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Chris Hannover - Germany

Me 262 question

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Gents,

 

Regarding Gen.Lt. Adolph Galland’s Me 262, there is as yet no conclusive proof that he flew an aircraft coded “White 3” with JV 44. He certainly did not have a specific aircraft reserved for himself.

 

The original source of this belief is in Werner Held’s book “Reichverteidigung” published in the late 1980’s. In the section with several photos of JV 44, there is one of an Me 262 coded “White 3” and while not identified as Galland’s aircraft, the inference in the caption is there. The plain number is located behind the cockpit and forward of the rear fuselage Balkenkreuz and matches well with the style and dimensions of other numbers seen on known JV 44 aircraft. Interestingly, this image appears to be a frame from a cine film, so perhaps it will turn up some day and provide us with more information. Unfortunately, there is nothing there to prove that the aircraft was with JV 44 and that Galland is pictured in it. The source of the image is also unknown.

 

Another bit of information are the statements of Franz Stigler, a former friend of Galland’s and JV 44 pilot. In a conversation I had with him 12 years ago, he claimed that he picked up an aircraft directly from the Regensberg factory, flew back to Barndeberg-Briest where it was later coded “White 3”. He added that Dolfo used to pull rank and fly “his kite” as it was considered a hot bird. This information, based on memory, is further evidence, but one would like to examine both Galland’s and Stigler’s flight books for confirmation if they are still in existence.

 

Nevertheless, other JV 44 pilots are confirmed to have recorded the existence of an aircraft coded “3” (which had to have been painted in white). Entries in the flight books of Obstlt. Heinz Bär and Ofw. Rudolf Nielinger reveal flights in “3” while training at Briest. While at München-Reim Uffz. Müller and Fw. Otto Kammerdiener flight books indicate that they flew “White 3” there. Rudi Neillinger confirmed in correspondence with the late Lorenz Rasse that the unit did have an aircraft coded “White 3”, which he flew in combat on April 24, 1945. Based on recent studies and circumstantial evidence, its Werknummer may have been 111746. If so, the photo of "White 3's" camouflage scheme certainly does not match that of aircraft from the 11174X Werknummerseries.

 

Surprisingly, the aircraft appears not to have been photographed or listed in any other available flight books. It definitely did not make it to Innsbruck as the numerous extant photos indicate, though it could have been one of those destroyed by Krupinski at Salzburg, the final location for the remaining JV 44’s Me 262s. However, Franz told me an interesting story that might explain “White 3’s” ultimate fate that I have yet to confirm but appears very convincing and addresses a number of the above questions. Stigler claims that the aircraft was lost in a crash on April 27 at Oberweissenfeld (north of Munich) by an inexperienced JV 44 pilot by the name of Petersen from Graz, Austria who died of his injuries later that day. On the 28th, JV 44 evacuated München-Riem and so this event appears to have been quickly forgotten about.

 

It is worth noting that several JV 44 pilots stated that they thought Galland flew and aircraft coded "7". If this is true, then that particular aircraft appears to have survived to war’s end. There are partial views of it in several photos taken at Neubiberg in May 1945. The "7" is painted in white and just visible in one shot and the tail in another where the last three digits of the Werknummer are visible: "704". This is the exact same style and position as other low-end 1117XX-series kites where the first three digits were omitted - recall 111711 (Innsbruck; 111712, Hans Fey's surrendered kite, unpainted, etc.). An entry for an Me 262 "113704" appears on the JV 44 Werknummer list of 26 April 45 but it in all probability is a transcription error as are a number of others in the list (e.g., there is no such thing as a "502XXX" Werknummer series - these are 5501XXX aircraft). The aircraft, "White 7", WNr.111704 has the correct style and position of markings as other JV 44 kites, is from the Werknummerblock that a great majority of JV 44 Me 262s were sourced from, and comes from the known source where they obtained them. A rather beat-up crate with attributes that fit what we know of his history.

 

To conclude, the preceding are interpretations based on deductive reasoning using the available evidence and observations. There is circumstantial but no physical proof yet available to link Galland to “White 3” though possibley to White 7”. As far as I have determined, the Held photo is the primary source from which all the paintings / profiles of this aircraft are based, in addition to Stigler’s statements to these artists. Further discussion is welcomed on either of these subjects.

 

Cheers,

 

David

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Hello David,

 

thats very interesting! It shows how confused it was in the last days of war. It is possible to build the "white 3" or i could use a "white 7" that i have in the kit too. I think, i can decide wich one i use?

 

Chris Hannover

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Wumm & Chris,

 

Thanks for the kind words. have been kinda lurking about here occassionally when I can spare the time. My lovely wife is in a decorating mode so I will be prediposed to laying hardwood floors and painting for the next while.

 

Regarding your questions:

 

1. Franz Stiger told me and Dave Wadman that it was indeed "White 3" in which Galland was injured in. He remembered this event well. He claimed that soon after landing he jokingly told Dolpho that he wasn't going to let him fly his kite again if that was how he was going to return it (damaged engine and instrument panel). The aircraft was quickly repaired but on the very next day (April 27) a young Lt. by the name of Petersen or Pirchan (he couldn't recall the name) badgered him to fly "White 3" since it was thought as a lucky aircraft, Franz was an ace that survived since the beginning of the war, etc., etc.. Franz relented but soon after take-off the Lt. crash-landed the aircraft at Oberweissenfeld just a few kilometers northwest of the Riem airfield. As JV 44's Technical Officer, Franz raced to the crash site and found the Lt. there with severe head injuries (exposed brain, etc.). Franz cradled and comforted the still conscious Lt. and quickly took him to a nearby convent where he sadly died.

 

The next day, April 27th, JV 44 was forced to evacuate Riem and the incident was quickly forgotten. However, Franz stated that after the war he visited the Lt.'s mother and sister in Graz as the dying pilot requested. Unfortunately, no more is known of this fellow's identity. The last days of the war were chaotic and even losses like Steinhoff's were not being recorded, let alone the names of many pilots who ended up with JV 44 . Hopefully the Lt. is now resting in a location known and cared for by his kin. It would be nice to put closure on this and determine his true identity.

 

Regarding the aircraft itself, presumably it has to be listed on the famous April 26 Werknummer listing of all the Me 262s known to be on the airfield on that date. No codes are assigned to the Werknummern on the list. Interestingly, the document lists five Me 262 Werknummer of which one "is a complete write-off." Except for Stigler's aircraft crash at Oberweissenfeld, only one Me 262 crashed at Riem itself, that being Steinhoff's on April 18. Thus his aircraft, and its Werknummer, has to be one of the five on that part of the list drawn up eight days later. I have been working on identifying Steinhoff's kite for some time now. This is a long-term research project but I believe that I am reasonably certain of its identity, and from that its camouflage. More on that later.

 

2. Given the above, "White 7" was not the Me 262 Galland was injured in. Someone must have flown it from München-Riem to Neubiberg on April 28, or, from Salzberg a few days later (I suspect the former).

 

3. Decals for the Trumpeter Me 262. No, nothing from Experten (in dormancy right now as Dave and I have other projects). Still, I have many great schemes for the 262 that might appear with and/or through other colleagues and projects. Time will tell . . . Plus, the Stormbirds website is planned for a major overhaul and Dave and I are thinking about putting all the commentaries on camouflage and markings we've posted over the years on the site. Stay tuned.

 

Cheers,

 

David

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White 3 with Red White tail bands is the well known Me 262 A-1a, W.Nr 500071 of JG 7. This was the aircraft flown by Hans-Guido Mutke. He made a forced landing in Switzerland with the aircraft on March 12, 1945. The aircraft now resides at the Deutsches Museum. Many photos exist of the aircraft, some in color.

 

HTH

 

Mark Proulx

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Hi Mark,

 

There is some confusion here regarding two "White 3" Me 262 aircraft that are from different units and are completely different aircraft.

 

The one that has been thought to have been a JV 44 aircraft is based on a photo in Werner Held’s book “Reichverteidigung” published in the late 1980’s. In the section with several photos of JV 44, there is an image of an Me 262 coded "White 3" and the caption makes an oblique reference to Galland. Many people took this to mean that this was Galland in his aircraft. There is no proof of this at all, though the aircraft does not have a JG 7 RV unit band. In addion, it has the number located in the proper position as per fighter unit aircraft. So, it is possible that this is the JV aircraft but there is no definitive proof (yet) to confrm this.

 

The aircraft you refer to (and I think that Chris is thinking about), is, as you correctly indicate, that of Hans-Guido Mütke, his "White 3+I" (WNr.500071). It is a completely different aircraft with respect to its history, camouflage and markings. Indeed, this aircraft, of 9./JG 7, took off from Fürstenfeldbruck and landed at Zürich-Dubendorf, Switzerland at 08:46 owing to lack of fuel on 25 April 1945. Galland was wounded in the JV 44 aircraft "White 3" the next day, April 26, and it was apparently destroyed in the crash described above on April 27.

 

Cheers,

 

David

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David:

 

Thanks for your comments about Gallands White 3 and welcome to LSP!

 

The reason that I pointed out Mutke's airplane stems from the original post in this thread. I intended to point out that the red/white bands that Chris identified wasn't on Gallands airplane but Mutke's and perhaps that may have led to some of the confusion.

 

Mark Proulx

 

BTW, I always enjoy reading your posts. They are very insightful!

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Yes, that are very helpfuly posts here. No, i was thinking about the plane of Galland. I just had seen somewhere a white 3 with red/blue tailband. So i thought that is perhaps the plane of Galland.

 

Thanks and Cheers

 

Chris Hannover

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