WWII RAF bomber found in Poland

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by syscom3, Dec 3, 2006.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Historians in Poland have discovered the wreckage of a World War II RAF Halifax bomber along with the remains of its British and Canadian crew.

    The hull of the aircraft, from 148 Squadron, was found buried in a field near the southern Polish town of Dabrowa Tarnowska.

    The bomber was shot down while dropping supplies and ammunition to the Polish underground during the Warsaw uprising.

    Polish historians are now trying to track down the airmen's families.

    Records show the Halifax JP-276A took off on its final flight from the Italian city of Brindisi around 2000 GMT on 4 August 1944.

    The crew of five Canadians and two Britons, led by Canadian pilot Captain A.R. Blynn, were flying on a mission to drop weapons and ammunition to the Polish underground.

    Although a small amount of human remains from the crash were found and buried in Poland in 1944, the wreckage has remained buried along with most of the remains for more than 60 years.

    Warsaw's Museum of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising started to recover the wreck about two months ago.

    Relatives search

    Project manager Piotr Sliwowski, who heads the museum's history department, told the Associated Press news agency: "This is an extraordinary, rare find - there are only three Halifaxes in museums around the world."

    Although the museum's officials were intrigued to find the hull of the bomber as well as documents and personal belongings, it was the discovery of the remains of its crew of young men that left the biggest impression.

    The historians have contacted the British and Canadian embassies in Warsaw in the hope that the families of the airmen can be notified.

    Mr Sliwowski said: "These were boys aged 28 or 30. Their remains were for decades in the ground, now they will be able to return to their homelands."

    Documents, notes and maps and personal items belonging to the crew, like a folding knife and a well-preserved aviator's badge, were also discovered.

    "It takes you back 62 years and you start thinking, 'What were they like? What did they look like? Did they have girlfriends?'" Mr Sliwowski said.

    Rebellion

    Containers of weapons and ammunition were also found on board the crashed Halifax.

    The plane's mission was part of the Allied effort to assist Poland's resistance towards the end of World War II.

    The city's Home Army had launched a rebellion in an attempt to liberate the Polish capital from the Nazi occupation.

    Two restored Halifax bombers are on display at the Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington, York, and at the Royal Canadian Air Force Museum in Trenton, Ontario, Canada.

    A third is on display in what is described as "as recovered" condition at the Royal Air Force Bomber Command Museum in London.

    BBC NEWS | UK | WWII RAF bomber found in Poland
     
  2. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    Saw that yesterday I wonder what it is was buried in to be so intact and not just a pile of aluminium shrapnel
     
  3. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

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    only one thing...
     

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  4. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    Very interesting story syscom3.

    Thanks for sharing

    Micdrow
     
  5. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Interesting. You would think it would have to have crashed into somekind of marsh or bog but until we see some pics of it, it will be hard to tell.
     
  6. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Go story sys.

    Probably a pile of debris. Buried in a field and not taken away as scrap by the Nazis.

    But like the earlier post said, there is no way of knowing until the pics come out.
     
  7. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Very cool and to the crew :salute:
     
  8. R-2800

    R-2800 Member

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    very cool to see that one was found :salute:
     
  9. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

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    Pictures from exhibition "The Wings of Hope- Halifax JP- 276 A with aid to free Poland" in Dabrawa Tarnowska. ( February- March 2008 )

    Recollections of Henryk Ptak* from a Cash of an aircraft shot down in August 1944.

    I was eleven years old at the time. It happened in August of 1944 during harvest. Sheafs stood in the fields. One evening a powerful explosion woke us up, it must have been between nine and ten, but I don’t remember the exact date. Our first thought was that the Germans blasted an ammunition depot in the nearby woods, which were called Sieradzki Forrest. After a few minutes, however, we realized that something exploded a lot closer. When we got out of the house we saw a huge glow at a distance of about one kilometer to north. My father and I went in this direction to find out what happened. We could not reach the site, however, because subsequent blasts rang out. Airplanes circled in the air. Fire was burning the whole night, fuelled from subsequent explosions.
    In the morning we set out again to see the crash site. When we got to the site, the German gendarmerie was already there, safeguarding the area. They didn’t prevent us from getting closer to the aircraft, as they were busy collecting scattered about weapons. Heavy submachine guns and pistols were lying on the ground. When we got closer to the impact area I saw remains of a fuselage protruding from an enormous hollow. Small pieces of steel from the plating were lying everywhere within a radius of one hundred meters. They were awfully bent. Everything around us was still smoldering. Remains of the airmen bodies were scattered among the pieces of steel. I saw one of the gendarmes pick up a human palm separated from the rest of the body. He took off wedding ring of one finger and then threw the hand away. I also remember that my father found five Italian liras there. Mr. Wojtowicz of Dabrawa Tarnowska collected all the remains of the bodies. Later they were buried at local cemetery. Remains of the aircraft were left at crash site for a long time. With passing time, things scattered in the area were collected by the locals, while objects in the ground stayed there until this today.

    * Henryk Ptak ( born April 16, 1933 ), Dabrawa Tarnowska resident, father of 8 children. At the age 11 he is eye witness of Halifax JP 276 A crash. After the war he runs his own farm.
     

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  10. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    Thank you for the pics V2!
    GI salute to the crew...
     
  11. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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  12. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    Great stuff V2

    :salute:
     
  13. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    Very cool 8)


    Excellent :!: :salute:

    TO
     
  14. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    I think it is absolutely wonderful when "lost" airman can go "home" to
    be interred in a family cemetery. It should happen more often ! :salute:

    Thanks, V2....

    Charles
     
  15. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  16. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Great stuff V2, thanks! Would love to see pictures of the wreck when they release them.

    Glad too some more of the boys finally got to go home - Salute
     
  17. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

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  18. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

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    I found pics for you A4K:
    Biuletyn Informacji Publicznej
     
  19. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Thanks for the pics!
     
  20. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Im sure the people of Poland deeply appreciate their sacrifice. The mission of the crew was a noble cause.


    .
     
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