Junkers Ju-290 to Manchuria 1944

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Luftwaffe air units and general discussions on the Luftwaffe.
Posts: 38
Joined: 14 Sep 2004 09:09
Location: Dublin

Post by Francis » 19 Sep 2004 23:04

Hi Stormbird
Yes they are the pics alright and many thanks for posting them. Have you any info on those pics, I vaguely remember reading that it was aLuftwaffe pilot who flew the Ju290 to the states after the war.


Posts: 862
Joined: 15 May 2004 22:02
Location: south america

Post by ohrdruf » 20 Sep 2004 22:37

Regarding a possible second Ju 390 prototype, its existence has been disputed in the past but seems confirmed from three sources:

(a) an entry in the flying log of Oberleutnant Joachim Eisenmann to the effect that he made a 50-minute flight at Rechlin on 9 February 1945, and then flew the machine to Laerz the same day (see Griehl, Manfred: Luftwaffe Over America, Greenhill Books, 2004)

(b) a photograph of a Ju 390 aircraft bearing the identification markings RC+DA: and

(c) a service course sheet (available at Berlin Document Centre) for SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Rudolf Schuster attached to SS-WVHA Amt-V zbV. This officer stated that in the second half of April 1945 a Junkers Ju 390 attached to KG 200 was at Schweidnitz (an airfield SW of Breslau) where it loaded materials from a secret project coded "Cronos/Laternentraeger." The aircraft was painted pale blue and had Swedish AF markings. It was guarded by SS and concealed beneath tarpaulin. It is known to have taken off for Bodo in Norway, but nothing further is known of its activity.

(For the sake of interest I would add the following: In Witkowski, Igor; Pravda o Wunderwaffe, Warsaw 2000, it is stated that there are Polish depositions extant in the proceedings against Gruppenfuehrer Jakob Sporrenberg which indicate that "Cronos/Laternentraeger" was a project in plasma physics. The experiments involved counter-rotating at very high speeds containers of mercury and other heavy metals, gases, etc within a ceramic cover 2.5-metres tall x 1.5 metres diameter base known as "the Bell". I have in my possession an unpublished, but copyright protected manuscript entitled "Nazi Bariloche" by the Argentinian author M. Basti in which he states that he has been shown a certain Argentine Intelligence document. This declassified paper from 1945 reported that a German six-engined transport aircraft landed "at the war's end" on a German ranch at (Puntas de) Gualeguay in Paysandu province, Uruguay and had aboard items of highly secret technological equipment including a device known as "The Bell". It is stated that the latter then came into Argentina and finished up at a German lakeside laboratory near Bariloche whose ruins are still visible and where AEG made further experiments postwar. I have spoken to several Argentine authors in the attempt to obtain a copy of this document. Declassified Argentine documents are not easily available to non-nationals and are closely guarded by those who do have them. None of the authors I spoke to had a clue about what "The Bell" was, although one hazarded a guess that it might be an instrument of Nazi torture. All Uruguayan and Argentinian writers with whom I have had contact are 100% interested in whether Hitler came to South America and 0% interested in advanced German secret technologies. It is possible that a Ju 390 with assisted take-off, and mid-air refuelling from a Ju 290 or BV 222, could have made the flight from Norway to Uruguay without a stop. I have seen the alleged landing area, which is almost depopulated, relatively even, farmland and pasture skirting the main highway about 60 miles east of the River Uruguay between Paysandu and Tacuarembo, this main road today being no wider than necessary to allow single file traffic in each direction. There are several villages in the area today which retain their German character in all senses.)

Posts: 862
Joined: 15 May 2004 22:02
Location: south america

Post by ohrdruf » 21 Sep 2004 14:55

In response to a PM enquiry as to whether SS-General Kammler might have been aboard the Ju 390 referred to, it is known that as Head of the V-Weapons project, Kammler oversaw this project. He was frequently at Gross-Rosen concentration camp which supplied labour for an immense underground construction in the Eulengebirge Mountains and was linked by a long subterranean tunnel to the underground galleries at Waldenburg where "Cronos/Laternentraeger" experiments were run. The existence of this complex is confirmed in a document dated Warsaw 6 May 1947 "Action for De-Arming Oder Line" which speaks of the removal of huge quantities of machinery from the interior of the location before it was destroyed by explosives.

The last communication from Kammler is a cable timed at 1100 on 17 April 1945 addressed to SS-Fuehrungshauptamt/Org. Abt.ROEM1 which reads:

"Betr: LKW Junkers
Gemaess Fuehrerbefehl gehen Massnahmen Strahlflugzeug Militaerischen voraus. Bin deshalb nicht in der Lage gewesen, gewuenschten LKW freizustellen. Bau-Insp. der Waffen-SS Reich Sued, Gez. Kammler"

"Re: Lorry Junkers
In accordance with Fuhrer-Order jet aircraft measures take precedence over military. Have therefore not been in the position to release the lorry you require.Bau-Insp etc, signed Kammler."

This cable does not take us much further towards a solution of the mystery regarding Kammler except to say that it must have been a truly unique Junkers lorry to have been at the heart of so much interest.

Simon Gunson
Posts: 740
Joined: 23 Mar 2004 00:25
Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Post by Simon Gunson » 18 Oct 2004 08:58

Hi everybody. I have not been near this forum for quite some time due to personal matters, but before I left i made some enegmatic comments about the source of claims re manchuria flights by Ju-290s in Deutsche Luft Hansa registration/markings.

The reason for my unwillingness to name the source was simply that he had told me and I was unsure if he wished to be identified. Further contact suggests he does not mind.

Horst Zoeller the webmaster of the Junkers website told me of a German newspaper article in the 1950s on the subject. This appears to predate any sources on the subject in English publications.

The article corroborated the testimony of a captured Luftwaffe NCO during the war under US interrogation about manchuria flights.

The flights were actually to Ninghsia in what I would term Inner Mongolia.
Ninghsia is about 540nm west of Beijing. These flights were performed by Deutsche Luft Hansa by the infamous three Ju-290 aircraft with extra fuel capacity. The flights were made from Bulgaria before the Soviets overran.

Author James P O'Donnell cited interviews with Hans Bauer and Albert Speer as the source of claims about a Ju-390 polar flight to japan from Narvik.

I conceed that conjecture about Bose may be incorrect. I cited that the History Channel claimed the Abwher flew Bose from Kabul. I am no expert on the movements of Bose. It may be that he was flown by the Abwher from Kabul along part of his journey. That is something one should raise with the History Channel and their sources rather than me.

Posts: 352
Joined: 19 Jan 2003 19:29
Location: Austria

Post by Michi » 05 Nov 2004 16:58

Simon Gunson:
I believe the V1 aircraft had the serial RE+EN and it's pilot was Heinz Bauer, Hitler's personal pilot. As to Hitler's motives author William Stevenson reported in his book the Bormann Brotherhood that Maj Gen Monkhe was negotiating capitulation of Northern Germany and Denmark to Soviet forces in return for Hitler's escape into exile in Japan.
Brigadeführer Mohnke didn't take part in any negotiaions about
capitulation, NEITHER about German troops in Northern Germany & Danmark, NOR about German troops in Berlin!!
There were 3 times negotiation about the end of fightings in Berlin.
At least at the first time General Krebs for the German side took part.
At the third negotiation General Weidling took part.
The German forces in Berlin didn't capitulate, but ceased the fightings.
(if there was a difference, I don't know and don't care)
BriF Mohnke urged General Monke to keep on fighting for an another day, to break out of the pocket of Berlin.
---> lousy research, not from you, but from the book's author

Hello guys
I'm new to the forum so be gentle with me please!

I remember seeing a photograph of the JU290 touching down in America after the war, complete with American markings on it, I'm sure it was the Ju290 although could have been a Ju390. It was flown across the Atlantic by a Luftwaffe pilot. There was a webpage with the photograph on it naming the pilot etc but I'll be damned if I can find it again. If I do i'll be sure and post it.

No it wasn't a German Airforce pilot.
The Crew of this Ju 290 A-7 was a completely American Crew.
If you wish I can list all members.
The German Airforce pilot's name was Braun.
He was a captain and commanding the 1./KG 200.

MfG Michi

Posts: 12
Joined: 11 Oct 2004 21:39
Location: Japan

Post by cactusjack » 13 May 2005 19:20

This is a newsreel of the Condor's Tokyo visit. :)

Larry D.
Financial supporter
Posts: 3852
Joined: 04 Aug 2004 23:03
Location: Winter Springs, FL (USA)

Post by Larry D. » 13 May 2005 23:39


That's a pre-war Deutsches Lufthansa civilian airline Condor. No one ever said THEY didn't fly to Japan. The discussion here was about wartime flights (7 Dec 41 - 15 Aug 45).

But many thanks for posting that newsreel......it was VERY interesting!


Posts: 7
Joined: 23 Sep 2004 16:00
Location: Winnipeg Canada

JU-290 and Skorzeny

Post by gud » 15 Jan 2006 23:26

Skorzeny mentions the JU-290 with KG200 flying his people to Tehran and Iran on operations in his memoir (Pg 128-129). A footnote mentions the flights to Manchuria however this is a editors addition and not Skorzeny's.

Larry D.
Financial supporter
Posts: 3852
Joined: 04 Aug 2004 23:03
Location: Winter Springs, FL (USA)

Post by Larry D. » 15 Jan 2006 23:35

Skorzeny right, editor wrong.

Thanks for using the existing thread so we don't have to start yet another thread on this subject.

Posts: 862
Joined: 15 May 2004 22:02
Location: south america

Post by ohrdruf » 17 Jan 2006 16:18

Regarding Larry D's comment of May 2005, radio operator Wolfgang Hirschfeld states in his book DAS LETZTE BOOT - ATLANTIK FAREWELL that it was the intention to fly some of the strategic material aboard U-234 to Japan by an FW 200 with extra tanks, but the plan had been dropped because the non-stop flight was not possible without crossing Soviet airspace at some point along the route.

Simon Gunson
Posts: 740
Joined: 23 Mar 2004 00:25
Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Re: Junkers Ju-290 to Manchuria 1944

Post by Simon Gunson » 26 Sep 2008 02:02

Matt Gibbs asked about William Green's sources for the NYC flight. Green had previously been editor of the the "RAF review and had lengthy correspondences with former Luftwaffe personnel who did not wish to be identified. One was almost certainly Wolf Baumgart who had been the photographer at Mont de Marsan, mentioned in US 9th Ninth Air Force A.P.W.I.U. Report 44/1945. Baumgart's claims were independently corroborated by interrogation of a more senior FAGr.5 officer who added to Baugart's account that the Ju-390 had an endurance of 32 hours. I understand Green also corresponded with Flugkapitan Hans Pancherz in Barcelona.

Green was known to have read an important RAF report from August 1945 entitled "'General Report on Aircraft Engines and Aircraft Equipment'' which itself drew heavily from wartime Enigma decrypts (ULTRA), but without disclosing that as it's source.

Enigma had to be kept secret after the war because the British Government after the war re-distributed captured Enigma machines amongst Third World nations, principally in Africa, then used interception of messages sent with those machines until the 1980s to manipulate foreign affairs.

Green himself may even have been unaware that ULTRA was the source, but possibly he did know. Either way he could not say in 1969 that Enigma was the source because it's very existence was still classified.

At the end of the war Argentine and Polish sources which until recently were classified, both record that a Ju-390 flew from Norway to Argentina and then the aircraft was ferried to a German ranch in Paysandu Province of Uruguay where it was dismantled by Nazis.

Hans Pancherz, Ju-390 project pilot testified to a British hearing after the war that only one Ju-390 ever flew. Now we have evidence from multiple sources which prove that Pancherz lied to conceal the flight to Argentina.

There were definitely two Ju-390 aircraft. The Ju-390V1 (Luftwaffe code RC+DA) was flown to Dessau in November 1944 and stripped of propellers. It sat there derelict until straffed by Mustangs in mid January 1945 and set on fire.

There are numerous sightings and records of a Ju-390 still flying in 1945 and this aircraft wore the Luftwaffe codes GH+UK. The Ju-390V1 was 31.1 metres long. The Ju-390V2 was 34.2 metres long close studies of photographs of both Ju-390 in the air discloses that they were indeed different aircraft.


Simon Gunson
Posts: 740
Joined: 23 Mar 2004 00:25
Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Re: Junkers Ju-290 to Manchuria 1944

Post by Simon Gunson » 26 Sep 2008 02:08

During 2005 Junkers webmaster Horst Zoeller advised me from his researches that the BV222 flying boat did reach Sakhalin Island during the war.

BV222V1 route considered after June 1941 was from Kirkenes to Sakhalin Island then on to Tokyo. Subsequently the Air base at Nautsi in Finland was selected. Japan at first agreed to these flights, but later objected due to the risk Soviet overflight could trigger war with Russia for Japan.

From 1942 Japan objected to overflights of the Soviet Union by Luftwaffe aircraft, so subsequent connecting flights were made by aircraft in DLH registrations.

In February 1944 former Deutsche Luft Hansa pilot Luftwaffe Flugkapitan Rudolf Mayr was placed in charge of the Manchurian flight operations.

Trial flights to China began with Ju-290A-5 werke # J900170 Luftwaffe code KR+LA. It adopted a civil code for DLH operations to Ninghsia, China. This aircraft also had KG200 codes 9V+DH and was destroyed by air raids at Reichlin in 1945. It’s fuel capacity was increased and for long range operations, MTOW was increased from the Ju-290’s standard 41.3 tons to 45 tons.

In March 1944 three other Ju290 aircraft were converted for flights to China. These were Ju-290A-9 werke # J900183 Luftwaffe code KR+LN. From February 1944 this aircraft became T9+VK. It was attacked on the ground at Finsterwalde in April 1944 and scrapped at Travenmunde in September 1944.

Also Ju-290A-9 werke # J900182 Luftwaffe code KR+LN. From February 1944 this aircraft became T9+UK. This aircraft was lost whilst on the ground refueling to straffing fire by four Soviet flown Hurricanes near the village of Utta, near Astrakhan.

Ju-290 A7 werke # J900185 Luftwaffe code KR+LP was the third conversion to become T9+WK. It was attacked over the southern eastern front in May 1944 and returned from the mission beyond hope of repair.

In December 1944 Ju-290A-3 werke # J900163 Luftwaffe code PI+PQ was converted for a mission to China to carry VIP Ulrich Kessler, but work on the aircraft was interrupted by Allied air raids and the aircraft was blown up in May 1945 to prevent capture.

Simon Gunson
Posts: 740
Joined: 23 Mar 2004 00:25
Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Re: Junkers Ju-290 to Manchuria 1944

Post by Simon Gunson » 27 Sep 2008 01:59

Horst Zoeller confirmed to me in private correspondence some years ago that based upon a German newspaper article with testimony of persons involved, Ju-290 flights were conducted from Bulgaria to Nighsia (now Ningxia).

On the Black Sea coast at Bourgas the French built a an extremely long runway for long range flights in the 1920s. Until 5th September 1944, Bulgaria was ostensibly neutral and maintained diplomatic relations with both Moscow and Berlin. For that reason a Deutsche Luft Hansa flight from Bulgaria to China would not have caused Japanese objections.

The route from Bourgas beneath the Crimea, northern Caspian and Arial Seas then down to Ninghsia is approximately 3,500nm which is within the 3,800nm capability of a standard Ju-290. Those aircraft converted for the Manchurian flights had a range of 4,200nm and therefore a safe reserve of 700nm.

Cheap Jeep
Posts: 14
Joined: 20 Jul 2007 16:24
Location: Colorado, USA

Re: Junkers Ju-290 to Manchuria 1944

Post by Cheap Jeep » 04 Mar 2009 05:16

Panzermahn wrote:I read from a website about KG200 that 3 Junkers Ju-290 made round trips to Manchuria in the far east. What is the puporse of such a far flight? anyone had anything more about this operation?
Given the Japanese essentially broke their word from December 1941 onwards in attacking the Soviets in the Far East to relieve pressure on the soon to be beleaguered Germans (forcing the return of Asian divisions pulled from those TVDs to defend Moscow for a start, later to include denial of attacks on Tankograd and other key East-of-Ural installatiosn...), the question you have to ultimately ask is what the Germans thought they were getting from the Japanese that was worth so much in return (Mk108 cannon, Me-262, rocket motor systems, fuze and optics materials, gold, etc. etc.).

IMO, the answer is simple: Engineering Space. For a long period, the Japanese Home Islands were effectively the equivalent of the USA in forming an 'Arsenal of the Axis' untouched industrial park which, far from being the technologically backwards, 'home manufacturing' economy portrayed as the exercise futility of the Doolittle Raid, included some very impressive scientific and engineering institutes as well as factory complexes.

They had even more up in Korea.

Specifically, one or both sides may have had the secret to so-called 'Red Mercury'. Which is to say Lithium 6 Deuteride as extracted from radioactive piles with the assistance of mercuric compounds which turned it a dull crimson.

Since, with one possible exception (the huge Buna werke outside Auschwitz) no German hydroelectric refining facility is known to have existed capable of supporting a plutonium or uranium extraction effort (and we _looked_ which means it would have been leveled if found), the question you have to ask is whether the Germans got the Japanese to scale up an existing gas centrifuge or 'sluice' design separator and then used this technique to extract weaponizeable uranium oxides for use in a gun-design architecture which they also almost certainly pioneered (Oppenheimer).

The question is what they thought to get with it. And here the subtext is most likely that the 'state run' Heisenberg/Kaiser-Wilhelm (equivalent to Stanford university) program which publically grossly overestimated the necessary CM yields for a weaponized atomic device was itself almost certainly a front operation then and most assuredly is -now-.

As part of the so-called 'Allied Myth' coverup of nuclear supremacy.

Yet, given the Nazi attitude on 'Jewish Physics' and indeed the general flight of high level Jewish Physicists during and before the war; it is equally -highly- likely that the German 'backup plan' selected was driven along an alternative route through molecular chemistry (at which the Germans were and remain outstanding industrial leaders with the likes of IG Farben).

This secondary (covert) effort was run out of the German Interior Ministry/Post Office using billions of Reichsmarks worth of postal credits and with the intent of coming up with what may not have been a full up nuclear yield device so much as a very large dirty weapon.

At which point is should be made clear that, even when you have materials capable of going to critical mass in close juxtaposition; nuclear devices rely on ENORMOUS pressures as much as heat to create the compression by which a subsequent stream of neutrons can initiate the RCR cascade by knocking down the unstable mass into cascade.

We achieved this by cracking the physics codes for mass separation and solving the engineering problems to achieve alloy composite manufacturing densities for a given (atomic orbit) separation. And then using implosive and collision based systems to sub-compress this to the point of critical yield where we hit them with a neutron generator that itself used radioisotopes.

Again, contrary to the published story, the Germans _had these numbers_ in fact through Diebner and Hartek (who were the real fathers of the German atomic effort) had /better/ maths than we did.

But without the electronics backing (WWII German was surprisingly primitive in this area, again thanks to Nazi beliefs) and engineering technology base research in manufacturing, could not weaponize their theoreticals. As such, particularly if they had a late start, they may have chosen to let chemistry do the work for them.

In this, it should be noted that L6D are now known as ballotechnic in their ability to suddenly 'snap' to new chemical compositions which release massive quantities of thermal neutrons in what amounts to a primitive fusion process.

If combined with a sufficiently advanced understanding of conventional EB materials design (perhaps derived from their rocket propellant programs) you could theoretically get yields on the order of .25KT from a large enough device, simply by upping the blast temps and pressures to a level where the broken chemical bonds gave near 100% release efficiency.

Substitude U235 or particularly the highly volatile Pu-239 and /in theory/ you can go to nuclear yield. While also fractionating the nuclear material to such a fine degree as to pollute an ENORMOUS area with dirty bomb fallout.

If the Nazis were close to any of this, it could have changed the course of war, turning even such debacles as The Battle of the Bulge or Berlin into a 'here kitty kitty' force massing killsac of men and material with what amounts to sub-critical 'Nuclear Thermobaric' technologies.

And that would be worth trading for, right up to the end.

Since a nuclear armed Japan is a superpower in it's own right and can demand 'leniency' up to and including Allied decampment from occupied Germany.

So... The Germans send Italian Mercury, Uranium Oxide from Czechoslovakia (and half a dozen other nations, another 'Allied Myth' being that the potential for nuclear arms wasn't known until shortly before WWII, which is bogus given the huge stockpiles accumulated) and perhaps a couple of engineering drawings on how to build a bigger 'bell' based extractor for whatever radioisotopic material or byproduct they hoped to chemically alter and suddenly the flights to Manchuria or Sakhalin Island or even Kungnam in Korea start to make a lot of sense.

Indeed, there is a story which says that this technology was considered so critical to Allied dominance of the postwar era that not only did Patton, in early 1945, break his own lines of demarcation to rush halfway across Germany to Pilsen to retrieve Kammler's backroom boys and their technology from the heart of the Russian sphere of influence. But that the 'real reason' MacArthur went all the way up into the DPRK was to get access to WWII era Japanese installations (on the Chosin Reservoir) that used similar systems 6 years later.

The reason this hasn't long been released to public awareness is because ballotechnics effectively are not just the route to nuclear arms but to _very small ones_. It's long been known that the actual amount of nuclear material you need is only about 10-20kg, vastly more than the cores of either Little Boy or Fat Man.

But the majority of space and weight dedicated to staging material boosters and electronics is something that it took the better part of a decade to refine to even relatively small (600lbs, 10KT) devices like the B57.

This science, if it were to be revealed to be real, would not only make the Allies look like embarrassed cheaters for their blatant abbrogation of the Hague restrictions in attacking Japanese civilian population centers.

But also second place losers in the nuclear arms race who now could be spanked for their arrogance by softball/basketball equivalent 'micro nukes' which got to energy release fraction by an entirely different (cheap and easy) method of non-isotopic triggering mechanism.

i.e. Everyone and their brother could end up having nuclear arms which might well be untrackable at the component level.

Sound like the basis of a great Ken Follet or maybe Tom Clancy novel-made-movie? I have friends in low places who say that this is precisely the reason why the CIA suddenly gave up on trying to make the case against Iran for a conventional nuclear program. They already have them. But what they have is not a Persian Osiraq but Nazi Chemistry. And we dare not make a public fuss about it because it's better to hand over a nuclear club card membership than have it spread far and wide how easily fractional yield nukes can be made.


Jon G.
Posts: 6647
Joined: 17 Feb 2004 01:12
Location: Europe

Re: Junkers Ju-290 to Manchuria 1944

Post by Jon G. » 05 Mar 2009 00:17

Cheap Jeep wrote:Given the Japanese essentially broke their word from December 1941 onwards in attacking the Soviets in the Far East to relieve pressure on the soon to be beleaguered Germans
When did the Japanese give their word that they would attack the Soviets at some point after December 1941? Whose word would have been broken if Japan had attacked the USSR? Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact April 13, 1941
(forcing the return of Asian divisions pulled from those TVDs to defend Moscow for a start, later to include denial of attacks on Tankograd and other key East-of-Ural installatiosn...)...
Manchuria to Tankograd is an awfully long distance. BTW, can you quantify the Soviet forces pulled from the Far East to Moscow?
...IMO, the answer is simple: Engineering Space. For a long period, the Japanese Home Islands were effectively the equivalent of the USA in forming an 'Arsenal of the Axis' untouched industrial park which, far from being the technologically backwards, 'home manufacturing' economy portrayed as the exercise futility of the Doolittle Raid, included some very impressive scientific and engineering institutes as well as factory complexes...
You're ignoring just how dependent Japan was on imports of even very basic things such as rice and coal.

The rest of your post makes for intriguing reading, but your points would come across stronger if you could provide any kind of evidence to support your ideas.

Return to “Luftwaffe air units and Luftwaffe in general”