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What Happened To German WW2 Fighters?  
User currently offlinespudh From Ireland, joined Jul 2009, 301 posts, RR: 1
Posted (3 years 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 15130 times:

I was reading Clarence Kelly Johnsons book the other day and in it he bemoaned the US's lack of big forging presses saying that the biggest ones in the country were ones they had recovered from the Germans after the end of WWII. This got me thinking about what happened to the 'spoils of war'. In particular I'm thinking about fighters but it goes for tanks too.

The ME262 was the most advanced fighter in service any where in the world in 1945, there were about 1,400 made by the end of the war. Did any of those enter service with any airforce after the war? Same goes for the FW190 which was about as good a piston engined fighter flying at war end. I know the Spanish used merlin engined 109's but Franco may gave gotten those during the war and just re-engined them when they ran out of spares. I assume all the transport planes found their way into civilian hands.

Anyone have any info on what happned to the Luftwaffe fighters after the war or if any 'spoils of war' actually entered service with any countries ?

39 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5695 posts, RR: 44
Reply 1, posted (3 years 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 15130 times:
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I think a few examples of advanced types were taken by the "victors" for research(copying!).*

I can't think of many that saw further service apart from the Spanish ones, they may have got those before the war though.

Many of the thousands of Axis aircraft did not survive the war and of the ones that did most would have been destroyed in the Summer and Autumn of 1945, as were many Allied aircraft.**

I am sure some of the experts here will have more information.

Cheers


* It is said there is more than a little Me-262 in the F-86 Sabre

** I have a freind who recently dived a site off a Pacific Island that contains literallly squadrons of aircraft like F4-U Corsairs and dozens of trucks and other vehicles that were just pushed into the sea in 1945 before the troops returned home.



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2930 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (3 years 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 15125 times:

The French operated 64 FW-190 postwar.

A squadron was set up in the US operating ME-262s for testing postwar, however there was a fairly high accident rate and the program didn't last long. See "Operation Lusty".

Czechs operated 12 ME-262 (Avia S-92) till 1951.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlinespudh From Ireland, joined Jul 2009, 301 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (3 years 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 15049 times:

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 2):
The French operated 64 FW-190 postwar.

A squadron was set up in the US operating ME-262s for testing postwar, however there was a fairly high accident rate and the program didn't last long. See "Operation Lusty".

Czechs operated 12 ME-262 (Avia S-92) till 1951.

Wow, thanks for the info Spacepope.

I just wiki'd Avia and came across reference to the Israeli air force using the Avia version of the Bf109. :doh: I remember reading that before.

Never heard about the french using the FW-190 though. I knew it was too good an aircraft to just dump. I'd imagine that was a squadron originally stationed in Vichy France.


User currently offlineLarshjort From Denmark, joined Dec 2007, 1471 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 15047 times:

Of all the warplanes in Denmark on the 5th of May 1945, only a few survived and most of those were destryed in the autumn in a "wargame" wer RAF demonstrated their aircraft.

/Lars



139, 306, 319, 320, 321, 332, 34A, AN2, AT4, AT5, AT7, 733, 735, 73G, 738, 739, 146, AR1, BH2, CN1, CR2, DH1, DH3, DH4,
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2930 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (3 years 2 weeks ago) and read 15019 times:

Quoting spudh (Reply 3):
Never heard about the french using the FW-190 though. I knew it was too good an aircraft to just dump. I'd imagine that was a squadron originally stationed in Vichy France.

AFAIK these were new production machines from SNCA, called NC900

Turkey flew the FW-190 till 1949



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2930 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (3 years 2 weeks ago) and read 15004 times:

A little more research shows that in addition to Spain, the BF-109 served well into the 1950s in Finland, Romania and Switzerland.


The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineprebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6448 posts, RR: 54
Reply 7, posted (3 years 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 14976 times:

At the end of the war, when practically all air bases on German soil had been taken by the allied troops, a very large part of the Luftwaffe planes had fled to nazi occupied Denmark. Here they were more or less stranded due to lack of fuel. Denmark was filled with countless hundreds of Luftwaffe planes. All types were here, trainers, fighters, night fighters, attack planes, bombers, transports. Only the Me163 rocket plane was missing.

Only a few were taken home by the British and Americans for investigation and testing.

First the Germans were told to unscrew the propellers to eliminate any chance that they got in the air. There are photos of endless lines of planes without propellers.

During the next couple of weeks the British troops drove over them all with tanks. The remains was sold locally as scrap.

During the next few years most low value Danish coins were made of aluminum, so if you want a part of a Luftwaffe WWII plane, become a Danish coin collector...  

I have been told that at AAL in northern Denmark there were long rows of parked railroad cars containing brand new Fw190 planes. They only needed to have the wings screwed on and - more important - have some fuel in the tanks.

Some people have told that it was a big shame that those planes were destroyed since Denmark could have used them to build up an air force fast instead of waiting a few years for 300 Meteors and F-84s.

Others have told that those Fw190s were deathtraps since they were extremely bad quality built hastily by unskilled mostly Russian and Ukrainian POW slaves.

Not one single Luftwaffe plane survived summer 1945 on Danish soil. The same thing happened in Norway, but there were fewer planes up there.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlinen901wa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 461 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 14970 times:

I think the Swiss Airforce used Bf.109E untill 1949.

[Edited 2011-09-03 19:33:45]

User currently offlineprebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6448 posts, RR: 54
Reply 9, posted (3 years 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 14942 times:

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 6):
A little more research shows that in addition to Spain, the BF-109 served well into the 1950s in Finland, Romania and Switzerland.

Czechoslovakia produced between 1947 and 1949 550 modified Me-109G-6 with the name Avia S-199. The last one was retired from their air force in 1957. (Avia was the aviation branch of the widespread Skoda works which had been put to work building 109s for Luftwaffe during the war).

It was very disliked in service, and consequently pilots nicknamed it "Mezek" (mule).

25 examples were exported to Israel in 1948, where they turned the tide in the War of Liberation, flown by Israeli pilots as well as loads of experienced, volunteer fighter pilots from many countries. In Israeli Air Force it was officially named "Sakeen" ("Knife" in Hebrew). They had a rather easy game downing Egyptian DC-3 bombers. They were hastily replaced by WWII surplus Spitfires and Mustangs.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineGPHOTO From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 829 posts, RR: 25
Reply 10, posted (3 years 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 14874 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR

While a number of aircraft were indeed kept by the allies for research purposes, the majority of axis aircraft were scrapped, for the same reason that most allied aircraft were scrapped. The aircraft materials were useful for rebuilding the world - swords to plowshares as it were, but also they were a ready source of aircraft grade material for the new designs coming along for the upcoming Cold War. Some did manage to survive to form the basis of a number of fledgling air arms, but these tended to be the more successful allied designs like the Spitfire and Mustang. It is many of these aircraft that have survived to become todays warbirds and display aircraft. Plenty of good examples given in the above posts.

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 7):
ers have told that those Fw190s were deathtraps since they were extremely bad quality built hastily by unskilled mostly Russian and Ukrainian POW slaves.

Indeed. Aircraft built under these conditions were likely to have a lower quality of build. As well as being made by a lowly motivated workforce with reduced training, there was also the risk of sabotage, which could be very subtly done. Some sabotage was designed not to be detected until long after the aircraft had left the factory - usually not revealed until flight or combat. This gave the workers some protection from reprisals and could put the pilot in a potentially life threatening situation. A two-for-one bonus you might say.

Fascinating to hear about the aluminium coins in Denmark!

Best regards,

Jim



Erm, is this thing on?
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 11, posted (3 years 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 14763 times:

Quoting spudh (Reply 3):

Never heard about the french using the FW-190 though. I knew it was too good an aircraft to just dump. I'd imagine that was a squadron originally stationed in Vichy France.

The French Wikipedia article on the Fw 190 explains that dozens were found in a repair shop in Cravant, Yonne, and that refurbishing them was cheaper than buying Spitfires at that particular moment.

Despite this, in general, there was of course a mass of thousands and thousands of perfectly good Allied warplanes available in 1945, so Fw 190s and other good aircraft were simply dumped. Why bother with scratched, worn, undocumented German planes if you can get any number of almost new P-51s for next to nothing?

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 6):

The aircraft you mention were all simply bought from Germany before 1945, or built in these countries, so they are not really on topic I think.

Peter 

[Edited 2011-09-04 05:59:36]


The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (3 years 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 14656 times:

The only Arado 234 in existance is now in the Natonal AIr and Space Museum.

http://www.nasm.si.edu/collections/artifact.cfm?id=A19600312000


User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 13, posted (3 years 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 14563 times:

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 12):

Since this is still an aviation photo site:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © David Lednicer
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mark Carlisle




The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineEagleboy From Niue, joined Dec 2009, 1833 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (3 years 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 14425 times:
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I'll add my photo of the Arado to this thread:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tearbri...65812646/in/set-72157622327491171/

Note the parachute equipped on the reusable rocket engines used solely for take-off.

In additional here is the Dornier Do335 Pfeil, the fastest piston engine aircraft of WWII.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tearbri...65861958/in/set-72157622327491171/

The aircraft in Udvar-Hazy display the official WWII Luftwaffe markings which are not permitted in Germany, as any Nazi symbols are illegal.


This museum also hold the sole remaining example of the Japanese Aichi M6A1 'Seiran':
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tearbri...965834346/in/set-72157622327491171

As we reached this point in the tour a US tourist spoke out with the statement "Why are all these foreign aircraft here in the US?", cue my dramatic "To the victor goes the spoils" which unfortunately was wasted on the first speaker........


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15739 posts, RR: 27
Reply 15, posted (3 years 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 14417 times:

Quoting spudh (Thread starter):
Anyone have any info on what happned to the Luftwaffe fighters after the war or if any 'spoils of war' actually entered service with any countries ?

Quite a few ended up with the Israelis.

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 6):
the BF-109 served well into the 1950s in Finland, Romania and Switzerland.

I'm pretty sure the Swiss ones were purchased before or during the war and not actually spoils of war.

Also, the Bf-108 was produced in France after the war which made life considerably easier for producers of war movies.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14026 posts, RR: 62
Reply 16, posted (3 years 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 14402 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):
I'm pretty sure the Swiss ones were purchased before or during the war and not actually spoils of war.

Actually the Swiss airforce forced quite a few German and Allied aircraft, which strayed into Swiss airspace, to land on Swiss soil. There they were (together with the crews) interned until the end of the war. After the war AFAIK, the Allied aircraft were returned to the owners, but the Swiss kept the German ones they could use.

Jan


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15739 posts, RR: 27
Reply 17, posted (3 years 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 14392 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 16):
Actually the Swiss airforce forced quite a few German and Allied aircraft, which strayed into Swiss airspace, to land on Swiss soil. There they were (together with the crews) interned until the end of the war. After the war AFAIK, the Allied aircraft were returned to the owners, but the Swiss kept the German ones they could use.

They did do that, but Switzerland also ordered and took delivery of Bf-109s in 1939 and 1940, and I believe that some later variants were produced under license there as well.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 18, posted (3 years 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 14233 times:

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 14):
The aircraft in Udvar-Hazy display the official WWII Luftwaffe markings which are not permitted in Germany, as any Nazi symbols are illegal.

Museums can get permission.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Peter de Jong




The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (3 years 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 14164 times:

Another one of a kind German fighter at the NASM is the TA-152 currently undergoing restoration. A fast aircraft that even looked fast with it's longer fuselage and wing.

http://www.nasm.si.edu/collections/artifact.cfm?id=A19600317000


User currently offlineEagleboy From Niue, joined Dec 2009, 1833 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (3 years 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 14164 times:
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Quoting ptrjong (Reply 18):
Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 14):
The aircraft in Udvar-Hazy display the official WWII Luftwaffe markings which are not permitted in Germany, as any Nazi symbols are illegal.

Museums can get permission.

I was lied to by a museum guide!!!!! I feel violated!!!

I knew about the nazi symbol law in Germany, I had always assumed museums there would be allowed an exemption as it was for educational reasons.


User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 21, posted (3 years 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 14116 times:

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 20):

Well, you were basically right. There was even a sign with the Focke-Wulf in Laatzen saying that they were exempted, that this was for historical reasons, and that they were not Nazis. Other German aircraft museums, including offical ones, don't do swastikas.



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineprebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6448 posts, RR: 54
Reply 22, posted (3 years 1 week 5 days ago) and read 13991 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):
Quoting spudh (Thread starter):
Anyone have any info on what happned to the Luftwaffe fighters after the war or if any 'spoils of war' actually entered service with any countries ?

Quite a few ended up with the Israelis.

Negative. No former luftwaffe planes were flown by Israel.

The closest thing to that was 25 Avia (Skoda) S-199 delivered brand new to Israel in 1948.

S-199 was basically a Czechoslovakian built Bf 109G-6 modified with Jumo 211 engines instead of the normal DB 605.

Have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Avia-S199-hatzerim-2.jpg

They did not last long. The first plane arrived in Israel on May 20 in 1948, and the last known flight ended with a crash landing by an American volunteer pilot on December 15 same year.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlinedlednicer From United States of America, joined May 2005, 544 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (3 years 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 13945 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 22):
Negative. No former luftwaffe planes were flown by Israel.

The closest thing to that was 25 Avia (Skoda) S-199 delivered brand new to Israel in 1948.

Funny enough, at least one of the Avia fuselages is known to have had a Bf 109G serial number plate.

While we are at it, some pictures. Two I took 18 years a part:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © David Lednicer
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © David Lednicer



User currently offlineRIXrat From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 789 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (3 years 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 13920 times:

When I was a kid growing up in eastern Pennsylvania, the Willow Grove NAS had a display of an Me-262, a Bf-109, a Japanese Zero, and some kind of Japanese manned rocket plane. These were behind the fence, but the Navy had made accommodations for a small parking lot for the interested. I've always wondered what happened to them.

25 cmb56 : Nothing unusual in that most Germain aircraft were simply destroyed. For example most if not all of the US B-26 Maruaders in Europe were simple destro
26 Post contains links and images dlednicer : The Me 262B-1a from Willow Grove was restored by the Legend Fliers and used as a pattern for the replicas they have built. It is now on display at th
27 notaxonrotax : How much would they´ve been worth now????? I don´t argue with your logic, (money talk$) but what a shame--> loads of people would have liked to
28 Post contains images spudh : This thread is developing really nicely, great info Thanks to everyone for contributing
29 ptrjong : What exactly are you disagreeing with? According to my WW II atlas, the USA alone built some 90,000 planes in 1943, some 90,000 in 1944, 20,000 in 19
30 Bennett123 : Notaxonrotax In a similar vein, I was watching a video about the Hunter recently. One sequence consisted of a trip to the range, where they were blowi
31 Post contains images prebennorholm : I don't think that the 109 was ever produced in Switzerland, but they did get some more copies in addition to those early birds. In April 1944 an Me-
32 cmb56 : I forget the percentage that I saw published but something like 5% of all ME-109s built were destroyed in ground accidents. The narrow landing gear an
33 prebennorholm : The 109 had a decade long career in the Swiss air force. The Swiss knew its limitations very well. 90 D-1 and E-3 planes were bought in 1938 to 1940.
34 Venus6971 : What do you want from acft that were built by slave labor, what incentive did the workers have to produce quality work besides give me numbers or you
35 Post contains links canoecarrier : First I'd heard of that as well. Very interesting. There are many stories of German aircraft crashing because of some form of sabotage. Here's some v
36 Post contains links canoecarrier : I apologize for the length of this post in advance, but here's one very good example of what happened to captured German aircraft based at RAF Brize N
37 Baroque : In a book I have at home is a pic of a UK escort carrier loaded in 1945 with German planes for transport to the US - as in about 30 or 40 planes cramm
38 Post contains links and images canoecarrier : Probably the HMS Reaper, a Bogue class escort carrier leased to the RN. Some photos of captured German aircraft on the Reaper and ship history here:
39 Baroque : Thanks, that looks like the same cargo, but ?a different angle. I did not know the whys and wherefores of that voyage, so thanks for the information.
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