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Bf-108 owned (or leased) by the US in Germany just before WWII


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So, I picked up the 1/32 Bf-108 overtrees package from SB. Supposedly the US purchased or leased 1 to 3 Bf-108s for air staff at the embassy in Germany. I remember hearing about one aircraft but I just read something that mentioned there were up to three aircraft. They were confiscated by the German government after the US entered WWII. Anyone ever run across photo(s) of those aircraft? Thinking of building one of those. I don't even remember if I have any books on the Taifun. I'll have to start looking.

 

Dave

 

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Hah, thanks Ron! I thought I had done some searching the previous time that I was thinking of modeling this and couldn't find anything. A Mushroom book too. I'll have to see if I can find one.

 

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If you're looking for the ultimate reference on the Bf 108, this is it: Schneider Bf 108 book

 

It's not cheap, but absolutely worth the money if you're really interested in the fine details of the type. It also covers post-war production and operators. 

 

The book has a section on exports, where among others, the aircraft of the U.S. mission in Berlin are discussed. Summarizing, the first aircraft was Bf 108 B-1 W.Nr 836 and it was purchased by the U.S. Navy. The machine was first flown by Fritz Wendel in Augsburg on 08 January 1937, and was transferred on 30 March 1937 from Augsburg to Rangsdorf. It was probably transported to the U.S.A. in 1940, and was examined in detail by Fairchild in Hagerstown, MD. This machine was scrapped some time after the end of the war, and the wreckage was buried under the runway extension in Hagerstown. This aircraft was painted light grey all-over, with black U.S. Navy titles on the fuselage and BuNo 0724 in black on the tail. It had a Schwarz wooden fixed pitch propeller. At least two photographs exist of this machine, which are reproduced in the book.

 

In March 1939, the U.S. mission received a second aircraft, Bf 108 B-1 W.Nr 2004, which was purchased by the U.S. Army. In Army service, it received the official designation of XC-44, and the Serial No 39-718. The aircraft was used as the personal transport of the military attaché. Reportedly, Charles Lindberg flew this aircraft personally during one of his visits to Berlin. The aircraft was impounded by the RLM on 15 November 1941. At the time the machine had accumulated 76 flying hours. It was delivered to the Luftwaffe, and its ultimate fate is unknown. No photographs are known to exist of this aircraft, but according to accounts, it was painted yellow all-over, and had the pre-war U.S. national markings on the vertical tail and under the wings. This was one of the first airframes to be equipped with the new Messerschmitt P7 constant speed propeller, used in conjunction with the Argus As 10 E engine.

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That's interesting!!! 

 

What I recall reading previously was the second aircraft and being the personal transport of the military attaché. And I guess that is why I didn't find any photos. I don't remember reading anything about the Navy aircraft. The Navy aircraft and its disposition brings a thought to mind, we moved from PA several years ago but drive back up to PA on I81. Right past the west end of the runway at Hagerstown. I wonder which end of the runway. I imagine it's probably not all that close to either end of the runway as I imagine there have been several runway extensions since then.

 

Interesting looking book too. It's not at the top of the list to build, I'll have to put the book on my wish list.

 

Thanks!

 

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