R E S O U R C E S
Donald Duck circling the globe astride a Jumo 004
... the squadron insignia of "Watson's Whizzers"
Archives, web sites, books, journals, libraries... where can you turn to find out more about this mission and the Me 262? To some extent, the answer all depends upon what level of detail you are after.
For television or videotape viewing, the Discovery Channel's Wings Of The Luftwaffe series offers an interesting overview, and includes video segments with Bob Strobell, A & E also produced an excellent documentary (also featuring Strobell) in the Last Days Of The Third Reich. Both are still available for purchase.
For casual reading, look for one of Jeff Ethell's magazine articles on Watson's Whizzers (Air Force Magazine, April 1981; FlyPast, October 1985; or The Retired Officer Magazine, April 1991). Jeff was among the first to write about this mission, and had a lifelong interest in the Me 262 until his untimely passing in a P-38 Lightning accident in the summer of 1997.
Air & Space magazine recently featured a self-titled article on the Watson's Whizzers in the October/November 1997 issue. While the article unwittingly reiterates a number of minor errors (common to virtually every account in print today), it is well-researched and provides an informative and highly readable overview.
Walt Boyne's book Messerschmitt 262: Arrow To The Future (Smithsonian, 1980) provides some interesting detail, and was among the best of the "early sources." It remains a popular title, and was recently reprinted in soft cover.
Jeff Ethell collaborated with Alfred Price to release World War II Fighting Jets (Airlife, 1994) in the UK. This book gives an excellent overview of not only the Me 262 program, but also the contemporary efforts of Allied nations.
Smith and Creek's Jet Planes Of The Third Reich (Monogram, 1982) is another of the earlier works with considerable merit; however, it has long been out of print, and is often difficult to find. The authors have just released a new series of volumes on the Me 262 with Classic Publications that covers much of this ground, and a great deal more. This four volume magnum opus on the Me 262 series sets the standard by which all future books on this aircraft will be judged, and is a must for any student of Luftwaffe history. Classic Publications titles are available here on the Stormbirds server at the Stormbirds ANNEX.
Another sought-after reference from the UK is Phil Butler's indispensable War Prizes (Midland Counties, 1994). War Prizes offers some of the most reliable, and well-researched information that has ever appeared on the subject of captured aircraft.
Schiffer Publishing has a long history of releasing superb Luftwaffe-related books. Radinger & Schick's Messerschmitt Me 262 Development, Testing, Production (1993) and Manfred Boehme's JG 7: The World's First Jet Fighter Unit 1944/1945 (1992) are among their most recent offerings.
Hugh Morgan's brilliant Stormbird Rising (Osprey, 1994), remains an overall favorite. In addition to an extensive history of the Me 262, Morgan gives very good coverage to the early stages of the Me 262 Project.
Ardent researchers have to look no farther than Norman Malayney's superb three part article on Operation LUSTY, which appeared in the American Aviation Historical Society's AAHS Journal in the Spring, Summer & Fall 1995 issues. This piece sets the standard for both depth of research and accuracy, and is currently being updated and expanded for stand-alone publication.
If you seek to access original documents and military records, the USAF Historical Research Agency at Maxwell Air Force Base must be at the top of your list. The National Archives may also prove helpful, although their holdings are generally not as well-indexed, and more time may be required to locate pertinent materials. Other archives, such as the National Air & Space Museum and the United States Air Force Museum can yield an interesting, but limited, array of materials, depending upon the topic.
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