An RAF Spitfire has been pulled from an Irish peat bog nearly 70 years after it crash-landed during World War II.
The British fighter plane was piloted by an American, Roland “Bud” Wolf, who parachuted safely from the aircraft before it crashed in the bog in November 1941 in County Donegal, according to the Belfast Telegraph.
Wolf was forced to abandon his Spitfire over the Irish Republic when its engine overheated about 13 miles from his base at RAF Eglinton, now Derry International Airport, in Northern Ireland, historian Dan Snow told RTE radio.
Six machine guns and about 1,000 rounds of ammunition were also discovered by archaeologists.
“The plane itself is obviously kind of wreckage and the big pieces survived,” Snow said. “We’re expecting to find things like the engine and there still may be personal effects in the cockpit.
“It’s just incredible because it’s just so wet here that the ground just sucked it up and the plane was able to burrow into it and it’s been preserved,” Snow added. “It’s in amazing condition.”
The Irish Defence Forces said the six Browning .303 machine guns and approximately 1,000 rounds of ammunition were discovered by a team of archaeologists from Queens University buried up to 30 feet in the bog, according to the Belfast Telegraph.
“The six machine guns and ammunition have been removed by the bomb disposal team to a secure military location where they will be decommissioned and cleaned before being handed over to the Derry Museum,” a spokesman added.
Spitfires were produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft and were the only Allied fighter in production throughout the war. More than 20,000 were built by Supermarine Aviation Works, with fewer than four dozen surviving today.
(HT: A Blog About History)