Operation Sea Horse

This was the British naval element of ‘Lusty’ to ferry captured German aircraft to the USA for technical evaluation (July 1945).

The escort carrier Reaper, which had already been earmarked for service with the 30th Aircraft Carrier Squadron of the British Pacific Fleet, was used for the transport of the captured airframes, and departed Cherbourg on 19 July bound for Newark, New Jersey.

The aircraft were specially protected against the corrosive effects of sea water during the voyage, and comprised 10 Messerschmitt Me 262 turbojet-powered fighters, five Focke-Wulf Fw 190F ground-attack fighters, four Focke-Wulf 190D fighters, one Focke-Wulf Ta 152 high-altitude fighter, four Arado Ar 234 turbojet-powered bombers, three Heinkel He 219 night fighters, three Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters, two Dornier Do 335 fighters, two Bücker Bü 181 trainers, one Doblhoff WNF 342 helicopter, two Flettner Fl 282 helicopter, one Junkers Ju 88G bomber, one Junkers Ju 388 bomber, one Messerschmitt Bf 108 communications aeroplane, and at least one Horten flying wing aeroplane including the nearly completed Junkers Jumo 004 turbojet-powered Ho 229 V3 prototype.

In ‘payment’ for the use of a British aircraft carrier, the Americans gave the British five of the Me 262 machines for testing.