Wednesday 18 May 2016

Crash of Fw 190 D-9 Wk.N. 211018 (FE-119) at Freeman Field, Indiana

Contrary to what has been recently and erroneously posted elsewhere, this is WNr. 211018, one of the four Dora-9s brought to the US for flight testing at Freeman Field, Seymour, Indiana. (See Crandall p381, Rodeike p397 and JAPO p128 for evidence that this is not WNr 211016). Originally assigned to the Stab./JG 26 this D-9 was captured in Flensburg. Since the tactical markings identify it as a machine of the Geschwaderstab of JG 26,  it is from there only a short jump to calling it one of Priller's machines! Note the white-outlined area of black around the exhaust and the spinner spiral covering only the front half of the spinner. The tail bands have been partially over-painted with camouflage colour as in the artwork above and low-res photo copy below. (source unknown, originally posted on FB...)

On 22 September 1945 WNr. 211018 was prepared to perform a demonstration flight for the Institute for Aeronautical Sciences and was piloted by Lt. William V. Haynes, who had only just returned to the US in July 1945. Haynes was a 20 year old Ninth AF pilot with a DFC. Shortly after takeoff Haynes attempted a wingover maneuver at a low altitude and failed to recover, and the aircraft stuck the ground wings level and broke into pieces. Haynes was fatally injured and, according to the accident report below, his body thrown clear of the wreckage. Small pieces of the aircraft were recently excavated, though it was thought that more parts had been buried at the crash site.

Witness statements and more on the accident report at the website here

The four Doras that were brought to Wright Field for testing were;

 FE-118 Fw 190 D-13 WNr. 836017 "Yellow 10" of I./JG 26 that still survives and now with the Flying Heritage Collection
 FE-119 Fw 190 D-9 WNr. 211018 "Black 14" of Stab/JG 26 crashed (fatal) September 22, 1945 from pilot error and impact with the ground
 FE-120 Fw 190 D-9 WNr. 601088 now on display at USAF Museum
 FE-121 Fw 190 D-9  WNr. 401392 "Black 5" of JG 26 was scrapped at Wright Field in 1946.

Below; original USAF caption, post-war paint scheme FE -121 ; "Focke-Wulf Fw 190 parked in a hangar at Wright Field circa summer 1945. Ken Chilstrom Wright Field test pilot is sitting in the cockpit and Bob Baird is standing near the wing."

On 2 August 1946 a civilian contractor was performing a slow-speed taxi of FE-121 for a routine brake check. The port landing gear collapsed resulting in substantial damage to the left wing and other parts of the aircraft. The Dora was marked as damaged beyond repair and scrapped.