FIESELER FI-156C-1 Storch
Designed in 1935, the Storch was widely used during
World War II by
German military forces for reconnaissance, liaison and aeromedical transport.
High-ranking officers also used Fi 156s as personal transports.
Notable features of the Storch included its good maneuverability, extremely
low stalling speed of 32 mph, and excellent short field takeoff and landing
characteristics. Between 1937 and 1945, the
Luftwaffe (German Air Force) accepted
almost 2,900 Fi 156s.
Other countries using the Fi 156 included Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and
Italy. The most famous Storch mission was the hazardous rescue
of deposed Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in 1943 from a tiny rock-strewn
plateau at a remote lodge high in the Apennine Mountains.
This aircraft is painted as the Storch used by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in
North Africa. Built in 1940, it was exported to Sweden where it
remained until 1948. The last German to fly it before its
acquisition by the donors in 1973 was German WWII ace Erich Hartmann.
The aircraft on display was donated to the museum by Lt. Col. Perry A.
Schreffler and Maj. Robert C. Van Ausdell, Santa Paula, Calif., and
delivered to the museum in 1974.
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