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Can you help?
Have you ever witnessed any aircraft crashes during World War Two? We are looking to hear from anyone with ANY information regarding aircraft crashes in the UK and Europe. Have you ever wanted to know more about why it crashed or perhaps you have often wondered about the pilots name, age etc. If so we can often help.
 
WANTED
WW2 Casualty Groups - RAF, Army, Navy. We will ensure their names are not forgotten.
 
WANTED
Volunteers wanted to attend museum during open weekends - would suit retired person within the Surrey/Sussex area.
 
BAPC Member

Member of the British Aviation Preservation Council

WINGS MUSEUM
REGISTERED CHARITY
NO. 1117879
 
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Aviation Archaeology - Heinkel He177A-5

 
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Heinkel He177A-5
4/KG40
Ofw Werner Neuenfeld and crew (baled out)
Crashed 13 June 1944
Nr Bolbec, France
 
On 12th June 1944 Ofw Werner Neuenfeld and crew took off from Toulouse to attack invasion shipping off the Normandy coast with Hs293 missiles. As they approached Le Havre the He177 was intercepted by a Mosquito crew from 410 (RCAF) Squadron who had taken off from Hunsdon. P/O Kearney was guided onto the He177 by his AI operator F/O Bradford from two miles away and closed to just 600 feet to make a positive identification of the target, which was observed to have ‘an object slung outboard of each engine’ – the Hs293s. The first burst of fire missed, but a second set the whole starboard wing root and engine on fire. The bomber then down in a steep dive from 6,000 feet with the flames spreading until it hit the ground and exploded with such force that the Mosquito was shaken by it.
 
It would seem likely that return fire had damaged the Mosquito as both engines began to fail, forcing Kearney to make a wheels-up landing at a landing ground in the beachhead. As the Mosquito slid along the ground it collided with a truck, killing the luckless driver.
 
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Excavation of the most complete He177A-5 recovered to date commences
 
The He177′s crash site had been located by historian Laurent Viton and was excavated in September 2012. All four DB605 engines were recovered together with the propeller hubs and gear boxes and drive shafts that coupled them together, also recovered were two of the huge undercarriage legs. The engines were buried vertically in the ground at a depth of 2 metres, and in the centre of the crater the tail wheel leg was discovered.
 
Although much of the wreckage was badly burned by an intense fire, some very interesting artifacts were recovered and preserved for display. Fragments of the dingy including the inflation bottle were discovered along with the main aircraft compass or "mother compass". Several small labels and what is believed to be part of the aero foil tail fin section from one of the Hs293 Remote Operated Glide Bombs, which is without doubt a unique and rare find indeed.
 
Also recovered was one of the remote operated armour plated gun turrets which was last used in action against the persuing Mosquito, perhaps the very turret that inflicted damage to P.O. Kearney's engines.
 
One of the Damlier Benz engines was retained for display in France, much of the other artifacts and 3 engines are now currently being cleaned and preserved ready for a new display at the Wings Museum which will hopefully be complete for the 2013 season. This will be the only place in the UK where substantial parts from an He177A-5 can be seen on public display.
 
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The tail oleo is lifted from the mud after nearly 70 years being buried
 
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Steve and Gareth with their prize!
 
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Kevin with two of the DB605 engines recovered
 
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Simon Parry investigates one of the huge propeller hubs
 
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All four engines were found at a depth of 1.5 metres and were laying vertical in the ground.
 
The Wings Museum would like to thank the following people for the opportunity of attending this unique excavation: Gareth Jones, Steve Vizard, Simon Parry, Geoff Carless, Laurent Viton, & also the various French researchers & historians who made the excavation possible.
 
 
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