Greek Military Divers Raise Wreckage of German World War II Stuka Bomber From the Sea

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by syscom3, Oct 8, 2006.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    By NICHOLAS PAPHITIS
    ATHENS, Greece Oct 6, 2006 (AP) Greek military divers Friday successfully raised the wreckage of a German World War II Stuka bomber from the sea off the eastern island of Rhodes, the air force said.

    The Junkers-87 dive-bomber was shot down in 1943 and will be conserved and displayed at the air force museum at an airport near Athens, air force spokesman Col. Ioannis Papageorgiou said.

    Papageorgiou said there was no trace of the two airmen's bodies.

    "The plane was raised a couple of hours ago, and I don't know yet whether there are any remains inside," he told The Associated Press.

    He said part of the plane's tail section appeared to be missing.

    The two-seater's wreckage was located two years ago by a trawler, which caught it in its nets seven miles offshore at a depth of 492 feet, and dragged it close to the island's southern coast.

    Air force experts believe the plane was part of a Luftwaffe squadron operating from Rhodes that lost several Stukas to allied ships and aircraft on Oct. 9, 1943.

    "Once we locate the serial number, we will be able to identify the plane, what squadron it belonged to and the crew," Papageorgiou said.

    Fitted with a screaming siren for maximum psychological effect, the gull-winged, single-engine Stuka was a feared symbol of Nazi military power.
    Used in action in the Spanish Civil War, it played a major role in the German invasions of Poland and France, but was outdated and severely outgunned by allied fighters by 1943.

    Out of some 6,000 aircraft produced between 1936 and 1944, only two survive intact in museums, while the wrecks of three more Stukas have been salvaged.
     
  2. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I have seen pictures of it some where.
     
  3. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    post them please if you find them ............... ah but the article is oncorrect the sirens were removed well before 1943. well maybe just giving an example then ?
     
  4. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    Interesting how the sea keeps continually giving us WWII relics.
     
  5. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    No I think the one I saw pictures of is a different one. So far no pictures of this one have been released yet.
     
  6. DIOGENIS

    DIOGENIS Member

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    I have found the following article, but the engine pic cannot be of a ju87 it seems to be a radial engine
     
  7. DIOGENIS

    DIOGENIS Member

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    I found the following article in the officiall Hellenic AF site:

    Underwater salvage of a Luftwaffe Ju87D-3 Stuka off the coast of Rodos (Rhodes) (9/10/2006)On 5 October 2006, the HAF Underwater Operations Team (KΟΣΥΘΕ) successfully carried out the salvage of a Luftwaffe Ju87D-3/Trop Stuka, from a depth of 15 metres, half a mile off the coast of Prassonisi at Rodos (Rhodes) island.

    According to a combination of available historical data, it appears that the aircraft is most probably S7+GM (100375), crewed by Lt. Rolf Metzger Uffz. Hans Sopnemann - both MIA), which was shot down on 9 October 1943.

    On that very day the II/St.G. 3 lost a total of nine Ju 87D-3/Trop when they were intercepted during their mission against Royal Navy and Hellenic Navy ships in the Aegean. Of these nine, seven crashed into the sea and two made emergency landings on Rodos. A week before, German troops had landed on the island of Kos, which fell the next day. On 9 October 1943, HMS cruiser "Carlisle" and other destroyers, returning from a sweep west of Kos, were dive-bombed SW of Rodos Island by a formation of Ju-87 Stukas. "Carlisle" was seriously damaged and HMS destroyer "Panther" was sunk. Most of her crew were saved by the RHN destroyer "Miaoulis", which has also claimed firing against the Ju-87 formation and probably hit a couple of them.

    According to information supplied by HAF Museum experts, from a first inspection of the fuselage, it is suggested that the aircraft has most probably been hit by aircraft fire. In this case, a plausible explanation is that it was downed by P-38s (Ligtning) belonging to USAAF 37th Fighter Squadron, led by the famous double Ace Major William Leverette. On that same day, seven P-38s on a mission to protect RN warships in the Mediterranean sighted a formation of 30 German Ju-87 dive bombers. Following fierce dogfights, 37th Sq has claimed downing several Luftwaffe Stukas and a Ju-88.

    Almost sixty years after her loss, in October 2004, the wreck was caught to the net of the fishing boat "Konstantinos" belonging to Captain Spyros Varvaris from Kalymnos Island, seven miles off the southern cape of Rodos. It was then dragged all the way to shallow waters and the incident was reported to the Hellenic Coast Authorities. Given the historical importance of the aircraft, the HAF General Staff decided to proceed to its salvage. The precise position of the wreck was pointed out by diver Yannis Glinatsis, resident of Rodos. Following this, the aircraft was videotaped by the HAF divers in order to determine the optimum salvage method. Technical drawings were made available by the HAF Museum, while HAF experts suggested the strongest points, from which the aircraft could safely be suspended and lifted. All these were taken into consideration by the HAF diving engineers, who have more than 20 years accumulated experience in salvage and deep submergence operations, including the successful salvage of a RAF Blenheim in 1996 at Crete (and another one at Prespes Lake), a Ju-52/3m off Leros Island, not to mention several modern fighters, fire-fighters and helicopters (including a CH 47/D from the unprecedented depth of 960 metres!). All the above led to an exceptionally precise weighing of the A/C, which was smoothly lifted from the seabed intact.

    Soon after the aircraft was brought to the surface, the HAF Museum technicians took care of her. The plane was washed with water and special chemicals were applied in order to avoid corrosion due to exposure to the atmospheric air. Following this, the aircraft will be taken to the local airfield of Maritsa, where first degree restoration will be applied. The outer parts of the wings will properly be dismantled and the plane will be shipped to the HAF Museum at Dekeleia Air Base, Tatoi, where a full restoration programme will be carried out. It is anticipated that the Stuka will be available for viewing during the HAF Celebration Day on 8 November 2006 which this year is dedicated to the participation of HAF in WWII.

    pics available here:
    Hellenic Air Force - News and Press Releases

    PS. The engine shown definitely does not belong to ju87.
     
  8. Grampa

    Grampa Member

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    Do i make a wrong comment but had all the Ju 87 Stukas in-line-engine?:confused:
    This picture here show a radial engine [​IMG]
    Has the writer of this webbsite made an error by taking the picture from another plane?
     
  9. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    That plane in your pic Granpa is not a Stuka and if you look at the pics on the website that DIOGENIS posted it shows pics of an actual Stuka being raised from the water.
     
  10. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Pic on Grandpa's post looks like the wing of a bomber or transport aircraft of some type. Early war possible, maybe in the 30s. Short engine cowling would indicate only a single row radial. At or under 1000hp. Two blade props were pretty much done by early war. At least as a design standard for anything other than a trainer.

    As there is no location posted on the pic, it could be from the Pacific as much as the Med.
     
  11. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    geez that -87's in pretty bad shape!
     
  12. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Well it was at the bottom of the ocean for 60 years and on top of that was dragged by a fishing boat in its net.
     
  13. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

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    some pics...
     

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  14. Henk

    Henk Active Member

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    Hope the can restore it. It is a shame it went through so much.
     
  15. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    It is beyond restore. It will probably end up like 3 others they have that they pulled out of the water and put them in musuems the way they found them.

    I believe there are only 2 left fully restored in musuems in the world.
     
  16. Henk

    Henk Active Member

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    Sad, really sad.
     
  17. R-2800

    R-2800 Member

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    yes it is very sad it probobly wont even get a chance to be restored becasue of the high cost it would take to finish it, the engine might be from a Ju-52 that was taken out of the ocean also recently.
     
  18. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    The picture of an the engine is from a Ju-52 that was found near poland in the water. There is a thread about it here.
     
  19. Dazed

    Dazed Banned

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    Just a little don't ya think?
     
  20. ndicki

    ndicki Member

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    I'm wondering about the other one, in Grampa's pic . Looks like a Pratt and Whitney R-1340, as on the Harvard, but the wing is centrally mounted. Airscrew looks the same, too. Intriguing...


    OK, so I wrote that before reading to the end of the thread.
     
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