Me 163B-1a
FE-500
W Nr 191301

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Photo at Freeman Field
by Earl L. Ware, Base Photographer,
Freeman Field, 1945-1946


 

Photo at Freeman Field
by Earl L. Ware, Base Photographer,
Freeman Field, 1945-1946


(plane on left)
Freeman AAF September 1945
Ray White via Lou  Thole 

 
 
 
 
Above 6 photos at Freeman Field 

at Silver Hill in 1988
Alan Curry collection
Source Disposition
War Prizes
pg 217
It is possible that this Me 163B was the example air-freighted from Europe to the USA aboard a Douglas C-54, immediately after handover to Col Watson
Steve Hawley The aircraft was captured in Germany by "Watson's Whizzers" and apparently air-freighted by a Douglas C-54 to Freeman Field in the United States early in 1946
War Prizes
pg 217
After arriving at Freeman Field and being refurbished there, this aircraft was air-freighted to Muroc (now Edwards AFB), California, in a Fairchild C-82 Packet on 12 April 1946.
War Prizes
pg 217
first attempted flight trial was made on 3 May 1946
War Prizes
pg 217
The '163' then went to Norton AFB, California, where it was stored until being transferred to Silver Hill in 1954
Steve Hawley The aircraft was stored at Norton Air Force Base in California before being shipped to Silver Hill in 1954, and more recently to Georgia.
War Prizes
pg 217
After years of storage, this aircraft is now on display with the National Air and Space Museum at the Silver Hill facility
Wingspan 9.32 m (30 ft. 6 1/8 in.)
Length 5.42 in. (17 ft. 9 3/8 in.)
Weight 1,905 kg (4,191 lb.) empty

Freeman Field Komet

Note: this page was previously named 'Wright Field Komet'. This was a preliminary name, since the location of this Komet's disassembly was either Wright Field or Freeman Field. Recent research has cleared up the issue, and experts agree it was Freeman Field.

This Komet was formerly shown on the 'White 54' page. During its dismantling process at Freeman Field it was fitted with the tail of 'White 54', which led to predictable results. But after it was established that the tail of 'White 54' had also been fitted to 'White 42', suspicion rose about the identity of this aircraft. Soon it turned out it indeed was another Komet. The mottle camouflage was different, it had a pitot boom, it seemed to have MK 108 armament, and it had later type cooling slots in the rear fuselage. Unfortunately no information on the identity of this Komet is known; no Werknummer, Stammkennzeichen or code is known. Therefore it will be simply identified as the 'Freeman Field Komet'.

Germany, 1945

Thanks to David E. Brown of Experten Decals, we can now trace back the 'Freeman Field Komet' to Germany! It is seen here being loaded aboard a C-46 Commando, possibly for direct transportation to the USA. Note that the location appears to be the very same hangar apron as seen in the seven Komets on trucks photo. That would make Merseburg a likely location for this photo. Husum is another possibility.

Freeman Field

The following set of photos give a good impression of a late-series Komet, including its camouflage and markings. The disassembly took place at Freeman Field, where a number of German aircraft were collected and studied. A page dedicated to Freeman Army Air Field, part of James West's extensive Indiana Military Organization web site, shows a large number of photos of these aircraft. Don't forget to check the photos at the end of the 'Captured aircraft' page.

http://www.sml.lr.tudelft.nl/~home/rob/me163/freeman.htm


773311 .............. New York Bureau
Newsmen get glimpse of Nazi Jet Plane.  Freeman Field, IND. --Reporters and photographers from all parts of the country examine single seated German rocket type plane displayed by the Air Technical Service Command at Freeman Field, Ind.  Model was officially designated as Messerschmitt 163-B-1.  It was part of show put on by the ATSC of all types of unique captured foreign aircraft.  Full credit line (ACME).  (?) 9-30-45

Tag on reverse of a photo on Ebay, 09/2007.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Russian Version 

Me.163S Trainer Model Airplanes MPM 1\72 Scale Plastic model kits are an ideal way to interest youngsters in the modeler's hobby, and to rekindle skills for anyone returning to the hobby.    The Me 163 Komet was the only operational rocket powered fighter aircraft during WW2. Although revolutionary and capable of performance unrivalled at the time, it proved dangerous to operate and resulted in the destruction of very few Allied aircraft. Five Me 163s were originally brought to the United States in 1945. An Me 163 B-1a, Werknummer (serial number) 191301, arrived at Freeman Field, Indiana, during the summer of '45, and received the foreign equipment number FE-500. On April 12, 1946, it was flown aboard a cargo aircraft to the U.S. Army Air Forces facility at Muroc dry lake in California for flight testing. Testing began on May 3rd 1946 in the presence of Dr. Alexander Lippisch and involved towing the un-fueled Komet behind a B-29 to an altitude of 9,000 to 10,500 m (30,000 to 35,000 ft) before it was released for a glide back to Earth under the control of test pilot Major Gus Lundquist.  (This info found on an Ebay ad for a plastic model, 01/19/2007.  Details cannot be confirmed.)

www.IndianaMilitary.org
Jim West
Page last revised 05/28/2013