Me 262A-1a
W Nr 500491
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No photo at Freeman Field

at Lechfield
Eugene Freiburger collection
Source Disposition

06/10/1945 To be sent to Chicago


Received Newark 08/01/1945, enroute to Freeman Field

War Prizes
pg 209

After testing was concluded at Freeman Field, the Museum ME 262 was sent to Park Ridge, Illinois for storage where it remained until it was shipped to NASM's (National Air & Space Museum) Silver Hill Facility in 1950.

Me 262A 'Dennis' at Lechfeld.  This was later '888' and named 'Ginny H.  The aircraft is in the NASM, Washington, DC (Eugene Freiburger collection)  On display at the National Air & Space Museum, July 10, 2000 

 Among the aircraft brought to Freeman Field, Indiana for testing was Museum's Messerschmitt ME 262 A-1a which was found at Lechfeld, one of the last German Airfields captured."  

The Museum's aircraft received a special test number, FE-111 while at Freeman Field.   Another Messerschmitt ME 262, FE4012, was sent to the Hughes Aircraft Company to be completely rebuilt after comparison test with the standard jet fighter, the Lockheed P-80A.  FE 4012, a ME 262A-1a/U3, had been used for reconnaissance, and had a different nose section which was bulged to accommodate the cameras.  The fighter nose section from FE 111 was apparently swapped with the nose section of FE 4012.  Subsequently the FE-111's reconnaissance nose section was restored to the fighter nose configuration."  

"After testing was concluded at Freeman Field, the Museum ME 262 was sent to Park Ridge, Illinois for storage where it remained until it was shipped to NASM's (National Air & Space Museum) Silver Hill Facility in 1950."

Recorded at Wright Field by 1 August 1945 and at Freemen Field on 28 September 1945.  Previously '888' with 'Watson's Whizzers'.  After re-assignment to the Air Museum, it was in storage with No. 803 Special Depot, Park Ridge, Illinois, by 22 July 1946.

source: "War Prizes" by Phil Butler

Coded 'Yellow 7' of IV/JG7.  Named 'Dennis' then 'Ginny H.' by Lt James K. Holt for his fiancée.  After arrival in the USA aboard HMS Reaper, became 'FE-111'.  Now with the National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC.

Lt Harold McIntosh flew '020 to Melun, France, where it was loaded aboard the British aircraft carrier HMS Reaper and shipped Newark Army Airfield, New Jersey. From Newark, McIntosh flew this Ta 152 to Freeman Field, Indiana. The airplane was later transferred to Wright Field, Ohio, to undergo extensive flight testing as Foreign Equipment number FE-112 (later changed to T2-112). After testing, the Army stored the aircraft and then turned it over to the National Air Museum in 1960.

Similar Aircraft

(A-1a) single-seat fighter
(A-2a) single-seat bomber
(B-1a) two-seat night fighter
Manufacturer: Messerschmitt AG

Model: Junkers Jumo 004B
Type: axial Turbojets
Number: Two      Thrust: 1,980lb (900kg)

Span: 12.5m
Length: 10.6m (262B-1a, excluding radar aerials 11.8m)
Height: 3.8m

Empty: 4000kg (B-1a 4400kg)
Loaded: 7045kg (B-1a 6400kg)

Maximum speed:
    Me 262A-1a: 540mph (870km/h)
    Me 262A-2a: 470 mph (755km/h)
    Me 262B-1a: 497 mph (800km/h)
Climb rate: 1200m/min
Ceiling: 11,500m
Range on internal fuel: 1050km (650 Miles)


Armament: Me 262A-1a:
Four 30mm MK 108 cannon in nose
-Two with 100 rounds each, two with 80

Me 262A-1a/U1:
-Two 30mm MK 103
-Two MK 108
-Two 20mm MG 151/20

Me 262A-1b:
As A-1a plus 24 spin-stabilised R4/M 55mm rockets

Me 262A-2a:
As A-1a plus bomb load of two 500kg bombs

Me 262B-1a:
As A-1a

Me 262B-2a:
As A-1A plus two inclined MK 108 behind the cockpit in Schrage Musik installation
(D) SG 500 Jagdfaust with 12 rifled mortar barrels inclined in nose
(E) 50mm MK 114 gun or 48 R4/M rockets

History: First Flight July 18, 1942(Turbojets) April 4, 1941 on Jumo 210 piston engines; Me 262A-1a June 7 1944; First Delivery (A-0 to Rechlin) May 1944; first experimental combat unit (EK 262) June 30, 1944; first regular combat (8/ZG26) September 1944

Additional Images:

Image 1 - Me 262A-1a/U3 (T-2-4012/FE 4012) Rebuilt by Howard Hughes for use in the Bendix air races. Phot Recon nose swapped for a fighter nose.
Image 2 - Two Me 262s Flying.
Image 3 - A photographic reconaissance Me 262A-1a/U3 of NAGe6, crashed, Lechefeld. © J.V. Crow
Image 4 - A captured Me 262A-1a/U4 with a 50mm Mk 214 cannon. © Smithsonian Institution
Image 5 - Another shot, this one closer, of the captured Me 262 with Mk 214. © Smithsonian Institution
Image 6 - Captured Me 262's lined up at Lechefeld, June 1945, prior to their move to Melun in France, where captured German aircraft were collected for shipment to the USA. © Smithsonian Institution
Image 7 Captured and cocooned photographic reconaissance Me 262 parked on the deck of the HMS Reaper and being shipped to the USA. © Smithsonian Institution
Image 8 A shot of an Me 262's wing mounted R4/M aerial rockets.
Image 9 A close-up shot of the R4/M rack.
Image 10 A color profile illustration.
Image 11 Me 262B-1a/U1 - wk/nr 110305 or 10./NJG 11. Currently on display at the Johannesburg War Museum, Johannesburg, South Africa. Note: Only authentic and complete Me 262 Nachtjaeger in the world.
Image 12 A close-up shot of 110305's canopy.
Image 13 A profile shot of 110305.
Image 14 A shot of the Me 262 on display at the Smithsonian. © Smithsonian Institution
Image 15 An Me 262A-1a/U3 on display at the Planes Of Fame Museum, Chino, CA.
Image 16 Me 262A-1A/Bo wk/nr. 111711. Surrendered by Hans Fey
Image 17 A shot of a captured Me 262Me 262B-1a/U1 (FE-610).
Image 18 Another shot of FE-610.
Image 19 A shot of a captured Me 262A (FE-110). Werk number 110836. Was formerly Black "L" of KG 51, later went to JV 44.
Image 20 A shot of another captured Me 262A-1a (FE-111) stored at NASM's Silverhill, MD facility, before restoration.
Image 21 Same aircraft as Image 1. Side view.
  Image 22 An disabled Me 262 abandoned after U.S. forces overran the airfield. Werk Number 111685. Formerly 9K+FH of KG 51 which later went to JV 44. Shows the aircraft dispersed in a part of Hofoldinger forest adjacent to the Salzburg-Munich Autobahn where a number of JV 44's aircraft were hidden.
Image 23 Me 262 at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Museum.
Image 24 Me 262 W.Nr.130167, a Schwäbish-Hall built aircraft that became the second V5 SQ+WF. This a/c was used to test, amongst other things, brakes & brake linings, 'Viking Ship' racks, the EZ gunsight, RATO etc. It was also demonstrated to the Japanese commission. By late March 1945 it had completed some 300 test flights.
Thanks to Dave Wadman for suppling the description.
Image 25 Destroyed Me 262's in a devastated factory.
Image 26 Australian Me 262A-2a wk/nr. 500200, At Australian War Memorial, Canberra, Australia. Check out the links page for the Australian Me 262 Page, for more info on this aircraft
Image 27 Same aircraft as Image 26. Disassembled.
Image 28 Same aircraft as Image 26. Disassembled.
Image 29 Close-up of the cannon bay of a Me 262 © Peter Evans.
Image 30 Unrestored 262.
Image 31 Unknown aircraft.
Image 32 Unknown aircraft.
Image 33 Prototype.
Image 34 262 being moved into a camoflaged revetment.
Image 35 Me 262 V056 nightfighter prototype.
Image 36 Another view of V056.
Image 37 Another view of V056.
Image 38 A derelict V056 at wars end.
Image 39 A color profile.
Image 40 Unknown aircraft.
Image 41 Smithsonian Institute Me 262.

Thanks to Dave Wadman for helping identifying Images 19 & 22.
Thanks to Richard P. Lutz, Jr. for his help in identifying some of the images.

T  H  E     P  L  A  N  E  S

In most cases, there is a very clear connection between the present and the past when it comes to surviving Me 262s.   There are so few survivors that tracing the histories of these machines has become a realistic pursuit for many prominent authors and researchers.

Today, only eight original Me 262s exist in the entire world, and half of this remnant is in the United States.  All four came from the original Whizzers consignment, and can be linked to the individual pilot(s) that flew them on this mission.   By some strange coincidence, Strobell, Holt and Brown's planes have all survived, as has the trainer, "Willie" which was among those flown by Anspach.  Four men ... and four of the machines they flew.

Over the years, many have sought to trace the operational or combat histories of these jets in Luftwaffe service.  In reality, this has proven easier said than done, and progress has been painfully slow.  While a breakthrough may well be just around the corner, only two surviving aircraft have presently-defendable pedigrees.

The National Air & Space Museum's Me 262A-1a/R1 has a decidedly impressive record in German service, having scored multiple victories over USAAF aircraft with Jagdgeschwader 7.  The victory markings found on this aircraft after it was captured account for one P-51, one P-47 and five B-17s. 

The Willow Grove Naval Air Station's ultra rare Me 262 B-1a is an extremely rare variant -- one of only 15 trainers produced during the war.  Although nearly 100 two-seat Me 262s were built (with most pressed into service as night fighters), only a handful were actually equipped with dual controls for training use.

The remaining planes generally have not yet been linked to any specific operational history.  It has generally been held that they were an untraceable amalgamation of various parts and components from several different aircraft.  At first glance, documentary photographs tended to support this position, and the work of the 54th Air Disarmament Squadron has generally been viewed as a grand scale cannibalization effort.  The modular construction of the Me 262 made it a simple matter to exchange nose sections and engines among other things, and the reasoned assumption has always been that this was carried out extensively at Lechfeld prior to the arrival of the Whizzers

Not so?  As alluded to above, new research (based upon the study of various paint schemes and unit markings) suggests that the majority of these jets may have actually been captured intact.  As such, many of these jets may ultimately be shown to have wartime histories in Luftwaffe service.

Wherever possible, the original German work numbers found on each machine have been listed.  These have not, however, been used as the primary means of identification in this section, as additional research and validation is still in progress.

Even prior to the Air Technical Intelligence operation, all of these aircraft began to take on multiple "personalities."  For instance, werknummer 500491 became Yellow 7 (in service with JG 7), then Dennis (54th ADS), Ginny H and # 888 (both via Watson's Whizzers), and finally H.M.S. Reaper inventory control #29 ... all before the plane even reached American shores.  It later was assigned a U.S. Army Air Force Foreign Equipment number of FE-111, thence T2-111.  Who can keep up?

For this reason, we have has identified the surviving aircraft by their type and administrative control number, as assigned by Watson's Whizzers in 1945.

Me 262 A-1a (basic fighter configuration), # 111

Me 262 A-1a/U3 (reconnaissance variant), # 444

Me 262 B-1a (dual control, two place trainer), # 555

Me 262 A-1a/R7 (fighter w/ R4M rockets), # 888

For more information of surviving Me 262s around the world, visit Die Schwalbe 2000, or, to learn more about the recently completed restoration of # 555, you can follow this link to the CFII Me 262 Project pages.

© 1998-2001 Sabre Design Group. All rights reserved. 

A  I  R    F  O  R  C  E    M  U  S  E  U  M 

The USAF Museum aircraft (#111) on display.

The United States Air Force Museum near Dayton, Ohio has a beautifully restored Me 262A-1a that was literally rescued from the scrap heap. 

An Air Technical Intelligence field team reported the existence of a flyable jet at Munich-Riem in early May, and on the 16th of May German test pilot Karl Baur recorded ferrying it to Lechfeld at the request of the Americans.   Recent evidence suggests that this plane may have seen operational service with the Luftwaffe as White 5 of JAGD 54.  Remnants from this squadron (perhaps four jets) were apparently diverted to the field due to technical problems very close to VE Day.

At Lechfeld, the 54th Air Disarmament Squadron emblazoned Beverly Ann across the nose of the aircraft, and it was later was flown by Lieutenant Bob Strobell.  Strobell re-christened it Screamin' Meemie in a decidedly spontaneous manner.  He was never one to concern himself with naming airplanes, so when pressed, he humorously offered up The Blowtorch.  When this failed to impress the crew chief, he recalled a familiar expression of the day and instead opted for the equally colorful Screamin' Meemie.  (Note: The term "Screamin' Meemie" was widely used to refer to anything that caused one nervous jitters.)

Strobell ferried the plane to Melun, where the familiar Whizzers markings were applied and it was assigned the control number 111.  This aircraft was the lead ship during the aerial demonstration flight for General Carl Spaatz (where Strobell performed an impromptu series of rolls over the runway). 

Placed aboard the H.M.S. Reaper as #20, the plane arrived at Newark and was handed over the US Navy for testing.  The Navy assigned a new BurAer control number, 121442, and put some 10 hours of flight testing on the airframe.  Its last flight was in January 1946, and following one or two transfers to various Naval Aviation Supply Depot activities, it was ultimately stricken from Navy records on the 31st of January 1947, and abandoned in the Patuxent River NAS landfill.

The plane was salvaged in 1957 and taken to Wright Field.  After a brief period on static display, the jet went into storage.  


In 1976, the jet was taken to Kelly Air Force Base, Texas where it was restored by members of the 96th Mobile Maintenance Squadron, an Air Force Reserve unit.  Upon completion in 1980, it was transferred to the Air Force Museum and placed on permanent display.

Today, it wears a correct, but non-unit specific paint scheme, as no definitive evidence of an operational history was available.

In late 1998, Mr. David E. Brown of Experten Historical Aviation Research, Inc. offered a substantive body of evidence suggesting wartime service as outlined above.

The matter is currently under investigation, but appears to be based upon a very solid foundation of research and photographic interpretation.

Watch for more details on this aircraft later in 2000!


Screamin' Meemie on the ramp at Melun, France.  Credit:  Webmaster's collection

Screamin' Meemie in U.S. Navy hands.  Credit:  Jay Miller Collection

The USAFM aircraft following restoration.  Credit: USAFM.

© 1998-2001 Sabre Design Group. All rights reserved.

Jim West