Farnborough Me 163B 191912


191912 was one of the Komets captured by the RAF at Husum. Phil Butler's 'War Prizes' reports the following:

AM208 Messerschmitt Me 163B W Nr 191912

Aircraft of JG 400. Surrendered at Husum and shipped to the RAE. Despatched from Farnborough to No. 6 MU, Brize Norton, on 21st July 1945. Returned to Farnborough for static display in 'A' Shed during the German Aircraft Exhibition ond subsequently displayed at the Science Museum, South Kensington, London, from February to May, 1946. Subsequent fate unrecorded.

Farnborough, German Aircraft Exhibition, 29 October - 9 November 1945

Some eighty German aircraft were gathered at Farnborough after the war ended. During October/November 1945, the public was given access: a 'German Aircraft Exhibition' was held from Monday 29 October to Friday 9 November 1945, with the main flying display taking place on Sunday 4 November. Among the aircraft on display was Komet 191912. Only one photo is known of 191912 at Farnborough, reproduced below. Note the Heinkel He 162 and Blohm und Voss BV 155 behind the Komet.

Walter rocket motor webmaster Shamus Reddin researched the Farnborough archive, and found out that the photos of items in the hangars were taken around 29 October 1945, and that the Komet was photographed in Farnborough's Hangar A. In an article in Aviation News titled 'German Aircraft at Farnborough October-November 1945' by Micheal Young (25 January - 7 February 1985 issue), 191912 is listed as part of the static display. According to the article, it was the only Komet present, or at least the only one accessible to the public. In 'War Prizes', the Komet is not listed as part of the outdoors exhibition, again suggesting the Komet was shown inside the hangar.

The Komet looks in pristine condition. There is no sign of the identity 'AM208' having been applied, or any original markings changed. The camouflage scheme appears indentical to that of the Australian Komet 191907, but that's not surprising since it was five places down the assembly line! Unlike its Australian brother, 191912 shows no sign of overpainted fasteners on the lower fuselage.

Paul Becker from Canada kindly provided scans of the program book for the 'Exhibition of German aircraft and equipment'. Paul reports that it contains data in alphabetic order by aircraft model and presents a brief description of duty (e.g. dive bomber, fighter), power plant, fuel capacity, armament, performance, remarks, etc. It does not include photos. Pages 1 to 4 contain the foreword, the Me 163B is described on pages 28-29.

Science Museum, South Kensington, 1946

The only information available is that the Komet was displayed here together with a Heinkel He 162 and a V-1. Walter rocket motor webmaster Shamus Reddin found a negative that was dated 29 June 1946.

RAF Melksham, 1947-1965 ?

It is possible that this Komet went to the No.12 School of Technical Training at RAF Melksham.

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