Thursday April 26th, 2012 saw the arrival of the museums second V1.
This one was shot down over Antwerp by the anti-aircraft batteries during World War II. The anti-aircraft grenade exploded right under the flying bomb, thus perforating the wings. The result of this can be clearly seen on the wings and tail section. Due to the air pressure that resulted as the grenade exploded, the nose section broke off. The remainder of the bomb then losing its balance, turned over and tumbled down towards the earth.
The (wooden?) nose section containing the explosives and compass probably broke up in mid-air, thus dispersing the explosives over a wide area. Even if the detonators had worked, they could no longer ignite the explosives. The little propeller was undamaged, which makes us believe that the bomb did not fall on its nose.
The fuselage, containing the fuel tank, compressed air section, automatic pilot, engine and wings all fell on some houses and where thus collected by American soldiers. They took the remains to a warehouse in the port, where they were inspected by their experts.
Once the hostilities were over, General Armstrong who was responsible for the defense of Antwerp against the V-weapons, donated the bomb to the City of Antwerp, as a reminder of the sad period the population of the town had to get through. For years, she remained in the cellars of the ‘Vleeshuis’-museum at first, and later in some warehouses in the port.
We knew that these remains still existed and could convince alderman Heylen to give them to the museum for safekeeping. It will be put on display in an appropriate setup, along our other ‘nearly’ intact V1 (also a donation by General Armstrong.
This V1 is the only one that survived a deadly mission of over 200km, when the anti-aircraft batteries stopped it in its tracks.