German bomber raised from sea after 70+ years

dornier do 17 raised

After more than 70 years on the floor of the English Channel, a German bomber shot down during World War II has been raised.

The Dornier Do 17 aircraft was downed in August 1940 off the coast of Kent during the Battle of Britain.

It is believed to be the only intact example of its kind in the world, according to the BBC.

The aircraft, brought up last week, was found to be badly corroded, with the fuselage twisted and held in place only by a strut inserted by the salvage team. The plane’s engines were found to have come apart from the plane and had to be brought up separately.

The existence of the Dornier Do 17 – nicknamed the Luftwaffe’s “flying pencils” because of its narrow fuselage – became known when it was spotted by divers in 2008 lying in 50 feet of water on a chalk bed with a small debris field around it.

The Dornier will be restored at a site in Shropshire before eventually going on display at the RAF Museum in Hendon, north London.

Originally designed as a fast reconnaissance aircraft, the Dornier had been converted by the Luftwaffe in the mid-1930s into a medium bomber

The aircraft was a key part of the German bombing effort during the Battle of Britain in 1940.

The wreck is believed to be an aircraft shot down on Aug. 26 at the height of the battle.

Two of the four crew members died and were buried elsewhere, and two – including the pilot – survived to become prisoners of war, according to the BBC.

The Dornier Do 17 was one of four bombers used by the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain, along with the Heinkel He 111, Junkers Ju 88 and Junkers Ju 87.

German bombers, not surprisingly, required constant protection from Luftwaffe fighters and often fell victim to the nimble British counterparts such as Hurricanes and Spitfires.

In all, more than 2,100 Dornier Do 17s were built before and during the war.

(Top: A Dornier Do 17 bomber is raised from the floor of the English Channel last week. Photo credit: BBC)

8 thoughts on “German bomber raised from sea after 70+ years

  1. I am always amazed when things are bought up mostly intact from beneath the waves. It is hard to imagine them spending so many years under the water. What else could be under there just waiting to be discovered?

    • It, of course, depends on the climate and conditions, but I too wonder what lies beneath the waves, waiting to be found. If an aircraft, with thin metal and rivets, can be hauled to the surface after 70-plus years, one has to imagine that ships made with considerably thicker metal must be in better condition, right?

  2. Talk about being in the right place at the right time. That would have been the place to be for any photographer or history buff. Why didn’t they call us? ?? 🙂

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