Messerschmitt Me 262A-1a -Yellow 3, 3./JG7, Hermann Buchner, Luftwaffe
Messerschmitt ME262A-1a -Yellow 3, 3./JG7, Hermann Buchner
1 in stock
1 in stock
Corgi Aviation Archive 1/72 scale WB99629: Messerschmitt ME262A-1a “Yellow 3” as flown by ace pilot Hermann Buchner of 3./JG7 based at Saaz in May 1945. From the WARBIRDS series with raised undercarriage only plus a stand.
Jagdgeschwader 7 (JG 7) Nowotny was a Luftwaffe fighter-wing of World War II and the first operational jet fighter wing in the world. It was created late in 1944 and served until the end of the war in May 1945, and it operated the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter exclusively. JG 7 was formed under the command of Oberst Johannes Steinhoff, with Kommando Nowotny (the initial Me 262 test wing ) renumbered III./JG 7. Under the command of Major Erich Hohagen III./JG 7 was the only element of JG 7 ready to operate against the Allies. Throughout its existence JG 7 suffered from an irregular supply of new aircraft, fuel and spares. With such a radically new aircraft, training accidents were also common, with 10 Me 262s being lost in six weeks. The technical troubles and material shortages meant initial tentative sorties were only in flight strength, usually no more than 4 or 6 aircraft. Flying from Brandenburg-Briest, Oranienburg and Parchim, the Geschwader flew intermittently against the huge USAAF bomber streams. On 3 February JG 7 intercepted USAAF bomber formations and 5 bombers were claimed shot down. By the end of February 1945 JG 7 had claimed around 45 four-engined bombers and 15 fighters, but at this stage of war this success rate had no effect whatsoever on the Allied air offensive. During March JG 7 finally began to deliver larger scale attacks against the heavy bomber streams. 3 March saw 29 sorties for 8 kills claimed (one jet was lost). On 18 March III./JG 7 finally managed their biggest attack numerically thus far, some 37 Me 262s engaging a force of 1,200 American bombers and 600 fighters. This action also marked the first use of the new R4M rockets. 12 bombers and 1 fighter were claimed for the loss of 3 Me 262s. The total numbers of aircraft shot down by JG 7 is difficult to quantify due to the loss of Luftwaffe records, but at least 136 aircraft were claimed, and research indicates as many as 420 Allied aircraft may have been claimed shot down.
The Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe (“Swallow”) was the world’s first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft. Design work started before World War II began, but engine problems prevented the aircraft from attaining operational status with the Luftwaffe until mid-1944. Compared with Allied fighters of its day, including the jet-powered Gloster Meteor, it was much faster and better armed. In combat, when properly flown, it proved difficult to counter due to its speed. Me 262 pilots claimed a total of 509 Allied kills (although higher claims are sometimes made)against the loss of about 100 Me 262s. The design was pressed into a variety of roles, including light bomber, reconnaissance and even experimental night fighter versions.
The Me 262 was one of the most advanced aviation designs in operational use during World War II. The Allies countered its potential effectiveness in the air by relentlessly attacking the aircraft on the ground, or while they were taking off or landing. Maintenance problems and a lack of fuel during the deteriorating late-war situation also reduced the effectiveness of the aircraft as a fighting force. In the end, the Me 262 had a negligible impact on the course of the war due to its late introduction and the small numbers that were deployed in operational service. The Me 262 influenced the designs of post-war aircraft such as the North American F-86 Sabre and Boeing B-47 Stratojet.