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View Full Version : Lt. Rudolf Schmitt... He-162 May 8 1945 at Leck Airfield



woofiedog
04-18-2007, 02:04 AM
In February of 1945, the first squadron of Jagdgeschwader 1 (I. "Volkssturm"/JG 1) began operational use of the He 162. Later, the second squadron of JG 1 (II/JG 1) also received a batch of operational He 162's. At that time, II/JG 1 was configured as follows:

Staff (Oberst (COL) Herbert Ihlfeld commanding)

I Gruppe (Major (MAJ) Werner Zober)

- 1. Staffel - Hauptmann (CPT) Heinz Künnecke

- 2. Staffel - Hauptmann (CPT) Wolfgang Ludewig

- 3. Stafflel - Oberleutnant (1LT) Emil Demuth

II Gruppe (Hauptmann (CPT) Rahe)

- 4. Staffel - Hauptmann (CPT) Fallowitsch

- 5. Staffel - Hauptmann (CPT) Bergholz

- 6. Stafflel - Oberleutnant (1LT) Zipprecht



While the records are not 100% authoritative, it appears that three individual Luftwaffe pilots did score "credible" kills while flying the He 162 A-1 in combat against the RAF and the USAAF. The first "kill" of I Gruppe/JG 1, is credited to Oberst (CPT) Herbert Ihlefeld's wingman, Sill, near Kirchheim-Treck in early February of 1945. On 21 April 1945, a number of He 162's, belonging to I Gruppe/JG 1, conducted operational missions against Allied ground forces in nothern Germany. At that time, I Gruppe/JG 1 operated out of Leck near the Danish-German border. On 26 April 1945, Unteroffizier Rechenbach, also of I Gruppe/JG1, was witnessed to have downed an Allied aircraft flying his He 162. On 04 May 1945, Leutnant (2LT) Rudolf Schmitt of I Gruppe/JG 1 allegedly shot down an RAF Typhoon near Rostock. Of important note is that official British RAF records do not substantiate this claim. While German Luftwaffe pilots did fly the He 162, and some even scored kills with it - no Hitlerjugend member ever flew the He 162 in combat.


http://www.pilotenbunker.de/Jagdflieger/Luftwaffe/Schmitt_Rudolf/He162_schmittb.JPG

Link: http://www.pilotenbunker.de/Jagdflieger/Luftwaffe/Schmi...schmitt_rudolf.htmLt (http://www.pilotenbunker.de/Jagdflieger/Luftwaffe/Schmitt_Rudolf/schmitt_rudolf.htmLt).


Also...

http://www.luftarchiv.de/index.htm?http://www.luftarchi...ge/heinkel/he162.htm (http://www.luftarchiv.de/index.htm?http://www.luftarchiv.de/flugzeuge/heinkel/he162.htm)
http://www.fiddlersgreen.net/AC/aircraft/Heinkel-Salamander/info/info.htm

bazzaah2
04-18-2007, 02:16 AM
interesting picture there and not seen it before, thanks for posting. I wonder if it's like that film of the King Tiger parade - an image constructed for German domestic consumption, rather than the depiction an operational unit.

I would have thought that lining up planes like that wouldn't necessarily have been the most sensible thing to do given Allied air supremacy come early 1945.

papotex
04-18-2007, 02:52 AM
interesting picture thanks woofiedog

bazzaah2 good point

its simply amazing how advanced those aircraft were compared to anything else in service.

Waldo.Pepper
04-18-2007, 02:53 AM
I would have thought that lining up planes like that wouldn't necessarily have been the most sensible thing to do given Allied air supremacy come early 1945.

It wouldn't this is one of several pictures of the unit - their planes and pilot's lined up and in their Sunday best. They are awaiting the British to come and occupy the field - take over the planes and accept their surrender.

-----

All from World War 2 Fighting Jets.

During the work-up period He 162 pilots had
orders to avoid enemy aircraft whenever possible. With Allied fighters conducting frequent offensive sweeps over every part of the territory still held by German troops, however, such contacts were inevitable. On 15 April Leutnani Rudolf Schmitt of I. /JG 1, a pilot straight out of flying training making his fourth flight in the He 162, reported that he encountered a Spitfire but successfully avoided combat.

On 19 April a He 162 pilot was credited with the
first aerial victory while flying the new jet fighter, shortly before the same aircraft became the first He 162 lost in air combat. Feldwebel Guenther Kirchner of Ist Gruppe was credited with shooting down a British aircraft, after the pilot of the latter was taken prisoner and told his captors that he had been shot down by one of the new jet fighters. On his way back to base, however, Kirchner's own aircraft crashed and he was killed . That is the German side of the story.

The 2nd Tactical Air Force lost a number of
aircraft over enemy territory on that day and from British records it is not possible to confirm or refute the claim that one of them was shot down by a He 162. The loss of the German jet fighter does find confirmation from British records, however. During a strafing attack on Husum airfield Flying Officer Geoff Walkington, flying a Tempest of No. 222 Squadron, reported
encountering an unidentified jet aircraft with twin fin and a single engine - obviously an He 162. Walkington went after the enemy machine but it was very fast at low altitude and even at 360 mph he was unable to close the distance. The German pilot got safely clear, but then he made the fundamental mistake of entering a sweeping turn to starboard which allowed the Tempest to close to within firing range. Walkington fired a series of short bursts at the German aircraft and saw his opponent suddenly enter a spin which continued until it crashed into the ground.

On 26 April Unterofizier Rechenbach was
credited with the destruction of an unspecified
enemy aircraft and his victory was confirmed by at least two independent witnesses. Again, this was a day when the 2nd Tactical Air Force lost several aircraft over enemy territory and the claim cannot be confirmed or refuted from British records. Early in May II./JG 1 moved to Leck to join the Is t Gruppe, and on the 4th the two Gruppen amalgamated into a single perational He 162 unit, Einsatz-Gruppe JG 1 under the command of Oberst Herbert Ihlefeld . That morning Rudolf Schmitt claimed the destruction of a Typhoon near Restock, and thi time there is clear verification of the victory from British records. The 'Typhoon' was in fact a Tempest of No. 486 Squadron piloted by Flying Officer M. Austin, who parachuted to safety and was taken prisoner. The fact that the novice German pilot had been able to shoot down
one of the Royal Air Force's best fighters illustrates the Heinkel's formidable combat potential.

On 5 May cease-fire was declared in northwestern Europe and JG 1 was confined to the
ground . When British troops arrived at leek the
next day they found thirty-one of the jet fighters drawn up in neat rows on either side of the runway, most of them with cockpit and engine covers tied neatly in place. In total the Luftwaffe formally accepted delivery of about 120 He 162s possibly half as many again were collected from the factories by service pilots,
but in the chaos of the final collapse the records were lost. Around two hundred more of these aircraft had been completed and were awaiting collection or flight testing when the end came.

Here sre some pics ...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/WaldoPepper/he-162/Untitled-1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/WaldoPepper/he-162/Untitled-2.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/WaldoPepper/he-162/Untitled-3.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/WaldoPepper/he-162/Untitled-4.jpg


This A1 version would be my ideal wish addition to the 162 flock in IL-2. Hitting power of the 163b Komet. Sweet!


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/WaldoPepper/he-162/Untitled-5.jpg

Heliopause
04-18-2007, 06:59 AM
Always an interesting subject. Nice pic Woofiedog, think I haven't seen it before.

Nice input Waldo.Pepper, I give some info wich I posted before. I collected it from different books/articles:


"JG 1 was selected as the first unit to be equipped with the He 162. The first Gruppe started conversion in February. Getting pilots and ground crews acquainted with the plane took its time however. Accidents happened during this period like with Feldwebel Wanke on March 12th (fault in fuel supply) and on the 14th with Unteroffizier Tautz (pilot error).
Led by Oberleutnant Emil Demuth the I/JG1 reached Leck near the Danish border on April 16th.
Feldwebel Kirchner was shot down during take-off on the 19th. His assailant was a Tempest of 222 Sq flown by Fl.Off Geoff Waddington who described in his combat report:"¯claiming the destruction of an unidentified twin-tail, single engined, enemy aircraft, predominantly green in color"¯.
On April 26th the first combat sortie was launched. UOff Rechenbach crashed after claiming a mosquito. On may 4th Leutnant Rudolf Schmitt claimed a Typhoon but this was credited to a flak unit nearby.
On the 16th of May British troops rolled into Leck and took over the airfield. Eventually some 10 He 162 were taken to the British isles for evaluation. US troops also took their share of He 162's. The jets were located near Halle on several fields being assembled, with engines built at Dessau and aircraft fuselages at Halle. They were dismantled and delivered by truck to Cherbourg (France)."

leitmotiv
04-18-2007, 07:15 AM
Those phots all taken after the surrender!

NagaSadow84
04-18-2007, 07:16 AM
Originally posted by bazzaah2:
interesting picture there and not seen it before, thanks for posting. I wonder if it's like that film of the King Tiger parade - an image constructed for German domestic consumption, rather than the depiction an operational unit.

I would have thought that lining up planes like that wouldn't necessarily have been the most sensible thing to do given Allied air supremacy come early 1945.

Actually the tank parade depicted a real unit: schwere Panzer-Abteilung 503 / "Feldherrenhalle" (heavy Tank Bataillon 503).
http://www.worldwar2aces.com/kingtiger09.jpg
In Action from January 1943 to the end of the war. The unit lost 252 Tiger I & II but destroyed 1.700 enemy tanks and 2.000 guns.

woofiedog
04-18-2007, 01:27 PM
Waldo.Pepper... Excellent photo's.

Heliopause... Thank's for the info.

There are more photo's of the Leck Airfield in the top link.

NagaSadow84... A bit of info of the Tiger Unit's.

Link: http://www.alanhamby.com/unithist.html#503

BillyTheKid_22
04-18-2007, 01:35 PM
http://www.pilotenbunker.de/Jagdflieger/Luftwaffe/Schmitt_Rudolf/schmitt_rudolf_profil.jpg



I did fly for IL2 He-162 and practice, smooth!!

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Waldo.Pepper
04-18-2007, 10:40 PM
Video of prototype number 6. 19 screaming seconds. Wish I had more.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8eT48ypWLw

woofiedog
04-18-2007, 11:44 PM
It needed quite a bit of that runway. Mint video http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Sound clip of the He-162... http://www.aviationtrivia.homestead.com/He162_pics.html

Heinkel 162 Ejection Seat

The Germans were the first nationality to use ejection seats in aircraft. They were used first in developmental aircraft, then in certain operational aircraft. By the end of World War II, over 60 aircrew had used ejection seats in combat.

http://www.ejectionsite.com/german/he162.gif

Link: http://www.ejectionsite.com/he162seat.htm

Heinkel He 162 Volksjäger in Detail... close up photo's.

Link: http://ipmsstockholm.org/magazine/1997/06/stuff_eng_detail_he162.htm

Heliopause
04-19-2007, 12:43 AM
Some extra info from Aero-Journal #11, by Jean-Claude Mermet.
English text by Peter Lee

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b334/PauseHelio/He162Schmitt.jpg

Pilot E. Demuth.
http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b334/PauseHelio/He162Demuth.jpg

Jochiam-Pieper
04-01-2012, 12:47 AM
Hi,
Very interesting info here! I will mention that I am the proud owner of the !st Luft dagger that was owned by Oberleutnant Rudolf Schmidt, as photographed on the first page of Google images when his name is entered. That led me to this site and I was thrilled to find so much info, as I had no idea that he was somewhat famous. This dagger will now assume a place of honor in my collection. I WONDER IF HE REALLY DID SHOOT DOWN THAT TYPHOON?

AndyJWest
04-01-2012, 04:35 AM
Hi. Yes, a useful collection of information, though sadly this forum doesn't get the traffic it used to. As for your knife, if it is genuine it is a collectors piece, though it is sometimes difficult to prove the authenticity of such things.

As for whether Schmidt shot the Typhoon down, we'll probably never know for sure. The closing days of WWII were chaotic, even allowing for the usual 'fog of war'. That the Luftwaffe even managed to get the He-162 operational is surprising - but of course its effect on the outcome of the war was essentially zero.

arthursmedley
04-01-2012, 09:53 AM
Jochiam Pieper? Nazi war criminal? Collects memorabilia?

Mmmmmm, nice.

Jochiam-Pieper
04-01-2012, 04:07 PM
Hi Andy,

Thanks for your reply. I purchased the dagger from a major east coast dealer who has been in business for more than 20 years. There is some provenance that goes with it and when I googled his name I was blown away! Seems that the dagger is near mint because he never carried it as he was in combat most of the time.
I am new to this forum and can't navigate well, when I sign on I never return to the same page. Is there an easy way?

Thanks, Andrew

Jochiam-Pieper
04-01-2012, 04:13 PM
War criminal? Perhaps. He was murdered in France in the early 70's which remains unsolved.
Glad you picked up on the name, but you should also read his biography. If it bothers you I just may change it.

Andrew

Jochiam-Pieper
04-01-2012, 04:44 PM
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I own the 1st Luft Dagger that belonged to Oberleutnant Rudolf Schmidt! I was thrilled to find this info about him posted on this forum. When I googled his full name a photo of the dagger appeared and I was amazed. The dagger is in mint condition because, as was told to me, he very seldom carried it as he was in combat most of the time. I am now compiling as much info and photos of him as I can get so this piece will be the center of my collection.

Thanks, Andrew

Tully__
04-02-2012, 11:02 AM
Hi Andy,
I am new to this forum and can't navigate well, when I sign on I never return to the same page. Is there an easy way?

Thanks, Andrew
Bookmark the page you want.

Sillius_Sodus
04-03-2012, 04:06 PM
War criminal? Perhaps. He was murdered in France in the early 70's which remains unsolved.
Glad you picked up on the name, but you should also read his biography. If it bothers you I just may change it.

Andrew

Welcome to the forum JP,

I've read a couple of books about him and the consensus appears to be that he was a war criminal, at least by western standards since he was tried for the his role in the shooting of U.S. POW's at Malmedy, during the Battle of the Bulge. He was a very aggressive commander and was decorated for a daring raid conducted, if i recall correctly, in early 1943, where he rescued a large number of German troops, including many wounded, from encirclement. That said, he was a high ranking member of Hitler's Leibstandarte, and you probably don't get there by being kind.

As for choosing his name as your user name, well, that's your prerogative, although it might raise a few eyebrows depending on which forum you are visiting.

Jochiam-Pieper
04-04-2012, 01:09 PM
We can argue the point of Peiper being a war criminal till the cows come home. As you said, it depends on whose standards you are using. He was not hanged as many of his subordinates were, and it was never proven that he was present at Malmedy during the massacre.He himself said he was not there, but had moved forward. A trigger-happy tank gunner opened fire on our helpless soldiers and that started it. That man that opened fire
never spoke about his actions, and he lived a long life.

Jochiam-Pieper
04-05-2012, 11:09 AM
I should receive Oberleutnant Rudolf Schmitt's !st Luft Dagger any day now along with the provenance and will post a photo if I could figure out how..lol!

Jochiam-Pieper
04-05-2012, 11:56 AM
May I ask what started the discussion on the Oberleutnant?

Kongo Otto
04-17-2012, 12:39 PM
Actually the tank parade depicted a real unit: schwere Panzer-Abteilung 503 / "Feldherrenhalle" (heavy Tank Bataillon 503).
http://www.worldwar2aces.com/kingtiger09.jpg
In Action from January 1943 to the end of the war. The unit lost 252 Tiger I & II but destroyed 1.700 enemy tanks and 2.000 guns.

Just to be correct, the schw. Panzer Abteilung 503 got the Name "Feldherrenhalle" in December 1944 when submitted under the Command from "Panzer Korps Feldherrenhalle"
As the Name was not commonly used, it was still referred to their original name "schw.PzAbt. 503" until the end.

Do you have a reliable source for the "2000 guns"?
Because all sources i have refer to a total kill number of 1700, which is btw already the highest Kill ratio of all schw.PzAbt (second is schw.PzAbt 502 with 1400 kills) referring to "Christopher Wilbeck Sledgehammers Strengths and Flaws of Tiger Tank Battalions in World War II" which is btw a superb book.
Also worth to mention is the loss rate of 252 Tanks which consists of 113 lost in combat and 123 self destoyed refering to the forementioned book which is the highest loss rate of all schw.PzAbt (second is schw.PzAbt 506 with an toal of 179 lost tanks (61 combat losses and 116 self destroyed).

Kongo Otto
04-17-2012, 01:04 PM
We can argue the point of Peiper being a war criminal till the cows come home. As you said, it depends on whose standards you are using. He was not hanged as many of his subordinates were, and it was never proven that he was present at Malmedy during the massacre.He himself said he was not there, but had moved forward. A trigger-happy tank gunner opened fire on our helpless soldiers and that started it. That man that opened fire
never spoke about his actions, and he lived a long life.


First of all it's Joachim Peiper and not Jochiam Pieper. ;)
I didn't think this is debatable at all as Peiper and many others from the Leibstandarte comitted War atrocities. Peipers Name is always mentioned not only with the Malmedy Masscre, he was also in suspicion for the Boves Massacre back in Italy 1943.
The Waffen-SS with or without Peiper had left an trace of war crimes behind them beginning with the slaughter of British PoW at Wormhoudt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wormhoudt_massacre)1940 or the LeParadis Massacre (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Paradis_massacre) also in 1940.
So i say it clear, when somebody is saying "it depends on whose standards you are using" he is not using standards at all, he is just denying historical facts.

woofiedog
04-25-2012, 08:25 PM
As stated earlier closing days of WWII were chaotic so we might never really know if there was a confirmed kill of a RAF Typhoon. But here is another side to this story and that is the aerial victory could well have been a RAF Tempest aircraft flown by F.G. Auston, who was claimed (as a Typhoon) by LT Schmidt of JG 1 flying an He 162.

http://www.hawkertempest.se/WorldWar2.htm

But on the flip side and that being Tempest vs He-162.

Quote... Towards the end of the war, the Allied armies advanced into Western Germany, and Tempest No. 122 Wing was based at the captured German Hopsten Airfbase. On April 19, 1945, No. 222 squadron strafed Husum airbase. On that mission, F/O Walkington encountered, at low level, a small, previously unidentified jet which he chased and shot down. Analysis of gun camera footage indicated that Walkington had shot down an He-162.

Also a short video clip of the He-162 instrument panel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5lEyUkiWfM&feature=autoplay&list=PL6AC881EBA892848D&playnext=2

Heliopause
04-27-2012, 12:43 PM
The He 162 lost on April 19th was flown by Fw Kirchner.
Here is a nice clip of a landing gear test of a He 162 in France btw.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlRL320cCGY&feature=player_embedded#!

woofiedog
04-27-2012, 11:17 PM
Cool video... Thank's
Seems they need a bit more work with the gear as it looks like it is sticking a bit on one side when lowering or raising. Also found this info about the restoration of this aircraft which includes the video clip you posted above. Notice near the bottom of the page the photo of the writting found in the aircraft by worker who hepled build this He-162. One other fact about this aircraft is that it was flown after the war by 30 of the French pilots for 14 hours of flight time. Wonder if there is some info about these flights.

http://memorial.flight.free.fr/He162uk.html

Heliopause
04-28-2012, 10:17 AM
Something for the moddellers....
http://fighters.forumactif.com/t30178-heinkel-162-francais