The overwhelming majority of Vikings used by the Luftwaffe at Travemünde were originally US Navy Vikings sent to France in the days shortly before France's surrender. This included a pair of aircraft that had come directly from the factory to enter US Navy service possessing sequential construction numbers and Bureau Numbers. Fittingly, they entered German military service and received sequential Stammkennzeichen. While this is normal in units throughout the various armed forces of the world, it is less usual when the aircraft have already served in the colors of three different air arms in their lifetime. This was not lost on the pilots and ground crew of Travemünde, so the aircraft were named Freya and Freyr after the twin gods of Norse mythology, worshipped by the Vikings a millennia earlier. Ironically, the "Wikinger-Zwillinge" both came from Naval Reserve Air Base Anacostia, Washington, D.C. These aircraft are picture in various schemes designed to test visibility over water, the dark grays and greens being most effective over the Baltic and North Atlantic. They were also tested in various all-up weight configurations on the catapults, proving to be almost too heavy for the catapults at their highest take-off weight. The one feature of the SB4U Viking that the Luftwaffe considered totally unacceptable was its total lack of folding wings. Not realizing that the Vought had already solved the very same issue by that time, Junkers set about developing a wing folding mechanism for the Ju 187. The unit was jokingly called "The Flying Circus" because of the variety of schemes used on their aircraft, markings and camouflage changing with some regularity. After yet another series of delays with the carrier Graf Zeppelin, much of the unit's aircraft and personnel were transferred to the Netherlands and operated alongside Erprobungsgruppe 167. Unfortunately, this change in fortunes and geography earned the unit another name, "the crew of the Flying Dutchman" after the mythical phantom ship.
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