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Old 19th September 2010, 02:01
Martin388 Martin388 is offline
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Me 262 in Italy - photo evidence

Recently published FliegerRevue Extra #30 has a remarkable article on Brazilian P-47 pilots in combat with Groupo de Aviacao de Caca (1.GAVCA) in Italy. Page 112 shows a color photo of a Me 262 fuselage (narrow yellow Rumpfband (Kdo Nowotny-style); tactical number: White 26 on the front nose; probably EJG 1?) with 3 alliied (brazilian?) pilots next to it with (italien) airbase buildings behind them.

Although the place is not mentioned, the buildings (hangars) are obviously not German nor Austrian. So this might be an evidence that at least one Me 262 (fighter) must have landed in Italy probably after a combat or training flight. Probably the a/c was damaged, and due to lack of repair (no parts, nor Me 262 familiar staff) it could not start aigain and return to its units base and was therefore dismantled. According to the map on page 104, the final airbase of 1.GAVCA was near Pisa.

Are there any experts who know more about that?
Can someone identify the buildings?

Martin
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Old 19th September 2010, 02:07
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Re: Me 262 in Italy - photo evidence

I haven't seen the photo but I've looked at a lot of Mediterranean Air Force files and I certainly never found a single document mentioning the Allies finding an Me 262 in Italy, or one landing on an Allied airfield.
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Old 19th September 2010, 03:54
Adriano Baumgartner Adriano Baumgartner is offline
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Re: Me 262 in Italy - photo evidence

Martin and Nick,

I do have the same picture posted on a Brazilian Magazine, as well as other colour pictures taken by 1º Grupo de Aviação de Caça ( 1st GAvCa ), in Italy. However, this magazine is not at handle in the exact moment...it will take some weeks to get back home and take a look. Please, Martin, could you post it here ( I mean scan it )?
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Old 19th September 2010, 11:49
Martin388 Martin388 is offline
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Re: Me 262 in Italy - photo evidence

Now here is the photo.

Nick, I reviewed postings on Luftwaffe in Italy here and on LEMB, as well as your (and your co-autors) excellent book Airwar Italy 1944-45 (published 1996). As there were (still) no traces of Me 262 found in Italy so far, this issus seems of interest.

Besides as I research Luftwaffe in Austria 1938-45, I assume this could be a Me 262 A of III./JG 7 the former JV 44 which did not make it to Salzburg or Innsbruck in the late days of April 1945.
Or it might be a fighter/trainer from southern Germany/Austria that beeing disoriented (emergency) landed in Italy and could not return to its units base due to lack of spares, J2 fuel, jet experienced staff, as there was only Erich Sommers Ar 234B recce Kdo (at Lonate) which operated German jets with BMW 004s in Italy.
So the plane could be disassembled and later "forgotten". Without (wings and) jet engines which could be returned to Germans (as they were considered secret and treated carefully, acc. to reports from Lonate) the remains (fuselage, wings) did not attract the attention of Italians or Alliied staff. But, this is speculative ...

So dear experts and enthusiasts, who knows more, has evidences, or parts of the real story?

Martin
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File Type: jpg Me262inItaly-FliegerRevueExtra30-kl.jpg (160.9 KB, 521 views)

Last edited by Martin388; 19th September 2010 at 12:12. Reason: adding considerations
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Old 19th September 2010, 12:46
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Re: Me 262 in Italy - photo evidence

Recce units have similar style of the numbers shape, if this mean anything...
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Old 19th September 2010, 15:32
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Re: Me 262 in Italy - photo evidence

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin388 View Post
… the plane could be disassembled and later "forgotten". Without (wings and) jet engines which could be returned to Germans (as they were considered secret and treated carefully, acc. to reports from Lonate) the remains (fuselage, wings) did not attract the attention of Italians or Alliied staff.
Martin
Allied Technical Intelligence Reports include disassembled airframes, detached wings, engines and other components. I don't think they would have overlooked an Me 262 when they produced detailed reports on Gniesmer's Ar 234.

I also doubt that an aircraft unable to make it to Salzburg or Innsbruck could somehow cross the Alps to Italy, a longer and harder flight.

J2 was in good supply in Italy. To quote from our book:
[April] began with 226 cbm of B4, 125 of C3 and 341 of J2 on hand … At the prevailing consumption rate, J2 would have held out for about eight months.
Dan O'Connell's book mentions this aircraft. As he says, it is by a rail track but he gives no location. The one building you can see between the rail wagons doesn't look obviously dissimilar to others I've seen travelling with Deutsche Bahn.

I think we should consider the possibility that the Brazilian pilots went sightseeing in Germany, Austria or Western Czechoslovakia.
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Old 19th September 2010, 21:41
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Re: Me 262 in Italy - photo evidence

After the war´s end a group of Brazilian Air Force personel did a tour in Germany. There was an idea to bring some captured German planes to Brazil. Unfortunately this idea was not shared by Nero Moura, their commander... He also did not allowed the Brazilian P-47 had nose art... There is a large group of color photos that shows this Me 262 ( a second shows the tail with the W.Nr.) , a Ju 52, German prisioners and destroyed German tanks. I sent copies from these photos that where published on Luftwaffe Verband and discussed for some issues.
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Last edited by Sergio Luis dos Santos; 19th September 2010 at 22:18.
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Old 19th September 2010, 22:16
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Re: Me 262 in Italy - photo evidence

Here are the photos from the Me 262 and Ju 52. They belonged to John Buyers collection. Major John Buyers was USAF´s liasion officer for the 1º Grupo de Aviação de Caça ( He´s posing with the Ju 52 tail ). My mistake, the Me 262 W.Nr. is impossible to see in the photo.

The only plane found by the 1ºGAvCa in Italy was a Me 109 G red 12 in Pisa. A photo from Museu Aeroespacial archive was published in the book FAB The Brazilian Air Force in World War II Mediterranean Theatre of Operations 1º GAvCa & 1ª ELO from Luciano Barbosa Monteiro by Adler Editora. ( The color photos bellow are also shown in the book in B&W ). Hope this helps!





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Old 19th September 2010, 23:48
Dan O'Connell Dan O'Connell is offline
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Re: Me 262 in Italy - photo evidence

Most likely it was previously with III./EJG 2, a training unit, as evidenced by the yellow fuselage stripe and white forward number.
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Old 19th September 2010, 23:53
Don Pearson Don Pearson is offline
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Re: Me 262 in Italy - photo evidence

The wings appear to be on the right side of the photo, forward of the fuselage.

Don
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