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Published on May 21, 2012
First Jet fighter wing of WW2
8 November 1944, news reached the command post of a large bomber formation approaching. Two Rotten of Me 262 were prepared for take-off,
Nowotny took off and engaged the enemy on his own, Schall and Wegmann having since retired from the action after sustaining battle damage. Nowotny radioed that he had downed a B-24 Liberator and a P-51 Mustang
He reported one engine failing and made one final garbled transmission containing the word "burning" Helmut Lennartz recalled: "I remember Nowotny's crash very well. Feldwebel Gossler, a radio operator with our unit, had set up a radio on the airfield. Over this set I and many others listened to the radio communications with Nowotny's aircraft. His last words were, "I'm on fire" or "it's on fire"
It remains unclear whether Nowotny was killed due to engine failure or whether he was shot down by United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) Captain Ernest Fiebelkorn (20th Fighter Group) and 1st Lieutenant Edward "Buddy" Haydon (357th Fighter Group) east of Hesepe. In recent years, United States military historians proposed that Nowotny's victor may have been P-51D pilot Lieutenant Robert W. Stevens of the 364th Fighter Group. Many witnesses observed Nowotny's Me 262 A-1a Werk Nummer 110 400 (factory number) "White 8" dive vertically out of the clouds and crash at Epe, 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) east of Hesepe
The Wehrmacht announced his death on 9 November 1944 in the daily Wehrmachtbericht
Walter Nowotny's grave at the Zentralfriedhof in Vienna