British Bomber to be Recovered from Dutch Lake

Vickers Wellington MkI 
Source: Wikipedia/ Public Domain and Ministry of Defence
Vickers Wellington MkI Source: Wikipedia/ Public Domain and Ministry of Defence

The Dutch Ministry of Defense has hired a salvage company to recover the wreckage of a WWII bomber found in IJsselmeer Lake off the coast near Lemmer.

The British bomber, thought to be a Vickers Wellington, crashed about 17 kilometers off the coast. A bent propeller, some motor parts, and two loaded machine guns have already been recovered. Authorities hope to identify the plane from the serial numbers on the parts.

The salvage company has placed steel walls around the crash site and are pumping water out. They intend to reveal the bottom of the lake to make the recovery easier. They will then recover the pieces of the plane and bring them to shore for further analysis.

The wreck was discovered in 2014 by a dredging company that was investigating IJsselmeer for sand and gravel deposits. Since they could not locate an alternative site, the plane is being moved to give them access.

The British air force will stage a flyover next week to honor the airmen who died in that crash.

The defense ministry has stated that the plane was shot down in 1941 en route to Bremen. Some reports state that the crew was Polish.

There are reports of human remains on the plane, possibly from multiple crew members.

“It is an honor to be able to bring home the missing,” major Arie Kappert, who is in charge of the recovery project, said. “If they are there, we will find them.”

It was announced in May that there aFre 501 crash sites in the Netherlands that have never been investigated. It is believed there are 600 missing British, 228 missing Americans, and 247 missing German crew members at those sites.

Many of the missing planes crashed into the Wadden Sea or IJsselmeer Lake and had never been found.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE