Me 163B 191095 at the Air Force Museum

Concise history from Phil Butler's "War Prizes":

AM211 Messerschmitt Me 163B W Nr 191095

Aircraft of JG 400. Surrendered in Husum and shipped to the RAE. Despatched from Farnborough to No. 6 MU, Brize Norton, on 25th July 1945. AM 211 was at No.6 MU in the Census, of 21st March 1946 and was despatched to No. 47 MU, Sealand, on 26th June. At Sealand, the aircraft was crated for shipment to Canada. Leaving Solford Docks aboord the SS Commerce on 29th August and arriving at Montreal on 9th September. Subsequently it was used as a 'Gate Guardian' at the RCAF Station St-Jean, in Quebeq until taken over by the Canadian War Museum. The aircraft passed to the CNAC when that was formed in 1964. The Me 163B was eventually restored to display standard in the CNAC workshops for it to be loaned to the United States Air-Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in 1978 for display but returned to Canada in 1985.


Royal Canadian Air Force 1946 - 1957

191095 was shipped to Canada together with 191916 and arrived on 9 September 1946 in Montreal. They were assembled at RCAF Station Rockcliffe later that month. The records then show a gap until the Komet appears as a gate guard at RCAF Station St-Jean. There it suffered from the elements and vandalism. In 1957 it was transferred to the Canadian War Museum.

David E. Brown of Experten Decals provided the unique photo below. It shows the Komet at the gate of RCAF St. Jean, in a rather derelict state.


The following walkaround photo series show the aircraft at St Jean, but not yet or no longer at the gate.





Aviation photo journalist Eric Dumigan kindly gave permission to reproduce a set of photos that his father, Richard E. Dumigan, took of the Komet at St Jean. More St Jean photos can be viewed on the St Jean (PQ) surplus aircraft web page.






Canadian War Museum 1957 - 1964

The Canadian War Museum is located in the city of Ottawa, and covers the whole range of military warfare of the last two centuries. Currently, they appear to focus on ground warfare, and they have a limited collection of aircraft (Spitfire, Sopwith Snipe, piloted V-1).

Komet 191095 arrived here in 1957. The condition was quite bad, and the whole aircraft (upper and lower side) was painted in one color of green. Was it on display? It appears no restoration was performed until it was transferred to the newly formed Canadian National Aeronautical Collection (CNAC) in 1964.


Canadian National Aeronautical Collection 1964 - 1978

Little is known about what happened here from 1964 on, but from 1976 to 1978 the CNAC undertook a restoration of the aircraft.

The restoration revealed some interesting details:

The following pictures of the restoration were kindly supplied by Bruce Grinstead. The buildings look like the old hangars used by the CNAC / NAM before they moved into the new building in 1988.




Right after the restoration, the Komet was loaned to the USAF Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB in return for a Convair Atlas rocket.


United States Air Force Museum, Wright Patterson 1978 - 1985

The USAF Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB has a very large collection of aircraft; they claim to have 300 aircraft and missiles. The museum doesn't have a Komet in their collection, and loaned one from Canada. The Komet was parked almost underneath a B-17, which made photography almost impossible. Bruce Grinstead made the following pictures:









It was returned to Canada in 1985.


National Aviation Museum of Canada 1985 - 1999

The National Aviation Museum of Canada is located at Rockcliffe Airport near Ottawa. Possibly it was formerly known as the Canadian National Aeronautical Collection (CNAC).

As far as is known, this Komet (191095) is now on display, while the other Canadian Komet (191916) is in storage. The NAMC reports that 191095 will be loaned to the U.S. Air Force Museum late summer 1999, just like it was between 1978 and 1985. The NAMC has some doubts about the authenticity of the current paint scheme, and is researching the original colors of this Komet. If you can help, please contact them through the website shown above. In the mean time their search has resulted in five 1947 photographs found in the National Archives of Canada (Archives and government Records Branch, Visual and Sound Archives Division). In these pictures it can be seen that the fuselage was mottled overall originally. Rather shocking, the WNr might be 191895 rather then 191095. No unit markings are seen in the pictures.

David E. Brown (of Experten Decals fame) provided the following photographs. He made them in August 1997, while both Komets were on display in the museum.


United States Air Force Museum, Wright Patterson 1999 - current

On 10 December 1999 the USAF Museum again put this Komet on display. It was again loaned from the NAMC, duration unknown. This news release reports some general information. The Komet is displayed with two Walter rocket engines, and a collection of models showing all known variants and color schemes.

Christoph Westhaus visited the USAF Museum in September 2000 and kindly sent the following photos showing the display.




Jive visits the USAF Museum every year, and made the beautiful photograph seen below in May 2001.


During his May 2004 visit, Jive noted that the aircraft had been moved around, and a new metal railing was erected around the WW2 aircraft. The Komet now sits under the wing of a Ju 88 in Rumanian markings, with a V2 in the background. Also, to the best of knowledge of a museum volunteer, the Komet is now owned by the USAFM.



Brian Teasdale visited the museum in January 2007, and photographed the Komet together with the Walter HWK 109-509A-1 rocket motor.






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