Incredible footage reveals submerged remains of a British WWII twin-bomber complete with unused explosives that crashed into Goodwin Sands more than 70 years ago
- A local diver discovered the engines and parts of the main body of the aircraft
- It would have crashed into the Goodwin Sands in Kent more than 70 years ago
- At least 60 RAF and German aircrafts are believed to have been downed there
- Dover Harbour Board has now obtained a license to dredge Goodwin Sands
- In light of this latest find, campaign groups want the licence to be suspended
Incredible footage shows what is believed to be the submerged remains of a British WWII twin-bomber complete with unused explosives.
A local diver discovered the engines and part of the main body of the craft that crashed into the Goodwin Sands in Kent more than 70 years ago.
At least 60 RAF and German aircraft are believed to have crashed over the ten-mile stretch of shifting sandbanks during fierce aerial battles in 1940.
Many of the airmen’s bodies were never recovered.
No human remains have been found so far, but as some of the aircraft remains buried under the seabed it likely divers will uncover the bodies of the crew.
Dover Harbour Board recently obtained a license to dredge Goodwin Sands to expand cargo facilities and build a marina – a move which campaigners are looking to suspend in light of the recent historical discovery.
The incredible footage, which was captured by Ramsgate-based diver Vince Woolsgrove, shows the fuselage of the plane scattered over an area at least 260 feet (80 metres) long and 108 feet (33 metres) wide.
A number of intact bombs from the era, which could be live and potentially explosive, have also been found.
The nationality, age and type of the crashed aircraft remains unknown.
However, finding an aircraft with two engines strongly suggests it is the remains of a twin engine bomber, writes 3hconsulting, which provides media support for maritime and foreshore archaeology.
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Both engines have fishing net wrapped around them, and divers have speculated that a trawler may have crashed into the remains of the aircraft in the recent past.
According to Dave Brocklehurst MBE, who is Chairman of Kent Battle of Britain Museum near Folkestone, the plane is definitely from WWII and the double banked radial engine indicates that it is likely British, or possibly American.
He is currently working on a formal identification for the aircraft.
Divers will be visiting the aircraft and engines to find out more information about them and possibly even identify the actual aircraft that went down.
Incredible footage shows what is believed to be the submerged remains of what may be a British WWII twin-bomber – complete with unused explosives. Pictured is one of the two radial aircraft engines found on the site
Pictured are broken remains of the aircraft fuselage with anchor chain draped over it. No human remains have been found so far but as some of the aircraft may be buried under the seabed it is believed bodies of the crew could still be out there
One of the propeller blades poking out of the seabed, with fishing trawl net wrapped around the end attached to the engine. A number of intact bombs have been found which could be live and potentially explosive
A local diver discovered the engines and part of the main body of the craft that would have crashed into the Goodwin Sands in Kent more than 70 years ago. Pictured is the Avro 679 Manchester, a British twin-engine bomber developed as the forerunner to the Lancaster
Experts believe it could be that more than one aircraft has been located and further on-site investigation is planned.
The remains were initially detected in a geophysical survey but were not identified as being part of an aircraft.
The wreck was described by Wessex Archaeology, DHB’s archaeological contractor, as ‘seafloor disturbance’.
In July 2018, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) granted Dover Harbour Board (DHB) a licence to dredge 3 million tonnes of aggregate from the Goodwin Sands, to use as landfill for their Dover Western Docks Revival.
Campaigners say the plan to remove the sand and gravel will not only disturb wrecks but will cause coastal erosion and endanger delicate ecosystems and wildlife.
The sands have seen more than 2,000 shipwrecks. In the Great Storm of 1703, on one night alone 1,200 men were lost on its banks.
In light of the most recent find, campaigning group Goodwin Sands SOS wants the dredging licence to be suspended.
The remains were initially detected in a geophysical survey but were not identified as being part of an aircraft. The aircraft was described by Wessex Archaeology, DHB’s archaeological contractor, as ‘seafloor disturbance’
In light of the most recent find, campaigning group Goodwin Sands SOS wants the dredging licence to be suspended
Mr Brocklehurst MBE previously spent two months searching war records to identify the locations of aircrafts shot down over the Goodwins.
He previously said: ‘I can tell you with my hand on my heart that there are missing airmen out on the Goodwins.
‘We must commemorate and protect the last resting place of our heroes.’
His list of 60 lost planes and their crews includes Spitfires and Hurricanes, as well as German Messerschmitts, Dornier Do 17s and Junkers Ju 88s, all shot down and never recovered between May 29 and November 14, 1940.
Battle of Britain Day, which will be held on 16 September, is celebrated every year to commemorate the aerial clash that took place from July 10 to October 31 in 1940, thought to be the first major military campaign fought entirely by the air forces.
In defence of the United Kingdom, the Royal Air Force fought against attacks from Nazi Germany’s Luftwaffe in a battle in which Canada, Australia, Poland and New Zealand also took part.
MailOnline has contacted Dover Harbour Board’s archaeological contractors for comment.
The incredible footage, which was captured by Ramsgate-based diver Vince Woolsgrove, shows the fuselage of the plane scattered over an area at least 80 metres (260 feet) long and 33 metres (108 feet) wide as well as two engines
Campaigners say the plan to remove the sand and gravel will not only disturb wrecks but will cause coastal erosion and endanger delicate ecosystems and wildlife
Divers will be visiting the aircraft and engines to find out more information about them and possibly even identify the actual aircraft that went down
WHAT IS BATTLE OF BRITAIN DAY?
As reported by the BBC, Battle of Britain Day is considered to be when the most ‘decisive confrontation’ of the Battle of Britain took place above London in September 1940.
The clash came after the Luftwaffe launched two bombing raids on London after believing the RAF was close to breaking point and followed an earlier attack that had happened eight days before.
Despite also planning to attack Portland and Southampton, the Luftwaffe changed tactics on September 7 to focus on bombing London.
However, this gave the British time to get into better shape and with the pilots having been rested, squadrons being replenished and infrastructure having been repaired, the battle could begin.
On September 15, then-Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited RAF Uxbridge and advised the No.11 Group of the Fighter Command, led by Air Vice-Marshal Keith Park.
250 bombers flew over the Channel on the same day at 11am and while many of the Luftwaffe were intercepted by the RAF, half managed to get to London and drop bombs.
Another 250 planes returned at 2pm, thought to be aiming for South London and the railways that travelled to Kent, with the raids continuing into the night.
Following the clash, Churchill revealed what he had seen: ‘Presently the red bulbs showed that the majority of our squadrons were engaged. In a little while, all our squadrons were fighting and some had already begun to return for fuel.
‘All were in the air. The lower line of bulbs was out. There was not one squadron left in reserve.’ During both raids, the RAF managed to scatter the bomber formations which meant that if the bombers dropped bombs, they were dropped over a wide area.
While the battle in the air continued for many more weeks, September 15 marked a clear win against the Luftwaffe.
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