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They found the wreckage of a German fighter by accident

The crew of a fishing boat, while fishing off Plymouth Sound, accidentally came across the remains of a World War II-era aircraft. The wreckage is tentatively believed to be the remains of a German Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter jet, shot down over Plymouth in 1942. When the fishermen pulled out the net on board the
Published: January 7, 2019 - 14:50
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 17:41
They found the wreckage of a German fighter by accident

The crew of a fishing boat, while fishing off Plymouth Sound, accidentally came across the remains of a World War II-era aircraft. The wreckage is tentatively believed to be the remains of a German Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter jet, shot down over Plymouth in 1942.

When the fishermen pulled out the net on board the boat, they saw an unusual catch. Among the fish was an aircraft propeller, whose condition indicated that it had spent several decades underwater. The fished-out fragment of the aircraft was secured and transported to the port so that experts could comment on it.

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Peter Holt has been investigating the surrounding wrecks since 1993 and, with his wife Mallory, runs The Ships Project, whose mission is to research shipwrecks and maritime history in the Plymouth area. According to him, the propeller found is a fragment that may have come from a German ME-109 fighter jet that was reportedly shot down over Plymouth Sound on 16 May 1942, this was after the Luftwaffe launched an attack on several warships in the area.

The Messerschmitt was said to have crashed near Cawsand Bay. Which was confirmed by divers recovering the engine in 1982. However, Holt assumes that there is also the possibility that there is more than one wreck in this case.

So on my way out to dive with Plymouth Sound Divers today, we came across a local fishing vessel with an unusual catch! …

Published by Robinson Household Saturday, January 5, 2019

[blockquote style=”2″]”I have undertaken an attempt to identify the propeller, starting with a comparative analysis with propellers used on aircraft whose wrecks we know are at the bottom of Plymouth Sound. These include a Lancaster bomber and three Sunderland aircraft. However, looking at pictures of propellers from these aircraft, there is a difference in the juxtaposition with the one that has now been fished out. It is therefore likely that it is not from these wrecks. The next option is the German ME-109 that crashed at Cawsand and here we have more agreement, but there is a possibility that the fragment is from a completely different aircraft.” – Holt analyses[/blockquote].

The couple will now work on the remains of the found aircraft, trying to identify it and learn the story behind it. The first steps involve carefully cleaning the surface of the found piece to see if there are any markings.

Holt says there is very little known about the history of the aircraft at the bottom of Plymouth Sound and even divers only know of two or three wrecks.

Source: plymouthherald.co.uk

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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