Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Archaeologists Dig Up World War II Plane
Las Vegas Sun ^ | May 31, 2004 | ASSOCIATED PRESS

Posted on 05/31/2004 6:16:20 AM PDT by numberonepal

LONDON (AP) - Archaeologists said Monday that they have unearthed parts of a World War II fighter plane that crashed after downing a German bomber near Buckingham Palace.

Archaeologist Christopher Bennett said the plane's engine and control panel were located late Sunday during excavations in Buckingham Palace Road in the center of the capital.

The Battle of Britain was raging over the skies of London when pilot Ray Holmes spotted the German Dornier bomber on Sept. 15, 1940.

Historians believe the German plane may have been on a mission to destroy Buckingham Palace.

Holmes had run out of ammunition so he flew his Hurricane directly into the German plane. He managed to use his aircraft to slice off the bomber's tail and parachuted out of his plane before it hit Buckingham Palace Road. The Dornier plunged into part of Victoria Station.

Holmes's plane, which hit the ground at around 350 miles (560 kilometers) an hour, was largely buried under a water main and never recovered. The road was later paved over.

Holmes, 89, was present as the engine was lifted to ground level.

"Well it's such a mess that it is hard to realize that it came out of the airplane," he told a Channel Five TV show documenting the dig.

Archaeologists also recovered pieces of the plane's wooden tail fin, fuselage and a section of hydraulic pipe.

Bennett, who has investigated the story for the past 12 years, said the dig was "the culmination of a project that has taken hundreds of hours of work."

The engine and other fragments found during the dig will go on display as part of Westminster Council's West End at War weekend on June 12 and 13. Footage of the crash survives and will be broadcast on a giant screen in Leicester Square over the weekend.

The remnants of the plane will then be housed permanently in London's Imperial War Museum.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: aircraft; airplane; archaeology; archeologist; archeology; battleofbritain; bomber; economic; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; london; militaryhistory; wwii

1 posted on 05/31/2004 6:16:22 AM PDT by numberonepal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: farmfriend

Now I ping you.


2 posted on 05/31/2004 6:17:50 AM PDT by numberonepal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: numberonepal
Archaeologists said Monday that they have unearthed parts of a World War II fighter plane that crashed after downing a German bomber near Buckingham Palace.

Just as a side comment, it certainly makes WWII veterans sound ancient when 'archaeologists' are digging up battle remains. WWII was in our fathers, grandfathers, and for some - great grandfathers time.

3 posted on 05/31/2004 6:21:45 AM PDT by xJones
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dd5339

ping


4 posted on 05/31/2004 6:24:56 AM PDT by Vic3O3 (Jeremiah 31:16-17 (KJV))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: numberonepal

Follow this link to all about the "Dornier":
http://www.aeroflight.co.uk/profile/d335hist.htm


5 posted on 05/31/2004 6:39:28 AM PDT by A. Morgan (3,000 Americans didn't survive the Clinton administration's incompetence, vileness, and corruption.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: numberonepal

Holmes had run out of ammunition so he flew his Hurricane directly into the German plane. He managed to use his aircraft to slice off the bomber's tail and parachuted out of his plane before it hit Buckingham Palace Road. The Dornier plunged into part of Victoria Station.

Did this guy have a pair, or what?


6 posted on 05/31/2004 6:56:05 AM PDT by TalBlack ("Tal, no song means anything without someone else....")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: numberonepal
Gee, I wonder if this guy is any relation to me. My grandmother's maiden name was Holmes and we do have lines to England.

Has anyone else watched History Explorer: Time Team programming on The History Channel International? This is a group of archaeologists who conduct digs in various parts of England. They've discovered some really neat things. One program I watched a few weeks ago dealt with digs in Reedham, Norfolk. Two American B-17's crashed over WWII East Anglia after a bombing run and the team conducts digs in various parts of the field where the planes were reported to have crashed. This same program will be shown on The History Channel International on Wednesday, June 2nd at 10:00 P.M. eastern time if anyone is interested.

They've also done some digs dealing with Roman villas, bathhouses, etc. The program is shown regularly on a UK station. Here's their website:

Time Team

7 posted on 05/31/2004 6:58:57 AM PDT by mass55th
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TalBlack
Holmes had run out of ammunition so he flew his Hurricane directly into the German plane.

Words fail me as I contemplate this act of heroism. Please God put this same kind of spirit in our leaders and fighting men today. Please God let president Bush embody this same courage as he faces political opposition.

8 posted on 05/31/2004 7:08:50 AM PDT by Drawsing (I want my fo'ty fo' cents! ...Porky from "The Little Rascals")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: TalBlack
"Did this guy have a pair, or what?"

Gold plated!

I'm so glad he survived, and do hope he passed on his genes.

What a guy.

9 posted on 05/31/2004 7:14:10 AM PDT by G.Mason (A President is best judged by the enemies he makes when he has really hit his stride…Max Lerner)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: G.Mason
"Did this guy have a pair, or what?" Gold plated! I'm so glad he survived, and do hope he passed on his genes. What a guy.

He must be so saddened to see Britian become a country of squalling, cringing cowards, having agreed to give up all private firearms.

10 posted on 05/31/2004 7:18:13 AM PDT by pabianice
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: numberonepal
He managed to use his aircraft to slice off the bomber's tail and parachuted out of his plane before it hit Buckingham Palace Road.

A wallop like that probably knocked the Brit's teeth straight.

11 posted on 05/31/2004 7:18:34 AM PDT by ElkGroveDan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: numberonepal
Holmes had run out of ammunition so he flew his Hurricane directly into the German plane. He managed to use his aircraft to slice off the bomber's tail and parachuted out of his plane before it hit Buckingham Palace Road.

Holmes was one bad dude!
12 posted on 05/31/2004 7:20:08 AM PDT by AD from SpringBay (We have the government we allow and deserve.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: numberonepal; Tijeras_Slim; FireTrack; Pukin Dog; citabria; B Knotts; kilowhskey; cyphergirl; ...

13 posted on 05/31/2004 7:23:36 AM PDT by Aeronaut (Why be a politician when it is so cheap to rent one on those rare occasions that you need one?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: numberonepal
The Hawker Hurricane did the majority of the work during the Battle of Britain while the Supermarine Spitfire got most of the glory. The Spit was a newer design and unquestionably the better fighter, but of the RAF fighters in service in the summer of 1940 the Hurricanes far outnumbered the Spits, and more Nazi bombers were shot down by Hurricanes than by Spits during the Battle of Britain.

The Spitfire was credited with many more kills in both the press and the public's mind than it actually made because the reporters incorrectly identified practically all RAF fighters as Spitfires. It was also very common for German ME109 pilots who were shot down by Hurricanes to claim they were downed by a Spitfire. I suppose it was more comforting to their egos to believe they were beaten by the famous Spitfire than by the more lightly regarded Hurricane.

14 posted on 05/31/2004 7:24:28 AM PDT by epow
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: epow

The Spitfire was Britain's air superiority fighter. They relied upon it to take on the Messerschmidt M. E. 109 fighter that was its technological equal. The Spitfire was more complex to manufacture, and what Britain needed at the time was large numbers of fighters to counter the qualitative superiority of the Luftwaffe. The Hurricane had already been in production longer than the Spitfire, was very rugged, reliable and easier to manufacture and repair. Owing to these unique circumstances, the two fighters complemented each other quite well, with the Hurricane being used to take on the bomber stream and when possible, the Spitfire was mainly vectored to counter the German fighter escort.


15 posted on 05/31/2004 7:39:03 AM PDT by DMZFrank
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: pabianice
"He must be so saddened to see become a country of squalling, cringing cowards, having agreed to give up all private firearms."

Great Britian is no longer "great". She has played with socialism since before WW2, and is but a shadow of Her once majestic self.

However, as long as there are men of the likes of Ray Holmes, and they do what he did as a young man, the free world will survive.

God bless us all.

16 posted on 05/31/2004 7:43:19 AM PDT by G.Mason (A President is best judged by the enemies he makes when he has really hit his stride…Max Lerner)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: numberonepal
                                                           
                "Never in the face of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few."
                                                                  - Winston Churchill

17 posted on 05/31/2004 7:47:09 AM PDT by wolficatZ (___><))))*>___)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: numberonepal

A business associate of mine visited Russia soon after the collapse of the USSR in search of WW II Russian air craft for an American museum. He did find some and encountered shipping problems, the wings could not be removed for shipping. They had to be flown out. There was also considerable disagreement as to who actually owned them. To my knowledge the matter was never resolved.

He was taken to a village near a swampy/marshy area where he was shown a downed German plane. The pilot was still in it...... that is , the Russians left him where he crashed to earth and remained 50 years or so later.


Second hand but from the original source.


18 posted on 05/31/2004 7:48:05 AM PDT by bert (Don't Panic !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Drawsing
"Fighter Pilot"

He was no Galahad, no knight sans peur et sans reproche.
Sans peur? Fear was the second enemy to beat.
He was A common, unconsidered man, who, for a moment of eternity
Held the whole future of mankind in his two sweating hands
And did not let it go.

Remember him,
Not as he is portrayed, but as the man he was.
To him you owe the most of what you have and love today.

Poem by:
Air chief Marshal Sir Christopher Foxley-Norris, Royal Air Force, GCB, OBE, DSO,
Chairman, Battle of Britain Fighter Association, Past Vice-President, The Spitfire Society


19 posted on 05/31/2004 7:59:40 AM PDT by elbucko (Pacifists are the cause of war.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: DMZFrank; epow

The Hurricane pilots called the German preference for being bested by a Spit, "Spitfire Snobbery."

British aircraft manufacturing, despite Beaverbrook's efforts, always had an overtone of cottage industry. With two good machines in production, they simply couldn't stop one line to stress building the other. It also was less a question of difficulty of building than of skills, techniques, and materials. The Hurricane is built like a big lightplane of the era with a tube frame and fabric covering. The Spitfire is a more modern alloy monocoque design, much more adaptable to mass production. The rub was that Supermarine used to hand-form most of the alloy pieces. Almost every Spitfire from the early years of the war really looks hand-made, and the parts don't necessarily interchange without hand fitting.

The British Merlin engines were the same way. When Packard went to put them into mass production, the Packard engineers were appalled to discover that hundreds of hand operations on each engine were not documented on drawings. They reluctantly had to redraw everything, and in the process they redesigned for machine production. As a result the American-made Merlins' parts didn't interchange with the British ones completely, but the British ones never interchanged themselves all that well. Packard made so many Merlins that thousands of them were exported to Britain and used to power Spitfires (MK XVI), Lancasters, Halifaxes, etc. Because of the interchange problem, the US Merlins were only used in specific marks of planes, to keep the logistics manageable.

The Me109 was designed with mass production in mind from the outset, as was the US Mustang (which was built to a British specification, originally).

With modern techniques the Spit is not that hard to build. A guy named Mike O'Sullivan in Australia took a set of Mk. IX plans and scaled them down to 75 or 80% and has a production line going in Australia. He calls his machine the "MK 26". I've seen it and it definitely has the Spitfire "vibe," and Mike is one of those great Australians that always remind me of Texans for some reason...

d.o.l.

Criminal Number 18F


20 posted on 05/31/2004 9:18:09 AM PDT by Criminal Number 18F
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: numberonepal; *Gods, Graves, Glyphs; A.J.Armitage; abner; adam_az; AdmSmith; Alas Babylon!; ...
Gods, Graves, Glyphs
List for articles regarding early civilizations , life of all forms, - dinosaurs - etc.
Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this ping list.
21 posted on 05/31/2004 9:46:55 AM PDT by farmfriend ( In Essentials, Unity...In Non-Essentials, Liberty...In All Things, Charity.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: numberonepal
I'll wait for the Carbon Dating.
23 posted on 05/31/2004 3:10:30 PM PDT by CyberCowboy777 (Veritas vos liberabit)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Battle Axe

Wish I lived on the west coast, but I'm here in New York State and I don't know of anyone out there who can take down oral history. Maybe someone else on FR can help. You might want to post something on the California forum.


24 posted on 05/31/2004 4:17:59 PM PDT by mass55th
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

To: Battle Axe
Here's the link to the California forum page:

California

26 posted on 05/31/2004 8:44:58 PM PDT by mass55th
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: TalBlack

I'm impressed.


27 posted on 05/31/2004 10:57:15 PM PDT by texasflower (in the event of the rapture.......the Bush White House will be unmanned)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: numberonepal

They could have done it easier and cheaper if they hadn't waited 60 years.


28 posted on 06/05/2004 4:55:19 PM PDT by Henchman (I Hench, therefore I am!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: xJones

Wasn't this man give a special ciation by the Queen after the recovery?


29 posted on 07/31/2004 1:42:08 PM PDT by dixie sass (Texas - South Carolina on Steroids)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson