Credit for the first Me 262 be brought down in combat belong to Maj Joseph Myers and 2Lt Manford Crory of the P-47D-equipped 78th Fighter Group, who manoeuvred a 1./KG 51 machine into the ground west of Brussels on August 28, 1944. This occurred with a shot being fired by both sides. A similar thing occurred on October 2, 1944 when P-47D pilot 1Lt Valmore Beaudrault of the 356th Fighter Group ran an Me 262 out of fuel in a low-level pursuit into the ground near Dusseldorf. Astonishingly, the pilot of the jet on both occasions was Oberfeldwebel Hieronymous Lauer who survived both encounters.
The credit for the first Me 262 to be shot down by gunfire, however, belongs to five pilots from 401 Squadron RCAF. On October 5th, while on a high patrol near the Arnhem-Nijmegen area twelve Spitfire Mk IXs began their patrol at 1353 hrs. What happened next is briefly described in No 126 Wing’s Summary of Operations for that day:
‘12 a/c of 401 Squadron led by S/L Smith sighted an Me 262 at 1445 diving towards Nijmegen. The squadron went into attack and the e/a was destroyed. – shared by S/L Smith, F/L Davenport, F/L Everard, F/O Mackay and F/O Sinclair. The enemy aircraft seemed inclined to show fight and returned fire on many occasions but hit nothing. The enemy aircraft burned in the air and crashed in friendly territory at E655588. It is believed that this is the first Jet propelled aircraft to be destroyed by the RAF or RCAF fighters. The squadron landed at 1508.’
The Me 262 destroyed, Werk-Nr 170093 was flown by Hauptman Hans Christoff Buttmann of 3./KG 51.
No 401’s success on October 5th, was the first Me 262 to be shot down by gunfire and the first in which fire was exchanged by both sides.
All that was left of No 401 Sqn’s Me 262, shot down five miles northeast of Nijmegen on Oct 5, 1944.