Friday, 11 October 2013

I./JG 1 surrender their He 162 jets at Leck on 8 May 1945

I./JG 1 surrender their He 162 jets at Leck on 8 May 1945 (according to the inscription on the reverse of these images currently on offer via Heiko Fuchs Ebay sales). Personal accounts document the mix of resignation and relief felt by those stragglers from JG 4 who had managed to fall back to Schleswig Holstein to surrender to the British alongside their comrades from JG 1. This extract from the JG 4 war diary for Sunday 06 May 1945 taken from my own translation of Eric Mombeek's history of JG 4 (Vol II)..

"..Our aircraft, vehicles and other equipment are lined up as if for one last parade. The sight is an impressive one and will certainly give the British food for thought. We are proud to show off more than one hundred of our aircraft like this - from the ultra -modern Me 262 and He 162 that have flown only limited numbers of combat sorties - to the Bf 109 and Fw 190 fighters that have returned victories in thousands of successful air battles. All will pass into enemy hands. This afternoon several light tanks and trucks bring RAF ground forces onto the airfield. Oberst Nordmann, and then the Kommodore and Kommandeure, have to go before the Colonel commanding the RAF forces. To our great surprise they receive a handshake by way of greeting! However while we are airmen together we remain sceptical as to what may follow the courtesies that our extended to us: what will happen when the other occupation forces arrive? The first orders are to draw up an inventory of all our matériel. All weapons must be handed in apart from the officers side-arms...."