Luftwaffe Lancaster?

Discussion in 'Aircraft Picture Requests' started by Capt. Vick, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Hans-Werner Lerche in his book "Luftwaffe test pilot: Flying captured Allied aircraft of World War 2" states that late in the war the Luftwaffe captured, repaired and he flew a captured RAF Lancaster bomber on several occasions and even described it having yellow painted engines and wing tips. Does anyone know more about this? Pictures or (best guess) profiles?
     
  2. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    I've never seen a photo of a Lancaster in Luftwaffe possesion and there seems to be only the one story about it told by Lerche.

    There might be two possible candidates for his Lancaster:
    22-23 November 42 - W4107; 49 Sq, successful landing (flak damage) near Sark
    1-2 January 44 - ND325; 12 Sq, succesful landing (cause unknown, slight damage upon landing)

    The second one (January 44) would be in keeping with Lerche's story timeline
     
  3. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Interesting...
     
  4. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe there is a photo of a Lancaster in Luftwaffe markings. I know a lot of people have looked for one !

    ND396, BQ-D, of 550 Sqn. which crash landed near Berlin on January 30/31 1944 is most people's pole sitter for the aircraft flown by Lerche. It makes his statement that the aircraft was captured a few weeks earlier a bit optimistic though.

    There is also this, tentatively identified as PB362 of 83 Sqn, crash landed on 18th August 1944 and strafed by allied fighters the next day.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GGyCdie96Q

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  5. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Steve,

    Thanks for posting that! I'm surprised that there hasn't been any more info on this. Like a theoretical color profile. Would be an interesting subject. I'm definately coming late to this.

    Jim
     
  6. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Here is a profile made by Clave.. it seems to be the hypothetical one only.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Great profile! Now if we can get him to give it yellow engines and put it back in RAF camo, but keep the yellow wing tips. And maybe paint over the roundels and apply some over-sized B H we would be on to having Terry model this for us!

    Thanks Wurger!
     
  8. Alex .

    Alex . Active Member

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    Really enjoyed that video Steve, thank you for sharing.

    The Lanc just doesn't look right in the Luftwaffe camo, weird.
     
  9. pattle

    pattle Member

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    Yes definitely a Lancaster and you can see that some of the upper surfaces have been painted in what looks like yellow paint. But what are the chances of this single aircraft popping up amongst all the miles of gun camera footage that the Americans had, and I also have to wonder why the Germans would go to the trouble of painting the engines etc yellow without first painting over the RAF roundels with their own markings. I have to wonder was this film actually shot in the UK?
     
  10. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    No it's definitely shot on a Luftwaffe airfield. I do know which airfield but would have to look it up.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  11. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I have pics of several Stirlings but no Lanc. Has anybody checked the "Captured/Odd" pics thread?
     
  12. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The Lanc in the footage was strafed by Allied aircraft the following day...I seriously doubt the Germans would have had time to repaint and repair the Lanc in that length of time...
     
  13. pattle

    pattle Member

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    #13 pattle, Aug 25, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
    I only know what I can see in the film, the aerolons, engines and rudders look as though they have been painted in light coloured paint, I presume yellow. Yellow being the colour that I have seen other captured allied aircraft wearing makes sense, but not the RAF roundels still being present. Possibly they were only half way through the paint job and other repairs when the Allied fighters came down and shot it up, the hits scored in this video look pretty devastating and I don't think the poor Lancaster had much of a future after the raid so I would be surprised if it was ever put back into airworthy condition. I wonder how this Lancaster arrived at the Luftwaffe station, unless it had landed there I would expect it would of had to of had it wings taken off before being transported by road? Perhaps the reason there is no known pictures of this aircraft is because it was destroyed before it was put back into the air? I don't know, but it is interesting.
    Could the yellow paint have been applied by the RAF for some reason, as a group leader perhaps?
     
  14. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I think painting it before moving makes sense, the last think you would want with a captured aircraft is have your own pilots that stumble across it to strafe and destroy.

    I'd actually be surprised if they never captured one.
     
  15. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    The strafed Lancaster, probably PB362 of 83 Squadron, crash landed near Rouen shortly after mid day on Aug 18th 1944 (not in Germany....my bad). It was strafed an hour later and a staff car, visible in the video, was claimed destroyed at the same time.

    [​IMG]

    I don't think the ailerons are painted yellow as this was not an identification marking used by Bomber Command. It is more likely a trick of the light, particularly if they are deflected. Look how light the centre section of the fuselage appears. It is very difficult to make interpretations from such poor quality images. The light markings on the fins are probably the white component of the fin flashes.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  16. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    I just can't let this go.

    Futher reading of Hans-Werner Lerche's book "Luftwaffe Test Pilot" revealed the following:

    Pg 119 "...I flew the Avro Lancaster from Travemunde to Larz where an exhibition had been arranged."

    From the 3rd group of picture pages, 8th page in, there are photographs of Lerche's log book. The top photo contains a listing for the Lancaster flight. The date is 10.6., which is assumed to mean June 10th, 1944 (1944 because stamps on the following page are dated 1944). Assuming Larz means Rechlin-Lärz Airfield, which I have no reason to doubt, can anyone confirm an aircraft exhibition there on June 10th, 1944 or soon after? I realise it closeness to the D-Day landings may have delayed or postponed the planned exhibition, but if it went ahead, wouldn't it have been photographed?
     
  17. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Hi Capt Vick, I too have a copy of Lerche's book and will read a bit more about it, but I'm also getting hold of, or attempting to, of a copy of German Secret Flight Test Centres to 1945, which might have a bit more info. Apparently from what I've seen on other forums is that images of Lancasters in German markings are quite elusive and the exact identities have a few people stumped. It's possible that the aircraft Lerche was flying was Lancaster III ND396 BQ-D of 550 Sqn that was hit by Flak on 30 January 1944 and came down near Berlin, but there is no certainty behind this. It is believed that the one Lerche flew was one of the first intact beute Lancasters overhauled to flying condition.
     
  18. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    After a bit of investigation I found reference to an exhibition held at Rechlin around the time you specified, Capt Vick. In German Secret Flight Test Centres to 1945 (got it!) it states that on 12th and 13 June 1944 all the LW E-Stellen displayed the latest German equipment, such as He 177B-5, Ju 88S-3, Ta 154, He 219, Fw 190, Ar 232B, Do 335, Ar 234, Me 262 and Me 163, as well as the latest beute Allied aircraft. Listed in the book is the following; Fortress, Liberator, Lightning, Mustang, Spitfire, Mosquito and Typhoon, but no mention of a Lancaster, but Lerche's Flugbuch certainly confirms he flew one there beforehand, so it can be assumed (with some hesitation) that it was there. Here's a comment from the book.

    "Participants at the inspection noticed immediately the difference between the superb and matching construction components of the American aircraft in comparison to the very imperfect manufacture of the German aircraft,as noted in a report compiled by Flugbaumeister Kroger of the Arado firm."
     
  19. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Great detective work! I also have the book "German Secret Flight Test Centres to 1945" and scanned it this very evening looking only for photographs. As you know there are none. Glad you dug deeper to confirm the dates of the exhibition. Now someone must have had a camera, or even a movie camera there, no?

    Also looked for pictures in the book "In Enemy Hands" released in 1981, with no luck.

    Interesting comment from the book by the way.
     
  20. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    A thought came to mind regarding the captured Lancaster(s) the Liftwaffe had. I wonder if the Germans may have been planning a covert operation that required the Lancaster to remain out of the public eye. Otherwise, it's baffling that out of three possible captured aircraft, no official pictures or references have ever been found.

    Just a thought.
     
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