BBC Home
Explore the BBC



Last Updated: Friday April 08 2011 10:29 GMT

WWII plane at bottom of sea to be dug up by historians

Ore reports on the wartime survival tale

Historians are trying to dig up a World War II plane that's buried at the bottom of the sea.

The Dornier 17 was a German bomber and 1,700 were built but only one has survived, as a wreck lying on the sea floor under the English Channel.

The plane was shot down on 26 August 1940 and made an emergency landing in the sea just off the Kent coast.

Two of the four crew members died and the pilot and one other survived to become prisoners of war.

Dornier 17
The Dornier 17 German bomber

When the plane was shot down it sank 15m to the bottom of the sea and ended up resting on its back, getting covered by the Goodwin Sands.

But last month a team sailed from Ramsgate to look at the wreck using the latest high-tech sonar equipment.

They found that the plane has been uncovered by the sand 70 years on, and it's almost all intact!


Spitfire planes

World War II

How much do you know about the war?


Deep Sea Explorer

Deep Sea Explorer

Make it your mission to discover six underwater creatures in our fishy game!