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Old 3rd January 2005, 17:17
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He 162: Two P-47 Air Victories??

Hello,

I found an old message on the Luftwaffe Experten Forum regarding air victories with the He 162. Someone found the following account in the book "Janes, Battles With The Luftwaffe".

In that discussion thread it was never really answered if this story is true or not. Does anybody have more information? Is this all pure fantasy or true?

Thanks,
Roger Gaemperle


"I was commander of II./JG11 during the fierce battles and consequent heavy losses in the Reich Defense, April-December 1943, when I shot down 12 Viermots. I was pulled out by Goring and given the task of setting up the new department 'General Recruiting Luftwaffe' in the Reich Air Ministry. At the same time I was appointed in agreement with Reich Youth Leader(A Axmann) honorary Reich Inspector of Hitler Youth Airmen. So I was saddled with the running of two departments at the same time. The Hitler Youth Airmen had 250,000 members who received pre-military training in Hitler Youth camps, followed by flight instruction(in a selective process for suitability) by the NSFK(the party flying corps, Generaloberst Keller) in their gliding camps. About march 1944 I was ordered to report to Goring on the Obersalzberg, together with Prof W. Messerschmitt, in order to express my opinion on the Volksjager(peoples fighter) project and the possibilities of using selected Hitler Youth pilots. About June 1944 there was a meeting at the Reich Air Ministry under the chairmanship of Keller with Milch, Sauer, Knemeyer, myself and others to discuss the Volksjager project. Here things began to take shape with a reference to a development by Heinkel. It so transpired that, when I was once again with Goring at Karinhall to make my report, the idea of a Jagdgeschwader 'Hitler Youth' with the name 'Oesau was to be realised. It was also decided that this Geschwader was to be equipped with Volksjager(which were still in the development stage). In September 1944 I took part in the so called Volksjager conference at Rastenburg. Galland and Messerschmitt were in favour of giving priority to the Me 262. But Sauer, Galland having meanwhile fallen out of favour with Goring, succeed with his idea of mass production of the Volksjager. In the middle of December 1944 I was ordered to Vienna to attend the first display of the He 162, which ended tragically. Back in Berlin a few days later I had a serious clash with Generaloberst Keller about the possible use of the He 162 for "my Hitler Youth airmen". He did not share my doubts about the Volksjager and advised for its mass production at another meeting with Goring a few days later, in the presence of Gollob. I did not suspect at the time how heavily I would be involved with the He 162 later.

In January 1945 I was Ordered to Rechlin in order to fly and test the He 162. I was given initial instructions on it by Bar(Obstlt Heinz Bar),with whom I had been in Tunisia. After the first circuit it had become obvious to me that, unless decisive changes were made to the machine, this aircraft would be out of the question for Hitler youths coming straight from gliders without intermediate training on other and proven fighters. I informed Goring about my impressions in a priority report! I also informed Keller who meanwhile had flown the He 162. At the beginning of March I was ordered to Goslar to form a yet unnamed fighter Geschwader where I, under Gollob, first assembled ground personnel made up of various fighter Geschwaders to a 'new mob'

In the middle of March the first 32 He 162s arrived, from Travemunde, I believe and we began immediately with the training of the pilots(not Hitler Youth) who had meanwhile arrived from various fighter training schools. It turned out that the conversion training brought no problems, only the lack of fuel causes us difficulties! Enemy formations daily passed overhead without us being able, nor permitted to interfere. On 15 April 1945 I was able to take off for a sortie with the first section, but as we had been sent to the wrong place by fighter control, we failed to make contact with the enemy. We did not operate again until the 21st of the month because of bad weather, when I was able to score the first Abschuss, a P-47, with the He 162. On landing the weak undercarriage collapsed under me and I ended up on my belly. On 22 April Lt Bartz also shot down a P-47 and that was the end of this nameless Geschwader which was to have been named 'Hitler Youth'. As the Americans were meanwhile getting uncomfortably close to the Harz, the remaining He 162s were flown from Goslar to Travemunde and the entire Geschwader was sent to the Harz for ground fighting as infantry. I received orders, again from Loerzer, to take over the Bucker project at Friedersdorf, where I, together with Hptm. Purps, on 1 may 1945 did a night sortie against the approaching tank units of the Red Army between Kustin and Landsberg, but without success as the defensive fire of the Russians was so heavy that, riddled with hits from infantry arms, we had to give up further attempts. I spent the remaining days with Loerzer in the personnel department of the Reich Air Ministry"

Oberst Adolf Dickfield, Ritterkreuz with Oak Leaves who finished the war with 132 Abschusse on the Eastern and Western fronts, recounting his involvement in the development of the He 162 Volksjager 1944/early 1945, and his experiences flying the jet in April 1945.
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Old 3rd January 2005, 18:27
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Here is a direct link to the LEMB thread - http://tinyurl.com/4yolv - just in case you are interested to read the posts...

...and I think that if you read the complete thread, this paragraph posted by FalkeEins sums the discussion up:

"Firstly you have to state the obvious & say that there were no 'confirmed' victories on the He 162 since the claims confirmation process had ceased to function months previously..."

With the amount of time since the claims, I doubt there will ever be a definitive answer to the question...
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Old 3rd January 2005, 22:52
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Confirmed Kills

Dear Peter,

Thanks for sending the link. I should have done this myself, sorry. FalkeEins is correct when stating that there were no longer "confirmed" kills. With my question I like to find out if the aircombat happened at all, which might be proovable still today.

As an example: I think I saw in an old FLUGZEUG magazine issue copies of a JG1 pilot's flight log book (I can't recall who it was) who claimed to have shot down a Tempest or Typhoon (can't remember which type it was). There is an entry that said someting like "enemy a/c effectively shot at". At least this is a proof that this pilot tried to shot down an enemy aircraft. If he was successful or not is yet another question (still not speaking of if he received a confirmation or not).

I am wondering if there is at least some sort of proof that Adolf Dickfield or Lt Bartz was enganged in an aircombat with P-47 with their He 162. Whether they shot down two P-47 or even got two "confirmed" kills is the next question, to which there probably cannot be found, as you correctly said, a definitive answer.

Kind regards,
Roger Gaemperle
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Old 3rd January 2005, 23:55
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re: more He162 claims

Hi Roger...

Sorry to sound like such a cynic To muddy the waters a touch more, there are also other He162 pilot "claims" in "World War Two Fighting Jets" by Ethell & Price (Airlife 1994). They mention the following:

"19th April 1945 - unknown He162 pilot credited with the types first aerial victory. The 2nd Tactical Air Force lost a number of aircraft over enemy territory on that day and from British records it is not possible to confirm or refute the claim that one of them was shot down by a He162."

"April 26th 1945 - Unteroffizier Rechenbach was credited with the destruction of an unspecified enemy aircraft and his victory was confirmed by at least two independent witnesses. Again, this was a day when the 2nd Tactical Air Force lost several aircraft over enemy territory and the claim cannot be confirmed or refuted by from British records"

"4th May 1945 - Rudolf Schmitt claimed the destruction of a Typhoon near Rostock, and this time there is clear verification of the victory from British records. The 'Typhoon' was in fact a Tempest of No.486 Squadron piloted by Flying Officer M Austin, who parachuted to safety and was taken prisoner."


Sources of these claims are not included within the book... but perhaps a letter to Dr.Alfred Price will provide some documentary evidence to back up the claims - unless somebody here is able to point us to period documents?
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Old 4th January 2005, 12:34
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Schmitt, Rechenbach

Hi Peter,

Schmitt and Rechenbach were the two I was reading about in the old FLUGZEUG magazine and which are often mentioned in publications about the He 162. Copies of the flight log book of one of them was shown that showed some proof that they at least were engaged in an aircombat.

As far as I can remember the FLUGZEUG article came to the conclusion that both of these kills seemed unlikely.

It was the first time I read, however, that Adolf Dickfield and Lt Bartz were engaged in another combat with US aircraft. Perhaps the only proof for this story is Adolf Dickfield himself. Knowing of stories from other pilots which were not quite as it happened, it could then of course be that the aircombat between the HE 162 and P-47 never happened.


Regards,
Roger
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Old 4th January 2005, 18:21
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It is possible that at least one of the pilots mentioned above and on the LEMB thread did indeed engage Allied aircraft during the final stages of the war. But as you quite rightly say, a pilot’s memory should not to be trusted as a conclusive source.

I am however intrigued by the flight log entry you mention and assume this is a Flugbuch entry. Of course, all this does is confirm what most of the published sources record that He162's did engage Allied aircraft. Whether any He162's successfully shot down any Allied types is another question altogether!

Time for a Classic book on the subject me thinks
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Old 5th January 2005, 09:46
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Hello
IIRC the Rudolf Schmitt's claim (Typhoon/in reality Tempest) was also claimed by a nearby 20mm (or maybe 37mm) Flak battery.

Juha
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Old 6th January 2005, 01:59
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He 162: Two P-47 Air Victories??

I vaguely remember an article which stated that none of the Typhoons or Tempests downed on the dates of the He 162 claims could have been shot donw by He 162s.

But, I guess that at certain angles, a P-47 could look like a Typhoon/Tempest, so who knows.
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