Me 163B 'White 42'

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'White 42' is shown as profile drawings in both the AeroDetail book (page 25, in black and white) and the AJ Press book (page 55, color drawing), but I had never seen a photo of this aircraft. That is until the photo below was offered on Ebay, and bought by Shamus Reddin of the Walter web site. He kindly scanned and sent the photo.

The photo shows a Komet of training Gruppe III/JG400. The badge is either of 13. or 14. Staffel (unfortunately this is still unclear). The aircraft number painted is another sign of it being a training aircraft. The aircraft seems to lack armament, since no gun muzzle is visible (nor a taped over one), and no weapon can be seen mounted in the wing root. It is possible that this is (or was) an early MG 151/20 equipped aircraft: if studied closely, the ammo loading panel similar to that of 'White 54' appears to be visible; however it's no more than a vague line in the mottle pattern. The camo appears to be rather unique: it consist of mottles that are relatively light on the aircraft's centerline, and very dense on the fuselage sides. The wing root appears solidly painted. Note the many mottles on the canopy frame. The swastika is black without an outline. The Morane radio antenna is in a light color. The nose band appears to be yellow with a white edge.

Exact details of the photo are lacking, but it most likely shows six Komets captured in the Leipzig area, waiting to be shipped away on US trucks. Since other photos of III/JG400 Komets were taken at Merseburg, this could be the location, but it remains speculative. Note that all Komets at Brandis were blown up by retreating troops.

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