Friday, April 19, 2019

April Warbirds

I've been out of touch.  Plus have been busy trying to keep up with the grandchildren.  And the grandchildren's children, ages from two to nine, amazing to me is where they get their energy.

Anyway, shown below is an Me-262A-1 Schwalbe (Swallow) of Adolf Galland's legendary Jagdverband 44.  This particular picture of it sitting on the tarmac at München-Riem is courtesy of Wolfgang Muehlbauer:

This specific ME-262, with the number five shown, is legendary itself.  It was flown by Unteroffizier Eduard Schallmoser and it lost its tail rudder during a close encounter with a USAAF B-26 "Martin Maurauder" somerwhere near Memmingen on 20 April 1945.  According to aviation author Robert Dorr, the pilot Eduard Schallmoser, parachuted to safety.  "Schallmoser said later that he landed in his mother’s back yard with an injured knee. Before heading back to the base and then a hospital, he enjoyed a plateful of her pancakes."

Lots of photos, artists renditions, and models of old number five.  Some autographed.  Seems fantastic.  Did it happen?   I love the story so I vote yes.  My grandson's father-in-law, a former jet jock is doubtful.  He surmises Eduard landed elsewhere and went home to see Mom before returning to duty?  Who could blame him?  What my great grandson wanted to know was did he get the Apfelküchle or the Kaiserschmarrn?  Below is a photo of Eduard next to his mother in the family garden. Photo courtesy of Downed Warbirds twitter account:


  1. Interesting that this guy was an NCO, not an officer. Late war expedient? Andy would know better than I, but I thought that air forces tend to be fairly jealous of the privileges of flight status being an "officer thing", and certainly the overwhelming number of fliers on all sides in WW2 were commissioned. Perhaps something relating to the experimental nature of the aircraft? You'd think that the 262 would have been a prize assignment and thus coveted by officers rather than assigned to NCOs, but...late war Germany..? Wer kennt?

    1. A junior NCO at that. My understanding is that although 'Unteroffizier' in general was the generic name for all NCO and/or Staff NCOs, that however in the Luftwaffe it was strictly used for Corporals.

      But we did similar back then. The Army Air Corps had flying sergeants. The Navy and Marines had enlisted pilots. During the mid 1960s I was a passenger in the back of a C-130 going from Sangley Point in the Philippines to Da Nang VN that was piloted by a Marine Master Gunnery Sergeant. He had gotten his start in Douglas SBDs in the Solomon Island campaign as a Junior NCO. Said he got a temporary commission during Korea and then reverted instead of getting RIF'ed. Interesting that his co-pilot was a Major.