W Nr 836017
Stock No. 3609-01-0413-FW190-D9
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No photo at Freeman Field

Source Disposition
War Prizes
pg 211
Surrendered to the RAF at Flensburg as 'USA 14' and transported to the US onboard HMS Reaper.
08/01/1945 at Newark to be sent to Freeman Field
War Prizes
pg 211
05/17/1946 recorded at Freeman Field
War Prizes
pg 211
08/15/1946 recorded at Freeman Field
War Prizes
pg 211
1955 at Georgia Institute of Technology
War Prizes
pg 211
1972 moved to Guenzburg, West German for restoration completed 1976
War Prizes
pg 211
at Champlain's Fighter Museum, Falcon Field, Phoenix AZ

Photo courtesy of Dave McDonald

Focke Wulf  FW-190 D-13/R11 W.Nr. 836017 

Yellow 10 of Stab/JG26. This ultra rare aircraft was an improved model of the FW-190 D series, trading in its two cowl mounted machine guns for a third 20mm cannon firing through the spinner, a more powerful engine and the installation of bad weather flying equipment, consisting of the FuG 125 radio navigation system, PKS 12 directional steering system, K-23 advanced auto pilot and a electrically heated windscreen defogger.

This aircraft’s werk number can be confirmed through post war photographs. 836017 was one of only perhaps two dozen built and one of two that can be documented as being in squadron service before the end of the war. Although exact numbers built will probably never be known, Yellow 10’s werk number would seem to indicate that at least sixteen other airframes were manufactured before it.

Yellow 10 was built early in 1945 by Arbeitsgruppe (Work Group) Roland. This was actually a group of companies responsible for building different components of the FW-190 from dispersed locations. The final assembly point not being known at this time.

There also seems to be some disagreement among sources as to whether this airframe was remanufactured from a FW-190 A-7 fuselage or is a newly built machine.

By April 1945, Yellow 10 was in service with JG 26 and was the personal mount of Major Franz Götz, a Knights Cross holder with 63 confirmed victories. Major Götz was the last Kommodore of JG 26, who succeeded Oberst Josef “Pips” Priller and assumed command of JG 26 on the 28th of January, 1945. This date was also Major Götz’s 32nd Birthday.

Major Götz had flown Yellow 10 operationally right up to the last days of the war. By May, the remnants of JG 26 had found themselves flying armed reconnaissance missions from Schleswig airfield near the Danish border. By the end of hostilities, Major Götz had surrendered Yellow 10 to the RAF at Flensburg Airfield.

While at Flensburg, the British had over painted the German insignia and replaced them with small white stars. They had also assigned the code; USA 14 to the aircraft. The USA numbers were allotted by RAF intelligence teams to aircraft earmarked for American evaluation. The British were also interested in evaluating this advanced aircraft while they still had it in their possession and conducted at least two mock dogfights against the Hawker Tempest, with the help of two POW pilots. The results were that both machines were fairly evenly matched.

From Flensburg, Yellow 10 was ferried to Glize-Rijen airbase in Holland and then to Cherbourg, where it was assigned the code; FE-118 and loaded aboard the HMS Reaper to be transported to the U.S. along with many other examples of Luftwaffe aircraft. Leaving Cherbourg on 19th of July 1945, the Reaper arrived at New York Harbor twelve days later and off loaded its cargo onto barges to be transported to Ford Field in Newark NJ for storage and eventual transport to Freeman Field at Seymour, Indiana.

It is not clear at this point whether Yellow 10 was ferried to Freeman under its own power, or made the journey by truck or rail, but is recorded as being at Freeman by the 17th of May, 1946. It is also not clear if Yellow 10 underwent any test flights or technical evaluation while at Freeman, but considering the advanced features of this machine, it would seem highly likely that the airframe was given a thorough going over by the Air Technical Service Command.

It is known that Yellow 10 ended up being used for static display. By this time, inaccurate German crosses were painted on the aircraft and its code was changed to; T2-118. Dobbins Army Air Base in Marietta, Georgia had used Yellow 10 for an air show display along with a Messerschmitt Bf-109 G-10, T2-124.

At some point during this period, Yellow 10’s wings were mixed up with the wings of a Focke Wulf FW-190 D-9, T2-120. This mix up would puzzle restoration experts for some time and would take even longer to put right, negotiating a trade with the U.S. Air Force Museum, which is currently displaying T2-120.

With the winding down of operations at Freeman Field, officials didn’t want Yellow 10 and the Bf-109 shipped back from Dobbins. The two airframes were considered surplus and awaiting the scrap heap. They were then donated to the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. The two aircraft were never part of any official program at Georgia Tech, but were given to the school’s flying club, who hoped to put them on display along with their collection of aircraft relics.

Sometime during the mid 1950s the flying club traded their two German fighters to a Mr. Bud Weaver for a working aero engine. Mr. Weaver was an FAA inspector in the Atlanta area and ended up storing the two aircraft out in the open on various rental properties that he owned. Yellow 10 and the Bf-109 soon became derelict, being victims of vandals and exposure to the elements.

In the mid 1960s ill health had forced Mr. Weaver to sell his Luftwaffe aircraft. The remains of Yellow 10 were sold to an airline captain named Lloyd Freeman, who had stripped off the surviving remnants of paint and markings and painted the airframe in zinc chromate primer.

After a few months, Mr. Freeman put the airframe up for sale and Yellow 10 was sold to a Mr. David Kyte of Santa Barbara CA, who stored the airframe at Goleta Airport. Being a militaria collector, Mr. Kyte had hoped to restore Yellow 10 to its former glory, but didn’t actually have the means to do so.

In the 1970s Mr. Kyte sold the aircraft to Doug Champlin, owner of the Champlin Fighter Museum in Mesa, AZ. Mr. Champlin had contracted restoration expert, Art Williams, of Williams Flugzeug to restore Yellow 10 and had the airframe shipped to Germany where a two and a half year effort was made to bring the aircraft into as near original condition as possible, despite still having the wrong wings attached. Guidance during the restoration was given by none other than the aircraft’s designer; Kurt Tank who was able to supply advice along with original manuals and other data.

Herr Tank had urged Mr. Champlin to race the aircraft at Reno. This was not possible however, due partly to the mismatched wings. Along with the flight controls and ammo chutes not lining up properly, Yellow 10 was also missing a complex mechanical “brain box” which controlled the throttle mixture, propeller pitch, boost and magneto timing automatically and allowed its pilots to concern themselves with a single power lever. Although the aircraft’s Jumo 231 E engine was restored to running condition it would never rev faster than an idle. For more than two decades Yellow 10 has been an impressive showpiece of the Fighter Museum.

In 2001 Mr. Champlin had decided, with the purchase of cannons to install in Yellow 10, to preserve the history of this rare airframe and correct inaccuracies. This meant undoing much of the 1970s restoration efforts. The Fighter Museum’s restoration team headed by David Goss had finally convinced the US Air Force Museum to swap wings with them. The wings fit Yellow 10 perfectly, solving the long standing mystery of flight control mismatches. With the mating of the original wings with the fuselage, efforts are now underway to restore the airframe to original factory condition. While the Fighter Museum’s restoration team fabricate assemblies, such as ammo chutes and access covers from scratch, Mr. Champlin is spending his time tracking down as many original parts as possible in the effort to; “Do this thing right this time around.” Non-period switches and circuit breakers installed during the first restoration will be replaced with originals or faithful reproductions. Mr. Champlin has even paid a French company $7,000 for custom made metric rivets for the wings. Goss and Champlin feel that history must be preserved. This includes reinstalling the dozens of shims that clattered to the floor when the wing was taken apart during restoration, although they have chosen to smooth over the sharp edges of the shims as a safety precaution for anyone working on Yellow 10 in the future. “In 100 years, says Goss, if someone decides to go looking inside this airplane, we want them to understand how things were done in Germany.” The shims were dozens of slivers of rough cut metal jammed in the structure to tighten a shoddy fit, possibly the work of slave labor.

The fighter Museum hopes to be finished with the restoration early in 2004. Rumor has it that yellow 10 might even be painted in its original camouflage, which was a highly modified paint scheme that was probably done at the unit level.

Although Yellow 10 will be completely airworthy when finished, Mr. Champlin says that as long as he owns the aircraft, they plan on doing nothing more than starting it up and taxi it around the field. “It’s just too rare and would be criminal to fly it.”

 Richard Corey


Eagle Files #2, Yellow 10 - by Jerry Crandall

War Prizes - by Phil Butler

German Aircraft Interiors 1935-1945 Vol. 1 - by Kenneth Merrick

JG 26, Photographic History of the Luftwaffe’s Top Guns - by Donald Caldwell

JG 26, Top Guns of the Luftwaffe – by Donald Caldwell

Monogram Close-Up #10, FW-190D – by J. Richard Smith & Eddie J. Creek

Squadron/Signal Walk Around #10, FW-190D – by E. Brown Ryle & Malcolm Laing

Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine Sept. 2003   

Restoration update June 20, 2004

The restoration of the world's only surviving FW 190 D-13 has recently been completed by Gosshawk Unlimited and is beautiful to behold. Great pains were taken to restore the airframe to as original condition as possible, right down to the original camouflage and markings that the aircraft carried in 1945. It is indeed heartwarming to this amateur historian to see that the correct history of this one of a kind machine has been preserved.

I am also indeed lucky, to have a preview of an article by Dave McDonald of Classic Wings Magazine from New Zealand. An avid war bird fanatic, Dave will publish the full story in a future issue of his magazine.

I'll let him take over the story from here and I can't thank him enough for his kindness and generosity. 

Richard Corey

                                             FULL RESTORATION

        Last year the bulk of Champlin Fighter Museum was sold to the Museum of
Flight and the aircraft of the Champlin Museum were disassembled and trucked to their new home in Seattle WA. Only one of Doug Champlins ‘ piston engined aircraft was not included , the Focke Wullf Fw190D-13 ,  and , in January 2001 , Gosshawk Unlimited located at Falcon Field , Mesa , Arizona began working on an upgrade to the original restoration that was undertaken in Germany some thirty years previous ( see Classic Wings Issue 32 ) As work progressed , it became clear that standards of restoration and authenticity had improved greatly and Doug Champlin authorized Dave Goss , president of Gosshawk , to begin a complete ground up restoration , that would bring the Focke Wulf up to ‘like new ‘ condition.

    It was known that a wing swap was inadvertently undertaken by the USAAF with those of Focke Wulf Fw190 D-9 , W.Nr.601088 currently on display at the Air Force Museum , Dayton , Ohio. This occurred when the D-13 was requested for display at an airbase in Georgia in the immediate post war. Doug Champlin managed to convince the Air Force Museum to swap the wings back again and on 25 June 2001 that exchange took place after the originals had arrived on an Air National Guard C-130 cargo aircraft. The exchange was completed in less than two hours , the wings fitting perfectly, the end result reuniting the correct wings with their respective fuselages after a mismatch that had lasted over fifty years thus solving the long standing mystery of flight control mismatches along the way !

   Gosshawk then began a total restoration that would continue for over three years and require some 26,500 man hours. The upper and lower surfaces of the wings , with their half rib construction , were stripped of paint , cleaned of any corrosion within the structure , treated against further corrosion and reassembled using the correct metric rivets throughout. The fuselage similarly was stripped and inspected after separation of the tail and the 500mm extension section of the fuselage itself. During restoration , attention to detail included fabrication of authentic access panels and the wing root gun bay covers along with the correct type latches to secure them , - researching the cockpit consoles and correct instrumentation in order to restore the cockpit to its original configuration - and restoring all the aircraft's systems to
operational capability. The aircraft was rewired completely by Jeff Nelsons’ ‘Custom Connections of Arizona’ a firm specializing in WW2 aircraft rewiring restoration. Deactivated MG151 guns and mounts were fitted into both the wing root and propeller boss bays , with correct ammunition magazines and discharge chutes for the empty casings also being fabricated and installed. A new canopy was blown and fitted to an authentically fabricated frame and new fuel cells were made and installed.

Camouflage and markings were researched in depth by both the Gosshawk team and renowned Luftwaffe colors expert , Jerry Crandall .   Various photos from the day it was captured were studied to find out as much detail as possible on the positioning of the stencils and the highly modified paint scheme carried by this aircraft , which was probably done at the unit level. The stencils were
hand cut over three days to the correct font , by Steve Baber , and they were
positioned with the guidance of Jerry Crandall approximately a week after the general airframe painting was completed. In keeping with the authenticity the word " Kommodore " was hand painted to the front lip of the engine cowling as could be made out in the post capture photos , this was no doubt applied by a mechanic on the order of  Major Götz .

   Although the aircraft has been restored to near airworthy condition there are no plans to fly it due to its rarity and monetary value. The original  Jumo 213EB  ( wk. nr 104 1650178.) inverted V-12  liquid-cooled engine , rated at 1750 hp for takeoff ( 2050 hp with MW 50 boost ) has however been run before , some twelve to fourteen years ago and has now been fitted with a functional propeller hub which would allow full power to be achieved. It was hoped that the aircraft would be run up and taxi tested , but unfortunately the restoration consumed more time than had been anticipated and with the display deadline of June 6 , 2004 fast approaching , these plans had to be cancelled.

The completed aircraft was rolled out for a ‘media week ‘ starting Monday April 26 and on May 3rd disassembly was begun for shipment of the aircraft to Seattle where it will be the star of the grand opening of the new Personal Courage Wing, of the Museum of Flight. The 190 will be on loan until it is either bought by the Museum outright or sold to a wealthy collector with the finances to own , what is an example of an aircraft that was at the peak of piston engine fighter design.

Photo by Steve Baber via Dave McDonald.

Photo courtesy of David Goss of Gosshawk Unlimited

Photo courtesy of David Goss of Gosshawk Unlimited

Photo courtesy of David Goss of Gosshawk Unlimited

Photo courtesy of David Goss of Gosshawk Unlimited
See FE-0113 for general description


With the end of World War Two, non-critical facilities like Freeman Field, which was being used to store surplus Axis equipment were being closed down and aircraft that weren’t earmarked for museums were to be scrapped. This probably would have been the fate of T2-124 and T2-118 had it not been for the interest of Professor Donnell W. Dutton at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. In 1947, T2-124 and T2-118 were donated to Georgia Tech. The two airframes were not used officially by Georgia Tech. For research or evaluation, but were placed in storage for later display by the school’s nine member flying club.  (From an 4/1/2005 Ebay Auction for items from the estate of Donnell W. Dutton, Professor of Aerospace Engineering)