Me-163B, serial number 191301, on display in an unrestored condition at the Smithsonian Institution’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

On this date in 1944, German Me-163B ‘Komet’ rocket-powered fighters first attacked American bomber formations over Europe. The Me-163 had sweptback wings, a Walther liquid-fuel rocket motor, a top speed of 590 mph, and a powered flight duration of 8-10 minutes.