Luftwaffe Bomber Pilot, Wilhelm Ludwig Kriessmann
Artwork and Research By;
Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette
Famous Luftwaffe Bombers
Heinkel He-177, Junkers Ju-188 and the Donier Do-217.
There are 425 limited edition prints in this series. Print Size: 18x24"
Limited Edition Prints are signed and numbered by the Artist and by the Aviator. $95.00
Shipping $8.00 anywhere in the world.
There were only 300 poster prints published. 18x24" $18.00
Poster prints are autographed by the artist only.
This is my painting of a Donier Do-217 that was flown by Wilhelm Kriessmann.
Dornier Do-217 Development
The Dornier Do-217 was the metamorphous of the famous Dornier Do-17 twin-engine medium bomber. With a proven airframe and more powerful BMW engines the D0-217 E, K and M models were bombers with a crew of four. The J and N models were night fighters with three man crews. The Dornier proved to be very effective as a night-fighter claiming many British bombers and crewmembers. The last model was the P model which was a high altitude reconnaissance aircraft with a four man crew.
The cabin of the Dornier provided plenty of room for adding radar units giving the Do-217 “eyes on the seas” for miles. With a top speed of three-hundred twenty miles per hour the Dornier had the opportunity evade enemy fighters until the Allies developed faster fighters. Wilhelm Kriessmann flew fourteen ferry missions in the Do-217 in the spring of 1944 including G1+ZR above.
The Do-217 was proven effective as an anti-shipping hunter with the use of radio-controlled rockets that were able to sink a ship with one hit. The most famous air-to-sea attack was on September 9, 1943, when Oberleutnant Heinrich Schmetz and his crew were flying a special Dornier Do-217-K-2 on a secret mission. Their story is below so enjoy.
Artwork below is by other artist.
Donier Do-217 K-2
Fritz-X Radio Controlled Bomb
A Donier Do-217 K-2 was responsible for one of he greatest air to naval war stories of WWII. On September 9th 1943 Oberleutant Heinrich Schmetz flew D0-217 K-2 coded CN +NT on the fuselage and 4554 on top of rudder on a special mission. Oberleutant Schmetz was assigned to III/KG when the unit was contacted that Italy capitulated to the Allies and were to surrender their fleet within days. The unit had been experimenting with new radar control anti-shipping missiles which were showing promise right away. This is why the unit was contacted. This was also coded as a top secret mission for the squadron and crew.
The Italian Fleet Commander, Admiral Carlos Bergamini was aboard the Italian Battleship, Roma. Oberleutant Schmetz and his crew was ordered to sink the Roma in retaliation to the surrender of Italy. Oberleutant Schmetz approached the battleship at 18,000 feet. The Roma was desperately trying to avoid the approaching Deniers of III/KG 100. Oberleutant Schmitz's bombardier was tracking the Battleship as the pilot lined up on the target as best he could. The bombardier fired off a Fritz-X anti-shipping guided missile. The bombardier could see a special flare from the missile that he used to guide the Fritz-X to the deck of the Battleship. The deck of the Roma was not wood but was eight inches of armor. The missile penetrated the deck and detonated in the main magazine.
I don't know if there were any other ships sank that day by the other missile carrying Donier bombers of III/KG 100 but I do know that the Roma was blown into killing the Italian Admiral along with 1,254 other Italian sailors. For this mission the bombardier, Feldwebel Huhn was awarded the Iron Cross First Class and the Pilot, Oberleutant Schmetz was awarded the Knight's Cross and the command of III/KG 100.
Above is artwork by another artist that shows a Do-217E-5 model that was fitted with Henschel Hs 293 guided missiles. These were as effective as the Fritz missiles. Unfortunately these were not used to their fullest capabilities. It was only a mater of time before the Allies figured out that they could foil the effectiveness of the guided missiles by jamming their radio frequency.
Donier Do-217K and the DFS 228 Reconnaissance Glider
The Donier was developed to carry many different weapon systems. The Donier was a stable platform and was fast enough to give the pilot a slight advantage against enemy fighters. This Donier flew it's mission over enemy territory at very high altitude in order to launch this DFS Glider or a remote control missile. The model of the Donier above was developed to carry the DFS 228 "Spy Glider."
The name of the aeronautical company that developed the glider was the Deutshes Forschungsinstitut fur Segalflug other wise known as the German Gliding Research Institute. This was one of the many companies that worked for the RLM. This glider aircraft was years ahead of its time. Research of German documents proved the Germans were the first to discover that it was possible to fly faster than the speed of sound. This glider was designed with a rocket propulsion system which they excelled in. The cockpit was also pressurized.
It was in 1941 when the Luftwaffe requested DFS 228 to be a long range reconnaissance. The estimated range of the aircraft once developed would be around 650 miles. The rocket plane would have been carried close to the area they wanted to spy on by aircraft like the above Dornier to where it would then with the use of the rocket engine would climb to 75,000 feet. The aircraft would perform its recon mission and glide bask to base with the help of the rocket motor which would be used in short burst to help the jet glider maintain altitude for the full trip back to its base.
The DFS 228 above was designed as the first phase of this process. In reading the stories of Chuck Yeager and his working with the company that built the X-1 the aircraft was used first as glider. In the second phase of the project DFS plans show the model fitted with swept back wings still to be test flown as a glider. The final phase would be designated the DFS 346. This model would have the swept back wings and would have been equipped with a rocket propulsion system.
The cost of the war and with Luftwaffe monies spread over so many experimental aircraft forced a delay and the first prototype was not ready until 1943. The clean design utilized the wing to be mounted mid way onto the tubular fuselage.
The aircraft was not fitted with landing gear using a skid in the belly of the aircraft that would be lowered before landing. The construction of the jet glider was mixed with the cockpit area built out of two shells of aluminum with insulations in between them to help with the pressurized cabin. The wings and the balance of the fuselage was made of wood which gave the aircraft a very clean appearance. In case of emergency the entire front of the aircraft would drop off or jettisoned and was equipped with a parachute. After the nose drifted down to lower altitude the pilot could eject and then complete the descent using a parachute that was attached to the back of the pilots seat. The ejector seat was powered with compressed air.
The rocket motor that was to be used in the final model would have been the Walter 109 which was the same rocket motor that was used in the Messerschmitt Me-163.
I got the photos above from a very old model magazine. I hope they do not mind me sharing them with you. These are great photos and examples of the German Luftwaffe.
If you will review the design carefully you will see that it was almost duplicated perfectly into the development of the U-2 American spy plane. Sadly the Americans designers after the war came up with so few ideas themselves. Nearly if not every aircraft that was developed by the famous Skunk Works were in fact developed in Germany. Even the space shuttle was first conceived on the drawing boards of the German masters.
The camouflage above is like the photo below.
This is a photo of a Do-217 in France. This looks like the "M" model like the profile above. The aircraft code on the fuselage in the photo is "KK."
I got this photo above from a plastic modelers web page. The top of the wings and sides were originally painted in the standard dark green/ olive green splinter pattern and a light blue bottom. The bottom of this aircraft was painted black. The top was then painted in irregular light gray blotches right over the top of the green pattern. You can see the splinter green in between the gray patches.
The color scheme above is also similar to the other two above. This color scheme was used by the Luftwaffe in an attempt to experiment with different night-fighter camo. These bombers were flown at night over Britton where the few bombs they carried were more for terrorizing the citizens than doing very much damage.
Here is a right and left profile of the K model along with a top view. These images above were from a plastic model kit. They are perfect to show the viewer the exact way the bomber was painted. The above was a basic splinter camo in dark green and medium olive green with a light blue bottom.
Sadly these bombers were not built in quantity to be affective. Yet they were excellent aircraft for the time.
Isn't this beautiful! This is an incredible angle of the Donier Night-Fighter.
A very basic profile of a Donier Night-Fighter. The Dornier had a large cabin which was able to hold the radar equipment that could not fit in the smaller Messerschmitt Me-110.
I got this off the internet somewhere. It is a great shot of this powerful bomber. This is computer art but it is still great.
Heinkel He-177 Page
Junkers Ju-188 Page
Back To: Allied Aircraft
Back To: Axis Aircraft
Back To: Luftwaffe Aircraft
Back To: U.S. Aircraft
To Main Directory
To Print Directory
All research, writings and artwork are by Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette.
No one is permitted to republish any part of this story with out my personal permission.
Please call or e-mail me for any use of this story.
I do not mind sharing, just call or e-mail and ask for permission.
Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette
107 Arthur Moore Drive
Green Cove Springs, Florida 32043
Phone Number; 904-406-5791
E-Mail Address; email@example.com
Edited and Counter Added on June 23, 2011