German Luftwaffe Warplanes, 1939-1945: captured Allied aircraft in Luftwaffe service

Deutsche Kampfflugzeuge 1939-1945, Gefangene alliierte Flugzeuge im Luftwaffendienst

German Warplanes 1939-1945,

Captured Allied Aircraft in Luftwaffe service

 (Luftwaffe Photo)

Airspeed AS.6 Envoy, captured British transport aircraft.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Avia B-534K biplane fighter captured in Czechoslovakia.

Avia B-71 bomber captured in Czechoslovakia.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Bristol Blenheim Mk. IV, captured British light bomber.

Rogožarski IK-3 fighter captured in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Bloch MB.152, captured French fighter.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Bloch M.B.175 bomber , PG+IC, captured in France.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress captured USAAF bomber.

Caproni Ca.313 Italian bomber.

Caudron C.445 transport captured in France.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Consolidated B-24 Liberator captured USAAF bomber.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Dewoitine D.520 fighter captured in France.

(Regia Aeronautica Photos)

Fairey Swordfish captured British torpedo bomber. Swordfish K8403 (E4M with the "Savoy's Cross" on the tail) of 813 squadron from HMS Eagle shot down in raid on Maritza airfield, Rhodes, 4 September 1940. The aircraft force-landed on Scarpanto island. Crew all taken POW. The captured Swordfish was at Guidonia in December 1940. It was kept serviceable till the middle of 1941 using spare parts coming from captured Swordfish K8422 ("4H").

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Gloster Gladiator Mk. I (Wk Nr. 45829), British/Latvian biplane fighter.

 (Luftwaffe Photos)

Hawker Hurricane captured British fighters in Luftwaffe markings.

 (Luftwaffe Photo)

Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik, captured Russian fighter-bomber.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Ilyushin Il-4 Shturmovik, captured Russian bomber.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Martin B-26 Marauder (Serial No. 41-17790), captured USAAF light bomber.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Mikoyan-Guryevich MiG-3, captured Russian fighter.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Morane-Saulnier MS.230 trainer, coded BR+UW, captured in France, summer 1941.

(Luftwaffe Photos)

Morane-Saulnier MS-406 fighter captured in France.

(Luftwaffe Photos)

North American NAA 57 & NAA 64 captured French trainers built in the USA.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Payen Pa.22 Flechair, +XE, captured in France.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Petlyakov Pe-2, B+A. captured Russian Bomber.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Potez 63, +70, captured French light bomber.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Potez 63, +QL, captured French light bomber.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Potez-CAMS 161, VE+WW, captured French seaplane.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Italian transport aircraft in Luftwaffe markings.

 

(Luftwaffe Photos)

Savoia-Marchetti SM.93 Italian dive-bomber in Luftwaffe markings.

(Luftwaffe Photos)

Supermarine Spitfire, coded CJ-ZY, captured British fighter re-engined with a German Daimler engine.

(Artist's Impression, Fleet Air Archive Photo)

Vought F4U Corsair captured US-built British fighter in Royal Navy service.

Royal Navy F4U-1 Corsair JT404 of No. 1841 Naval Squadron was taking part in an anti-submarine patrol from HMS Formidable enroute to Scapa Flow after Operation Mascot (an against the German Battleship Tirpitz), in company with a Fairey Barracuda flown by Wing Leader Lt Cdr RS Baker-Falkner.  The Corsair had to make an emergency landing in a field at Sorvag, Hamarøy north of Bodø, Norway on 18 July 1944.  The pilot, Lt Mattholie, taken POW and the aircraft was captured intact with no damage.  Luftwaffe interrogators failed to get the pilot to explain how to fold the wings so as to transport the aircraft to Narvik. The Corsair was ferried by boat to Narvik for further investigation.  Later the Corsair was taken to Germany and listed as one of the captured enemy aircraft (Beuteflugzeug) based at Erprobungsstelle Rechlin, the central German military aviation test facility and the equivalent of the Royal Aircraft Establishment, for 1944 under repair.  This was probably the only Corsair captured by the Germans.


In 1945, a F4U Corsair was captured near the Kasumigaura flight school in Japan by U.S. forces.  The Japanese had repaired it, covering damaged parts on the wing with fabric and using spare parts from crashed F4Us.  It seems Japan captured two force landed Corsairs fairly late in the war and may have even tested one in flight.

 (Luftwaffe Photos)

Vickers Wellington, coded T+KX, captured RAF bomber, Serial No. L7842.

(Czechoslovak Air Force Photo)

Zlín Z-XII & 212 captured Czechoslovakian trainer.

KG 200 had the following allied fighter aircraft in its inventory:

(Luftwaffe Photo)

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito B Mk. IV (Serial No. T9-XB), captured RAF fighter-bomber.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Hawker Typhoon Mk. Ia, coded T9+GK, captured British fighter, RAF EJ956, ex"SA-I" No. 486 (NZ) Sqn.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Hawker Typhoon, T9+GK, captured British fighter, RAF JP548, Ex No. 174 Sqn.

Hawker Typhoon, code unknown, captured British fighter, RAF 0549 (TBC).

(USAAF Photo)

Lioré-et-Olivier LeO 451T, ex-OK+ZD, captured by the Luftwaffe in France, later captured from the Luftwaffe and photographed in Sicily in 1943 while serving with the USAAF's 57th Fighter Group.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Latercoere 298, N+GX, captured French floatplane.

(Luftwaffe Photos)

Lavochkin La-5FN, T9+PK, captured Soviet fighter, (Zvezda).

 (Luftwaffe Photo)

Lockheed P-38G Lightning (Serial No. 43-2278), coded T9+XB, captured US fighter, 15th Air Force.  This aircraft accidentally landed at Capoterra, Italy 12 June 1943.

(Luftwaffe Photos)

Lockheed P-38 (F-5E) Lightning, (Serial No. 44-23725), Luftwaffe coded T9+MK, captured US fighter, ex 354th Air Service Sqn.  Delivered intact by USAAF deserter Martin James Monti, 13 October 1944. While serving with the 354th Air Services Squadron, this particular aircraft was stolen on 13 Oct 1944 by USSAF pilot Martin James Monti (Italian-Swiss father and German mother) when he defected to the Axis side. Monti hitched a flight aboard a C-46 from his base in Pakistan, to Cairo, and then to Italy via Tripoli. He stole the plane from the 354th Air Service Squadron at Pomigliano Airfield, near Naples, Italy, and landed this Lightning near Milan. The Italians had captured the aircraft and handed it over to the Germans. The Lightning was overall bare metal but the Luftwaffe painted the entire underside bright yellow from mid-fuselage down with T9+MK Luftwaffe serials. The aircraft was recaptured by US troops at Schwangau, Germany in May 1945.

(Luftwaffe Photos)

North American P-51B or C Mustang, coded T9+CK, captured US fighter.

North American P-51B or C Mustang, (Serial No. 43-24825), coded T9+HK, captured US fighter, "Jerry", ex 334th Fighter Squadron.  Captured 6 June 1944.

North American P-51D Mustang, coded T9+PK, captured US fighter.

(USAAF Photo)

Piper J-3 Cub, coded GP+, captured light reconnaisance aircraft in Luftwaffe markings, shortly after being re-captured by the USAAF.

(Luftwaffe Photos)

Republic P-47D-2-RA Thunderbolt (Serial No. 42-22490), coded T9+FK, captured US fighter, ex-358th Fighter Sq/355th FG.  Captured 7 November 1943.

(USAAF Photo)

Republic P-47D-11-RE Thunderbolt (Serial No. 42-75971), coded T9+LK, captured US fighter.  This aircraft was flown by KG 200 and Zirkus Rosarius until it was re-captured by US forces at Göttingen, Germany in May 1945.

(USAAF Photos)

Republic P-47D Thunderbolt, Luftwaffe, possibly coded T9+PK, captured US fighter shortly after it was re-captured in May 1945.

(Luftwaffe Photos)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. IX, coded T9+EK, captured British fighter, RAF MK698, ex RCAF No. 412 Sqn.  (Luftwaffe Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk. XI, RAF MB945, coded T9+BB, captured British fighter, ex 14th Photo Squadron, 7th PRG, USAAF.

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX, coded T9+KK, captured British fighter.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Yakovlev Yak-15, Soviet fighter in Luftwaffe markings.

Zirkus Rosarius (also known as the Wanderzirkus Rosarius) was an Erprobungskommando-style special test unit of the Luftwaffe, specifically of the Luftwaffe High Command, tasked with testing captured British and American aircraft, all of which were repainted in German markings.
The purpose of testing allied aircraft was to discover any strengths or vulnerabilities in their design or performance. This information was highly useful in enabling German service personnel to develop tactics designed to counter strengths and exploit any vulnerabilities.
The unit was formed by Theodor Rosarius in 1943 and was part of the 2./Versuchsverband Oberbefehlshaber der Luftwaffe. The Zirkus also toured operational airfields showing Luftwaffe pilots the captured aircraft and training them in techniques to counter these aircraft.  The Zirkus Rosarius seemed to have merited the use of its own Geschwaderkennung (Geschwader code) of "T9", with a few of the unit's aircraft coming from KG 200, which already used the "A3" identification code of that wing.

Zirkus Rosarius  - list of known captured aircraft:

Bell P-39 Airacobra, coded GE+DV, captured US fighter.

(Luftwaffe Photos)

Boeing B-17F-27-BO Flying Fortress (Serial No. 41-24585), USAAF code PU-B, 303rd Bomb Group (Heavy), 360th Bomb Squadron.  This B-17 was lost after carrying out a forced landing in France on 12 Dec 1942.  It was coded A3+AE, "Wulf Hound", and flew with KG 200.

Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress (Serial No. 42-30713), code unknown, captured US bomber, "Phyllis Marie" ex 568th Bomb Sq/390th Bomb Gp.  Captured 8 March 1944.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress (Serial No. 42-30048), coded A3+CE, captured US bomber, "Flak Dancer" ex. 554th Bomb Sq/384th Bomb Gp.  Captured 26 June 1943.

Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress (Serial No. 42-5714), coded DR+PB, captured US bomber, "Old Faithful" ex 332nd Bomb Squadron.  Captured 14 October 1943.

Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress (Serial No. 42-39974), code unknown, captured US bomber, "Punchboard" ex 731st Bomb Sq/452nd Bomb Gp.  Captured 9 April 1944.

(Luftwaffe Photos)

Curtiss H-75 Hawk, captured from the  Armée de l’Air in 1940.  

Curtiss Kittyhawk Mk. III, coded 10+KH, captured US fighter.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Consolidated B-24D Liberator (Serial No. 41-23659), coded I-RAIN, captured US bomber, "Blond Bomber II" ex 343rd BS, 98th BG, USAAF 20 February 1943.

Consolidated B-24G Liberator (Serial No. 42-78106), coded NF+FL, captured US bomber, "Sky Pirate" ex 758th Bombardment Squadron USAF.  Captured 9 June 1944.

Consolidated B-24G Liberator (Serial No. 42-78247), coded CL+XZ, captured US bomber, ex 765th BS, 461st BG, USAAF.  Captured 4 October 1944.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Consolidated B-24H Liberator (Serial No. 41-28641), coded A3+KB, captured US bomber, ex-735th BS, 453rd BG, USAAF.  Captured 4 February 1944.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Consolidated B-24H Liberator (Serial No. 42-52106), code unknown, captured US bomber, "Sunshine" ex-719th BS, 449th BG, 47th BW, 15th AF, USAAF.  Captured 29 February 1944.

North American NA-64 Harvard, DR+XD, ex-Armée de l'Air No. 44.

(Luftwaffe Photo)

Republic P-47D-16-RE (Serial No. 42-75971), coded 8+6, later T9+LK, captured US fighter, ex-301st FS, 332nd FG.  Captured 29 May 1944.

 (Luftwaffe Photos)

Short Stirling Mk.1, RAF (Serial no. N3705), coded 6+8, captured Nritish bomber, ex-No. 7 Squadron RAF.

Soviet evaluation of captured Luftwaffe aircraft

According to reports compiled by D.A. Sobolev and D.B. Khazanov a number of captured Luftwaffe aircraft were examined by the Soviet Union during the Second World War.  On 23 June 1941, Junkers Ju 88A-5 (Wk Nr. 8260) from III/KG1 Group was hit by flak and landed near the Gulf of Riga coast. This aircraft was quickly examined by Soviet Logistics unit personnel and the data on its defensive armament and the thickness of the armor plates protecting the crew were passed to Soviet aircrews.

One day later, a Junkers Ju 88A-6 (Wk Nr. 2428) from II/KG54 Group made a forced landing near Kiev after it had been hit during an attack on Brovary Airfield.  The crew survived was taken prisoner by the Soviets.  On 8 July 1941 a third Junkers Ju 88A-5 (Wk Nr. 4341) from KG1 Squadron Hindenburg was hit and with one engine slightly damaged by shrapnel and shells, landed 120 kilometers from Lake Chudskoye, but was not examined.

On 25 July 1941 two of three Ju 88 reconnaissance planes from the 122nd Group were shot down as they flew over the town of Istra.  Ju 88 coded F6+AO crashed, but the Ju 88 coded F6+AK made a forced landing, and five days later, it was set up for display to the public on Sverdlov Square in Moscow.

Examination of captured aircraft began in earnest after 29 July, when a special order to establish a permanent commission to receive captured equipment was promulgated. General M. V. Shishkin, Deputy Chief of the Air Forces Scientific Research Institute, chaired the commission.

By the summer and autumn of 1941, front-line Soviet pilots, navigators, and radio operator-gunners were well aware of the speed and lethal fire power of German fighter aircraft armed with longer range cannon and heavy machine guns allowing enemy pilots to set fire to Soviet aircraft, while themselves remaining essentially out of range of ShKAS machine gun fire.

From aircrew debriefings after considerable losses it was clear the Messerschmitts were noticeably faster than the newest Soviet bombers. In theory, based on test flights made in 1940, Bf 109E maximum level speed should not have been much more than that of the Pe-2.  The difference did not exceed 15-20 km/h at an altitude of 4000-5000 meters. But, in practice, as regimental commander Colonel A. I. Kabanov pointed out, "The German fighters easily caught up with our Pe-2s and had time to earn' out three-five attacks while pursuing them".

This and other documents indicated that Bf 109 and Bf 110 fighters flew much faster than all types of Soviet bombers, including the modern Yak-4 and Pe-2.

The Soviets noted that in appearance, the Bf 109F (Friedrich) differed from the Bf 109E (Emil) in its unbraced tail unit, rounded rather than square wing tips, flatter canopy top, and engine-mounted cannon instead of two wing guns.  The first Messerschmitt Bf 109E-2 (Wk Nr. 12766) was captured in comparatively good condition near the town of Tosno on 20 July 1941 after its pilot failed to make it across the front line in his damaged aircraft.  Lieutenant H. Raub of I/JG54 Group made a forced landing and was killed in an exchange of fire with Red Army soldiers. The captured Messerschmitt was featured in an exhibition of trophies in Leningrad.  Captured equipment exhibits were also held in Moscow, Kiev and Khar'kov in 1941

Messerschmitt Bf 110C-5 (Wk Nr. 2290), a reconnaissance plane from 3(F)/31 Detachment was captured on the Bryansk Front on 13 September 1941, was examined in detail.  This aircraft cockpit was found to have additionally armour, while both MG-FF cannon had been removed, and an automatic long-focal length Pb5O/3O camera was mounted in a "downward-forward" position.  The "Soviet" two-engine Messerschmitt never took to the air, although it was immediately sent for examination to the TsAGI New Equipment Bureau.  A similar Bf 110C-5 (Wk Nr. 2177), from 4(F)/14 Detachment was shot down by British fighters 21 July 1940, restored, and flown by the RAF at Farnborough.  From October 1940 to August 1941, British pilots flew 45 sorties, spending 23 hours and 30 minutes in the air. The aircraft then was maintained in flying condition for a number of years after the end of the Second World War.

During the second half of November 1941 the Soviets captured two more Messerschmitt Bf 109F-2, (Wk Nr. 12811) and (Wk Nr. 12913) and one pilot from 6/JG52 Detachment northwest of Moscow.

By late 1941, specialists from the Air Forces Scientific Research Institute and from other scientific centers had an opportunity to go to various fronts and examine the main German aircraft on the ground. Military engineers noticed the main trend in developing the German aircraft at that time was the increase in engine power.  The fighters were fitted with bomb racks; bombers and reconnaissance aircraft had more guns and better armour protection for crews compared to the models bought before the war. Some special technical features were also noticed. Among them there were a fuel jettisoning system on the Ju 88 reconnaissance version, a fixed remotely controlled machine gun fitted in the tail cone and semi-fixed pivot gun mount on the Heinkel He 111, a device for releasing toxic agents from Henschel Hs 126 spotter aircraft, and other "sparks".

The successful Soviet winter counteroffensive led to a significant increase in the amount of captured equipment, including German aircraft. During the period from 5-31 December 34 aircraft were captured in the Moscow area alone.  Most of them were damaged or blown up by retreating Germans.  The command element of Red Army operational units managed to obtain several Bf 109, Bf 110, Hs 126, Ju 52, He 111 and Bu 31 aircraft. Most of them, as well as aviation equipment and armament, were transported to Moscow for transfer to Tsx\GI, aviation design bureaus, and repair bases. Particular attention was even paid to instrument panels, distribution panels, oxygen bottles, and other less important components.  The examining engineers noticed new versions of the Orlikon aircraft cannon. MG 81 turret machine guns, small bombs with rapid-fire fuses, and delayed action bombs, which the enemy began using in winter.

The Soviet Yak-1 fighter seemed to have some capability against the Bf 109, but the LaGG-3, MiG-1 and MiG-3 fighters faced much greater difficulties.  Internet: http://www.airpages.ru/eng/ru/lw_trop.shtml.

End of List

Axis Warplane Survivors

A guidebook to the preserved Military Aircraft of the Second World War Tripartite Pact of Germany, Italy, and Japan, joined by Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia; the co-belligerent states of Thailand, Finland, San Marino and Iraq; and the occupied states of Albania, Belarus, Croatia, Vichy France, Greece, Ljubljana, Macedonia, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Manchukuo, Mengjiang, the Philippines and Vietnam.

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Axis Warplane Survivors

A guidebook to the preserved Military Aircraft of the Second World War Tripartite Pact of Germany, Italy, and Japan, joined by Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia; the co-belligerent states of Thailand, Finland, San Marino and Iraq; and the occupied states of Albania, Belarus, Croatia, Vichy France, Greece, Ljubljana, Macedonia, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Manchukuo, Mengjiang, the Philippines and Vietnam.

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