Australian & New Zealand Military Aircraft Serials & History

Enemy aircraft captured in the Second World War

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Bobby Gibbes in his Messerschmitt Bf.109F.
Photo via Mike Mirkovic


Captured Aircraft Image Gallery

  Many aircraft were either captured by Australian Forces including the RAAF or claimed as War Trophies by the Australian Government or used for War Bond tours. Some of these aircraft made it back to Australia and a few of these aircraft survived for preservation.

Please Note: This page is not yet complete.



Aircraft Serial Type Aircraft History
? Breda Ba.25 Augusta, Sicily, Italy. September 1943. Airmen of No. 3 (Kittyhawk) Squadron Royal Australian Air Force, looking over an Italian Breda Ba-25 seaplane which was captured intact when the port of Augusta was occupied by Allied Forces. The Breda was flown by the Squadron and later handed over to the Free French.

Highlight for Album: Breda BE-25

? Cant Z.501 Gabbiano Augusta, Sicily, Italy, September 1943. A Pilot Officer John of No. 3 (Kittyhawk) Squadron Royal Australian Air Force aboard an Italian CRDA Cant-Z-501 Gabbiano float plane found intact on occupation of this Regia Marina's (Italian Royal Navy) base. Serviced by No. 3 Squadron but when serviceable was ordered to hand it and the floatplane to the Free French. [AWM MEA0311].

Highlight for Album: Cant Z.501

? Cant Z.505 Airmen of No. 450 (Kittyhawk) Squadron RAAF found some Italian seaplane intact when they arrived at Regia Aeronautica's large seaplana base at Augusta, Eastern Sicily, August 1943. On the right the tail of a FIAT-CMASA RS.14 of 170th Squadriglia Ricognizione Marittima (Maritime Reconnaissance). A large three-engine seaplane CANT-Z-506 "Airone" is in background. AWM MEC2307
? Caproni Ca.100 3 Sqn

Our photo actually shows a 112 Sqn RAF Ca.100:

Caproni Ca.100  Caproni Ca.100 

A Caproni Ca.100, captured by No.112 Sq at Agnone, August 1943, Caproni Ca.100 I-GUAS, one of five such trainers previously used by the Catania Aero Club, Sicily, of which three went to No. 112 Sq RAF, and one each to No. 3 and No. 450 Sq RAAF. It was flown at Agnone, August-September 1943 and was used for taking maintenance personnel on joy rides

? Caproni Ca.100 450 Sqn

Sicily, Italy. c. 1943. Pilots of the Desert Harassers No. 450 (Kittyhawk) Squadron RAAF, utilise a captured Caproni aircraft for training purposes.

? Caproni Ca.164 3 Sqn

Highlight for Album: 3 Squadron Caproni Ca.164

? Caproni Ca.309 Ghibli 3 Sqn
Highlight for Album: Caproni Ca.309
? Fiat CR.42 450 Sqn

Highlight for Album: Fiat CR.42

? Fiat CR.42 From 3 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force History, "3 Squadron at War", a note written early April, 1941 (during the Squadron's first retreat in front of Rommel): "To the great regret of the Squadron, an Italian CR42 captured in January 1941 at Martuba, which had been flown by several pilots in the intervening months, had to be destroyed. It had been the intention to preserve this trophy of war and later have it taken back to Australia for presentation to the War Museum in Canberra". Obviously the CR.42 quoted in the note is the plane of the photograph. Note the Savoia’s emblem in the white cross on the rudder removed by a souvenir’s hunter.


? Focke-Wulf Fw190 ? Listed in Wikipedia but I have no further details
? Henshel 126B-1 Highlight for Album: Henschel Hs 126B
? Junkers Ju 52/3m 450 Sqn

This Luftwaffe’s transport aircraft Junkers Ju 52/3m was captured intact by the Australian forces at Ain-El Gazala, Libya, repainted with the Royal Australian Air Force’s roundels and nicknamed "Libyan Clipper". The aircraft was used by 450 Squadron RAAF to transport mail, food supplies and small items from Cairo and back to the front line, doing two or three trips each week. Lord Casey, Governor General of Australia, came in this aircraft to see the men of the squadron. 1943.

Highlight for Album: Junkers Ju 52/3m

? Macchi MC-205V Veltro A Macchi MC.205V "Veltro" captured intact by Australians on Pachino Airfield, in Sicily, Summer 1943

Highlight for Album: Macchi MC.202

0750 Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3/4 War trophy

Brought down at Wychling at 10:30 on Thursday 5th of September 1940. Built by Erla No.750 1938 and fitted with DB. 601 A/1 engine No.30674 made by Henschel Cassel. No armour plating head shield.

The aircraft, Yellow 7, was from III/JG3 and was piloted by Uffz Heinz Grabow shot down by Bob Do

Grabow took off from an airfield near Boulogne, and while acting as escort for ten Do 17s, had just made an orbit above the bombers when he was attacked by a British fighter. The engine was hit and Grabow, who had only been with his Geschwader for three weeks, made a forced landing.

Brought to Australia during the war and was exhibited in various locations around Victoria and Tasmania (including the Melbourne Town Hall) to raise money for war bonds.

It was later scrapped post war at 1 CRD Werribee in Victoria

Highlight for Album: Messerschmitt Bf109E 0750

HK849 Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 3 Sqn

Highlight for Album: Messerschmitt Bf109F HK849


Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2/Trop Formerly of 8./JG 27;
Found abandoned and in a damaged condition by No. 3 Squadron RAAF, at an airfield near Tobruk, Libya in November 1942,
Repaired by 3 Sqn using parts from other abandoned aircraft,
Repainted in an RAF Desert Air Force scheme and given the Squadron Code CV-V,
Flown for evaluation and familiarisation,
Transferred to 1426 Flight RAF in late 1943,
<<Include story of restoration and crash>>
Preserved with the RAF Museum.

Highlight for Album: Messerschmitt Bf109G 

163824 Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6/U4 Get details from E/E.88

This aircraft was captured by the allied forces towards the end of the Second World War and in 1946 it was located at an RAF Maintenance Unit, in Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom (UK).
Soon after, this aircraft (and a rocket powered Messerschmitt 163 Komet) were sent to Australia, but no information or documentation accompanied either aircraft.
It was presumed that they were a gift from Britain in recognition to Australia's contribution to the air war in Europe during the Second World War.
Upon arrival in Australia this aircraft was stored (still crated, for at least eight years) at RAAF Laverton, Victoria, and was transferred and stored at RAAF Tocumwal for a further year until it was finally transferred to the Australian War Memorial (AWM) in 1955.
In 1963 it was sold by the AWM to a private vendor, who subsequently re-sold it to Marshall Airways at Bankstown airport, where it was part of an open air display with other aircraft for some years.
Later, the aircraft was sold to a private aircraft collector in the United Kingdom (UK) for a substantial sum and in 1979, whilst the new owner attempted to export the aircraft from Australia to the UK, the aircraft was impounded and confiscated by Australian Customs because of recent Australian legislation governing the export of historic aircraft and also, because the aircraft was fraudulently labelled as Mustang aircraft parts.
During the ensuing court case to have the aircraft released to the UK it was stored at No 2 Stores Depot, RAAF, Regents Park, NSW.
After a successful judgment, the AWM reacquired the aircraft in 1988 where it has remained as part of the National Collection ever since.
The wartime service history of this aircraft is fairly hazy and nothing conclusive is known.
Unconfirmed reports state that it was probably manufactured in April 1944 and was damaged in May and again later in 1944 during a ferry flight.
A small painted inscription below the canopy indicates that it was refurbished in December 1944 (possibly at Munster) with the starboard wing and the fuselage stern frame being replaced. Non standard fuselage cowls possibly indicate a change of engine type.
It is believed to be the most complete example of the dozen or so still in existence around the world. It is probably the only surviving example still wearing the original paintwork which was applied by the Luftwaffe in 1944

On display Australian War Memorial, Canberra

Highlight for Album: Messerschmitt Bf 109G 163824

191907 Messerschmitt Me 163 E/E.88
500200 Messerschmitt Me 262 E/E.88
V-172 Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero E/E.88
  Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero Highlight for Album: Mitsubishi Zero
  Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero Highlight for Album: Mitsubishi Zero
B-12? Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero AWM
?-16 Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero AWM
3618 Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero AWM
? Mitsubishi Ki-21-IIa Sally E/E.88

The plane is a Mitsubishi Ki-21-IIa of the Headquarters Flight of the 3rd Kokugan (Ref Putnam, pg 160).
It was surrendered to the Allies around Oct 1945 at Moratai carrying Lieutenant-General Ichi, Supreme Commander of the Japanese forces in the Celebes (Ref AWM P02270.025, OG3743, P03033.004, P03033.005).
At some stage the plane appears to have transitted to Labuan, North Borneo. (Ref OG3743)
The plane was flown out from Labuan to Laverton on 1 Feb 1946 and had arrived at Laverton by 8 Feb 1946.
The crew were:
Flt Lt Mal Baker (Captain) Test Pilot at No 81 Wing RAAF Labuan,
Warrant Off Fred Pitts, Flt Lt Dai Walthurst DFC (Navigator), Flt Sgt Derrick Hosking, LAC Norm Hill, LAC Arthur Barr. (AWM OG3743).
The plane was nicknamed 'Tokyo Rose' by the crew returning her to Australia.
The plane is reputed to have made 5 raids on Darwin.
It was also noted at Tocumwal in the 1950's.
The plane ended up at the AWM collection in Nov 1954 (AWM P04425.005) and was at RAAF Fairbairn in 1955 (P02270.023, P02270.024).
The plane was reported to be scrapped in the1960's (AWM 92948.096)
There are numerous photos on the AWM site - search for 'Sally' and Ki.21.

Highlight for Album: Mitsubishi Ki-21-IIa Sally

? Mitsubishi Ki-51 Sonia Captured at Keningau and flown to Labuan island
4 Sqn
Coded QE-? on fin.
Highlight for Album: Mitsubishi Ki-51 
750 Nakajima Ki-43 Oscar AWM
Sid Marshall
Col Pay
Alpine Fighter Collection, NZ

Highlight for Album: Nakajima Ki-43 Oscar
C/N 750

4700 Nakajima Ki-43 Oscar AWM
5465 Nakajima Ki-43 Oscar E/E.88
6023 Nakajima Ki-43 Oscar AWM
51253? Nakajima Ki-43 Oscar AWM
? Savoia Marchetti SM 79 ?
? Savoia Marchetti SM 81 ?

Squadron Leader R. Davies, RAAF Padre, conducts a service for an advanced Kittyhawk fighter bomber wing to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Britain, at Bari Airport, Italy, Autumn 1943. The service is conducted at the front of a hangar and the Australian flag is tied to an Italian bomber Savoia-Marchetti S.81 and the Union Jack flag is draped in front of the altar.

Highlight for Album: Savoia Marchetti SM 81

? Tachikawa Ki-54 Hickory Flown in for a Surrender Ceremony by General Baba at Labuan.
Noted in storage at Point Cook in 82/83.
The Hickory fuselage was recovered from the Fairbairn Kindergaten playground by the RAAF Museum in the early 1980's by W/O Bob Gould, and stored at Point Cook until 200? when it was handed back to the AWM
Fuselage is currently in storage with the AWM

Highlight for Album: Tachikawa Ki-54 


Cards held but not actually captured

  Messerschmitt Me 110G Performance Card
  Messerschmitt Me 210 Performance Card
  Messerschmitt Me 210C Performance Card
  Messerschmitt Me 323 Performance Card
  Messerschmitt Me 410 Performance Card

The Author of this page is Brendan Cowan.

Source: National Archives, British Military Aircraft Serials 1911-1979, Bruce Robertson

Emails: Michael Louey,

Updated 25 November 2013


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