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Page last updated at 09:44 GMT, Thursday, 8 April 2010 10:44 UK
Part of a German bomber found on Kingsdown beach
By Jo Burn
BBC Kent

BBC South East's Peter Whittlesea went to see the wreckage

Bad weather and a spring tide had combined to bring a tangle of what looked like scrap metal on shore

It had been hauled on the beach by a local resident so fishermen could rescue the lines and weights wrapped around it.

It was then spotted, seemingly abandoned, in the most unlikely of places.

Harry Pace recognized it as a piece of German Dornier bomber and he went about tracing its origin.

DO17Z in flight. Photo from historyofwar.org
The airmen from the Dornier aircraft are buried in Deal cemetary

It had been after Harry Pace arrived home from walking his dog that he got a call from a neighbour to say that what he thought was part of a plane was sitting on top of a waste bin on Kingsdown beach. After contacting the RAF History Museum at Manston, Harry was given a handwritten note of 14 Dornier aircraft which had gone down locally.

Once the aircraft fragment was out of the water Harry also had to set about keeping it safe and intact. He contacted fellow local history enthusiast Alex Evans from the King's Head pub in Kingsdown who offered to put in his children's paddling pool in the pub garden where people could see it and help identify it.

Some paint work is still visible and Harry Pace thinks he can spot part of the Swastika.

After putting a piece in the local paper about the find they have been contacted by several local residents who think they saw it go down, or know stories of the wreck causing havoc to local fishing.

Harry Pace
Harry Pace found the piece of wreckage on a bin on Kingsdown beach

Peter Kirling used to farm on the cliffs above Kingsdown and when he was in his 20s he saw a German aircraft fly close to him with its engines cutting out and smoke coming out of its tail. It tumbled down through the sky and when he got the cliff edge it was gone. He assumes it was lost to the sea. Records show that a few days later three bodies were washed up at Walmer along the coast, and three airmen were buried in the military graveyard in Hamilton Road in Deal.

After the story was broadcast on BBC Radio Kent listener Tony called in to say that this aircraft was probably a Dornier 17 3495 which went down at 8.40pm on 9th November 1940.

Now Harry Pace and Alex Evans are gathering these stories up and are in the process of finding out if they are going to be allowed to hang on to the wreckage and keep it on show for local people to see.

It would be particularly fitting in this 70th anniversary year to remember those who not only died for our country but who lost their lives in our waters never to return to their homeland.


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