In the last week of April, when the Americans arrived at Lechfeld, six A-4 models were found there: outline white 25, 26, 27, 29, 30 and 33. By the time of its capture, “outline white 34” had been converted to fighter configuration by the addition of a four-cannon nose although this was not repainted to match the rest of the airframe. This last aircraft was found at Brunnthal, south of München.
Whether these were the seven reported on 6 April or recent arrivals remains an open question but if not, what were they? On 6 April the decision had been taken to set seven reconnaissance machines aside for an operational unit (either as they were or converted back to fighters, as one apparently was). As such they became unavailable for reconnaissance training but it appears that their planned alternative employment fell through and they never left Lechfeld or III./EJG 2. As part of a reorganisation of jet units, Gen. der Flieger Josef Kammhuber, General Plenipotentiary for Jet Aircraft, ordered on 20 April that:
… After the arrival of Geschwaderstab and a Gruppe of JG 7 in Lechfeld, III./EJG 2 is to be disbanded with two thirds allocated to JG 7 and one third to JV 44 … including all aircraft, also the reconnaissance Me 262s assigned for training purposes.
On the 22nd, the Chief Quartermaster of Lw.Kdo. West announced the disbandment of 1./NAG 13: it had no aircraft on hand but its personnel, vehicles and equipment would go to make up deficiencies in the Gruppe’s other Staffeln. This had been done without OKL’s approval and so on 27 April, Luftflotte 6 was directed to set up an Aufklärungskommando which was to be allocated “all the Me 262 reconnaissance aircraft given up in the past to EJG 2”. The General der Aufklärungsflieger and General Plenipotentiary were to support the establishment of the new Kommando with all the means at their disposal. If and when the new formation’s strength dwindled, OKL would decide whether Me 262 fighters should be diverted to make up the deficiency or wind it up. The Americans took Lechfeld on the 27th, putting an end to the scheme the same day it was announced.
ULTRA CX/MSS/R493(A),3; CX/MSS/T509/3; CX/MSS/T512/22; CX/MSS/T512/89;
Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv RL 2-III/69: Aufstellung, Umbildung, Umbenennung und Auflösung.- Sammlung von Verfügungen, Dienstanweisungen, Organisationsplänen und Geschäftsverteilungsplänen, Band 27 (April 1945)
Gen. Qu. (6. Abt. III), Nr. ____/45 g. Kdos., »Überblick über die Me 262 Lieferung (Stand 31.3.45)« (via Tomáš Poruba)
David E. Brown, Tomáš Poruba, Jan Vladař: Messerschmitt Me 262 production and Arado Ar 234 Final Operations (Japo Publishing, 2012)
Kenneth A. Merrick: Luftwaffe Camouflage and Markings 1933–1945 Volume Two (Classic 2005) ISBN 1 903223 39 3
Dan O’Connell: Messerschmitt Me 262, The Production Log 1941–45 (Classic, 2005) ISBN: 1 903223 59 8
Alfred Price: The Last Year Of The Luftwaffe (Arms And Armour Press, 1991): ISBN1-85409-113-1
David E. Brown, Tomáš Poruba and Dave Wadman who helped greatly with this piece (and who are not to blame for any errors I may have made here).
© Nick Beale 2014–2022