Nr. 310106), captured at Sylt.  Designated RAF AM44, this aircraft was scrapped at Brize Norton.

On 7 August, he flew another Heinkel He 219A-2, (Wk. Nr. 310109), AM21, equipped with FuG220 radar, from Grove to Schleswig. On 8 August he test flew a Focke-Wulf Fw 200C, (Wk. Nr. 0111), RAF AM96, at Schleswig.

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Junkers Ju 188 Rächer, bomber, in RAF markings, Italy, 1944/45.  

 (Luftwaffe Photo)

* Photo.  Junkers Ju 188 and Bf 109, captured near Erfurt, Germany in May 1945.  

Junkers Ju 188D-2, (Wk. Nr. 150245), captured at Grove, Denmark in May 1945.  Designated RAF AM35, this aircraft was allocated by the British  to the USAAF.  It was shipped to the USA where it was designated USA FE-1597, later T2-1597.  This aircraft was scrapped at Park Ridge ca. 1950.  (USAAF Photo)

Junkers Ju 188A-2, (Wk. Nr. 180485), captured at Sylt.  Designated RAF AM45, this aircraft was scrapped at Brize Norton in 1947.

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Junkers Ju 188A-2, (Wk. Nr. 190327), captured at Lubeck. Designated RAF AM113, later VN143, this aircraft was scrapped at Gosport, England in 1947. 

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Junkers Ju 188A-1, possibly (Wk. Nr. 230776), captured at Beldringe, Denmark.  Designated RAF AM108, this aircraft was scrapped at Sealand in 1948. 

Junkers Ju 188A-2, (Wk. Nr. 190327), captured at Lubeck, Germany.  Designated RAF AM113, later VN143, this aircraft was scrapped at Gosport in 1947.

Junkers Ju 188, (Wk. Nr. 280032), F2+UN, captured and flown by the RAF at Fassberg, but not allocated an Air Ministry number.  This aircraft was ferried to England, where it was likely scrapped.

The same day he ferried a Junkers Ju 188A-2, (Wk. Nr. 190327), RAF AM113, from Lübeck to Schleswig. He later ferried this same aircraft to Farnborough on 27 August 1945.

On 11 August he flew a Siebel Si 204D-1-1, (Wk. Nr. 221558), RAF AM28, from Schleswig to Farnborough, where it was used extensively as a communications aircraft. 

On 17 August he flew Junkers Ju 290A-2, (Wk. Nr. 110157), OV+BK, AM57, from Flensburg to Schleswig. This aircraft was scrapped in at Farnborugh in 1950.

 (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1-3.  Junkers Ju 388L-0 reconnaissance/night fighter, (Wk. Nr. 500006), coded PE+IF, captured at Tarnewitz.  Designated RAF AM83, and flown by the RAF, this aircraft was scrapped at Cranfield, England, ca. 1950.

On 1 September S/L McCarthy flew Junkers Ju 388L-1/V-6, (Wk. Nr. 5000006), PE+1F, AM83, a twin-engine, three-seat high-altitude photo-reconnaissance bomber, from Schleswig to Farnborough.

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Fieseler Fi 156C-3 Storch, RAF VP546.  This Storch was maintained in flying condition at Farnborough until 1955, when it was grounded, due to lack of spare parts.  It was used for a large variety of different projects.  These included aircraft-carrier deck landings (on HMS Triumph in 1946, flown by ‘Winkle’ Brown), formation flying with helicopters to allow air-to-air photography of rotor blade behaviour, glider-towing, and routine communications flying. 

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Fieseler Fi 156C-7 Storch, (Wk. Nr. 475149), VD+TD, STOL reconnaissance aircraft captured at Flensburg.  Designated RAF AM99, this aircraft was shipped from Birkenhead, England to Capetown, South Africa on the SS Perthshire on 20 Oct 1946, arriving on 6 Nov.  It is now on display at the South African National Museum of Military History, Saxonwold, Johannesburg, South Africa.  

Fieseler Fi 156C Storch, (Wk. Nr. 2008), captured at Flensburg.  Designated RAF AM100, this aircraft was scrapped at Brize Norton in 1947.

  (Rept0n1x Photos)

* Photos 1 & 2.  Fieseler Fi 156C Storch, (Wk. Nr. 475081), captured at Flensburg.  Designated RAF AM101, later VP546, this aircraft is on display in the RAF Museum, Cosford.

On 5 September he flew a Fieseler Fi 156C-7 Storch, (Wk. Nr. 475081), RAF AM101, VP546, light observation and utility short take-off and landing aircraft.

 (USAAF Photo)

* Photo.  Dornier Do 335A-0, reported as (Wk. Nr. 240121) and (Wk. Nr. 240161), (unconfirmed), captured at Oberpfaffenhoffen, Germany by US forces.  This single seat version was taken over by the RAF.  It is shown here being examined by American soldiers.  Designated RAF AM225, this aircraft was test flown until it waswritten off after a landing accident in Merville, France on 13 December 1945. 

Dornier Do 335A-1, reported as (Wk. Nr. 240121), and (Wk. Nr. 240161), (unconfirmed), RAF AM225, was a single-seat version of the Pfeil, which had been surrendered at the Dornier Oberpfaffenhofen factory and flown to Neubiberg under US control. It was an unpainted aircraft, which had not been delivered to the Luftwaffe.  It was handed over to the British authorities on 7 September and flown from Neuberg to Reims where it became unserviceable. After repairs, it was test flown at Reims on 9 and 12 December, and then flown to Marville, France on 13 December where it made a forced landing with the nose wheel retracted, and was later scrapped.  The only Do 335 parts sent to the UK included a single-seat fuselage, which was also scrapped at Farnborough.[1]

 (USAAF Photos)

* Photo.  Dornier Do335A-12, (Wk. Nr. 240112) captured by American forces at Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.  (Wk. Nr. 240112) was traded to the RAF where it became AM223. 

 (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1-4.  Dornier Do 335A-12 Pfeil, (Wk. Nr. 240112) at Farnborough, England, summer 1945.  This aircraft crashed on 18 Jan 1946.

Do 335A-12 Pfeil, (Wk. Nr. 240112), was captured by US forces at Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, in May 1945.  The Do 335A-12 was a tandem mounted twin-engine two-seat trainer version of the Pfeil (Arrow) fighter.  He found the Do 335 was the most exotic of all the aircraft types he flew with the FAF. The Allied forces were eager to evaluate the latest in German aircraft, but the staff at Farnborough had learned that the Americans had acquired most of the Do 335s. S/L McCarthy was sent to Munich negotiate with them. There, he learned that the Americans were willing to trade two Do 335s. The Air Ministry offered ten Fw 190s, and a deal was struck. This aircraft had its iron cross markings removed and USAAF star and bar markings had been painted on it.  Joe put the RAF roundels on the aircraft over the star, but one can still see the bar under the roundel in this photo taken at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough in England.  Designated RAF AM223, he flew (Wk. Nr. 240112), AM223, on 7 Sep 1945 from Neubiberg to Strasbourg and Reims in France.  From Reims, he flew on 8 September to Farnborough via Manston in the UK.  It was test flown on 1 October, but then remained grounded until a second test flight on 15 January 1946, shortly after appearing in a static display of German aircraft.  On 18 January 1946, a third test flight was made.  During the flight, Dornier Do 335A-12 Pfeil (Arrow), AM223, ex-DP+UB, caught fire in the air after the rear engine overheated and the fire and burned through the controls.  The Pfeil crashed into Cove School, Cove, Hampshire, killing Group Captain Alan F. Hards, DSO, Commanding Officer Experimental Flying at Farnborough.  Two people on the ground were also killed as well as six being injured.[8]  After this accident, severe restrictions were placed on the flying of ex-Luftwaffe aircraft at Farnborough, with only a few being used as transports.[9]

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Junkers Ju 88A-1, (Wk. Nr. 7036), coded 9K+HL of 1/KG51, force-landed at Buckholt Farm on 28 July 1940 after running out of fuel.  This aircraft was test flown in England as RAF AX919.

Junkers Ju 88A-5, (Wk. Nr. 3457), 4D+DL, from I./KG30,  This aircraft landed in error at RAF Lulsgate Bottom on 23 July 1941.  Designated RAF EE205, it was scrapped in early 1948.

 (Dapi89 Photo)

* Photo.  Junkers Ju 88R-1, (Wk. Nr. 360043), D5+EV from IV./NJG3.  This aircraft was designated RAF PJ876.  It is preserved in the RAF Museum, Hendon, England.  The aircrew of this aircraft defected to England in 1943. The antenna of the FuG 202 Lichtenstein B/C radar installation on this aircraft are replicas, as the entire radar system was removed from the aircraft for evaluation during the war.  

Junkers Ju 88A-5, (Wk. Nr. 6214), V4+GS from III./KG1, designated RAF HX360 was only used for spare parts.

 (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1 & 2.  Junkers Ju 88G-1, (Wk. Nr. 712273), coded 4R+UR from III./NJG2, landed in error at RAF Woodbridge when it became lost on a flight and ran out of fuel on 13 July 1944.  This aircraft was equipped with FuG220, FuG227 and FuG350 radars, making it an important intelligence find.  Designated RAF TP190, later AM231, this aircraft was flown 33 flights before it was scrapped at Farnborough after Oct 1945. 

Junkers Ju 88S-1, (Wk. Nr. 140604), coded RF+MT, designated RAF TS472.  This aircraft was scrapped post war.

Junkers Ju 88G-6, (Wk. Nr. 622983), coded 4R+RB, I/NJG2, captured at Schleswig.  Designated RAF AM1, this aircraft crashed at Foulsham on 12 Sep 1945.

Junkers Ju 88G-6, (Wk. Nr. 620560) was captured at Schleswig.  Designated RAF AM2, this aircraft was struck off charge on 30 Apr 1946.

Junkers Ju 88G-6, (Wk. Nr. 620838) was captured at Flensburg.  Designated RAF AM3, later VK884, this aircraft was scrapped at Farnborough in 1945.

Junkers Ju 88G-6, (Wk. Nr. 621965) captured at Leck.  Designated RAF AM9, later VL991, this aircraft was sent to Shoeburyness for ballistic trials.

Junkers Ju 88G-6, (Wk. Nr. 620788) captured at Eggebek.  Designated RAF AM14.  This aircraft crashed at Tangmere on 18 July 1945.

* Photo.  Junkers Ju 88G-6, (Wk. Nr. 622311) captured at Eggebek.  Designated RAF AM16.  This aircraft was scrapped in 1946.  (RAF Photo)

* Photos 1 & 2.  Junkers Ju 88G-6, (Wk. Nr. 623193), with FuG 240 Berlin cavity magnetron radar in the nose, captured at Grove, Denmark in may 1945.  This aircraft was designated RAF AM31, and is shown here at Farnborough in 1945.  It was scrapped at Skellingthorpe in 1947.  (RAF Photos)

Junkers Ju 88G-6, (Wk. Nr. 622960), captured at Grove, Denmark.  Designated RAF AM32.  This aircraft crashed at Heston, England on 15 Oct 1945.

Junkers Ju 88G-6, (Wk. Nr. 622186), captured at Grove, Denmark.  Designated RAF AM33.  This aircraft was scrapped at Brize Norton in 1947.

Junkers Ju 88G-6, (Wk. Nr. 622461), captured at Kastrup.  DesignatedRAF AM41.  This aircraft was scrapped at Brize Norton in 1947.

Junkers Ju 88G-6, (Wk. Nr. 620968), captured at Flensburg.  Designated RAF AM47, this aircraft was scrapped at Brize Norton in 1947.

Junkers Ju 88G-6, (Wk. Nr. 628811), captured at Flensburg.  Designated RAF AM48, this aircraft was scrapeed at Brize Norton in 1947.

Junkers Ju 88G-6/U, (Wk. Nr. 0660), captured at Lubeck, Germany.  Designated RAF AM112, later VN874, this aircraft was scrapped at Gosport in 1947.

Junkers Ju 88G, (Wk. Nr. 620852), 4R+MB captured and flown by the RAF at Fassberg, but not allocated an Air Ministry number.

Junkers Ju 88G, (Wk. Nr. 622138), captured and flown by the RAF at Fassberg, but not allocated an Air Ministry number.  This aircraft was ferried to England, where it was likely scrapped.

Junkers Ju 88H-1, (Wk. Nr. unknown), captured and flown by RCAF No. 411 Squadron, marked DB.  This aircraft was taken over post war and flown until it was likely grounded in 1946.

On 12 September S/L McCarthy flew a Junkers Ju 88G-6, (Wk. Nr. 623193), AM31, from Gilze-Rijen to Farnborough.  

On 14 September he flew a Junkers Ju 188A-1, (Wk. Nr. 230776), AM108, a twin-engine three-seat bomber from Beldringe to Schleswig. 

On 21 September he test flew a Dornier Do 217M-1, (Wk. Nr. 56527), AM106, a twin-engine four-seat bomber at Schleswig, and then flew it to Farnborough on 23 September.

A Do 217M was abandoned by its aircrew over England on the night of 23 February 1944, but made a perfect belly-landing near Cambridge over 62 miles away from London. The aircraft was soon flying again in RAF markings.

RCAF S/L Joe McCarthy test flew Dornier Do 217M-1, (Wk. Nr. 56527), RAF AM106, while serving with the Royal Aircraft Establishment‘s Foreign Aircraft Flight at Farnborough, UK at the end of the war.  Three examples had been selected for evaluation in the UK from a group captured at Beldringe, Denmark.  Two arrived at Farnborough, AM106 (scrapped in 1945) and (Wk. Nr. 56158), AM107 (scrapped in 1955).  A rear fuselage is all that survives from the remains of a Do 217 on display in the Italian Air Force Museum.

Dornier Do 217M, (Wk. Nr. unknown), selected for evaluation after capture at Beldringe, Denmark.  This aircraft was designated  RAF AM105.  It was scrapped at Beldringe, England.

Dornier Do 217M-1, (Wk. Nr. 56527), selected for evaluation in England after capture at Beldringe, Denmark.  This aircraft was designated RAF AM106.  It was scrapped at Farnborough in 1946.

 (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1 & 2.  Dornier Do 217M-1, (Wk. Nr. 56158), RAF AM107, Farnborough.

Dornier Do 217M-1, (Wk. Nr. 56158), U5+, KG2, selected for evaluation in England after capture at Beldringe, Denmark.  This aircraft was designated RAF AM107, 6158.  It was scrapped at Bovingdon, England, in 1955.  (RAF Photo)

  (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Messerschmitt Me 410A-1/U2 being examined by RAF personnel.

 (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1-3.  Messerschmitt Me 410A-3 Hornisse, (Wk. Nr. 10259), F6+OK from 2(F)./122, RAF TF209, being checked by mechanics at No. 1426 (Enemy Aircraft) Flight at Collyweston, Northamptonshire (UK).  The crew, Fw. Hans Beyer and Uffz. Helmut Hein, got lost on the return leg to Perugia and landed by mistake at Monte Corvino, Italy, on 27 November 1943.  It arrived for testing at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, England, on 14 April 1944, and was also evaluated by the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment, Boscombe Down.  TF209 flew with the Fighter Interception Unit at Wittering from August 1944 until March 1946 when it was transferred to No. 6 Maintenance Unit at Brize Norton.  It was scrapped post war.

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Messerschmitt Me 410A-3 Hornisse, (Wk. Nr. 10259), F6+OK from 2(F)./122, RAF TF209, in flight escorted by an RAF de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito.  TF209 had landed intact and was captured at Monte Corvino, Italy when the crew had become lost during a photo–reconnaissance mission in the Naples area.  This aircraft wears the P for Prototype roundels showing she was at RAF Boscombe Down for testing.

Messerschmitt Me 410A-1/U2 Hornisse, (Wk. Nr. 420439) captured at Kastrup.  Designated RAF AM39, this aircraft was likely scrapped at Kastrup.

 (RAF Photo)

* Photos 1 & 2.  Messerschmitt Me 410A-1/U2 Hornisse, (Wk. Nr 420430), captured at Vaerlose.  Designated RAF AM72, this aircraft is in the RAF Museum at Cosford, England.

 (Dapi99 Photo)

* Photo.  Messerschmitt Me 410A-1/U2 Hornisse, (Wk. Nr. 420430), captured at Vaerlose.  Designated RAF AM72, this aircraft is on display at RAF Cosford, England.

Messerschmitt Me 410A-1 Hornisse, (Wk. Nr. 130360), captured at Vaerlose.  Designated RAF AM73, this aircraft was scrapped at Brize Norton in 1947.

Messerschmitt Me 410B-6 Hornisse, (Wk. Nr. 410208), captured at Vaerlose.  Designated RAF AM74, this aircraft was scrapped at Farnborough in 1946.

Messerschmitt Me 410A Hornisse, (Wk. Nr. 263), 2N+HTfrom ZG76 was taken over by No. 601 Squadron.  This aircraft crashed in Oct 1943.

On 3 October 1945 he flew a Messerschmitt Me 410A-1/U2, (Wk. Nr. 420430), AM72, a twin-engine two-seat heavy fighter, from Kastrup to Schleswig, and again on 13 October from Schleswig to Farnborough. This aircraft is preserved and on display at RAF Museum Cosford in the UK.

On 23 October he test flew a Messerschmitt Bf 110, (Wk. Nr. unknown), AM88, at Husum. This aircraft was probably one of the “110 Doppelschlepp” tugs used by JG 400 to tow Me 163B Komets on ferry flights.

 The same day, he test flew an Arado Ar 96B, (Wk. Nr. unknown), AM123, a two-seat advanced flying trainer, also at Husum.

* Photos 1 & 2.  Arado Ar 96B advanced trainer, (Wk. Nr. unknown), captured at Husum.  Designated RAF AM120, this aircraft was scrapped at Woodley, England in 1947.  (RAF Photo)

Arado Ar 96B advanced trainer, (Wk. Nr. unknown), captured at Husum.  Designated RAF AM123, this aircraft was scrapped at Woodley, England in 1947.

More than 11,500 Ar 96 were built by the end of the Second World War.  RCAF Squadron Leader Joe McCarthy test flew Arado Ar 96B, (Wk. Nr. unknown), RAF AM123, after the war at Husum.

Gloster Meteor F.III, (Serial No. EE311), 6 Oct 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3198889)

On 16 November 1945, S/L McCarthy flew his first jet, a Gloster Meteor, Serial No. EE360.[11] , and the experimental Armstrong Whitworth Windsor bomber.  When his duties at Farnborough came to a close at the end of 1945, S/L McCarthy had flown fifty different types of aircraft.

Soon afterward, he was posted back to Canada, arriving at Rockcliffe in August 1946 to fly with the RCAF Test and Development Unit.  He had finished the war with over 1,600 hours on some 50 different aircraft types, including the following German aircraft: 6 hrs 30 min on the Arado Ar 232; 3 hrs 40 min on the Dornier Do 335A-12; 11 hrs 45 min on the Junkers Ju 290, 24 hrs 10 min on the Junkers Ju 352; 3 hrs 5 min on the Messerschmitt Me 410; and, 1 hr 20 min on the Messerschmitt Bf 109. He had also flown 23 hrs on the Martin B-26 Marauder; 15 hrs on Supermarine Spitfires; 25 hrs 25 min on the Avro 679 Manchester, 1,058 hrs 35 min on the Avro 683 Lancaster, 171 hrs 25 min on the Avro 652 Anson; 10 hrs 30 min on the Vickers-Armstrong Windsor; 3 hrs on the Gloster Meteor; 1 hr 45 min on the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley, and 1 hr 20 min on the Hawker Tempest. During his career he was awarded the DSO, DFC and Bar and later the CD.[12]

Following his return to Canada he became a test pilot for the RCAF, later commanding successively a Nato flying training school and a maritime patrol squadron.  As a Wing Commander he was on the staff of the Allied Commander-in-Chief Atlantic at Norfolk, Virginia, before retiring to Virginia Beach in the USA.

Joseph Charles McCarthy, air force officer: born St James, Long Island 31 August 1919; DSO 1943; DFC 1943, and bar 1944; married (one son, Joseph B. McCarthy, one daughter, Karen Westergaard and five grandchildren); died 6 September 1998, at the age of 79.

[2] Squadron Leader H. J. King, DFC; was born in Dunedin, 13 Nov 1922; as a clerk he joined the RNZAF March 1942. While he was serving as a Pilot Officer with No. 158 Squadron, although wounded, had navigated his Handley-Page Halifax bomber back to base after it had been holed in over 130 places. Only a few months earlier King and his bomb aimer had nicknamed their aircraft ‘Friday the 13th!’ Internet: http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-WH2-2RAF-c11.html.

[3] Phil Butler, War Prizes, p. 52.

[4] Me 262B-1A/U1, (Wk. Nr. 110305) flew operationally with Kurt Welters 10./NJG11 at Magdeburg. Whilst at this location it boasted all-black undersurfaces and also mostly black engine nacelles. 'Red 8' is the only genuine night fighter version of the Me262 which has survived to the present day - yet 110305 was one of a trio of night fighters collected by the RAE's Aerodynamic Flight at Schleswig during the summer of 1945. The other two were 'Red 12', (Wk. Nr. 111980), which was subsequently destroyed in a gale at Brize Norton in 1947, and 'Red 10', (Wk. Nr. 110635), supposedly scrapped at No 6 Maintenance Unit (MU), also at Brize Norton that same year.  'Red 8' was ferried to the UK on 19 May 1945 by Wg Cdr RJ 'Roly' Falk, via Twente, Gilze-Rijen and Melsbroek. It was then flown by Wg Cdr Gonsalvez from the RAE to RNAS Ford, and used for radar and tactical trials from 6 July 1945. Ascribed Air Ministry No. 50 and RAF serial VH519, this aircraft was damaged on its first landing at Ford, but was quickly repaired. Phil Butler, War Prizes, p. 87.

[5] Phil Butler, War Prizes, p. 52.

[6] Fw 200C-4/U1, (Wk. Nr. 0137), GC+AE, AM94. This Condor was the personal aircraft of Heinrich Himmler and later Grand Admiral Doenitz. This aircraft was found intact at Achmer in 1945 and flown to Farnborough on 3 July 1945. Internet: http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/aircraft-pictures/captured-aircrafts-uk-32131-2.html. http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/aircraft-pictures/captured-aircrafts-uk-32131-2.html.

[7] Internet: http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/collections/aircraft/aircraft_histories/78-AF-954%20Bf%20110G.pdf.

[8] Internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_accidents_and_incidents_involving_military_aircraft.

[9] Phil Butler, War Prizes, p. 107.

[10] Phil Butler, War Prizes, p. 108.

[11] The Gloster Meteor F Mk. IV was the first post-war version of the Meteor, and was a dramatic improvement on the Meteor F Mk.III. The main reason for the improved performance of the Meteor IV was its engines. Rolls-Royce had developed a new jet engine, the Nene. This was much more powerful than the early Derwent engines used in the Meteor, but was too big to fit into the Meteor’s engine nacelles.   Rolls-Royce responded by producing a scaled down version, 85.5% of the size of the Nene, which it gave the name Derwent V. This new engine provided 3,500 lbs of thrust, a 50% increase on the power offered by the Derwent IV used in later Meteor IIIs. This new engine was then fitted to a Meteor Mk.III (serial EE360), to make the F Mk. IV prototype. This made its maiden flight on 15 August 1945. Tests revealed that the new Meteor had much better performance than earlier models, reaching 570mph at 10,000ft, nearly 80mph than the fastest Mk. IIIs. The Mk. IV also had fully harmonised controls, making it much easier to fly. Internet: http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_gloster_meteor_IV.html.

[12] Larry Milberry and Hugh A. Halliday, The Royal Canadian Air Force at War 1939-1945. CANAV Books, Toronto, 1990, pp. 326-327.

Axis Aircraft flown by RCAF Squadron Leader Ian Somerville

  (Mrs Sheri Somerville Street Photos)

* Photos 1 & 2.  Squadron Leader Ian Somerville in a Harvard trainer.

* Photo. Blackburn Firebrand TF Mk. IV in flight. (Royal Navy Photo)

S/L Ian “Curly” Somerville also served in the Royal Aircraft Establishment‘s Foreign Aircraft Flight at Farnborough. A graduate of the Empire Test Pilots School, RAF Boscombe Down, he test flew the Blackburn B-37 Firebrand single-seat carrier-borne and land-based torpedo strike fighter, Avro 683 Lancaster, Gloster Meteor, de Havilland DH 98 Mosquito, Hawker Tempest and many other aircraft including a number of ex-Luftwaffe types.[1]

On 5 May 1945 he was recruited to test German aircraft at Travemuende and Flensburg in Germany, and Vaerløse and Kastrup in Denmark. His task was to train British pilots to ferry these aircraft back to Farnborough; and to test them in preparation for their flights back to Britain.

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Junkers Ju 52/3m, (Wk. Nr. 641038), Tante Ju, transport bomber, captured at Flensburg where it had been flown by Deutsche Luft Hansa (DLH) as D-AUAV.  The Ju 52 was flown to Farnborough on 18 July 1945.  Designated RAF AM104, this aircraft was scrapped at Woodley in 1948.

A review of his logbooks from June to August 1945 shows he flew with S/L Clyde Smith from Farnborough to Schleswig and then Flensburg in an Avro York transport. He then ferried a Seibel Si 204D, AM12 and a Junkers Ju 52, (Wk. Nr. 5325), AM GD1, with S/L King. He was the pilot or the 2nd pilot with S/L McCarthy or F/L Lawson at the controls on Siebel Si 204Ds, AM4 and AM5, Junkers J2 352, AM8 and AM19. On these flights his 2nd pilot crews included F/O Warren, WO Sabin, and F/O Thompson.

 (RAF Photo)

On 23 June and 3 & 4 July 1945 he flew a Junkers Ju 352A, (Wk. Nr. unknown), AM19, from Eggebek to Farnborough, and Junkers Ju 352, AM8 on 2 July.

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo. Fw 200C-4/U1 Wk. Nr. 176), RAF AM94, Farnborough. (RAF Photo)

On 3 July he flew a Focke-Wulf Fw 200C-4/U1, (Wk. Nr. 176), AM94, from Schleswig to Farnborough with S/L Kyle and Sgt Dowie. In between ferry flights on the German aircraft he flew an Avro 683 Lancaster (Serial No. JA928) and an Airspeed Oxford (Serial No. 349).

* Photo.  Arado Ar 196A-5 (Wk. Nr. 514), ship-borne reconnaissance/coastal patrol floatplane, captured at Schleswig.  Designated RAF AM92, this aircraft was scrapped at Felixstowe in 1947.  (RAF Photo)

One of the captured Ar 196A seaplanes was flown by RCAF S/L Ian Somerville.

Arado Ar 196A, (Wk. Nr .unknown), captured at Schleswig.  Designated RAF AM90, this aircraft was scrapped at Schleswig.

Arado Ar 196A-5, (Wk. Nr. 127), captured at Schleswig.  Designated RAF AM91, this aircraft was scrapped at Felixstowe in 1947.

Arado Ar 199A-0, (Wk. Nr. unknown), captured at Schleswig.  Designated RAF AM93, this aircraft was scrapped at Schleswig.

Between 11 and 16 July he test flew three Arado Ar 196A float-planes including, (Wk. Nr. unknown), AM92 with a German mechanic onboard at Schleswig-See. This aircraft was not delivered to England. He also test flew Arado Ar 196A-5, (Wk. Nr. 127), AM91 and AM90 on the Schleswig-See.

On 12 July he flew Fieseler Fi 156 Storch, AM100, and on 13 July he flew a Junkers Ju 290, AM6. On 14 July he flew a Junkers Ju 52/3m, (Wk. Nr. 5375), AM GD1, a tri-motor transport, from Schleswig to Gilze-Rijen and back. On 16 July he again flew Arado Ar 196, AM92 and AM90.

 (Swedish Air Force Photo)

* Photo.  Dornier Do 24, reconnaissance bomber flying boat at F 2 Hägernäs, Sweden before it was taken on charge of the Swedish Air Force. The German markings are covered by white paint. 

 (Happy Days Photo)

* Photo.  Dornier Do 24T-3, (Wk. Nr. No. 5342), X-24, Militaire Luchtvaart Museum, Netherlands. 

Also on 16 July, he did his first test flight on a Dornier Do 24T-3 seaplane, (Wk. Nr. unknown), AM115, at Schleswig-See. This aircraft was allocated RAF Serial No. VM483 on 2 October 1945. On 17 July he flew Arado Ar 196, AM93 followed by a flight in a Bf 108. On 18 July he flew another Junkers Ju 52/3m, (Wk. Nr. 641038), AM104, from Schleswig to Farnborough, followed by a number of flights on Ju 352, AM8.

His first flight on the Blackburn Firebrand (DM373) took place on 25 July 1945 at Harding in the UK, followed by flights in Junkers Ju 52, AM104 on the 26th, North American Harvard (Serial No. FX216) and a Supermarine Walrus on the 27th, a Grumman Martlet (Serial No. V1511) and an Avro Tutor (KCW) on the 28th and 29th a Grunau baby glider and Olympia glider on the 29th then back on the Ju 352, AM19, then an Airspeed Oxford (Serial No. RR349).

  (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4/R6, (Wk. Nr 730301) with FuG220 radar, captured at Grove, Denmark.  Designated RAF AM34, this aircraft is preserved in the RAF Museum, Hendon.

 (Calgaco Photo)

* Photo.  Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4/R6, (Wk. Nr. 730301) with FuG220 radar, captured at Grove, Denmark in May 1945.  Designated RAF AM34, this aircraft is displayed in the RAF Museum, Hendon. 

On 1 August he ferried a Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4/R6, (Wk. Nr. 730301), AM34, from Grove to Schleswig. This aircraft was equipped with FuG220 radar (also flown by S/L McCarthy on 3 August). This aircraft is now on display in the RAF Battle of Britain Museum at Hendon in the UK.

 (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1-5.  Focke-Wulf Ta 152H-1 high-altitude fighter, (Wk. Nr. 150168), captured at Leck.  This aircraft was designated RAF AM11. It was scrapped at Farnborough, England in 1946. 

He flew the Focke-Wulf Ta 152, AM11, high-altitude interceptor on 2 August.  After a test flight at Schleswig, he then ferried a Heinkel He 219A-2-2 Uhu (Owl), (Wk. Nr. 290126), AM20, a twin-engine night fighter, accompanied by F/O Steele from Schleswig to Farnborough on 3 August.  He was the 2nd pilot with S/L McCarthy on the Focke-Wulf Fw 200, AM97 return flight.  On 4 August he flew a Junkers Ju 352A Herkules, (Wk. Nr. unknown), AM110, a tri-motor medium transport from Schleswig to Kastrup and then returned with it the same day, followed by a number of flights on the same aircraft.  He flew a de Havilland Dominie (X7375) at Croyden in the UK then was back on the Ju 352, AM8.

 (Luftwaffe Photos)

* Photo.  Junkers Ju 86P in Luftwaffe service.

Junkers Ju 86P, (Wk. Nr. 5132) was captured at Fassberg.  Designated RAF AM82, this aircraft crashed at Schleswig on 27 Aug 1945.

Junkers Ju 86P, (Wk. Nr. 0860291) was captured at Fassberg.  Designated RAF AM118, this aircraft was scrapped at Schleswig.

On 12 August he flew a Junkers Ju 86P, (Wk. Nr. 5132), AM82, a four-seat high-altitude medium bomber at Fassberg, then back on the Ju 352, AM8 with F/O Sullivan. It appears he flew a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress (320328) on a check ride on 14 August and then Siebel Si 204D, AM56 on the 17th and 18th, and an Airspeed Oxford (RR349) on the 19th.

Also 19 August he flew a Messerschmitt Me 410B-6, (Wk. Nr. 410208), AM74, from Vaerløse to Kastrup (his logbook records he flew a Me 210, AM73 on this date). This aircraft was a twin-engine anti-shipping strike aircraft equipped with FuG200 radar. On 20 August he flew a Messerschmitt Me 410A-1, (Wk. Nr. 130360), AM73, from Vaerløse to Kastrup (his logbook records he flew AMV2 and then AMV1 on this date).

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Focke-Wulf Fw 190F-8/U1 (Fw 190S8) two-seat training and high speed transport (Wk. Nr. 584219), Black 38, RAF AM29.  This aircraft was built by Arado at the Warnemünde factory, and was an FW 190 F-8 converted to two-seat standard.  Captured in Grove, Denmark, North of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany by British forces in May 1945.  It is shown here shortly after it was flown to Farnborough in the UK on 2 Sep 1945 and repainted with RAF markings.  In Luftwaffe service, it operated with training units, and carried the letters HRZ.  It was exhibited at various locations, and now resides in the RAF Museum at Hendon, England. 

 (Les Chatfield Photo)

* Photo.  Focke-Wulf Fw 190S8 two-seat training version of the Fw 190F-8/U1 (Wk. Nr. 680430), RAF AM29, shown here as "Black 38" on display in the RAF Museum, Hendon, England. 

  (RuthAS Photos)

* Photos 1 & 2.  Focke-Wulf Fw 190S8 two-seat training version of the Fw 190F-8/U1, (Wk. Nr. 584219), Black 38, designated RAF AM29, on display in the RAF Museum, Hendon, England.

On 23 August he flew a Focke-Wulf Fw 190F-8/U1 Würger, (Wk. Nr. 580058), RAF AM36, at Kastrup.  This aircraft was a two-seat trainer version of the fighter. 

 (Author Photo)

* Photo.  Focke-Wulf Fw 44 Stieglitz, trainer biplane, on display in the Pima Air & Space Museum, Tucson, Arizona.

He flew a Focke-Wulf Fw 44 (no AM number) on the 24th, Fw 190, AM40, Me 410, (AM72 or AM73), and an Airspeed Oxford (Serial No. RR349) on the 25th, followed by a number of flights in the Junkers Ju 352A-1, (Wk. Nr. 100015), AM18, including from Travemünde to Farnborough from the 26th to the 29th of August.  The last two flights in his logbook on 30 and 31 August 1945 at Farnborough were in an Avro Anson (Serial No. 139864) with F/O Steel and Lt D. Somerville as co-pilots. His flying times on types at RAE Farnborough total 397 hours and 25 minutes. 

In summary, during his tour with the Foreign Aircraft Flight, Squadron Leader Somerville flew the Arado Ar 196A float-planes AM90, AM91, AM92 and AM93, the Dornier Do 24T-3 seaplane, AM115, the Fieseler Fi 156 Storch, AM100, the Focke-Wulf Fw 44J Stieglitz biplane trainer, the Focke-Wulf Fw 190F-8/U1 Würger, AM36, the Focke-Wulf Ta 152H-1, AM11 high altitude interceptor, the Focke-Wulf Fw 200C-4/U1, AM94, the Heinkel He 219A-2-2 Uhu, AM20, the Junkers Ju 52/3m, AM GD1, the Junkers Ju 86P, AM82, the Junkers Ju 290, four engine heavy transport, AM6, the Junkers J2 352, AM8 and AM19, the Junkers Ju 388L-1/V6 advanced twin engine fighter, AM83, the Messerschmitt Bf 108, liaison aircraft, AM84, the Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4/R6, AM34, the Messerschmitt Me 410A-1, AM73 and Siebel Si 204Ds, AM4, AM5 and AM12.

At the end of his tour in Europe, S/L Somerville was posted back to Canada to the RCAF Test and Development Flight at Rockcliffe. He had logged 4,078 hrs 20 minutes of military and 650 hours of civilian flying time when he retired from the RCAF in July 1946.[2]

[2] Larry Milberry and Hugh A. Halliday, The Royal Canadian Air Force at War 1939-1945. CANAV Books, Toronto, 1990, pp. 330-331.

An Analysis of Captured Nazi Warplanes, article published in March 1941 by De Witt Wendell.

"British aeronautical engineers have released several highly interesting reports on German warplanes shot down by the RAF.  This article is based on these.  The most interesting and definite information concerning German military airplanes has come, as might be expected, from England.  It has been derived from careful inspections made by British engineers who had the opportunity to survey in leisure and detail the remains of some 3,000 Luftwaffe airplanes that have been shot down on English soil."[1]Most of these aircraft were pretty badly damaged. Some, however, got down in excellent general condition. The result has been that virtually every type that has been used against England has come to be well known to the British. At least one of each type has been inspected, patched where patches were needed and flown again by British pilots so that full details of manoeuvrability, vulnerability, speeds, etc, became available to British fighter pilots.

Most of this information also has been given out for public consumption in England and herewith we present a summary of points disclosed in these inspections of four standard types of German airplanes: the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Bf 110, the Junkers Ju 88K and the Heinkel He 111K.

Messerschmitt Bf 109, RAF

 (Luftwaffe Photo)

* Photo.  Messerschmitt Bf 109 three flight in Luftwaffe service.

 (Luftwaffe Photo)

* Photo.  Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6, coded 2+1, in Luftwaffe service.

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo. Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3, (Wk. Nr. 1304), coded "White 1", before being painted with RAF roundels and designated AE479.

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo. Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3, (Wk. Nr. 1304), coded "White 1", RAF AE479.

   (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1-6.  Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3, (Wk. Nr. 1304), "White 1" from JG76, RAF AE479.  This aircraft was acquired by the RAF in May 1940. It was transferred by the RAF to the USAAF in January 1942.  Phil Butler, War Prizes, p. 12.

During the Second World War, the most active practitioner of ATI was probably the United Kingdom. The first Luftwaffe aircraft flown and evaluated by the British was a Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3, (Wk. Nr. 1304), RAF AE479, coded White 1 of JG76, that made a forced landing at Woerth in the Bas-Rhin Department of France on 22 November 1939.

AE479 was studied and flown by the French and then given to the British in May 1940. It was promptly ferried to Boscombe Down, England on 3 May 1940, and assigned to Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) Farnborough on 14 May, where it was flown and tested extensively. In 1942 it was transferred to the US Army Air Forces (USAAF) and on 7 April 1942 it was shipped to the United States on board the SS Drammesfjord, consigned to Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio.  It arrived there on 14 May 1942, but was damaged beyond repair in a forced landing at Cambridge, Ohio, on 3 November 1942.

   (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1-4.  Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3, (Wk. Nr. 4101), "Black 12" from I./JG51, RAF DG200, in flight while serving with No. 1426 (Enemy Aircraft) Flight.  This aircraft force-landed at Manston, Kent, on 27 November 1940, after being attacked by Supermarine Spitfires of No. 66 Squadron RAF over the Thames estuary.  After repair at the Royal Aircraft Establishment it was delivered to Rolls-Royce Ltd at Hucknall in February 1941 for engine performance tests.  On 8 February 1942 it was passed to the Controller of Research and Development at Hatfield for propeller tests before going on to the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment at Boscombe Down, and, in March 1942, to No. 1426 Flight at Duxford and later Collyweston.  In 1943, DG200 was put into storage, eventually moving to St Athan in 1969 for refurbishment.  Once restored to its wartime paint scheme, it moved to the Royal Air Force Museum, Hendon in 1976, where it is presently on display in the Battle of Britain Hall.  DG200 is seen here being flown without its cockpit canopy, which was removed (and never replaced) while the aircraft was at Hucknall to enable Wing Commander J.H. Heyworth, a Rolls Royce test pilot who was very tall, to fit into the cockpit.  This aircraft is now on display in the RAF Museum, Hendon.

 (Mike Freer Photo)

* Photo.  Messerschmitt Bf-109E-3/B, (Wk. Nr. 4101), "Black 12", operated by I/JG51.  This aircraft force landed at Manston, Kent, on 27 Nov 1940.  It was repaired and flown as RAF DG200 at Hucknall.  Later on. it appeared in the Battle of Britain film before being displayed at the Royal Air Force Museum at RAF St Athan (1969-1978).  It is currently on display in the RAF Museum at Hendon, England.

 (Mark Harkin Photo)

* Photo.  Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4/N, (Wk. Nr. 1190) coded "White 4", 4/JG26 on display in the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, England.

Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4/N, (Wk. Nr. 1190) coded "White 4", 4/JG26, originally built as an E-3, is in the Imperial War Museum, London. In September 1940, 1190 was based at Marquise-Est and belonged to 4/JG 26, when it was shot down above Beachy Head. The pilot, Horst Perez, managed to belly-land his airplane and survived. (Wk. Nr. 1190) was initially transferred to Farnborough, but was later exhibited in Canada and the USA. T he aircraft returned to Britain in 1968 in fairly dilapidated condition.  Privately it was partly restored and since 2000 has been displayed in a crash-landing scene at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford.

 (SAAF Photo)

* Photo.  Messerschmitt Bf 109F, (Wk. Nr. unknown) captured in North Africa.  This aircraft was given South African Air Force markings and serial "KJ-?", on the airfield at Martuba No. 4 Landing Ground in North Africa, January 1943.  It was operated by No. 4 Squadron, SAAF.

Bf 109E-7, (Wk. Nr. 5975) coded Yellow 4, 6/JG5, is preserved in the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum, Savannah, Georgia. The aircraft was recovered in the Murmansk area of Russia after being shot down on 10 May 1942.  It was donated to the museum by Warplane Recovery, Bloomfield, Colorado.[9]

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Messerschmitt Bf 109F-2, (Wk. Nr. 12764), from 2./JG26, was shot down near St Margaret’s Bay, Dover, after combat with Supermarine Spitfires on 10 July 1941.  Designated RAF ES906, this aircraft was repaired and test flown at Farnborough.  It crashed on 20 Oct 1941 and was struck off charge (SoC).

 (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1-6.  Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4, (Wk. Nr. 7232), "White 11", from IV./JG26, RAF NN644.  This aircraft was flown by No. 1426 (Enemy Aircraft Circus) Flight based at Collyweston, Northamptonshire, England.  Although painted in RAF colours, the aircraft retains the "White 11" and bomb symbol markings of its former Luftwaffe unit.  It was scrapped post war.

 (NR ZA Photo)

* Photo.  Messerschmitt Bf 109F-2/Trop, (Wk. Nr. 31010), coded "White 6", JG27, South African National Museum of Military History, Johannesburg, South Africa. 

Bf 109F-2/Trop, (Wk. Nr. unknown), White 2, 1./JG 27. This aircraft was captured on an airfield in 1942, but due to the ravages of time and souvenir hunters, little is known about it.  The unrestored remains are preserved in the South African Museum of Military History, Johannesburg, South Africa.

 (Author Photos)

* Photos 1 & 2.  Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4/Z, (Wk. Nr. 10132) , CD+LZ, 2./JG 5, Stab II./JG 54, on display in the Canada Air and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario.

Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4/Z, (Wk. Nr. 10132) , CD+LZ, 2./JG 5, Stab II./JG 54, incorporates parts of (Wk. Nr. 26129).  CD+LZ was allocated to JG5 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 combat above the Arctic port of Murmansk in the Soviet Union, causing an emergency landing on enemy territory.  Carganico was rescued by a crew flying a Fieseler Fi 156 Storch.  The Soviets recovered 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.

 (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1 & 2. Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6/Trop, (Wk. Nr. unknown), RAF VX101. This aircraft crashed on 19 May 1944, and was used for spare parts after its landing accident.

The RAF conducted a number of flight tests on captured examples. RAF VX101 was test flown at war’s end by RCAF S/L Joe McCarthy with the Royal Aircraft Establishment‘s Foreign Aircraft Flight at Farnborough, UK.

Messerschmitt Bf 110, RAF

 (Luftwaffe Photos)

* Photos 1 & 2.  Messerschmitt Bf 110, heavy fighter/night-fighter in Luftwaffe service.

Construction of the Bf 110 is all-metal, following the general practices of the Bf 109, but here resemblance ceases. The pilot has a very complete set of instruments including a huge Paten gyrocompass mounted in the tail with repeater dials in both the pilot's and gunner, bomber and gunner radioman cockpits. The crew can be either two or three, depending on mission. This ship has been used as a short-range fighter, as a long-range fighter-bomber and as a reconnaissance ship with cameras.

Automatic wing-tip slots and slotted flaps are standard. Flaps are connected with the adjustable tailplane so that when flaps are lowered the tailplane is trimmed to counteract the change that otherwise would occur in the center of pressure on the wings. At the same time the ailerons are drooped to increase the drag and lift.

All forward-firing armament of the Bf 110 is in the nose. A cover that slides forward and lifts off hides four of the rifle-caliber machine guns mounted there. Two 20-mm cannon are in a trough underneath the belly at the nose. The cannon are loaded by the radio operator-rear gunner from a sliding hatch in the floor at his feet. This gunner has a double machine gun firing backward over the tail. This gun has a field of fire 60° vertical and 120° horizontal and is the only rearward protection.

There are ample engine instruments, a Sperry gyro horizon and turn and bank. The radio includes a short-wave transmitter for Morse or voice, a long-wave transmitter and receiver for Morse only and a loop receiver for homing and direction finding. Finally there is a blind approach receiver and indicator for the Lorenz system. All this weighs 358 pounds and is standard for all multi-motored equipment whether fighter, reconnaissance or bomber.

The maximum tankage for which provision is made is 400.4 gallons or 1,820 litres. Most of the Bf 110s, however, have 282-gallon tanks, four in number with one in front and one behind the single spar inboard of each motor. The two front tanks hold 82.5 gallons each and the two aft tanks 58.3 gallons each.

A curious fact is that the landing gear legs are not held up or down by locks as is standard with most other aircraft throughout the world. Hydraulic pressure alone does the job. This probably explains why so many German craft drop an undercarriage leg after combats with British fighters. In the battle a bullet has pierced a pressure line and the resultant loss of pressure releases the retracted leg.

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Messerschmitt Bf 110D, (Wk. Nr. 4035, RAF HK846, “The Belle of Berlin” in British markings on a landing ground in North Africa. This aircraft served with II/ZG76 in Iraq and was captured after crash-landing near Mosul in May 1941.  It was flown as a communications aircraft and later as a unit ‘hack’ by RAF No. 267 Squadron until it was damaged beyond repair in a gear up landing. 

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Messerschmitt Bf 110 C-5, (Wk. Nr. 2177), coded 5F+CM, flew with Luftwaffe reconnaissance unit 4(F)/14.  It force-landed at Goodwood Racecourse, Sussex, after being hit by gunfire, on 21 July 1940.  RAF AX772.

 (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1-4.  Messerschmitt Bf 110 C-5, (Wk. Nr. 2177), coded 5F+CM, repaired at Royal Aircraft Establishment Farnborough with parts of another Bf 110 that was shot down near Wareham on 11 July.   It was flown for the first time on 15 February 1941.  Later it was tested at RAE Duxford wearing a new colour scheme and designated RAF AX772.  After the trials, the aircraft was assigned to No. 1426 Squadron.  It was stored in November 1945 and subsequently scrapped in November 1947.

Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4/R8, (Wk. Nr. 180560) captured at Eggebek.  Designated RAF AM15, this aircraft was struck off charge on 30 May 1946.

Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4/R3, (Wk. Nr. 730037), captured at Grove, Denmark.  Designated RAF AM30, this aircraft was scrapped at Farnborough in 1946.

Messerschmitt Bf 110G, (Wk. Nr. 180850), captured by the RAF.  It was not allocated an Air Ministry number, and was scrapped.

 (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1 & 2.  Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4/R6, (Wk. Nr 730301) with FuG220 radar, captured at Grove, Denmark.  Designated RAF AM34, this aircraft is preserved in the RAF Museum, Hendon.

 (Calgaco Photo)

* Photos 1 & 2.  Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4/R6, (Wk. Nr. 730301) with FuG220 radar, captured at Grove, Denmark in May 1945.  Designated RAF AM34, this aircraft is displayed in the RAF Museum, Hendon. 

Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4/R8, (Wk. Nr. 180551), captured at Kastrup, Denmark.  Designated AM38, this aircraft was likely scrapped at Kastrup.

Messerschmitt Bf 110G-5/R1, (Wk. Nr. 420031), captured at Eggebek.  Designated RAF AM85.  This aircraft was scrapped at Brize Norton in 1947.

Messerschmitt Bf 110G, (Wk. Nr. unknown).  Designated RAF AM86.  This aircraft was possibly scrapped at West Raynham.

Messerschmitt Bf 110G, (Wk. Nr. unknown).  Designated RAF AM88.  This aircraft was scrapped at Schleswig.

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka, RAF

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Junkers Ju 87 Stuka, dive-bomber formerly in Italian service in North Africa.  Its pilot was forced to land behind British lines after running out of fuel.  Of the ten aircraft forced to land only this one remained airworthy. 

Junkers Ju 87D-3, No. 601 Squadron captured at the aerodrome LG 13, Sidi Haneish, North Africa in Nov 1942.  The RAF gave it the Squadron code UF, and 601 Squadron flew the aircraft from Nov 1942 to Feb 1943.  (RAF Photo)

 (Kogo Photos)

* Photos 1 & 2.  Junkers Ju 87G-2 Stuka, (Wk. Nr. 494083) on display in the RAF Museum, Cosford.  This aircraft was captured at Eggebek in Schleswig-Hostein, Germany in May 1945.  No Air Ministry number was allocated.

The Junkers Ju 87 Stuka, dive-bomber displayed at the Royal Air Force Museum was captured by British troops in Germany in 1945  It is thought to have been built in 1943–1944 as a D-5 before being rebuilt as a G-2 variant, possibly by fitting G-2 outer wings to a D-5 airframe.  After the war, it was one of 12 captured German aircraft selected by the British for museum preservation.  In 1967, permission was given to use the aircraft in the film Battle of Britain and it was repainted and modified to resemble a 1940 variant of the Ju 87.  The engine was found to be in excellent condition and there was little difficulty in starting it, but returning the aircraft to airworthiness was considered too costly for the filmmakers, and ultimately, models were used in the film to represent Stukas.  In 1998, the film modifications were removed, and the aircraft returned to the original G-2 configuration.  This aircraft has also been reported as Junkers Ju 87B, (Wk. Nr. 5763), RAF HK827.  Junkers Ju 87B-1, (Wk. Nr. 087/5600), S2+LM from II./StG77 was reported as being on the scrap area at Farnborough in Dec 1946.

 (USAAF Photo)

* Photo.  Junkers Ju 87 Stuka, dive-bomber, S7+EP captured in North Africa, 1943.

 (USAAF Photos)

* Photos 1-3.  Junkers Ju 87 Stuka, dive-bombers being examined by American forces.

 (ox6adb015 Photo)

* Photo.  Junkers Ju 87R2/Trop Stuka, dive-bomber, (Wk. Nr. 5954), on display in the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, Illinois.  This aircraft was abandoned in North Africa and found by British forces in 1941.  The Ju 87 was donated by the British government and sent to the USA during the war.  It was fully restored in 1974 by the EAA of Wisconsin.

Other Ju 87 survivors include a Junkers Ju 87 R-2, (Wk. Nr. 0875709) owned by the Flying Heritage Collection, Paine Field, Everett, Washington under a long-term restoration to fly.  It served bearing theStammkennzeichen of LI+KU with 1./St.G.5, and was recovered to the United Kingdom in 1998 before being sold to the FHC.  It is likely to be the best candidate for an airworthy restoration.  Other Ju 87 aircraft survive as wreckage, recovered from crash sites.  The Deutsches Technikmuseum in Berlin has the wreckage of two complete aircraft that were recovered from separate crash sites near Murmansk in 1990 and 1994.  These wrecks were purchased from New Zealand collector Tim Wallis, who originally planned for the remains to be restored to airworthy condition, in 1996.  The Sinsheim Auto & Technik Museum displays the remains of an aircraft that crashed near Saint-Tropez in 1944 and was raised from the seabed in 1989.  In October 2006, a Ju 87 D-3/Trop. was recovered underwater, near Rhodes.  Junkers Ju 87 B-2 9801, (Wk. Nr. 0406) is under reconstruction at Yugoslav Aeronautical Museum.

Junkers Ju 88, RAF

 (RAF Photos

* Photos 1-5.  Junkers Ju 88A-6, (Wk. Nr. 6073), M2+MK of 2/KuFlGr. 106.  RAF HM509, of No. 1426 (Enemy Aircraft Circus) Flight based at Collyweston, Northamptonshire, parked in front of the hangars at Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, during the unit's 11th tour of operational stations giving flying demonstrations. Formerly of Kustenflieger 106, this aircraft fell into British hands on 26 November 1941 when its crew became disorientated following an abortive anti-shipping sortie in the Irish Sea and landed by mistake at Chivenor, Devon.  HM509 joined No. 1426 Flight, then at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, on 11 December 1941, remaining with them until 26 July 1944, when it was struck off charge after being damaged in a ground loop at RAF Thorny Island on 19 May 1944.  Though not seriously damaged, it was cannibalized for spares for other Ju 88s operated by the unit.  It may have been painted yellow on its underside.

The Junkers Ju 88A1 is a 25,000-pound dive bomber. Most surprising of all facts elicited from an examination of this plane is its size as evidenced by the following dimensions: span, 59 ft.; length, 46.6 ft.; height, 15 ft.

British engineers who examined several of these airplanes decided that it originally was conceived as a heavy bombardment plane but changed to a dive bomber when in production. The wing spars show how they were strengthened after originally conceived, the diving brakes were added afterward and, as a result, they do not retract into the wing but merely lie against its lower surface. Finally, there are the external bomb racks for releasing of bombs in the dive when their release from internal racks became impossible.

The original Ju 88 was a two-crew bomber of highly streamlined shape and with two 1,200-hp Junkers Jumo 211 engines, did 324 mph for 1,200 miles over a two-way course in which wind could have had no effect. But the service form of the ship has a top speed of only 290 mph due to all these excrescences which cut down its performance radically.

As it is in service, it is capable of being used both as a dive bomber and as a horizontal bomber. There is a bomb-aimer's position in the nose, with a nose machine gun for horizontal bombing. The pilot also has a Zeiss dive-bombsight in front of his windscreen. This is altogether different than the horizontal sight. Just what the maximum angle to which Ju 88s are dived is not known. One ship shot down in England had a diving line on the fuselage at 45°. This is the line which the pilot brings the horizon when diving at 45°. Others, however, have lines at 40°, 50°, 60° and 70° Apparently these were put on by the pilots at their own discretion. Dive bombing is not very effective unless it is done from angles of 60° to 80° when great accuracy and penetration is obtained.

The Ju 88s have one amazing feature, the so-called automatic pullout for diving. Actually, this device merely indicates to the pilot that it is time to pull out and helps him do this. It works like this:

When the diving brakes are lowered (by hydraulic ram) hydraulic pressure is applied to one side of a piston and moves the elevator servo tab to the nose-heavy dive position. When the bomb is released electrically, a quick-release of pressure on the piston comes into play and this reverses the servo control at the tail and endeavors to return the tab to level flight position. The pilot feels the movement backward of the control column and is helped in raising the nose.

For dive-bombing this plane carries four 500-pound bombs externally. In addition, internally for horizontal bombing it can carry 16 bombs each of 110 pounds. This gives a gross bomb load of 3,960 pounds. Total fuel capacity for the airplane can be 770 gallons. But maximum bomb and maximum fuel loads cannot be combined. The plane can take either 510 gallons and its full bomb load, or its full fuel load and four 500 pound bombs.

The Ju 88 first came out with no defense under the tail, apparently its speed was expected to be its defense. But combat changed that. A backward firing gun was installed in a cupola under the nose. The one gun firing upward over the tail was augmented by three others.

A device unusual on American planes that the Ju 88 has as standard, is a "control surface brake." This is a hydraulic brake put on movement of all control surfaces at the pilot's will. Apparently it is put there to prevent flutter in its early stages. No brake could do anything against really well developed flutter, of course. But this is apparently used because speeds developed in dives have caused the Ju 88s controls to develop incipient flutter. This is a unique approach to the flutter problem.

Last of all, the Ju 88 has exhaust-heat wing de-icing. Air taken behind the engine radiator is heated by contact with the exhaust stubs and then flows along piping to the leading edge of the wing. Here it enters a D-shaped duct formed by the curve of the leading edge and a vertical sheet of metal. In its passage the air heats the wing tip and is then discharged at the wing tip into the interior of the wing so that control hinges and pulleys do not freeze at high altitude. A standard Goodrich-type of pulsating boot de-ices the leading edges of the tail.

All the multi-engined German planes have the now famous German self-sealing fuel tanks. These are of five layers: the outer one of vulcanized rubber. Under this is a series of layers of partly hardened rubber. Then comes a layer of raw rubber that swells and plugs holes when gasoline reaches it. Under the raw rubber is a layer of tanned leather and finally the fuel is held in a fiber tank. The whole affair is light, immensely strong and works to perfection. It weighs about half a pound to the gallon, a figure comparable to that of dural tanks.

Because of space limitations we can merely touch on the German engines, Daimler-Benz and Junkers. Both types have direct injection of solid fuel into the cylinder and both have the fine hydraulic-coupled supercharger drive. This drive is similar to the fluid drive now developed for certain US automobiles, with this exception: oil for the coupling is supplied according to an inverse ratio of outside air density. Little oil in thick air at the ground, much oil in the thin air at altitude. The result is that there is considerable slippage in the blower drive near the ground but great efficiency at altitude.

The effect is to prevent the engines from being abused by opening throttles on the ground. Many of these engines also have a mechanism that prevents them from being abused at takeoff. This gives the pilot a predetermined period of full throttle operation after which the engine will revert to its maximum power rating for continuous operation.


[1] This article was originally published in the March, 1941, issue of Flying and Popular Aviation magazine, Vol. 28, No. 3, pp 14-17, 64, 66, and 68.

Heinkel He 111K

  (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1-4.  Heinkel He 111H-1, (Wk. Nr. 6853), RAF AW177, coded 1H+EN of II/KG26, that made a forced landing with only minor damage in an open field in at North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland, after combat with a Spitfire of No. 602 Squadron on 9 February 1940.  AW177 is shown here being test flown in England. This aircraft crashed at RAF Polebrook on 10 November 1943 while carrying a number of 1426 Flight ground crew as passengers. The pilot, F/O Barr, and six others were killed, four were injured. 

Heinkel He 111H bomber, which was abandoned by the Luftwaffe during the retreat after the Battle of El Alamein on a landing ground in Libya after being “commandeered” by the RAF’s No. 260 Squadron.  The aircraft was put into service and hand-painted RAF roundels were added along with the squadron letters “HS-?”.  It was often flown to Alexandria for mess supplies.  (RAF Photo)

The Heinkel He 111K is Germany's first modern bomber to go into service and is its heavy bombardment plane even today. The series numbers on the latest He 111Ks are H or No 8 in the modified types. It is a large machine as the following tabulation will show:

Nearly 20 feet less span in the He 111K is carrying slightly over a ton more load than the Douglas DC-3 of approximately the same class, as to power. The normal gross of the He 111K is the absolute maximum for the DC-3. Where the DC-3 cruises at 190 mph at 7,000 feet with its 1,100-hp Cyclone motors, the Heinkel buzzes along at 215 mph. Where the Douglas has a range with full load of 1,100 miles, the Heinkel has 2,100 miles. The Douglas lands at sea level at 65 mph; the Heinkel at 74.

The British report that the Heinkel is a nice airplane to fly, comfortable and manoeuvrable. It is well-built and well-planned. It is entirely of metal with the standard German flush riveting. The pilot sits on the port side of the unsymmetrical nose. He has no extruded cabin, merely sitting in a fully streamlined and pointed nose section which is highly efficient aerodynamically. This nose is almost entirely Plexiglas so that, despite being sunk well inside the fuselage, the pilot has wonderful vision and must feel very exposed.

Instruments (of which there are full complements) are arranged on a dashboard on the cabin roof. Throttles are at his left side as in a single-engined ship. There is no co-pilot's place, although the wheel control may be lifted over as in American Waco biplanes and other small craft, so an auxiliary or relief pilot may fly the Heinkel from a makeshift seat. Because the pilot is open to glare of sun or searchlight, circular glare shields that resemble fans that once were standard equipment for milady in the Victorian era, are fitted on the control column, on the roof and at each side of the cabin. When not unfolded into their round shield shape, these fans collapse into a compact line.

At the pilot's right is the tip-up seat for the navigator-bomb aimer. A padded trap in the floor covers the bombsights, which are used by lifting off this cover. The bomb aimer also becomes the front cupola gunner in combat, fitting a single .312-caliber gun on a pin fitting that is not particularly manoeuvrable nor does it have an effectively wide field of fire.

Behind the pilot is the bomb compartment between the wing spars. Bombs are carried in vertical racks and provision is for eight 550-pound bombs in most ships examined thus far. With this bomb load of 4,400 pounds the ship is given a maximum fuel load of 760 gallons weighing 5,700 pounds, since these are Imperial gallons (one quart more than standard US gallons).

The rear top gunner has a swinging cradle seat from the roof. The aft lower gunner lies in a trough firing a gun backward and downward. Two other guns have been provided the crew for firing directly out to port and starboard, since British fighters have commenced making what they call beam attacks to take advantage of the lack of protection at angles of 90° to the line of flight.

The loop antenna in the Heinkel is just inside the Plexiglas shield over the rear top gunner's firing position, where it adds no drag in flight. It is somewhat in the way of the gunner and, in one ship the British brought down, it was found the rear gunner had fired right through the mast holding this antenna.

A label found in the cockpits of the Heinkels gave the following flying directions: Take off with propellers at 11.50 on the clock dials that show the propeller pitch position. At this reading they are in fine pitch and allow high revs. Take off and climb for one minute at 2,400 rpm and 1.35 atmospheres of boost (a manifold pressure of about 38 inches of mercury). For continuous cruising below 19,685 feet, 2,100 rpm and 1.10 atmospheres (30.8 inches of mercury). Cruising above 20,000 feet, 2,300 rpm and 30 inches. In a dive, rpm must not exceed 2,500. Flaps must not be lowered at more than 200 kilometers (124 mph) or 1,700 rpm.

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Heinkel He 111H, (Wk. Nr. unknown), captured in North Africa in 1942.  Designated HS-? by the RAF, it was named "Delta Lily" and flown by No. 260 Squadron.  It was scrapped in Egypt in 1947. 

Before narrowing the field to one ship it should be remarked that these German craft are not inferior creations. General workmanship is of the highest sort. There is no indication of the use of ersatz material, except where such ersatz materials perform their work better than natural materials. Stories about wooden wheels on German ships, shortage of instruments, shortage of rubber, and shortage of gasoline, all are branded false by the evidence of the German airplanes themselves.

The British report that the German planes have radio equipment that is described as "bewildering in its profusion and complexity. The best quality of rubber (a material in which many said Germany was exceptionally short) is found in an equal profusion. The British add that there is more rubber in German airplanes than in British machines. Tires are excellent, most of them made by German Dunlop or Continental factories.

Fuel and oil found in the aircraft indicate no shortages in these vital essentials. Most of the German planes have the signs of 87-octane fuel stamped on their tanks. But invariably analysis of the fluid in the tank shows it to be of 90 to 92 octane, better than prescribed. Oil in German engines is used slightly longer than in British ships,  but airline practice in the United States indicates that oil, unless fouled by bits of carbon or metal scrapings, is improved by use.

Maintenance practices as shown by the German machines are ahead of either British or American at this time. Each particular system, electrical, exhaust, hydraulic, fuel, lubricants, etc., has its own color on all pipes, fillers, levers and controls appropriate to that service. For instance, all oil pipes are painted brown as are oil radiator connections, shutter controls in cockpits, etc.

Here is the complete list: fuel, yellow; oil, brown; hydraulics, brown with red ring; glycol and water (motor coolant), green; oxygen, blue with two white bands; compressed air gun gear, blue with one red band; undercarriage gear, blue with two red bands.

All overflow pipes or outlet pipes are painted blue with a band of the color of system they serve. All points of connection where couplings can be loosened are painted on each side of the coupling with small red crosses. The beauty of the system is that it applies to all military craft, from evidence available. The fighters and bombers had exactly the same markings for similar systems.

The RCAF motto, originally Per Ardua ad Astra, is now Sic itur ad Astra (Such is the pathway to the Stars).

Squadron Leaders McCarthy and Somerville flew aircraft that had been collected as part of the Royal Air Force dissolution of the Luftwaffe in the British Zone of Occupation.  A brief summary of some of this activity is presented here.

British Air Forces of Occupation Germany, Dissolution of the Luftwaffe, Volume II, Feb 1944 – Dec 1946, Air HQ BAFO July 1947

The preparation of disbandment plans for the Luftwaffe arose “out of the decisions of the Allied Governments that after the final defeat of Germany she must not rise again as a military power...”  The “operation for the complete and permanent destruction of the German military machine” was given the codename Operation “Eclipse”.  This operation covered the disbandment of the German Air Force (GAF) comprising GAF formations and units; GAF Flieger Regiments (except those fighting with the German Army in a ground role); Women’s Auxiliaries employed in the GAF; National Socialist Flying Corps (NSFK); GAF Field Divisions; GAF Fortress Battalions; and all GAF Flak Units including Heimat Flak (Static Flak) and RAD Flak Units but not German Naval and Army Flak Units.  For security, ease of control and administration, the discharge of all German Wehrmacht (armed forces) personnel (i.e. German Army, Navy and Air Force and para-military) was effected in the British Occupied Zone of Germany by the British Army with RAF assistance where necessary.[1]

RAF disarmament staffs and the staff of Britain’s 21 Army Group agreed on the centralization of the disbandment function at Group/District level, with the establishment for disbandment and GAF Administration based on four RAF Groups, Nos. 2, 83, 84 and 85, working in parallel with the four military districts into which the British Occupied Zone of Germany was to be divided. [2] 

 (RAF Photos(

* Photos 1 & 2.  Junkers Ju 88 aircraft found by No. 83 Group in Denmark post war.

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Junkers Ju 88R-1 night fighter captured by British forces at Copenhagen-Kastrup airfield, Denmark, May 1945.

“When Germany surrendered, the bulk of the German Western Armies and Air Forces were located in the Emden/Wilhelmshaven Peninsula, Schleswig-Holstein, Denmark and Western Holland, the area for the most part of which No. 83 Group ultimately became responsible.”[3]

No. 84 Group became responsible for GAF personnel in the province of Hanover, Land Oldenburg, Land Brunswick and the Frisian Islands east of an including Borkum.  No. 2 Group was responsible for the southern area of the British Zone.  Many German PW were located in Belgium.  As of May 1945 the RAF was responsible for the disbandment of some 490,000 German PW, largely administered by the 2nd Tactical Air Force (Rear), with its HQ located in Brussels, Belgium. The RAF disbandment control staff operated in close liaison with 21 Army Group based at Bad Oeynhausen, Germany. 

By the end of July 1945, 93,734 GAF personnel had been discharged or released.  By the end of August 1945, 260,591 GAF personnel had been discharged or released, with number rising to 298,131 by the end of September 1945.  Contact with the Russian and French Zones resulted in transfers of discharged personnel to these locations as well, and by the end of April 1946, 517,883 GAF personnel had been discharged or released to other zones and 21,089 were employed in labour units.  In March 1946 PW from the USA began to arrive at the ports of Antwerp and Hamburg.

Early in July 1945, Operation Shuttle was put into effect as a result of negotiation between the British and American Zone to arrange for the exchange of surrendered German personnel and PW according to Zone domicile.  Germans held in the British Zone and Belgium whose homes were in the American Zone were transferred there and vice versa (85,886 GAF transferred to the US Zone, 36,318 to the British Zone). [4]

The main body of the female personnel of the Luftwaffenhelferinnen (GAF equivalent to the WAAF) was located in the Schleswig-Holstein area with lesser numbers in Denmark.  22,248 were quickly discharged from the British Zone.  162 were transferred to the Russian Zone at a later date.

“In view of the fact that certain of the GAF staff officers of KG 200 (a Luftwaffe formation specialising in rocket projectiles) were required for interrogation, it was decided to “freeze” all the personnel of this unit as a precautionary measure and instructions were issued accordingly to No. 83 Group on 10 Aug 1945.” [5]  The last of the KG 200 Officers were released on 21 Dec 1945.

Concerning discipline of captured GAF personnel, all punishments notified in German summary proceedings were reviewed by the RAF Groups.  In accordance with a general policy agreed by Army, Royal Navy and RAF, GAF personnel were subject to the summary jurisdiction of their German commanders and to their own Courts Martial, but under the close supervision of the RAF and subject always to Military Government Law.  The summary jurisdiction allowed to the GAF was, in the main, the same as during the war, German commanders having the powers rendered through Groups to Air Headquarters for review in order to ensure that they accorded with current Military Government policy.  Similarly, GAF Court Martial jurisdiction continued under close supervision and control. [6]

Directives for the disposal of enemy war material were produced by the Air Disarmament Planning Staff of the Allied Expeditionary Air Force in 1944 culminating in the SHAEF “Handbook Governing Policy and Procedure for the Military Occupation of Germany” (known as the “Military Occupation Handbook”) issued in December 1944.  The Handbook classified enemy war material in five disposal categories:  One – required for intelligence and technical research.  Two – required for us by the forces in the field (including Civil Affairs/Military Government).  Three – required for use in other theatres of war.  Four – other general requirements of the United Nations.  Five – requiring special handling. [7]

Another early task was the preparation of a “List of GAF Equipment and Material to be retained for examination” (Retention List).  Obtaining ex-enemy material for technical research and development purposes became a priority.  The obtaining of specimens of enemy equipment, much of it unknown to the Allies proceeded under three sections, I – Category One equipment, II - Operation Medico, and III - Operation Surgeon.  I applied to individual items or ranges of equipment, while II and III covered projects for the basic equipment of colleges and research establishments in the United Kingdom.  The Dominions and the USA were also concerned in obtaining Category One material. [8]

The UK and the USA developed a common approach to all questions concerning enemy war material in August 1944.  They established a Combined Intelligence Objective Sub-Committee (CIOS) which was appointed by the Combined Chiefs of Staff as the governing authority on disposal policy so far as technical research was concerned.  Three lists of requirements were compiled, (a) The CIOS black list; (b) Development and Research departments of the Ministry of Aircraft Production; and, (c) Air Ministry (DGE) and Specialist Branches.  The black list was a combined list of intelligence objectives agreed by both the UK and USA authorities.

  (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Junkers Ju 88 destroyed at Brunswick, Germany, being examined by British and American soldiers.

 

 (RAF Photos)

* Photos 1 & 2.  Messerschmitt Bf 110 destroyed/wrecks near Brunswick airfield, Germany, being examined by RAF personnel.

Any material likely to be of intelligence value was to be examined by qualified Air Technical Intelligence (ATI) Officers before it was destroyed or otherwise disposed of.  To ensure this took place liaison and an interchange of reports took place between ATI and Air Disarmament personnel.  As collection and disposal of key items took place 135 items or ranges on the Category One list were treated as Top Secret, with disposal of such items being reserved to the Dominions, the USA and India.  Eventually 2,582 tons of Category One equipment was dispatched from Germany. [9]

Arrangements were made to obtain ex-Luftwaffe stocks of equipment and material for the British Government-sponsored College of Aeronautics at Cranfield under Operation Medico.  This material included Testing machines, Equipment for the Physical, Chemical, Jet Engine and Fuel and Oil laboratories, Aircraft Electrical Equipment, Engine and Ignition Accessories, Electronic Equipment, Electrical Strain Gauging and Vibration Testing Equipment, Mechanical Testing and Foundry and Heat Treatment Equipment, Material and Equipment required for the study of Plastics and Synthetics, Mettallography and for the Museum.

Most of the equipment collected for the College came from GAF sources.  These items included machine tools, test equipment from the factories that made them.  Equipment collected in Berlin from the Luftfahrt Akademie and Luftfahrt Gerätewerke included optical equipment, a technical library, instructional sectioned engines and components (including British, American, French and German engines), wind and smoke tunnels, photographic equipment, high duty compressors, a sectioned Junkers u 88 fuselage, vacuum test chambers, gyro test equipment and laboratory equipment.  A variety of equipment was located in the No. 83 Group area, including radar items, oscillographs, epidiascopes, microscopes, cine projectors, instructional field and drawing office material.  1,029 tons of material was despatched to Cranfield.[10]

Operation Surgeon dealt with the evacuation of research plant and material from ex-Luftwaffe resource establishments for removal to their counterparts in the UK.  There were five principal targets, including the research establishments at Volkenrode (wind tunnels), Gottingen, Detmold (Focke-Wulf factory), Trauen and Reyershausen.  Test equipment was obtained from a high speed tank at the Institut für Seeflugwesen at Finkenwerder, near Hamburg.  Additional items came from Berlin.[11]

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Fieseler Fi 156 Storch, STOL reconnaissance aircraft, RAF VX154, being boarded by Royal Air Force Air Vice-Marshal Harry Broadhurst, Air Officer Commanding the Desert Air Force, at the Advanced Headquarters of the DAF at Lucera, Italy.  Broadhurst acquired the captured German communications aircraft in North Africa, had it painted in British markings and used it for touring the units under his command. Broadhurst took command of the DAF in January 1943, becoming (at the age of 38) the youngest Air Vice-Marshal in the Royal Air Force.  He continued flying the Storch while commanding the 2nd Tactical Air Force in North-West Europe.

Four Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse were surrendered at Sylt and were initially designated by RAF as USA 16, USA 17, USA 18 and USA 19.  They were likely scrapped at Sylt.

Bücker Bü 181 Bestmann, trainer and light transport (Wk. Nr. unknown), captured at Husum.  Designated RAF AM121, this aircraft was likley scrapped at Woodley, England.

Bücker Bü 181C-3 Bestmann, trainer and light transport (Wk. Nr. 120417), captured at Husum.  Designated RAF AM121, this aircraft held Reg No. G-AKAX until it was scrapped at Denham, England in 1950.

 (Author Photo)

* Photo.  Bücker Bü 181 Bestmann, trainer and light transport on display in the Fantasy of Flight Museum, Polk City, Florida. 

Practical employment of some of the equipment acquired, such as Fieseler Fi 156 Storch, Bücker Bü 181, Siebel Si 204 and Messerschmitt Bf 108 communication aircraft took place for a period.  Eventually they were returned to the Disarmament organization for disposal.  A large amount of signals equipment was also absorbed although much of it went to the Army.  Clothing, equipment for the labour force (Dienstgruppen), furniture and barrack stores as well as yachts and gliders for recreational and training purposes were taken into use.[12]

 (Bundesarchiv Photo Bild 146-1975-117-26)

* Photo.  Fieseler Fi 103, V-1, FZG 76 flying bomb, being wheeled into position by its German launch crew.

Fieseler Fi 103, V-1, FZG 76

The Fieseler Fi 103, V-1, FZG 76, was a small, fixed-wing pilotless aircraft powered by a pulsejet engine mounted above the rear fuselage. In effect, it was the world’s first operational cruise missile, and incorporated a simple flight control system to guide it to its target, an air log device to make it dive to the ground after travelling a preset distance and a warhead packed with high explosive. The first of these weapons landed in the London area in the early hours of 13 June 1944.[1]

The V-1 (Vergeltungswaffe Eins, or Vengeance Weapon One), name was given to it by Josef Goebbels’ Propaganda Ministry, but the original Air Ministry designation was Fieseler Fi 103, after its airframe designer, the Fieseler company. The missile also had the cover names of Kirschkern (Cherry Stone) and Flakzielgerät (Flak Target Device) 76 (FZG 76).  Powered by a simple but noisy pulsejet, thousands were launched on British and continental European targets from June 1944 to March 1945. [2]

There are at least 54 Fi 103 Flying bombs on display in museums around the world, including a V-1 on display in the Deutsches Technik Museum in Berlin.[3]

 (Author Photos)

* Photos 1-3.  Canada.  Fieseler Fi 103, V-1, FZG 76 flying bomb, on display in the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Canada.   Fieseler Fi 103, V-1, FZG 76 flying bomb, preserved in the Canada Air and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario,

  (Martin Richards Photo)

* Photo.  England.  Fieseler Fi 103, V-1, FZG 76 flying bomb, mounted on a partial ramp section, at the Imperial War Museum Duxford.  The museum also has a partially recreated launch ramp with a mock–up V-1 displayed outside.

England.  Fieseler Fi 103 V-1, FZG 76 flying bomb, on display in addition to a V2 rocket at the RAF Museum Hendon, north London.

 (Rept0n1x Photo)

* Photo.  England.  Fieseler Fi 103 V-1, FZG 76 flying bomb, on display in front of a V2 rocket in the RAF Museum Cosford.

England.  Fieseler Fi 103 V-1, FZG 76 flying bomb, on display at the Aeropark at East Midlands Airport.

* Photo.  France.  Fieseler Fi 103 V-1, FZG 76 flying bomb, wreckage being examined by a Canadian soldier and a member of the French Resistance (F.F.I.), Foucarmont, France, 5 September 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3239436)

* Photo.  Fi 103R Reichenberg Re III, trainer version.  (USAAF Photo)

Fieseler Fi 103R Reichenberg Re III

The Reichenberg Fi 103A-1/RE-III was the trainer version of the RIV. The front position was for the flight instructor. Two fuselages were found by the allied forces at the end of the War, at Tramm, near Dannenbergbut, Germany. Length: 8 m (26.24 ft) Wingspan: 5.72 m (18.76 ft) Loaded weight: 2,250 kg (4,960 lb) Power plant: 1 × Argus As 014 pulse jet, 350 kgf (770 lbf). Performance: Max speed: 800 km/h (500 mph (in diving flight) Cruise speed: 650 km/h (400 mph). Range: 330 km (205 miles).

The idea of putting a pilot in the Fi 103 V1 for special operations was proposed by Hanna Skorzeny, Otto Skorzeny and Heinrich Lange. Lange sought to form a special group of pilots who if need be would sacrifice themselves. At the same time the DFS were looking into such a idea since 1943, because tests using the Me P.1079 (Me 328) had found it was unsuitable. In 1944 the DFS was given the go ahead to develop such a weapon, given the code name "Reichenberg". With in fourteen days the DFS had designed, built, and tested the five different models needed to convert the volunteer pilots.  By October 1944 about 175 R-IVs were ready for action.

Fieseler Fi 103R Reichenberg Re I: Two man unpowered trainer

Fieseler Fi 103R Reichenberg Re II: Two man powered trainer

Fieseler Fi 103R Reichenberg Re III: One man powered trainer

Fieseler Fi 103R Reichenberg Re IV: Operational model

Fieseler Fi 103R Reichenberg Re V: Powered trainer for the He 162 with a shorter nose

The Re I was towed in to the air by a Henschel Hs 126, all the rest were air launched from the Heinkel He 111 H-22.  Volunteers were trained in ordinary gliders in order to give them the feel of unpowered flight.  The pilots then progressed to special gliders with shortened wings which could dive at speeds of up to 300 kilometres per hour (190 mph).  After this, they progressed to the dual-control Re II.

Training began on the Re I and Re II and although landing the aircraft on a skid was difficult, it handled well, and it was anticipated that the Leonidas Squadron would soon be using the machines.  Albert Speer wrote to Hitler on 28 July 1944 to say that he opposed wasting the men and machines on the Allies in France and suggested it would be better to deploy them against Russian power stations.

The first real flight was performed in September 1944 at the Erprobungsstelle Rechlin, the Reichenberg being dropped from a He 111. However, it subsequently crashed after the pilot lost control when he accidentally jettisoned the canopy.  A second flight the next day also ended in a crash, and subsequent test flights were carried out by test pilots Heinz Kensche and Hanna Reitsch.  Reitsch herself experienced several crashes from which she survived unscathed.  On 5 November 1944 during the second test flight of the Re III, a wing fell off due to vibrations, but Heinz Kensche managed to parachute to safety, albeit with some difficulty due to the cramped cockpit.

By October 1944 about 175 Fi 103 Reichenberg Re IV's were ready for combat with some 60 Luftwaffe personnel and 30 personnel from Skorzeny's commando unit, who joined Leonidas Staffel 5.II/KG 200(Heinrich Lange's special unit led by himself) to fly the aircraft in to combat.  Werner Baumbach assumed command of KG 200 in October 1944, however, the whole operation was shelved in favour of the "Mistel" program.  Baumbach and Speer eventually met with Hitler on 15 March 1945 and managed to convince him that suicide missions were not part of the German warrior tradition, and later that day Baumbach ordered the Reichenberg unit to be disbanded.  (Wikipedia)

 

* Photo.  Fieseler Fi 103R Reichenberg Re IV with British troops in 1945.  (RAF Photo)

Fieseler Fi 103R Reichenberg Re IV

The Fieseler Fi 103R Reichenberg IV was basically a manned version of the Fieseler Fi 103, V-1 flying bomb.  The Fi 103R-IV had simple flight instruments in the cockpit and the canopy had guidelines for calculating the correct dive angle for attacks. The Reichenberg was powered by one 772-lb thrust Argus 109 014 pulse-jet engine. It had a maximum speed of 404-mph. Its wing span was 18’9”, and its length was 26’3”.[4]   It was armed with an 850 kg warhead

In theory, this wasn’t a Kamikaze-style suicide weapon, since the pilot was intended to bail out after aiming the aircraft/missile at its target.   In practice, this would have presented certain difficulties, since the cockpit was placed directly underneath the jet intake.   Attacks were to be carried out by the “Leonidas Squadron”, Group V of the Luftwaffe’s Kampfgeschwader 200.

The engine was the same one used on the V-1, one 2.94 kN As 109-014 pulse-jet.  Versions planned were the Fi 103R-I and R-II training gliders, R-III powered trainer, and R-IV operational version. About 175 were built, and a few test flights were made by the R-III, but none flew operationally.[5]

The Leonidas Squadron, part of KG 200, had been set up as a suicide squadron. Volunteers were required to sign a declaration which said, “I hereby voluntarily apply to be enrolled in the suicide group as part of a human glider-bomb. I fully understand that employment in this capacity will entail my own death.” Initially, both the Messerschmitt Me 328 and the Fieseler Fi 103 (better known as the V-1 flying bomb) were considered as suitable aircraft, but the Fi 103 was passed over in favour of the Me 328 equipped with a 900 kilograms (2,000 lb) bomb.

However, problems were experienced in converting the Me 328 and Heinrich Himmler wanted to cancel the project. Otto Skorzeny, who had been investigating the possibility of using manned torpedoes against Allied shipping, was briefed by Hitler to revive the project, and he contacted famous test pilot Hanna Reitsch. The Fi 103 was reappraised and since it seemed to offer the pilot a slim chance of surviving, it was adopted for the project.

The project was given the codename “Reichenberg” after the capital of the former Czechoslovakian territory “Reichsgau Sudetenland” (present-day Liberec), while the aircraft themselves were referred to as “Reichenberg-Geräte” (Reichenberg apparatus).

In the summer of 1944 the DFS (German Research Institute for Sailplane Flight) at Ainring took on the task of developing a manned version of the Fi 103, and an example was made ready for testing within days and a production line was established at Dannenberg.

The V-1 was transformed into the Reichenberg by adding a small, cramped cockpit at the point of the fuselage that was immediately ahead of the pulsejet’s intake, where the standard V-1’s compressed-air cylinders were fitted. The cockpit had basic flight instruments and a plywood bucket seat. The single-piece canopy incorporated an armoured front panel and opened to the side to allow entry. The two displaced compressed-air cylinders were replaced by a single one, fitted in the rear in the space which normally accommodated the V-1’s autopilot. The wings were fitted with hardened edges to cut the cables of barrage balloons.

It was proposed that a He 111 bomber would carry either one or two Reichenbergs beneath its wings, releasing them close to the target. The pilots would then steer their aircraft towards the target, jettisoning the cockpit canopy shortly before impact and bailing out. It was estimated that the chances of a pilot surviving such a bailout were less than 1% due to the proximity of the pulsejet’s intake to the cockpit.[6]

 (RAF Photo)

* Photo.  Fieseler Fi 103R Reichenberg Re IV on display at Farnborough, England, Nov 1945.

* Photo.  Fieseler Fi 103R Reichenberg Re IV piloted flying bomb at RCAF Station Trenton, Ontario.  This piloted version of the "Buzz Bomb" was brought to Canada in 1945 by Captain Farley Mowat's Intelligence Collection Team, shown here on display on Air Force Day, 16 June 1947.  This aircraft 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 Reichenberg Re IV Air Force Day, RCAF Station Trenton, Ontario, 9 June 1951.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584520)

 

* Photo.  Canada.  Fieseler Fi 103R Reichenberg Re 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.  V2 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.  It is believed to be buried somewhere on the grounds of former RCAF Station Clinton, Ontario, ca 1960 (TBC).  (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.

In April 1945 a special agreement was made between the British Army and the RAF for the disposal of V1 flying bombs and V2 rockets under which the RAF was responsible for technical intelligence requirements and the Army for any surplus.  Flak material was disposed of separately.[13]

France received 417 aircraft through a cooperative agreement with the UK and USA.  These included 88 Arado Ar 96B (including 28 cannibalised hulks); one Arado Ar 396; 154 Bücker Bü 181 (including 19 cannibalised hulks); 64 Fieseler Fi 156 Storch; 39 Siebel Si 204; 36 Junkers Ju 52 (including 9 floatplanes); 17 Messerschmitt Bf 108; three Junkers Ju 88G6; seven Heinkel He 162; four Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet; two Messerschmitt Me 262; and two Arado Ar 234.  France also received 2,772 aircraft engines (spare), 3,071 aircraft cannon and machine-guns, more than two million rounds of various ammunition and 3,000 tons of other material.[14]

Holland received a few transport and communications aircraft including a Fieseler Fi 156 and a Siebel Si 204, as well a significant amount of GAF equipment.  Belgium received five Junkers Ju 52 aircraft and a quantity of spare parts.  Denmark received three Junkers Ju 52 and two Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor aircraft which were placed in service with the Danish Airlines Corporation.  Norway was allotted 23 transport and communications aircraft.  Czechoslovakia was allotted three Junkers Ju 52 transports early in 1946.[15]

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. [16] 

Captured V2 rocket set up at Altenwalde, Germany, Oct 1945.  (USAAF & RAF Photo)

V2 rocket engine on display in the  National Museum of the USAF.  (Stahlkocher Photo)

V2 rocket on display in the National Museum of the USAF.  (NMUSAF Photo)

Some of the V2 rockets were subsequently used in Operation Backfire.  (Appendix 4 lists 1,368 V1s found in the British Zone of Germany and 2,271 other V weapons, including 2,271 in the British Zone of Germany, 96 in Denmark and 635 in Norway, for a total of 3,002).  The two Dornier Do 335s flown out by the RAF team from Farnborough were actually obtained at Neubiberg, after maintenance carried out by RAF mechanics.  Representatives from RAF Farnborough accompanied three scientists to Munich to inspect the wind tunnel plants and installations located there.

V2 rocket on display in England post war.  (RAF Photo)

The RAF teams visited all the American collection sites and dumps with much of it found at Hanau.  In addition to the V2s, 100 jet engines and between 400 and 500 tons of material were transferred to Farnborough or to concentrations points in the British zone.  In addition, very large quantities of documents were obtained and flown to the Air Ministry.

Junkers Ju 87 hulk designated as scrap by RAF personnel.  (RAF Photo)

A total of 4,810 aircraft and 291 gliders were found in the British Zone of Germany and in the liberated countries of Denmark, Norway, Holland and Belgium.  These figures are in respect of serviceable, reparable or otherwise potentially flyable machines and are exclusive of wrecks and hulks which were classified as scrap.  The ground battle had forced the majority of GAF aircraft to the Schleswig area or to Denmark and 579 were found in Norway.

In conjunction with Air Technical Intelligence field teams, representatives from the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough carried out a survey of all aircraft found and a total of 137 aircraft and 16 gliders of varying types was sent to the UK for research purposes and flying trials or for experimental research on special equipment fitted to them.[17]

“The removal of the enormous quantities of components required for the assembly of the V2s found at Nordhausen posed considerable logistical difficulties.  On 5 June 1945, an officer of the Headquarters Armament Staff (Disarmament) left Brussels to take charge of the operation, calling en route at HQ 2 group to brief 6203 and 6212 Bomb Disposal Flights which were to be employed on the task.  It was found on arrival at Nordhausen that the removal of the V2s and component parts was actually to be a combined operation by an Army detachment and that of Air Disarmament, and a distribution of duties was rapidly decided whereby the Army rail-roaded certain stores and the RAF took charge of the more difficult road transportation.”

“The complexity of this novel task became evident as soon as work began.  There were no complete V2s anywhere in the factory but there was an incredible agglomeration of hundreds of different components from 1000-gallon fuel tanks and 30-foot sections of fuselage down to electrical plugs, leads, nuts and bolts.  There were 20 different shapes and sizes of aluminum pipes, many looking exactly alike at first sight, and these were not neatly segregated and docketed but could be found anywhere along the four miles of twin main tunnels or in any of the 39 communicating galleries (each about 200 yards long) of the plant.  There are probably not half a dozen technicians in England who could list every single component which goes to make the enormously complicated V2 and certainly there were no such British or Allied technicians available to the RAF force on the spot.  It was obvious that the removal of hundreds of tons of components would useless if specimens of one or more vital components were missed, and the first thing to be done, therefore, was to ensure the correct identification of every single component and then to ensure that quantities up to 128 of each (subsequently raised to 150) were collected, segregated and transported to a place of safety.”

“Fortunately, it was possible to simplify this problem by using two German technicians who between them assembled in one of the galleries a complete layout of all the components which go to make a V2.  These components were then numbered to avoid confusion, and the search for further components began.  At the beginning of the operation components were sent by road to the railway sidings at Kassel for subsequent onward transmission to Cuxhaven, but this rail-loading point was later changed to Gottingen since the daily journeys (120 km each way), coupled with loading and off-loading operations, were difficult to maintain.  Gottingen offered an easier journey (better roads and a saving of 70 km on the round trip) coupled with adequate guard and rail facilities.  In all, 137 fuel tanks were transported and these, despite the fact that they could be lifted by two men, could only be loaded one to a three-ton lorry, two to a 10-ton lorry or three to a low-loader.”

Between 7 and 18 June 1945 the following components were transported from the assembly plant to either Kassel or Gottingen: 5 complete V2s (found 20 km from Nordhausen); 137 fuel tanks; 205 half fuselages (each 30 feet long); two mobile launching platforms; one trailer compressor; ten lorry loads of pipes and other metallic parts; and 20 lorry loads of mixed electrical equipment.

Other activities carried out by the Air Disarmament task force at the same time included assisting the Army loading their trains; removing three tons of secret electrical equipment found in a private house at Bleicherode some 15 km from Nordhausen; discovering and removing five complete V2s from a warehouse at Kleinbodungen (20 km from Nordhausen); searching a train of 18 damaged V2s in a railway siding at Jerxheim (88 km from Nordhausen) for vital components, such as gyroscopes where were in short supply; and removing launching accessories (including special 30-foot pole supports) from Obegebran, 20 km from Nordhausen.[18]

One of the principle tasks of the British Engineer Branch personnel attached to the Disarmament organization was the repair and servicing of all enemy aircraft allocated to the UK, Dominions and Allies, as well as the destruction of unwanted aircraft, engines and equipment.  As no portable publication existed which contained comprehensive details of German aircraft and aero engines, information was collected to produce a loose-leaf handbook entitled “German Air Force Airframes and Aero Engines” for use in the field.

At the time of the capitulation the majority of the flyable aircraft of the Luftwaffe had been withdrawn and concentrated at airfields north of Hamburg, in Schleswig-Holstein and Denmark.  HQ 83 Group controlled the Disarmament Wings in these areas.  Air Ministry representatives selected all Category One aircraft which were required for transfer to the UK for research purposes at Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) Farnborough.  These aircraft were serviced by the GAF under the close supervision of RAF Engineer personnel at Wings or Squadrons, some were flown directly to the UK and others were flown to Schleswig Land airfield where they were re-serviced by the RAF mechanics of 409 R and SU, which had been loaned to the Disarmament organization, before they were flown to England.  Pilots for these aircraft were provided by COEF Farnborough, which had a detachment at Schleswig Land airfield. [19]

1,146 GAF aircraft were located at various airfields in Denmark.  37 were selected as Category One for research purposes and 252 were transferred to Germany for various transport and communications tasks, and most of the rest were destroyed.  A combined total of 4,810 aircraft were discovered in the British zones of Germany, Denmark, Norway and Belgium (none were found in Holland).   Overall, a total of 4,106 GAF aircraft were destroyed in Germany and in the liberated countries of Norway, Denmark and Belgium, with 137 preserved as Category One and 73 others sent to the UK, 16 sent to the USA and 478 sent to BAFO or to other Allies. [20]

A total of 12,880 spare aero-engines and 287 jet units were discovered, the majority of which were suitable for only Bomber and Fighter types.  2,772 were sent to the French (Junkers Ju 52 elements being the most required), the remainder were destroyed.

  (USAAF Photo)

* Photo.  Arado Ar 234B, (Wk. Nr. 140311), USA 40, FE-1011, Wright Field, Oct 1945.

 (USN Photos)

* Photos 1-4.  Arado Ar 234B-1, (Wk. Nr. 140489), Watson’s Whizzers 202, USA 5, USN (Bu No. 121445), Jane I.  This aircraft was scrapped at the Naval Air Test Center (NATC) Patuxent River, Maryland.

(USAAF Photos)

 (USAAF Photos)

After the war ended, a race began to collect advanced technology. Ar 234s were scattered all over Western Europe, and the British obtained about a dozen of them. The Soviets apparently only recovered one. For whatever reasons, the Ar 234 had been primarily used in the west.

The Ar 234C was equipped with four BMW 003A engines to free up Junkers Jumo 004s from use by the Me 262. The utilization of four engines improved overall thrust, especially in take-off and climb-to-altitude performance. 15 prototypes of the AR 234C were completed before the end of the conflict. Although Hauptmann Dieter Lukesch was preparing to form an operational test squadron, the Ar 234C was not developed in time to participate in actual combat operations.[6]

Four Ar 234s along with an assortment of other advanced Luftwaffe aircraft and shipped to the USA on the “jeep” carrier HMS Reaper. Three were given to the US Army Air Force and one to the US Navy, though the Navy’s aircraft turned out to be in permanently unflyable condition. One of the three obtained by the USAAF, (Wk. Nr. 140312), was put through intensive tests at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and ultimately handed on to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air & Space Museum, where it is now prominently on display.[7]

* Photos 1 & 2.  Arado Ar 234B-2, (Wk. Nr. 140312), USA 50, FE-1010, T2-1010, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.  This Ar 234 B-2 was F1+DR, a detail not known when it was restored as F1+GS.  (Michael Yew Photos)

 (Kogo Photo)

This aircraft and three others were collected by the famous “Watson’s Whizzers” of the USAAF to be shipped back to the United States for flight testing. Two aircraft were given freely but a further two had been traded to Watson by Eric “Winkle” Brown (test pilot and CO of the Enemy Aircraft Flight at the RAE) in exchange for an interview with Hermann Göring who was then being held by the Americans.

The aircraft was flown from Sola to Cherbourg, France on 24 June 1945 where it joined 34 other advanced German aircraft shipped back to the USA aboard the British aircraft carrier HMS Reaper. Reaper departed from Cherbourg on 20 July, arriving at Newark, New Jersey eight days later. Upon arrival two of the Ar 234s were reassembled (including 140312) and flown by USAAF pilots to Freeman Field, Seymour, Indiana Indiana for testing and evaluation. 140312 was assigned the foreign equipment number FE-1010. The fate of the second Ar 234 flown to Freeman Field remains a mystery. One of the remaining two was reassembled by the United States Navy at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, for testing, but was found to be in unflyable condition and was scrapped.

After receiving new engines, radio and oxygen equipment, 140312 was transferred to Wright Field near Dayton, Ohio and delivered to the Accelerated Service Test Maintenance Squadron (ASTMS) of the Flight Test Division in July 1946. Flight testing was completed on 16 October 1946 though the aircraft remained at Wright Field until 1947. It was then transferred to Orchard Place Airport in Park Ridge, Illinois, and remained there until 1 May 1949 when it, and several other aircraft stored at the airport were transferred to the Smithsonian Institution. During the early 1950s the Ar 234 was moved to the Smithsonian’s Paul Garber Restoration Facility at Suitland, Maryland for storage and eventual restoration.

The Smithsonian began restoration of 140312 in 1984 and completed it in February 1989. All paint had been stripped from the aircraft before the Smithsonian received it, so the aircraft was painted with the markings of an aircraft of 8./KG 76, the first operational unit to fly the “Blitz”. The restored aircraft was first displayed at the Smithsonian’s main museum building in downtown Washington D.C. in 1993 as part of a display titled “Wonder Weapon? The Arado Ar 234”. In 2005 it became one of the first aircraft moved to the new Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles International Airport.  Today, (Wk. Nr. 140312) is displayed next to the last surviving Dornier Do 335, an aircraft that had accompanied it on its voyage across the Atlantic Ocean aboard the Reaper over 60 years earlier.

This aircraft is displayed with a pair of Hellmuth Walter designed, liquid-fueled RATO units mounted under its wings. These RATO units may be the only surviving examples to be mounted on an aircraft.[9]

More than 137 Category One aircraft and gliders were flown or transported to England including two Arado Ar 96B (plus 88 to France), two Arado Ar 196, one Arado Ar 232, eight Arado Ar 234 (plus two to the USAAF, two to France and one other), two Blohm &  Voss BV 138 seaplanes, one Blohm und Voss Bv 155B, two Bücker Bü 181 (plus 154 to France), one Blohm und Voss Bv 222C-012, three Dornier Do 24 (plus two to BAFO), three Dornier Do 217, (two Dornier Do 335 Pfiel are not on this list as they were acquired from the USAAF), three Fieseler Fi 156 Storch (plus 82 to France), one Fieseler Fi 256, one Focke-Wulf Fw 58, four Focke-Wulf 190 (plus six to the USAAF), one Focke-Wulf Ta 152, one Focke-Wulf Fw 189, two Focke-Wulf Fw 200, eleven Heinkel He 162 (plus two to the USAAF, two to France and one other), five Heinkel He 219 Uhu (plus three to the USAAF), (plus one Junkers Ju 34 to Norway), three Junkers Ju 52 (plus 63 others to civil aviation, 3 to RAE, and 69 to other countries), (plus one Junkers Ju 87 Stuka, other), thirteen Junkers Ju 88 (plus one to the USAAF and three to France), one Junkers Ju 88/Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Mistel S3B composite, two Junkers Ju 290, four Junkers Ju 352, one Junkers Ju 388, three Messerschmitt Bf 108 (plus 21 to France, (plus two Messerschmitt Bf 109, other), six Messerschmitt Bf 110 (plus one other), twenty-five Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet (plus four to France), four Junkers Ju 188, seven Messerschmitt Me 262 (plus two to the USAF, two to France and one other), three Messerschmitt Me 410, one Siebel Si 104, and ten Siebel Si 204, for total of (more than) 137 aircraft. [21]  In addition 215 gliders were found in Germany and 76 in Norway for a total of 291, of which 269 were put into service in Germany, 16 went to the UK as Category One and 6 others.


[1] An Account of the Part Played by the Royal Air Force in Dissolving the Luftwaffe, Volume II, Feb 1944 – Dec 1946, Compiled from Official Records and Papers by Order of Air Marshall Sir Philip Wigglesworth, KBE, CB, DSC, Air Officer Commanding in Chief BAFO and Chief of the Air Division, July 1947, Air Headquarters British Air Forces of Occupation, pp.  3-4.

[2] Dissolving the Luftwaffe, Volume II, Feb 1944 – Dec 1946, p. 7.

[3] Dissolving the Luftwaffe, Volume II, Feb 1944 – Dec 1946, p. 13.

[4] Dissolving the Luftwaffe, Volume II, Feb 1944 – Dec 1946, p. 17.

[5] Dissolving the Luftwaffe, Volume II, Feb 1944 – Dec 1946, p. 19.

[6] Dissolving the Luftwaffe, Volume II, Feb 1944 – Dec 1946, p. 20.

[7] Dissolving the Luftwaffe, Volume II, Feb 1944 – Dec 1946, p. 55.

[8] Dissolving the Luftwaffe, Volume II, Feb 1944 – Dec 1946, p. 67.

[9] Dissolving the Luftwaffe, Volume II, Feb 1944 – Dec 1946, p. 70.

[10] Dissolving the Luftwaffe, Volume II, Feb 1944 – Dec 1946, pp. 73-74.

[11] Dissolving the Luftwaffe, Volume II, Feb 1944 – Dec 1946, pp. 74-75.

[12] Dissolving the Luftwaffe, Volume II, Feb 1944 – Dec 1946, p. 78.

[13] Dissolving the Luftwaffe, Volume II, Feb 1944 – Dec 1946, p. 84.

[14] Dissolving the Luftwaffe, Volume II, Feb 1944 – Dec 1946, p. 87.

[15] Dissolving the Luftwaffe, Volume II, Feb 1944 – Dec 1946, p. 88.

[16] Dissolving the Luftwaffe, Volume II, Feb 1944 – Dec 1946, p. 101.

[17] Dissolving the Luftwaffe, Volume II, Feb 1944 – Dec 1946, p. 109.

[18] Dissolving the Luftwaffe, Volume II, Feb 1944 – Dec 1946, pp. 121-122.

[19] Dissolving the Luftwaffe, Volume II, Feb 1944 – Dec 1946, pp. 131-132.

[20] Dissolving the Luftwaffe, Volume II, Feb 1944 – Dec 1946, pp. 134-136, and Appendix 2.

[21] Dissolving the Luftwaffe, Volume II, Feb 1944 – Dec 1946, pp. 132.

A more detailed list of German warplanes captured and evaluated by Allied forces may be found on this website under the heading "German Warplane Survivors".

Although Canadians did not take part in the evaluation of Japanese Warplanes, a listing of where the survivors can be found is provided in the book.  A selection the Japanese aircraft that were evaluated by the Allied Technical Air Intelligence Unit of South East Asia may be found on this website under the heading "Japanese Warplane Survivors".

A selection of Italian aircraft that were evaluated by the Allies post war may be found in under the heading "Italian Warplane Survivors".