View Full Version : Shooting down Me-262s. (real life)

07-25-2007, 03:41 AM
IIRC, all accounts of Me-262s being shot down had the winning pilot getting the jet on landing.

Are there any accounts of a Allied pilot taking down a jet who was not caught taking off/landing?

07-25-2007, 04:13 AM
from wiki

Other Allied fighters that encountered the Me 262 included the British Supermarine Spitfire, Hawker Tempest and the Soviet Lavochkin La-7. The first recorded Allied destruction of a Me 262 was on 28 August 1944, claimed as destroyed by 78th FG pilots Major Joseph Myers and 2nd Lt. Manford O. Croy flying P-47s. Oberfeldwebel Hieronymus "Ronny" Lauer of I KG(J) 51, on a landing pattern crash landed his 262 to get away from the Allied fighters, which then destroyed the Me 262 in strafing attacks.[6] The first Me 262 shot down in combat was on 5 October 1944 by Spitfire IXs of 401 RCAF. The 262 pilot was H.C. Butmann in WNr 170093 of 3./KG51. The Lavochkin was the only Soviet fighter to shoot down a German jet, with La-7 ace Ivan Nikitovich Kozhedub fighting and downing one Me 262 jet on February 15, 1945 over eastern Germany. Kozhedub apparently later said that his success was mainly due to the Me 262 pilot attempting to out-turn his more mane

07-25-2007, 04:58 AM
125 Wing ORB
"14/2/45 .....Me262's and Ar234's were active during the day in the battle area, and in the afternoon 610 Sqdn had a lucky break. A section of two led by F/Lt Gaze, after several attempts to engage the elusive raiders, succeeded in getting an Me262 which fell to F/Lt Gaze. The Huns were diving through cloud and then getting back again, so leaving his No. 2 below cloud, Tony went up on top with the idea of giving warning when the next lot were coming down. He arrived on the scene to find three Me262's stooging along like country gentlemen, and he obligingly put one to bed. Congratulations to Tony and 610 Sqdn on the first jet to fall to this Wing."

Spit XIVs.

07-25-2007, 05:00 AM
There are a few on this site. P51 combat encounters. Look for the 1945 reports.


All scans of the original documents.



07-25-2007, 06:41 AM
Originally posted by ake109:
IIRC, all accounts of Me-262s being shot down had the winning pilot getting the jet on landing.

Are there any accounts of a Allied pilot taking down a jet who was not caught taking off/landing? Sure, the first CW claim of a 262 was by Spitfire Mk IXs http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif , yes IXs, of RCAF 401 squadron.

07-25-2007, 07:01 AM
From "Typhoon and Tempest: The Canadian Story" :

"Valentine's day 1945 proved to be a red letter day for 439 [RCAF]. F/L Lyle C. Shaver had led four aircraft off at 0730 for an armed recce in the Coesfield-Enschede area. They had shot up a train and were heading for base at 7000 feet when two Me262's were seen flying westerly in line abreast at 3000 feet. The Typhoons attacked. Shaver, flying MN144, came up slightly behind and below one of the enemy aircraft, fired a quick burst but saw no strikes. He raised his sights, closed to 50 yards and let off another burst. The jet blew up in a fiery explosion. Shaver flew right through the blast, snapped off a few rounds at the other 262, then watched as another Tiffie moved in on it.

F/O A. Hugh Fraser had observed Shaver's victory. He now pursued the remaining jet, firing a three second burst (550 rounds) as it tried to escape in cloud. Its port engine fell off. Fraser followed through the overcast, pulling up at 1500 feet while his victim plunged into the ground. It was the montrealer's third confirmed kill, yet he would recieve no official recognition, not even a Mention in Despatches. Of this 262 kill, Fraser reported, 'Enemy a/c appeared to be very clean in appearance or brand new. The underside was a pale blue the top was the normal light camouflage. Approximate cruising speed 400 mph.' "

Shaver didnt survive the war, he was killed by flak while dive bombing a railroad near Buldern, Germany on March 2nd, 1945. Fraser survived, returning to Pointe-Claire (Montreal) after the war.

In the book "Typhoon and Tempest: The Canadian Story", there is a picture of Shaver after this sortie holding a piece of the 262 he shot down in his hands. The piece had embedded itself in the wing of his Typhoon.

07-25-2007, 09:34 AM
Originally posted by ake109:
IIRC, all accounts of Me-262s being shot down had the winning pilot getting the jet on landing.

Are there any accounts of a Allied pilot taking down a jet who was not caught taking off/landing?

Plenty. Go buy the book "German Jets vs. the USAAF" and you'll read about many air combats.

Here are some others I found:

Letter from Pete Peterson to Joe DeShay 30 Jul 96

"Thanks for transmitting the letter from Robert Clark. Clark's letter and your Newsletter story about my instrument landing with my two remaining wingmen, Roland Wright and Ernest Tiede, prompts me to write about the same story from my memory of the mission.
On January, 20, 1945, I was Red Flight leader and my wingman was Ernest Tiede. Tiede had transferred to our Squadron from the 363rd. Ed Haydon was my element lead and his wingman was Roland Wright. Dale Karger was leading White Flight. I have forgotten what the originally scheduled mission was, but about the time that we were to return home, we engaged 2 ME-262s near Brunswick. It appeared that one 262 pilot was checking the other one out in the jet.
They did not run away; it appeared that they wanted to engage in a fight. We were at about 20,000 feet and the two 262s split....one went down to about 18,000 feet and the other stayed at about 22,000. Both flew in a large lazy circle, one opposite the other with me and my flight in the middle. Since it appeared that the upper jet was waiting for me to jump the lower one, I called Karger to turn back as if he were going home and climb back to jump the high jet while we circled. Karger and his flight did just that and the upper jet never saw them return. He was apparently concentrating on me and my flight. Karger got him with out any trouble and then Karger and his flight headed home."


'The Me. 262s leveled out after the attack, but one of them peeled off to see about a bomber which was losing height. I increased revs, and boost, and approached the Me 262 from above his tail at 500 m.p.h. My Mustang quivered in her all-out effort and the engine was whining away at top pitch. I was not more than 1,000 yards away but couldn't gain any more. Jets must be faster than props., but I boosted once again and got a little closer. During the chase my Mustang shook so violently that the seat mounts literally snapped scaring me to hell. Finally I gave the Jerry a trial squirt. Seemed all right; just a little correction and I gave him a longish burst, then another and that seemed to have some effect. The Me. slowed up, I gave him a third dose and that certainly did the trick. I saw a flash and the Me. broke into two. The engines fell away from the fuselage, which went into a spin. The Jerry jumped out and his chute began to open up but almost immediately the fabric burst into flames. No need to follow the debris of the Messerschmitt or the Jerry to earth, so I climbed back and reported. The bombers were still steadily crawling homewards, and we resumed our positions along their flanks, weaving about along the line like sheep-dogs guarding their flock.'

http://members.ozemail.com.au/~me262/Gorzula.html (http://members.ozemail.com.au/%7Eme262/Gorzula.html)

Kozhedub on La-7 vs. Me-262

AH: What were the circumstances of your success over the Me-262?

Kozhedub: "On February 19, 1945, 1 was on a lone-wolf operation together with Dmitry Titorenko to the north of Frankfurt. I noticed a plane at an altitude of 350 meters (2,170 feet). It was flying along the Oder at a speed that was marginal for my plane. I made a quick about-face and started pursuing it at full throttle, coming down so as to approach it from under the "belly." My wingman opened fire, and the Me-262 (which was a jet, as I had already realized) began turning left, over to my side, losing speed in the process. That was the end of it. I would never have overtaken it if it had flown in a straight line. The main thing was to attack enemy planes during turns, ascents or descents, and not to lose precious seconds."¯

And here is an interesting encounter between a P-61 Black Widow and an Me-262 at night. No kill but interesting all the same:

"Some of the most exciting encounters of WW II in the ETO were between P-51 Mustangs and Me 262 jets. Of course, these occurred during the day. On one dark night during the Battle of the Bulge, a lone P-61 from the 414th NFS came very close to shooting down one of these fast jets. The mission is recalled by a senior radar observer, Lt. Earl R. Dickey, who was attached to the squadron.
"Late one night, we were vectored by ground control intercept-GCI-to close on a bogey that was flying at an exceptionally high cruise speed and executing mild evasive turns. It was obvious that the enemy pilot was not aware of our presence. My target blip, both elevation and azimuth as well as range, was very clear as we turned in behind him. We kept having to increase our speed to avoid dropping behind. Finally, at absolute maximum cruise power, we were able to match his speed, but not better it.
"After observing the casual, curving flight path of the intruder, I asked my pilot to take up a southerly heading and hold it. This enabled us to close on the bogey by flying a straight path in the general direction in which he was headed. We were flying at a slightly higher altitude-approximately 10,000 feet, as I recall. Sure enough, we slowly closed and still prevented him from leaving our radarscope on the right or the left. His altitude was fairly constant. We closed to within one mile without incident. The weather was hazy and he was not showing lights, so we had no visual at that distance. Continuing to close, our GCI was tracking us until the 262 was in range of our 20mm cannon. Still no identification!
"Just as we had agreed to fire on the enemy aircraft without a visual or GCI's approval, two bright lights popped on amazingly close in front of us. They were like two acetylene torches, as his afterburners were lit. At the same moment, the target left us as if we were standing still. It chandelled right and climbed out of range and off my scope. Those two spouts of flame disappeared from sight. We later learned that we had been close enough to trigger the early tail warning system that was thought to have been incorporated in the Me 262. This meant we had had a good chance of hitting him with our cannon from the minimum range we had reached behind. If only we had had two seconds more!"


07-25-2007, 12:17 PM
Originally posted by berg417448:
They were like two acetylene torches, as his afterburners were lit. At the same moment, the target left us as if we were standing still. It chandelled right and climbed out of range and off my scope. Those two spouts of flame disappeared from sight.

I would have thought that the Me-262 would not have had that kind of acceleration to run away from a P-61 which was closing in.

07-25-2007, 02:06 PM

The Jumo 004s had NO afterburners.

07-25-2007, 03:12 PM

Sounds like the pilot is being interviewed long after the event and is mixing up afterburners on then contemporary aircraft with luminous exhaust at the time of the jet kill.

07-25-2007, 03:35 PM
Originally posted by Ploughman:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">afterburners ...at the time of the jet kill. </div></BLOCKQUOTE> http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif
No jet kill there!

07-25-2007, 03:44 PM
Yes you're right, silly me! Nevertheless, seems like the guys using later lingo to describe an earlier event. Either that or those pesky Jerries were even more super than was previously thought? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

07-25-2007, 03:51 PM
Originally posted by ake109:
I would have thought that the Me-262 would not have had that kind of acceleration to run away from a P-61 which was closing in.

A few points.

1.) Yes no afterburners. It is witness testimony (which can be inaccurate. Especially after some time. No doubt he saw a gout of flame and years later in conversation casually attributed it to afterburners.

2.) The P-61 had terrible acceleration, so in comparison the 262 would seem quite sparkling.

3.) While closing in the P-61 would have been closing in at a very small rate. Closing in would have meant incrementally faster (than the prey 262) in this situation. If the night time closure rate was too high there were two dangers. Collision, which would have been disasterous. And a flyby, which could have revealed the presence of the P-61, ruining the kill opportunity or worse.

The P-61 C model introduced speed brakes to try to solve this problem. Not because the P-61 was so fast. But because during the final moments of the night interception this danger was foremost on the minds of Black Widow crews. No C model Black Widows saw service during WW2.

4.) It was at night and the RADAR observer watched him advance (upward) off his ("B" scope) trace. Because of the multi crew nature of the P-61, and indeed most night fighters of the war. There is a natural delay in observations (especially at night and on RADAR, with airplane control changes. (This was a common problem and great steps were taken to reduce this delay in observations/reactions by repeatedly trying to give the Pilot himself a RADAR scope of some sort. But it never really worked well as the Pilot's work load was already saturated, and secondly, the light from the scope would severely affect the pilots night vision.) With simple RADARS like AN/APS-6 on Hellcats and Corsairs the problem was finally overcome with some success. As the RADAR was so simple in operation.

Anyway the point is that this delay would further hamper, and make it seem that the 262 was even faster.

07-25-2007, 05:21 PM
Most early jets would incandese brightly at night at full power.

No WWII operational type had afterburner/reheat

P-61C did get into the theatre of war in the pacific, but I doubt they
saw and combat. They were just too late.
Most sources say no P-61C saw combat.


07-25-2007, 07:20 PM
Not wishing to totally hijack the thread further but...

P-61C did get into the theatre of war in the pacific, but I doubt they
saw and combat.

Sorry there Sergio but no they did not get to see in the Pacific Theatre. I wish! As the C model was potentially the most effective version of the Black Widow. If you can tell me any different I would be grateful.

The following quote is from the following great book.


"Production of theP-61C-l began in early 1945, with the first aircraft being accepted in July. The forty-first, and last, P-61C-1 was accepted on Jan. 28, 1946; at least thirteen completed aircraft were scrapped and never recorded on AAF records. The closest thing to serving in an operational squadron was when twelve were sent to McChord Field, Washington, in November 1945. It is unclear as to the purpose of this deployment, as there was no night fighter squadron stationed there at that time. Within five months, all but two were transferred to Air Materiel Command and scattered across the country. It was with AMC that a majority of these aircraft saw duty, the most noted duty being on the Thunderstorm Project. Others served with NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics), were loaned to the US Navy, and a number of the aircraft were on loan to Northrop. By the end of March 1949, all remaining C aircraft were ordered into reclamation status (scrapped). Two of these planes went onto the civilian market, and two others went into museums."

07-25-2007, 10:10 PM
Originally posted by luftluuver:
Sure, the first CW claim of a 262 was by Spitfire Mk IXs http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif , yes IXs, of RCAF 401 squadron.

I thought I should post something on topic. So here are some details of this kill.


Two days later, after 48 hours of relative inactivity due to a low ceiling, on the afternoon of October 5, 401 Squadron was vectored to patrol the Nijmegen bridge, by this time a routine chore. Rod Smith, the new CO, remembered the altitude"”"angels""”of 13,000 being unusual for the tactical air force and, after weeks of low cloud, the sky was almost completely clear. The patrol was quiet, with nothing to report, when Kenway called to announce to Smith that a "bogie""”enemy aircraft"”was heading toward the squadron at the same altitude. Smith climbed the 12 Spitfires another 500 feet and levelled off three or four miles northeast of the town.

Almost immediately, he spotted the aircraft dead ahead about 500 feet below, travelling southwest towards Nijmegen, head on at the squadron "very fast." Smith alerted the others, then swung out some distance to the right to give himself enough room to swing sharply back to the left all the way around to the southeast "so that I would be able to pull in close behind the aircraft at a small enough angle to its path to be able to aim ahead of it, if it should be obliging enough to keep on coming." Several of the other pilots duplicated the maneuver.

Smith quickly recognized its futuristic lines, with the leading edge of the fin swept well back and the tail plane set high on the fin. It was a Messerschmitt 262. The German pilot continued to fly straight and level, seemingly oblivious to the presence of the Spitfires, probably because Smith had positioned the squadron between the jet aircraft and the sun.

"I felt a peculiar thrill," he said later. "At long last here was a jet plane that had made a mistake and was going to leave itself open to a burst of fire, if only to a short one because of the speed with which it would be able to draw away."

Smith began a final swing back to the left, and around to the southwest when the ME-262 climbed slightly up and to the left improving his angle of deflection, in fact presenting his would-be antagonist with a perfect shot. He was aiming along a path ahead of the jet and about to open fire when another Spitfire, in a tight left turn like his own, cut in front of him. However, the pilot had not pulled out far enough to the right to position himself for a shot with any hope of hitting the enemy plane. Smith was stymied; he still had the 262 partly in his sights, but if he opened fire he risked hitting the other Spitfire. He was tempted to chance it anyway, when fate intervened.
The enemy pilot must have finally realized he had flown into a hornet's nest because he suddenly half-rolled his aircraft to starboard in a fairly steep dive, then half-rolled the other way and began banking and swerving from side to side, all the while in a dive crossing over Nijmegen in a southwesterly direction with 12 Spitfires in hot pursuit. It was a strange evasive action for a pilot with an aircraft whose speed outpaced his pursuers in a normal straightforward dive by over 100 miles an hour.

It was not until 45 years later that Smith learned that the culprit who cut him off was Hedley Everard, the same pilot who had been reported in the media as the first one to spot the jet (when it had been Rod Smith) and also the first to hit the 262. This last was another fallacy; that particular honour went to Everard's wingman, John McKay. When the squadron had been diving after the enemy plane and he had seen Everard was in no position to hit it, he had opened fire himself.

Smith reported that two or three cannon shell strikes had appeared on the trailing edge of the ME-262's starboard wing root alongside the engine nacelle, from which issued a thin stream of
grey smoke. For a moment it had looked as if the engine might catch fire, but it hadn't. Several Spitfires had still been firing at the enemy plane, but without result. Smith and his wingman, Tex Davenport, had been forced to pull out of the dive at 7000 feet to avoid colliding with each other. Meanwhile, the ME-262 had pulled out of its dive at 3000 feet over the southern edge of Nijmegen, still heading southwest but no longer trailing smoke and by this time increasing its lead on the pursuing Spitfires.

That had seemed to end the action then and there. But once again the action of the German pilot had proved unpredictable. Suddenly the ME-262 had zoomed up "into the most sustained vertical climb I had ever seen," Smith would later comment, "leaving far behind the Spitfires which had followed it all the way down." To their great surprise, its climb brought it up to the point where Smith and Tex Davenport had levelled off.
Smith described the action that followed:
As it soared up to us, still climbing almost vertically, the sweep-back of its wings became very noticeable. Its speed, though still considerable, was beginning to fall off, and with full power on I was able to pull up in an almost vertical position to within about 350 yards behind it, the maximum range. I aimed at one of its engine nacelles and began to fire a burst which lasted about eight seconds, shifting my aim to the other nacelle partway through. I saw strikes around both nacelles and within two or three seconds a plume of fire began to stream from alongside one of them. The 262 was then slowing down more than I was and I was able to close the range to about 200 yards.

Eventually, because the 262 and my Spitfire were pointing almost vertically upwards and were quickly losing momentum, we both began to fall off slowly and in unison into stall turns to the right, thereby losing all control for the time being. Halfway through our stall turns, when our noses had come down level with the horizon but our wings were almost vertical, I felt as if I
were in slow motion, line-abreast of the 262 to its right, and directly below it. As the 262 was only 100 yards above me at this point, I had a remarkable and unhurried look at it, side on. I particularly noticed its shark-like nose, the triangular cross-section of its fuselage, and its superb cockpit canopy, which gave its pilot an all-round view. To my surprise I couldn't see the pilot's head, although the canopy was fully closed. He must have had his head down for some reason.

At this point it dawned on Smith that when they came out of their stall turns, they would both be facing downward but their positions would be reversed; that is, the jet would now be on his tail instead of vice versa. And that's exactly what happened. When the Spitfire's nose went down, for a few critical seconds Smith had absolutely no control. Because the aircraft had no rear vision, he lost sight of the ME-262 completely. Tex Davenport, who had stuck with his leader all through the exercise and managed to get in a few squirts himself, reported that at that very moment the jet had fired at Smith. But when he recovered control, the ME-262, only a few yards to his right, was diving vertically, leaving a plume of flame behind it. Seconds later it crashed into a cornfield just southwest of Nijmegen.

Smith called Kenway Control to report: "We've just shot down a jet-job southwest of Nijmegen."
"I know, we've seen it," shot back the reply. "Good show!"

Good show! An understated accolade for a historic moment"”the first German jet to fall to Commonwealth pilots.

When the squadron landed back at the airfield at Rips, the pilots were understandably jubilant. Though there is no question in my mind today that Rod Smith was responsible for the destruction of the ME-262, back then, because five pilots had fired at it and in the interest of squadron morale, it was decided to share it. (I am sure that decision was Smitty's.)
The 83 Group had confirmed that this was the first jet ever destroyed in the air, but it was learned later that American pilots had beaten the Canadians to the punch, having already brought down two German jets themselves. But that in no way diminished the epic deeds on the part of Smith and his comrades.

The body of the pilot of the ME-262, his chute unopened, was found a few days later a short distance from where his aircraft had crashed. He was identified as Hauptmann Hans Chr. Buttman, a bomber pilot, which may account for the tactics that no fighter pilot would ever have employed in a scrap.

In 1988 Hedley Everard published his autobiography entitled A Mouse in My Pocket, about which Rod Smith wrote, "The less said the better." In the book, the author took credit for the 5 October 1944 action. John McKay was furious, as was Smith. When Everard's obituary appeared in the 6 March 1999 edition of the National Post, crediting him with drawing first blood in the incident, Smith wrote to the editor that the obituary "was demeaning of the parts played by some of his fellow squadron pilots."

This chapter is my personal contribution to giving credit where credit is due.

Arther Bishop - Unsung Courage p. 124-129

07-25-2007, 10:27 PM
James Finnegan's combat with Adolf Galland's Me-262 in April 1945.

Can you describe the combat against Adolf Galland in his Me-262?

I was leading the top flight cover of P-47's that was escorting the B-26's to their target. As I gazed down, I saw 2 objects come zipping through the formation, and 2 bombers blew up immediately. I watched the 2 objects go through the bomber formation, and thought "that can't be a prop job...it's got to be one of the 262 jets."

I was at about 13,000 feet and estimated them to be at about 9-10,000. They were climbing, and I pulled a split-S towards the one that turned left, and almost ended up right on top of him - about 75 yards away!!

I gave a 3 second burst and saw strikes on the right hand engine and wing root. I was going so fast, I went right through everything, and guessed my speed at about 550 mph. I recorded it as a probable....

Adolf Galland, describing the same incident:

I was shot down by a Republic P-47D flown by a man named James Finnegan, whom I met some years later and we became friends. We were intercepting bombers near Neuberg. I was leading a flight and I attacked from astern. My rockets did not fire but I poured 30 mm cannon shells into one bomber which fell in flames and flew right through the formation, hitting another. I could not tell if that bomber was finished off, so I banked around for another run, all the while my jet was receiving hits from the bomber's defensive fire. Suddenly my instrument panel disintegrated, my canopy was shattered and my right knee was struck. I was losing power and was in great pain. I thought about parachuting out but realized that might be dangerous as some of our pilots had been strafed upon exiting their jets. I flew for the deck and headed for this field at the air base, which was under attack. I cut the power to my good engine and thumped across the field. My nose wheel had been flattened, smoke was pouring from the plane. I climbed out to get away in case it should explode, only to find aircraft dropping bombs and firing rockets at me. Well, our mission netted five victories total and none of the pilots were killed.