German historians have found a Dornier flying boat that crashed into a lake in Poland in 1945 with at least 75 children on board in one of the final tragic episodes of the last war.
German evacuees fleeing the advance of the Red Army, the youngsters died on March 5, 1945 when their Dornier DO-24 plunged into Lake Resko in north-west Poland, then part of Hitler’s Reich and called the Kamper See, after apparently being hit by tank fire. Radar images taken by the Children of Lake Kamper society, which hopes to salvage the aircraft, show the broken remains of the Dornier lying in up to four metres of mud at the bottom of the lake.
The force of the impact sheared the fuselage in two and tore the wings off. None of the victims, including the four Luftwaffe crew, were ever recovered from the depths of the Resko although divers have managed to retrieve a number of poignant personal items including pictures drawn by the children preserved by the mud.
“Now we have the exact location and depth of the wreck we can make concrete plans for salvage,” said Jan Bach from the Lake Kamper society. “If we can raise enough money we can probably salvage the wreckage this year…