The United States Air Force Museum
near Dayton, Ohio has a beautifully restored Me 262A-1a that was literally rescued from
the scrap heap.
An Air Technical Intelligence field team
reported the existence of a flyable jet at Munich-Riem in early May, and on the 16th of
May German test pilot Karl Baur recorded ferrying it to Lechfeld at the request of the
Americans. Recent evidence suggests that this plane may have seen operational
service with the Luftwaffe as White 5 of JAGD 54. Remnants from
this squadron (perhaps four jets) were apparently diverted to the field due to technical
problems very close to VE Day.
At Lechfeld, the 54th Air Disarmament Squadron
emblazoned Beverly Ann across the nose of the aircraft, and it was later was
flown by Lieutenant Bob Strobell. Strobell
re-christened it Screamin' Meemie in a decidedly spontaneous manner. He was
never one to concern himself with naming airplanes, so when pressed, he humorously offered
up The Blowtorch. When this failed to impress the crew chief, he recalled a
familiar expression of the day and instead opted for the equally colorful Screamin'
Meemie. (Note: The term "Screamin' Meemie" was widely used to refer
to anything that caused one nervous jitters.)
Strobell ferried the plane to Melun, where the
familiar Whizzers markings were applied and it was assigned the control number 111.
This aircraft was the lead ship during the aerial demonstration flight for General Carl
Spaatz (where Strobell performed an impromptu series of rolls over the runway).
Placed aboard the H.M.S. Reaper as
#20, the plane arrived at Newark and was handed over the US Navy for testing. The
Navy assigned a new BurAer control number, 121442, and put some 10 hours of flight testing
on the airframe. Its last flight was in January 1946, and following one or two
transfers to various Naval Aviation Supply Depot activities, it was ultimately stricken
from Navy records on the 31st of January 1947, and abandoned in the Patuxent River NAS
The plane was salvaged in 1957 and taken to
Wright Field. After a brief period on static display, the jet went into