Me 163 units

The following listing of units, places and dates was extracted from Ethell. By listing all available snippets of information, an attempt is made to give an impression of the operational carreer of the Me 163. The information is by no means complete, neither is it checked against other sources.

The information is listed in a three column format: date, remarks and source (writer and page number; note that I used the German version of Ethell's book, which uses a much larger font, and subsequently has many more pages). The source is limited the Ethell for the moment, but details from other sources will be added soon.


Test unit at Peenemünde (Erprobungsstelle ? Me 163 Kommando ?)

13 June 1942 Demonstration with 3 aircraft (formation take-off) before Speer, Galland and Milch Eth83
After August 1943 Some flight testing continued after EK16 moved out of Peenemünde Eth110

Erprobungskommando 16 (EK16)

late 1942 Establisment at Peenemünde. Tasked with training of thirty pilots and ground personel. Commanded by Major Späte Eth95
July 1943 All eight Me 163A (series model) in use Eth105
17 August 1943 RAF bombardment of Peenemünde Eth107
18 August 1943 Relocation to Anklam, some 30 km south of Peenemünde. Me 163's flown in tow-flight Eth110
August or September 1943 Relocation to Bad Zwischenahn Eth110
September 1943 150 people on strength, including 5 instructor pilots and 23 trainee pilots Eth110
30 December 1943 One of the Me 163A crashes, pilot Pöhs killed Eth115
Early January 1944 Delivery of the first three of twelve Me 163B-0's. These aircraft were not flight-tested with their rocket engine. All had big problems Eth118
January 1944 First student test flight. Feldwebel Alois Wörndl killed in subsequent crash landing Eth118
January 1944 Me 163B V-14 delivered to EK16 (former test aircraft) Eth
January 1944 500 people on strength Eth136
Late February 1944 Arrival of first flight-tested aircraft from Jesau Eth121
May 1944 EK16 ready for operational use Eth
13 May 1944 First operational mission with all-red Me 163B V-41 by Major Späte Eth131
Between 13-20 May 1944 Second operational mission with Me 163B V-33 by Opitz Eth134
20 May 1944 Operational mission with Me 163B 310048/V-40 by Oberfeldwebel Nelte Eth134
May 1944 Major Späte ordered to return to JG54. Command taken over by Hauptmann Thaler Eth139
30 May 1944 Bombardment of Bad Zwischenahn, two aircraft destroyed. Relocation to Brieg an der Oder Eth139
Early June 1944 EK16 returns to Bad Zwischenahn Eth
15 August 1944 Bombardment of Bad Zwischenahn, only six aircraft left over Eth171
August 1944 Relocation to Brandis. EK16 is no longer responsible for pilot training, and only performs engine and armaments tests Eth171
no further details

Jagdgeschwader 400 (JG400)

November 1944 JG400 became an official Geschwader in November 1944, when the second Gruppe was established Eth194
November 1944 Major Späte returned from JG54 to JG400 as commander Eth192


November 1944 Established at Brandis Eth192
February 1945 Disbanded, to free pilots for Me 262 operations Eth197

I. Gruppe

Note: Operational histories of 1. and 2. Staffeln until September 1944 listed seperately below

August 1944 The first Gruppe was officially established when 2. Staffel joined the 1. Staffel at Brandis. Commanded by Olejnik Eth144
After August 1944 Command taken over by Opitz (Olejnik taking command of the Erganzungsstaffel) Eth172
10 September 1944 A Komet attacks a B-17 that flew out of formation Eth173
11 September 1944 Seven aircraft operational to attack a formation of 1131 bombers and 900 escort fighters. Three B-17's shot down by Komets (Ethell is not very clear about this!) Eth173-176
12 September 1944 888 US bombers attack targets near Brandis. Komets have little succes finding their targets. Eth176-177
13 September 1944 Nine Komets are launched to intercept another bomber formation, but fail to make contact Eth177
24 September 1944 19 aircraft listed for I. Gruppe, of which 11 operational Eth177
28 September 1944 Six Komets launched against a bomber and escort fighter formation flying near Merseburg. Some hits were scored, but no kills were made Eth177
October 1944 Command taken over by Hauptmann Fulda (Opitz taking command of II. Gruppe being formed at Stargard) Eth192
March 1945 Some pilots transferred to Me 262 units Eth211
Late March 1945 Only few aircraft operational Eth
Late March, early April 1945 I. Gruppe disbanded Eth211
19 April 1945 Brandis taken by US troops Eth211

I. Gruppenstab

no proof that it existed

1. Staffel

February 1944 Established at Bad Zwischenahn (on paper), commanded by Robert Olejnik. Formerly 20./JG1 (again on paper) Eth125
1 March 1944 Relocation to Wittmundhafen. 12 pilots, but still no aircraft Eth125
March 1944 First Komet delivered from Bad Zwischenahn to Wittmindhafen by Opitz. Fired at and almost shot down by airfield flak unfamiliar with aircraft Eth125
21 April 1944 Accident with Me 163B 'number 16', wounding unit commander Olejnik Eth125
18 June 1944 Eleven aircraft on strength, five operational Eth143
Late June/early July 1944 Sixteen aircraft on strength Eth
Late July 1944 Relocation to Brandis ordered Eth143
Late July 1944 Relocation to Brandis executed Eth149
28 July 1944 First operation from Brandis against US bombers. Seven Komets launched, no kills or damage inflicted Eth149-151
29 July 1944 Six operational aircraft available at Brandis. First attack launched on US bombers, but no contact made. Another attack launched, bombers found, but no damage inflicted. A P-38 scored some hits on a Komet Eth156/158
31 July 1944 Sixteen aircraft on strength, four operational Eth158
2 August 1944 F-5 Lightning attacked by Komet Eth158/160
5 August 1944 Several Komets reported by USAAF bombers and fighters, and one bomber crew reported three P-51's being shot down. Reports are inconsistent however. Eth160
16 August 1944 Five aircraft operational, launched against 1000+ US bomber formation. One Komet shot down near Böhlen by B-17 tail gunner ; Wnr unknown, pilot Feldwebel Straznicky used his parachute. Leutnant Hartmut Ryll attacks two B-17's (both return home), but is shot down by P-51's. The Komet explodes, Ryll is killed, wreck impacts near Bad Lausick (Wnr 3100..). Two more Komets attack bombers. Eth17-19, 161-162, Ran104
24 August 1944 Eight aircraft operational, launched against 1200+ US bomber formation. Pilots included Schubert, Bott, Straznicky, Husser and Eisenmann. Several B-17's are attacked. Schubert hits a B-17 that does not make it back to England, and hits another B-17 in the wing, that goes out of formation, spins and explodes. His wingman also hits a B-17, that also spins and explodes. A B-17 tailgunner hits Eisenmann, who bails out.
Second attack is made on the return leg. Glogner and Rolly join in. Several attacks on B-17's follow, during one B-17 is hit and crashes.
joint history with 2./JG400 continues under I. Gruppe

2. Staffel

May 1944 Established at Oranienburg (on paper), commanded by Hauptmann Otto Böhner Eth125
June ? 1944 Relocation to Venlo (the Netherlands) Eth129
late July 1944 Relocation to Brandis ordered Eth143
26 July 1944 Me 163B 440009 damaged during landing after test flight from Venlo. Pilot Feldwebel Horst Rolly slightly injured, aircraft damaged 25% Eth228
31 July 1944 Five Me 163B's on strength, two of them operational Eth158
5 August 1944 Three Me 163B's in formation seen by 361 Fighter Group Eth161
11 August 1944 Mission by 3 Me 163B's (or 3 passes of one aircraft) at 11:30 reported by Dutch resistance. The report mentions an enormous noise that made a German Oberleutnant on the airfield threw himself on the ground, thinking the airfield was under heavy attack. Der280
12 August 1944 Ethell reports one Me 163B lost at 23:30 near Venlo killing Oberleutnant Joachim Bialucha. In reality he was killed riding a bicycle.. Eth228
24 August 1944 Single Me 163B missions at 19:00 and 22:00 reported by Dutch resistance Der280
25 August 1944 Single Me 163B missions at 11:00 and 14:00 reported by Dutch resistance Der280
second week September 1944 Relocation to Brandis Ran52
joint history with 1./JG400 continues under I. Gruppe

3. Staffel

July 1944 Formation ordered Eth158
October 1944 Established at Stargard-Klützow (Poland), commanded by Hauptmann Falderbaum Eth177/178
29 November 1944 3. and 4. Staffel together have 7 aircraft, 4 of which operational Eth192
12 December 1944 Renamed 5. Staffel, to form II. Gruppe Eth192

4. Staffel

3 October 1944 Established at Stargard-Klützow (Poland) Eth178
6 October 1944 Aircraft and crew arrived Eth178
29 November 1944 3. and 4. Staffel together have 7 aircraft, 4 of which operational Eth192
12 December 1944 Renamed 6. Staffel, to form II. Gruppe Eth192


After 15 August 1944 established at Brandis to take over training from EK16. Commanded by Olejnik, 20 students Eth171/172
.. 1944 Student pilot Gefreiter Ernst makes his first rocket-powered start, loses direction and crash-lands his Me 163B at the bombed airfield of Mokkau. The Komet explodes after he evacuates the aircraft. Eth172
.. 1944 relocation to Udetfeld (in East-Poland) Eth173
October 1944 transformed to 13. and 14. Staffel to form III. Gruppe Eth187

II. Gruppe

12 December 1944 II. Gruppe was formed by renumbering the 3. and 4. Staffeln to 5. and 6. Staffeln, which formed the core of the II. Gruppe. Commanded by Opitz, based at Stargard-Klützow Eth192
12 March 1945 operating at Bad Zwischenahn, some aircraft operational, a couple of them took off for a mission Eth199
14 March 1945 A couple of aircraft took off to intercept a B-17 formation both on the inbound and outbound flight Eth199
15 March 1945 Another attack launched on a bomber formation. Escorting fighter pilots reported eleven Me 163B's encountered Eth199/200
23 March 1945 One Me 163B encountered by 479 Fighter Group Eth204
Late March 1945 Relocating to Husum because of British troops approaching. Relocation of Me 163B's under own power, or in tow behind Bf 110's, or by train Eth204
Late March 1945 Bf 110 with Me 163 in tow took off from Nordholz, but was immediately shot down by Tempests, killing Feldwebel Nelte and an observer. The Me 163 landed undamaged in a field. Eth204/205
30 March 1945 One Me 163B observed by 355 Fighter Group Eth204
March/April 1945 II Gruppe on full strength: 80 aircraft, 60 pilots, 450 personel Eth205
April 1945 no operations, complete lack of fuel Eth211
22 April 1945 fuel arrived, 3 aircraft took off, one Lancaster was shot down Eth211
+/- 24 April 1945 Opitz performs engine test flight. Komet catches fire, Opitz makes crash landing and is badly wounded Eth212
8 May 1945 Surrender to British troops by Opitz in hospital Eth213

II. Gruppenstab

no proof that it existed

5. Staffel

12 December 1944 Formerly 3. Staffel. Start of II./JG400. Based at Stargard-Klützow Eth192
joint history with 6./JG400 continues under II. Gruppe

6. Staffel

12 December 1944 Formerly 4. Staffel. Start of II/JG400. Based at Stargard-Klützow Eth192
joint history with 5./JG400 continues under II. Gruppe

III. Gruppe

October 1944 Grown out of Erganzungsstaffel at Udetfeld (Poland). This Gruppe was the Erganzungsgruppe ('completion group') of JG400, formed to provide pilot training. Normally, the IV. Gruppe is the Erganzungsgruppe. III. Gruppe was allocated all Me 163A's for pilot training. Eth172
.. 1944 Fuel shortages prevent flying Eth187
12 January 1945 Udetfeld evacuated, unit moving to Sprottau (Sprottawa, Poland) Eth194
.. 1945 III. Gruppe moves on to Brandis Eth194

III. Gruppenstab

no proof that it existed

13. Staffel

October 1944 Originating from the Erganzungsstaffel. Commanded by Oberleutnant Adolf Niemeyer. Eth178
.. 1944 Adolf Niemeyer tests Me 163A equiped with 24 R4M rockets Eth187
joint history with 14./JG400 continues under III. Gruppe

14. Staffel

October 1944 Originating from the Erganzungsstaffel. Commanded by Leutnant Mano Ziegler Eth194
joint history with 13./JG400 continues under III. Gruppe


Previously it was listed here that eight Me 163B's relocated to Stendal to support the Rammkommando. This proved to be incorrect. Eight Me 163B pilots voluntered to go to the Rammkommando on 8 March 1945. They returned within a few weeks.

Return to Me 163B page