LUFTWAFFE OVER OHIO !
The story of captured Luftwaffe operating in the United States
and the eventual fate of these classic World War Two warriors.
BY PAUL F. STRANCY AND ROBERT SACCHI
Reproduced with permission

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Photo at Freeman

In August 1945, an ominous shadow chased an unfamiliar aircraft over the fields of Indiana as it headed straight for Freeman Field. The shadow was cast by a Messerschmitt Me-262, the pride of Hitler's Luftwaffe in the last year of the war. It was only one aircraft of a fleet of German aircraft descending on Freeman Field.

Far from being an invasion force, it was part of the war booty the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) reaped from the remains of the Third Reich. In the summer of 1945, the Second World War was considered far from over. The atomic bomb was still a top-secret, untested weapon. The Allies feared Germany had shared its technology with Japan, and that this technology would be encountered in the Pacific. With the invasion of the Japanese mainland scheduled for 1946, the USAAF was wasting no time gathering the cream of German aircraft technology for examination. When the USAAF met this new technology over Germany it caused considerable disquiet in the Allied high command. The USAAF was determined to be ready to deal with this technology in the skies over Japan.

The German aircraft descending on Freeman Field were joining an inventory of captured enemy aircraft under test by the USAAF. Throughout the war years, the USAAF had an active air technical intelligence program, headquartered at Wright Field, Ohio. This organization had several name changes, finally becoming Air Technical Service Command (ATSC) in August 1944.

Headquartered at Wright Field, ATSC ran a large test program which included both Allied and enemy aircraft. The main test facility was at Wright Field in Ohio. Eglin Field, Florida, served as a satellite facility.

Enemy aircraft evaluation by the ATSC included flight and structural integrity testing on enemy aircraft, and analysis of manufacturing techniques for airframes and power plants. From time to time, ATSC also provided whole enemy aircraft, or some-times just parts, for War Bond Tours and propaganda displays, under such names as "Shot from the Sky." ATSC also provided the American aircraft industry with both flying and non-flying examples of enemy air-craft for analysis.

The ATSC was not the only organization to hold German warplanes in America. Some German aircraft came to this country under the aegis of the Navy, and were tested at the Navy Air Test Center at Patuxent River NAS, Maryland. Enemy aircraft in various states of repair also trickled into this country from various agencies for propaganda purposes. For example, the British Information Service sponsored many displays of "war relics."

At the end of the Second World War in Europe, Colonel Harold E. Watson, Chief of Air Technical Intelligence (ATI) in Europe, was directed to prepare at least one ex-ample of each German aircraft then in service for shipment to America. This operation, code named "Lusty," was accomplished in good order. Operation Lusty's story has been well-covered elsewhere; Suffice it to say ATI Europe, based in London, soon had a sizeable collection of ex-Luftwaffe aircraft for shipment to America.

The ATSC now faced the prospect of a flood of aircraft from Germany, with the promise of more from Japan as the war ground down. To handle the large inventory of Luftwaffe aircraft expected, Freeman Field in Indiana had come under ATSC command on 15 June 1945. Wright Field continued technical evaluation, while Freeman Field was used as a repository and testing center for enemy aeronautical equipment. General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold, then Commanding General of the Army Air Force, took a personal interest in the enemy aircraft collection being put together, and specified aircraft should be put aside for eventual display. Freeman Field, to quote the base history, " ... was established with the mission of receiving, reconditioning, evaluating, and storing at least one each of every item of enemy aircraft material . . . The field will also assemble and catalogue US equipment for display at the present and for the future Army Air Force museum, the site to be determined at a later date" Clinton Field was designated for evaluating of German glider aircraft, including cargo gliders.

The British Auxiliary Carrier HMS Reaper carried the major shipment of ex-Luftwaffe aircraft to America. It arrived at Port Newark, New Jersey, in late July 1945. Those aircraft put on the Reaper were as-signed a one- or two-digit number in order to make reassembly easier. At Port Newark, the aircraft were split up between the ATSC and the Navy Air Test Center at Patuxent River. The aircraft under ATSC charge were then either flown or shipped by rail to Free-man Field. Upon arrival at Freeman Field, several advanced aircraft were hurriedly overhauled to join the ATSC flight test program.

During the war, the ATSC maintained a loose inventory system over the trickle of enemy aircraft that had come to them. Some aircraft had been assigned an "EB" (Evaluation Branch) prefix number (ie, Me-109G EB-102, FW-190 EB-104). Others received no known designation (ie, Me-109G-2/Trop Irmgard, Black "14" of 2(H)/14, used for static tests at Wright Field and tested to destruction). Now, with the sudden deluge of German aircraft, a new inventory system was instituted, whereby all enemy aircraft were issued an aircraft number, preceded by the letters "FE," standing for Foreign Equipment, or possibly Foreign Evaluation. There exists some disagreement on the exact term, and we can find no reliable authority to ex-plain this specifically. Aircraft already in the ATSC inventory were included in this new inventory system.

With the sudden end of the war in the Pacific, the rush to evaluate the ex-Luftwaffe aircraft eased. The test program proceeded at a more leisurely pace as the ATSC's focus turned more and more toward displaying their prizes. Wright Field and Freeman Field each held at least one open house. A large aircraft display was arranged in Columbus, Ohio, in 1946. Many aircraft that have survived took part, including the National Air and Space Museum's (NASM) Me-109G and Fw-190F. It is possible that in 1946 a display was arranged at Bolling Air-field, DC, which hosted at least one Me-262.

By December 1945, the Air Technical Intelligence collection and evaluation process for Luftwaffe technology officially transferred from London to Wright Field. In March 1946, Air Technical Service Command became Air Material Command. It was around this time the "FE" numbers as-signed to captured Luftwaffe and Japanese aircraft became "T2" numbers, T-2 being the organization designator for Air Technical Intelligence. The prefix "FE" changed to "T2" or "T-2," but the inventory numbers did not change. This probably reflected the organizational changes taking place.

In January 1946, Middletown Depot was designated as the new collection point for Japanese aircraft. The aircraft remaining at Freeman Field were limited to German and American operational and experimental types. ATI continued its evaluation of Luftwaffe aircraft at Wright Field. Freeman Field served as storage and maintenance and provided many flying and non-flying exhibits from its collection of aircraft for various tours.

By 1946, America, tired of war, turned to peace with a vengeance. Demilitarization began in earnest and the war booty in Indiana and Ohio was soon forgotten. Freeman Field closed in the summer of 1946, and its unique collection dispersed. At least 25 ex-Luftwaffe aircraft from Freeman Field were put into storage at a Douglas Aircraft Plant at Orchard Place Airport in Park Ridge, Illinois, along with examples of American air-craft from Freeman Field. The aircraft at Orchard Place were now referred to as the National Aeronautical Collection. The remainder of the aircraft at Freeman Field were split up between Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona, and Wright Field. In September 1947, the National Aeronautical Collection became part of the Smithsonian as the National Air Museum.

Much was learned from both the aircraft and the research data gathered in Germany. Overnight, the entire air fleet of the USAAF was rendered obsolescent. New aircraft under design, such as the North American F-86 Sabre, were redesigned because of this new technology (the F-86 was originally a straight-wing design but, as a result of the learned technology, it was given swept-wings and leading edge slats). As time progressed, the shine wore off the apple. At Wright Field, testing was hampered by both demilitarization and the difficulty of maintaining aircraft which had been manufactured under the poor conditions that existed in Germany at the end of the war. After many equipment failures and the loss of at least two aircraft, testing was for the most part brought to a close. Air testing was officially terminated in November 1947, and the aircraft remaining were declared surplus and disposed of. Some aircraft went to technical schools for airframe instruction. Others ended up as static displays and war memorials. With the ravages of time, most eventually disappeared, though some were rescued by aviation enthusiasts.

With the start of the Korean War in 1950, Orchard Place Field was reactivated, and the Smithsonian's National Air Museum collection was moved, for the most part, to unused government hangar space at Silver Hill, Maryland. Aircraft which were not transferred ended up as landfill for what is now O'Hare International Airport, which Or-chard Place Field was eventually incorporated into. The storage facility at Silver Hill was later renamed the Paul E. Garber Facility, in honor of Paul E. Garber, whose untiring efforts to preserve the history of aviation are well-known.

When WWII ended, there were many German aircraft in this country outside the control of the ATSC. A lucky few ended up in museums, such as the Ju-87B at the Muse-um of Science and Industry in Chicago. It came to the Museum as part of a war relics display in 1945 and was simply left there, the British Information Service donating it to the Museum in 1946. Other aircraft ended up in the hands of private individuals, or were returned to their controlling agency for preservation or disposal. The leftovers, for-gotten in the postwar euphoria, ended up in scrap yards throughout the country.

The US Navy received part of the Reaper booty and did limited flight testing on these aircraft at the Naval Air Center at Patuxent River NAS. Two ended up on display at Willow Grove NAS. The rest went into surplus storage as the Navy Air Test Center finished with them. Some aircraft were later removed from storage and given to various museums for displays, while the majority ended their days ignominiously as landfill.

All flight test and inventory records for aircraft at Freeman Field were scattered to various agencies as they were declassified. Some ended up in the National Archives, National Air and Space Museum Library, USAF Research Center, or one of over a dozen other governmental institutions. Most of these facilities, under funded and under-staffed, had to put them into storage as-is, most being un-indexed and unreferenced. This has served to render these records almost inaccessible to all but the most diligent and persevering researchers. The authors are aware of individual pieces of in-formation coming to light, but until some hardy soul has the time and financial resources to take on the awe-inspiring task of relocating flight and inventory records from Freeman and Wright Fields, the bulk of these records will remain lost among the millions of document pages in storage.

We have compiled a listing of "FE" numbers known to have been assigned, type of aircraft, original markings/unit, history, and fate. The following list is by no means complete. As in other situations where no clear records exist, many myths have risen up and continue to be perpetuated. We have tried to authenticate all information from original sources wherever possible.

A note on markings: Most German air-craft were repainted prior to or immediately after arriving in this country, and at least one aircraft, an Me-109G, FE-496, was displayed stripped to bare metal. All ATSC aircraft had German insignia reapplied at Freeman Field. Camouflage and markings applied could best be described as spurious. Markings and unit in the list refer to the markings/service at time of capture, where known. FE-, and later T2-, markings, when applied, usually appeared on the rudder/fin or lower rear fuselage, and under the wings in a contrasting color. Camouflage colors, both at capture and afterward, would be a separate article in itself, and are not detailed here.

Where an aircraft is known to have been shipped on the HMS Reaper to Port Newark, it is so noted. Otherwise, it arrived in this country by some other means.

FE-107 See FE 711.

FE-110 Me-262A "L," unit unknown. Sent on the Reaper, this aircraft was test-flown, and pictures of this aircraft are quite common, including a picture of this aircraft making a high-speed pass over building T-317 at Freeman Field. Fate unknown, though it is alleged this aircraft crashed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

FE-111 Me-262A-la W. Nr. 500491(?) Yellow "7" of 11/JG 7. Sent on the Reaper, this aircraft appeared on display at Wright Field, October 1945. It appeared at several displays around the country. The nose of this aircraft was traded with FE-4012, a reconnaissance machine, in 1946, so that FE-4012 could be rebuilt by Hughes Aircraft for flight testing. FE-Ill went to Park Ridge in 1946, and subsequently to Silver Hill. It was re-stored at the Paul E. Garber Facility in Silver Hill, Maryland, in 1979, and is currently on display at the National Air and Space Museum (NASM).

FE-112 Ta-152H Markings unknown, JG 301. Sent on the Reaper, the Werke Nummer is uncertain, though NASM records indicate it is 110003. Actual inspection of the aircraft has turned up no indication of its true identity. FE-112 went to Park Ridge in 1946, and subsequently to Silver Hill. This aircraft is presently in storage at the Paul E. Garber Facility.

FE-113, -114, -115 Purportedly these were Fw-190As, sent on the Reaper, but we have found no record of any of these three aircraft, save obscure references by a few authors.

FE-116 Fw-190F-8 Markings, unit unknown. Sent on the Reaper, This aircraft was restored to flying status and was tested at Wright Airfield, and subsequently took part in several displays. Fate unknown.

FE-117 Fw-190F-8/Rl W. Nr. 931884 Last Yellow "10," unit unknown. Sent on the Reaper, this aircraft took part in several static displays. It went to Park Ridge in 1946, and subsequently to Silver Hill. A rebuilt `A' series airframe, it served with several units in its career, as revealed to the staff at the Paul E. Garber Facility when this air-craft was restored there in 1983. It is presently on display at the Paul E. Garber Facility.

FE-118 Fw-190D-13 W. Nr. 836017, Yellow "10," 3/JG 26. Sent on the Reaper, this was originally an "A" series airframe that had been rebuilt to D-13 standards. After flight testing at Wright Field, this aircraft was declared surplus and sent to The Georgia Institute of Technology. After several years, it was left derelict, along with FE-124. It then passed through several hands before it ended up at the Champlin Fighter Muse-um in 1973. It went to Germany for restoration in 1974 and remained there until 1979 when it came back to this country. It is currently on display at the Champlin Fighter Museum in Mesa, Arizona.

FE-119 Fw-190D-9 WNr. 210010, White "14," 5/JG 26. Sent on the Reaper, history unknown, fate unknown.

FE-120 Fw-190D-9 Coded <>1+-, W Nr. 601088, of IV/JG 3. Sent on the Reaper, FE-120 went to Park Ridge in 1946, and subsequently to Silver Hill. It was taken out of storage in the I960s and loaned to the Air Force Museum (AFM) at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. It was restored by the USAF and is presently on display at the AFM.

FE-121 Fw-190D-9 WNr. 401392, White 5-+-, JG 26. Sent on the Reaper, this air-craft was test-flown extensively, and subsequently took part in several aircraft displays. Fate unknown.

FE-122 Me-109G-10/U4 W Nr. 611943, Yellow "13," unit unknown. Sent on the Reaper, the history of this aircraft is unknown, but it became surplus in the late 1940s and went to a mid-western university. It was acquired by the Planes of Fame Muse-um in Chino, California, in 1959. It is presently on display there.
FE-123 Me-109G-10 "7," unit unknown. Sent on the Reaper, this aircraft was on static display with a Me-262 and He-162 White "7" in the late 1940s. The fate of this air-craft is unknown.

FE-124 Me-109G-10/U4 Markings, unit unknown. Sent on the Reaper, the history of this aircraft is unknown, but it went to the Georgia Institute of Technology as surplus in the late 1940s. It was left derelict, along with FE-118. It has had several owners since,was recently purchased by Evergreen Air Center in Arizona and is presently under-going restoration to flying condition.
FE-489 He-162A WNr. 120077, Red "I," 2/JG I. This aircraft was flight-tested (by Bob Hoover) at Muroc Dry Lake in 1946 and presently resides at the Planes of Fame Museum.

FE-490 Horton Ho-229 V3 This prototype was captured before it was completed and came to the US by way of the Royal Air-craft Establishment in Farnborough, England, where it was on display in fall 1945. It was probably shipped to the US in early 1946, and went to Park Ridge that summer, and subsequently to Silver Hill. It is presently in storage at the Paul E. Garber Facility.

FE-494 He-162A W Nr. 120017, Yellow "6," 3/JG 1. Reportedly this aircraft was cut up for study in 1946.

FE-495 Me-163B Markings, unit unknown. Either shipped or possibly airlifted to the US, this aircraft appeared at several static displays. Fate unknown.

FE-496 Me-109G-6 Markings, unit unknown. This aircraft was shipped to the US in 1944, and after flight testing at Wright Field, made several tours stripped down to bare metal, both during and after the war. The appellation FE-496 appears never to have been applied to the airframe. This aircraft went to Park Ridge in 1946, and subsequently to Silver Hill.  It was restored by the Paul E. Garber Facility in 1974, and is now on display at the NASM.

FE-499 Me-410A-3 W. Nr. 018, F6+WK, 2.(F)/FAG 122. Shipped to the US in 1944, it was assigned the number EB-103, and test-flown at Wright Field. It later went to Free-man Field, where it remained until shipped to Park Ridge in 1946, and subsequently to Silver Hill. Presently in storage at the Paul E. Garber Facility.

FE-500 Me-163B W. Nr. 191190 Markings, unit unknown. This aircraft went to Park Ridge in 1946, and subsequently to Silver Hill. It is presently on display at the Paul E. Garber Facility. FE-501, -502, -503 Me-163B purportedly part of the inventory, no record has been found of these aircraft.

FE-504 He-162A W. Nr. 120230, White "23," 1/JG 1. Fitted with the tail of WNr. 120222, this aircraft had its wings sawed off and reattached with barn hinges to facilitate transportation, and participated in many displays. This aircraft went to Park Ridge in 1946, and subsequently to Silver Hill. It is presently on display at the Paul E. Garber Facility.

FE-505 Bv-155B V3 This prototype was captured before it was completed, and came to the US by way of the Royal Aircraft Establishment in Farnborough, England, where it was on display in fall 1945. It was probably shipped to the US in early 1946, going to Park Ridge that summer, and subsequently to Silver Hill. It is presently in storage at the Paul E. Garber Facility.

FE-610 Me-262B-la/U1 W Nr. 110306, Red "6," 10/NJG 11. Sent over on the Reaper, this aircraft was stripped of its radar gear, and subsequently took part in several aircraft displays. Supposedly this aircraft was declared surplus and went to Cornell University around 1950, but Calspan, Inc., which took over Cornell's aeronautical department, has no record of the aircraft ever having been there. For the record, the authors are satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the Me-262B at Willow Grove NAS is not FE-610, but a two-seat trainer the Navy took on charge in 1945 from the Reaper shipment.
FE-611 Ju-88G Sent over on the Reaper, there is the possibility this was W7+IH of 1/NJG 100. History and fate unknown.

FE-612 He-219A-2 Markings, unit unknown. Sent over on the Reaper, this air-craft was much-photographed at Freeman Field, subsequent history and fate unknown.

FE-613 He-219A-7 WNr. 290060 Markings, unit unknown. Sent over on the Reaper, the fate of this aircraft is unknown.
FE-614 He-219A Markings, unit unknown. Sent over on the Reaper, this aircraft went to Park Ridge in 1946, and subsequently to Silver Hill. It is presently in storage at the Paul E. Garber Facility.

FE-711 Me-262A W Nr. 111711 Unmarked. This was the aircraft flown by Hans Fay when he defected on 30 March 1945. This aircraft was dismantled and airlifted to Wright Field, arriving just as the war ended in Europe. The first Me-262 to fall intact into Allied hands, it was extensively test-flown at Wright Field. There is some question if this aircraft was assigned the FE number 107 or 711, the latter refer-ring to the last three digits of its Werke Nummer. This aircraft took part in trials with a P-80. The Me-262 proved the better aircraft, so much so that the report was suppressed, only being issued after careful "editing" This aircraft flew a total of ten hours and 40 minutes before it crashed on 20 August 1946, at the hands of Lt. W.J. McAuley, after suffering an engine failure. McAuley bailed out, escaping uninjured.

F-1010 Ar-234B WNr. 140312 Markings, unknown, KG 76. Sent over on the Reaper, this aircraft was rebuilt and test-flown at Wright Field in 1946. This aircraft was recently restored by the Paul E. Garber Facility and is currently on display there.

FE-1011 Bachem-349B Expendable air-craft were forbidden to carry markings. This aircraft had its wings sawed off. One is re-attached with barn hinges, the other missing a replacement was fabricated and fitted to the aircraft with hinges at some point in its history. It is presently in storage at the Paul E. Garber Facility.

FE-1012 Do-335 This aircraft is a mystery. Two Do-335s came to the US on the Reaper, one going to the Navy, the other to the ATSC. Per NASM records, their aircraft came from a Navy surplus yard in Norfolk, Virginia, but their records also state FE-1012 was painted on the aircraft. Photos clearly show the NASM aircraft, W.Nr. 240102, in the Navy yard at Norfolk, with no sign of an FE number. As per Navy practice, Luftwaffe markings were not reapplied to this aircraft. It is possible that FE-1012 was the elusive second Do-335 shipped over on the Reaper and it simply vanished, as so many other aircraft did. The authors favor this explanation, but who knows? For the record, after spending time in Germany after being restored by Dornier, the NASM Do-335 is back, presently in storage at the Paul E. Garber Facility.

FE-1597 Ju-188 This is possibly WNr. 150245, assigned Air Ministry 35 by the RAF, and on display in England after the war. It was later shipped to the US, fate unknown.

FE-1598 Ju-88D-1/Trop WNr. 430650 Markings unknown, No. 2 Long Range Reconnaissance Squadron, Rumanian Air Force. This aircraft arrived at Wright Field during October 1943, having originally been flown to Cyprus by a defecting Rumanian pilot. Captured initially by the British, it bore the serial HK959, before it was turned over to the USAAF. Test-flown at Wright Field for a total of 36 hours, it was put in storage at Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona, in 1946. It was retrieved by the US Air Force Muse-um in 1960 and is currently on display there.

FE-1599 Ju-88A Markings, unit unknown. This may have possibly been the Ju-88A captured in Foggia, Italy, in 1943 and ferried to the US in October 1943. The air-craft was nicknamed Comanche for the 86th Fighter Squadron insignia, which appeared under the cockpit. It appeared in war bond drives, and was finally returned to Wright Field in summer 1945 after being superficially damaged in Los Angeles, finally going to Freeman Field, where its subsequent fate is unknown. There are several pictures of this aircraft at Freeman Field, and it is often mistaken in photographs for FE-1598.

FE-1600 He-111H-16 WNr. 8433. +DC, unit unknown. Reportedly only pieces of this aircraft remain in storage at the Paul E. Garber Facility, including a wing spar, wing flap and cowling pieces.

FE-2000 Do-217 Markings, unit unknown. History and fate unknown. No record of this aircraft exists, except occasional references in books.

FE-2100 He-177A-7 Markings unknown, KG 40. Flown to the US before VE-day, it was captured in France. An engine and cowling remain at the Paul E. Garber Facility.

FE-2600 Schneider Grunau Baby LZNC History unknown, presently at Paul E. Garber Facility.

FE-2700 Gotha 242B-1 Markings, unit unknown. Evaluated at Clinton Field in 1946, fate unknown.

FE-3400 Ju-290A-7 W Nr. 196, PJ+PS, unit unknown. This aircraft was flown across the Atlantic by Col. Watson during July 1945. This. aircraft bore the appellation Alles Kaput on its nose. Test-flown extensively, it appeared at the open house at Wright Field in October 1945. It was broken up in 1947.

FE-4010 Ju-388L-1 W.Nr. 560049 Markings, unit unknown. Sent over on the Reap-er, it was flight tested, then displayed several times before going to Park Ridge in 1946, and subsequently to Silver Hill. It is currently in storage at the Paul E. Garber Facility.

FE-4012 Me-262A-1a/U3 White "25," unit unknown. Sent on the Reaper, some-time in early 1946 the nose of this aircraft was switched with that of FE-111, and it was shipped to Hughes Aircraft Corp. for a complete rebuild. It was rolled out at Culver City, California, in February 1948, and indications are it undertook limited flight testing. It ended up as surplus at Glendale Aeronautical School and was later purchased by Planes of Fame Museum, where it is now on display.
FE-4600 Henschel 129B Markings, unit unknown. Shipped to the US in 1944, it was assigned the number EB-105. It was reportedly test-flown at Wright Field and then sent to Freeman Field. This aircraft went to Park Ridge in 1946, but never made it to Silver Hill. This aircraft was scrapped at O'Hare Field in 1953. The forward section of the fuselage reportedly still exists in Illinois, though it may have been shipped to Australia in recent years.

FE-4610 Me-108B W Nr. 8378 Markings, unit unknown. Sent on the Reaper, this aircraft was test-flown, and was reportedly the favorite mount of the base commander at Freeman Field. This aircraft is presently in storage at the Planes of Fame Museum.

FE-4611 Bu-181 Markings, unit unknown. History unknown. This aircraft wentto Park Ridge in 1946, and subsequently to Silver Hill. It is presently on display at Paul E. Garber Facility.

FE-4612 Bu-131 Markings, unit unknown. History and fate unknown.

FE-4613 F1-282 V23 Possibly coded CI+TW, unit, if any, unknown. Sent over on the Reaper. Photographed at Wright or Freeman Field, its fate is a mystery. Several sources claim the USAFM at Wright-Patterson has either this aircraft or FE-4614, but the Air Force Museum denies this.

FE-4614 F1-282 WNr. 28368 Sent over on the Reaper. This aircraft, in the company of FE-117, FE-496, and others, went on a "Victory Tour." Reportedly this aircraft was tested by Grand Central Aircraft, sold in 1955, and disappeared.

FE-4615 Doblhoff/WNF 342 V4 Sent over on the Reaper. Photographed at Wright Field, history and fate unknown.

FE-4617 Fa-330 Markings, unit unknown. Presently on display at the AFM.

FE-4618 Fa-330 Markings, unit unknown. Presently at NASM.

FE-? He-162A WNr. 120067, White "7," 1/JG 1. This aircraft appeared at Wright-Patterson open house in October 1945, and later on static display with FE-123 and an unidentified Me-262A. Left on outside display, by the early 1960s it was in a dilapidated condition and was reportedly scrapped.

FE-? Me-163B WNr. 191301 No markings. Was present at Wright Airfield display in October 1945. Perhaps this is one of the other Me-163s which we have no information on.

FE-? Me P1101 V1 No markings. This prototype was captured before it was completed, and was evaluated at Wright Field. In 1947, this aircraft was shipped to Bell Aircraft, and was damaged in transit. The Bell X-5 was a development of this aircraft.

FE-? Lippisch DM-1 No markings. This was an experimental glider of delta configuration. Captured before it was completed, work was finished in Germany under the watchful eye of the Army Air Force, and this aircraft was subsequently flight tested. Presently in storage at the Paul E. Garber Facility.

FE-500, a Messerschmitt Me-163B. Though several Me-163s were brought to this country, no serious attempt seems to have been made to flight-test the aircraft. Disassembled for shipment, most airframes were rather haphazardly reassembled, FE-500 being one of the few to retain most of its parts, including inspection panels and fairings. (National Archives No. 18-WP-206590)

 

FE-496, a Messerschmitt Bf-109G-6, circa 1945. Captured in Italy in 1944, it was brought to this country the same year. The airframe was stripped of all paint, and German markings reapplied. Though some limited flight-testing was done, this aircraft was mainly displayed for bond drives. (National Archives, No. 18-WP-194881)

FE-4010, a Junkers Ju 388L-1 bomber, a development of the Ju-88 series of bombers. This aircraft made at least one flight at Freeman Field, and also appeared at Wright Field on more than one occasion. (Nation-al Archives, No. 18-WP-210806)

FE-4613, a Flettner F1-282B. Operational in small numbers at the end of the war, its military career was brief and uneventful. Of twin-mesh contra-rotating rotor de-sign, this and other interesting advanced helicopter designs were soon forgotten. Both this helicopter and sister ship FE-4614 disappeared. Interestingly, its camouflage and markings appear pretty much intact, aside from the deletion of the Blakenkreuz on the lower stabilizer. (USAF Photo Collection/National Air and Space Museum, negative 33656 AC)

T-2-4012, a Messerschmitt Me-262A. This particular aircraft was originally configured as a reconnaissance machine. After a "nose-job" in which her reconnaissance nose was switched for the fighter nose of FE-111, this aircraft was rebuilt by Hughes Aircraft Company in California. By the time this extensive work had been completed in 1948, flight testing of ex-Luftwaffe air-craft had ended. Howard Hughes, owner of Hughes Aircraft, reportedly planned to enter this aircraft in the 1948 Bendix and Thompson Jet Trophy Races, but the USAF quickly squashed this idea. (USAF Photo Collection/NASM, negative 166323 AC)

FE-3400, a Junkers Ju-290A-7. This aircraft was ferried to Freeman Field from Europe by Colonel Watson in July 1945. It was test-flown extensively, and finally broken up in 1947. When it was dismantled, a bomb was discovered in the wing, evidently placed there by Czech saboteurs during construction. It had failed to detonate. (USAF Photo Collection/NASM, negative 31874 AC)


FE-499, an Me-410A-3. This aircraft was captured in Italy in 1943 and appears to have retained its camouflage and markings intact, aside from touch-up painting on the tail. This picture appears to have been taken at Wright Field, though FE-499 did end up at Freeman Field. Its FE number appeared only on the undersurfaces of the wings, making this photo hard to date. (USAF Photo Collection/NASM, negative 31382 AC)

 

Jim West
Page last revised 10/31/2019
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