WOW023 ME262 with Cannon
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WOW023 ME262 Pulkerstorer variant with 50mm Cannon Our last aircraft for
this month is a unique variant of the Messerschmitt Me-262, an A-1a/U4
Pulkzerstörer, designed to carry a 50mm Mauser Mk 214 cannon. This was
intended to be the ultimate bomber-killer because of the pilot’s ability to
fire outside the defensive gun range of the American bombers and the
devastating impact of the 50mm cannon shells, should they hit the target.
The gun had a weight of 490 kilos, a rate of fire of 45 rounds/minute and
each aircraft was designed to carry 22 projectiles, with each projectile
weighing 1.54 kilos. The size of the gun meant that the nose wheel mechanism
had to be reconstructed and the nose wheel swivelled 90 degrees, to then lay
horizontally in the bay beneath the gun when fully retracted. The cannon was
accessed by removing a large hatch along the upper nose and the otherwise
sleek outlines of the 262 were slightly marred by a hump covering the
foremost parts of the gun.
V083 was flown by Knights Cross winner Wilhelm Herget in combat on 2
separate sorties, but the 50mm cannon is reported to have jammed on both
Herget was an exceptional pilot with 73 kills to his credit, 8 of them in 1
night whilst tackling the RAF who were bombing Frankfurt in December 1943.
After the war ended V083 was captured by US forces and appears in several
photos with the name of ‘Wilma Jean’ painted on the nose.
The figures shown in the photos are for scale reference purposes only.