Wellington HE346 and Bf109 from JG1.

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Snautzer01

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Salvage of WWII aircraft wrecks in Noardeast-Fryslân continues
Salvage of WWII aircraft wrecks in Noardeast-Fryslân continues Photo: Noardeast-Fryslân
Salvage of WWII aircraft wrecks in Noardeast-Fryslân continues
Tue Jul 2, 12:45 General
The recovery of a Vickers Wellington HE346 and a Messerschmitt Bf 109, which crashed during the Second World War in the municipality of Noardeast-Fryslân, continues. The necessary permits have largely been obtained. It is a complicated job in which different parties work together.

Closure for surviving relatives

The family of Sergeant Alfred Mortimer say they would finally have 'closure' if the remains of a local war hero, who was shot more than 80 years ago, are discovered during this extraordinary recovery mission.

Sergeant Alfred Mortimer, from Thurnscoe, was killed near Holwert on 26 June 1943. It is believed that his plane, a Wellington bomber, crashed off the Frisian coast in the Wadden Sea after being intercepted by a German night fighter and that the entire five-man crew, including navigator Alfred, 31, was killed and subsequently listed as ' missing in action'. The day after the crash, only a few pieces of wreckage were found and the plane had sunk in the mud. The wreck was too deep to be recovered, as it was under a sea wall. *

* Source of translated text: Barnsly Chronicle

Wetterskip Fryslân has granted a permit to dig a hole in the dike

This operation is technically complicated. The safety of the dike must not be jeopardized. To salvage the Wellington, the dike between Holwert and Ternaard must be removed over a length of almost 100 meters. In the area where the aircraft is located, a construction pit will be installed to a depth of 8 meters. A temporary water barrier made of sheet pile profiles retains the seawater during storage. This must meet the same safety requirements as the sea wall! So also be prepared for a storm that occurs once every 1,000 years. The recovery of the aircraft must be ready before the start of the storm season on October 1, 2024.

Leemans Special Works carries out the recovery in collaboration with Defense

This company from Vriezenveen has carried out approximately 35 recoveries of aircraft wrecks from the Second World War in 40 years. Leemans Special Works also has a lot of experience in detecting and securing explosives from the Second World War.

The preparatory work has now started
Work has started on a farmer's plot in Holwert at the location where the processing location will be located. This is the place where the excavated soil will soon be sieved to find small remains of the aircraft and its crew.

Two aircraft are recovered
This is a Vickers Wellington HE346 of the 166 squadron Royal Air Force. This aircraft wreck is located in the dike section between Holwert and Ternaard. The remains of the 5 crew members are probably still on board this aircraft. This aircraft crashed at this location on June 26, 1943.

The other aircraft is a Messerschmitt Bf 109 of the German Jagdgeschwarder 1 and is located in Noarderleech near Hallum. This aircraft, with the pilot still on board, crashed on July 16, 1943 during an exercise above Noarderleech.

The SMAMF has investigated the surviving relatives

Both the relatives of the five crew members of the Wellington and the pilot of the Messerschmitt are in the care of volunteers from the Missing Airmen Memorial Foundation. Many hours of detective work preceded this. A memorial service will be organized in due course for the relatives of the crew of both aircraft.

There will be a page on aircraft salvage on the municipality's
 

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