(37) Last Hope of the Luftwaffe: Me 163, He 162, Me 262

Messerschmitt Me 163 B V52; W.Nr. 16310061, ‘Yellow 1’, flown by Lt. Reinhard Opitz, Kapitän of 7./JG 400, Nordholz, Germany, April 1945. The upper surfaces of the wings and a large part of the fuselage were painted in patches of RLM 81 and 82, whilst the underside and rear part of the fuselage were painted RLM 76. The lower part of the forward fuselage, as well as the whole tail, were additionally mottled with RLM 81 and 82. The front part of the nose, including the electric generator propeller, was yellow, with a quite thick black ring aft of it. Lt. Reinhard Opitz is credited with 2 victories claimed during his previous service with ZG 101.

Color profiles: Simon Schatz

Heinkel He 162 A-1; W.Nr. 310003,  ‘Yellow 5’ of 3./JG 1, Leck, Germany, May 1945. This aircraft will work as an example to explain some typical features of He 162 camouflage. Its fuselage was finished in RLM 76 and 82. The engine air intake and covers were painted RLM 81, with only the rear part painted black. The upper surface of the left wing was painted RLM 82 with the right wing’s upper surface in RLM 81 and underside in RLM 76 (with the exception of both ailerons whose upper and lower surfaces were completely painted with RLM 82). Please note that the leading edge of the wing was usually over-sprayed with RLM 76. The fins and rudders were painted RLM 76, as were the underside and leading edges of both tailplanes. The upper surface of the left tailplane was painted RLM 82, with the elevator in RLM 81, whilst the right tailplane received a reverse finish. Please note the black gun trough on the portside and an unusual emblem which comprises small badges of I./JG 1, 3./JG 1 and JG 1.

Heinkel He 162 A-2; W.Nr. 120067,  ‘White 4’ of 1./JG 1, Leck, Germany, May 1945. The main differences between the camouflage of ‘White 4’ and ‘Yellow 5’ were the division line between the fuselage colours and the use of RLM 82 for the whole upper surfaces of the wings and tailplanes, as well as the painting of the outer surfaces of the fins and rudders in RLM 82 (left) and RLM 81 (right) respectively. Worth noting are the black gun troughs, as well as the distinctive finish of the wing tips and the painting of the aileron undersides in RLM 76. The emblem of 1./JG 1 was applied below the cockpit on the port side only.