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Thread: Lancaster recovery in Normandy

  1. #1
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    Lancaster recovery in Normandy

    The Telegraph reports that Lancaster ND739 is being dug. One of 3 Lancasters shot down in 5 minutes by experten Oberleutnant Helmut Eberspacher it appears.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/news...ding-ring.html

  2. #2
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    Eberspacher, 28 at the time, was later awarded a coveted Knight's Cross after he shot down seven enemy aircraft in 170 sorties.
    Can that be correct; it seems too few to be awarded the Knight's Cross?
    WA$.

  3. #3
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    Interesting... seems to be true:

    http://www.ritterkreuztraeger-1939-4...her-Helmut.htm

    "Damit flog Eberspächer bis Kriegsende härteste Einsätze an der Westfront, so besonders während der Ardennenoffensive und gegen de Brückenkopf bei Remagen. Für seine Erfolge und Leistungen in dieser Position wurde er, als Hauptmann und Kapitän der 3. Staffel des Nachtschlachtgeschwaders 20, am 24.01.1945 mit dem Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes ausgezeichnet.
    Weiterhin ist zu erwähnen, dass er während des Krieges etwa 170 Feindflüge flog und sieben Luftsiege im Westen erzielte, davon drei in der Nacht
    ."

    In short:

    He flew all of his missions at the Western Front, in particular during the Bulge and against the Remagen bridgehead and got his Ritterkreuz on 24.01.45 for all of this missions.
    Flew 170 sorties during the war and shot down 7 enemy aircraft, 3 of them on a night mission.

    Never heard of him before, besides the fact that his company later produced "Ebersbächer park heatings" for cars, which are well known over here...
    Last edited by Kesha; 1st October 2012 at 18:47. Reason: typo

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    Mostly ground-attack missions then?
    WA$.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creaking Door View Post
    Mostly ground-attack missions then?
    According to the website i`ve linked above, his unit was a kinda "jack of all trades device":

    "Aufklärung, Tagjagd, Fernnachtjagd und ab Beginn der Invasion auch für Tag- und Nachtschlachteinsätze"

    =

    Recco, Day Fighter, Long Distance night fighter, and starting with D-Day, also Day&Night Ground attacks...

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    C.D.

    Warren, very interesting story, in WW1 and WW2, how many enemy aircraft did one have to shoot down, to be an ACE ?. I have heard conflicting stories not so long ago, re the numbers.
    Jim.
    Lincoln .7
    There is no such thing as a problem, just a solution!!

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    Five victories is the traditional number to become an 'ace'.
    WA$.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kesha View Post
    Recco, Day Fighter, Long Distance night fighter, and starting with D-Day, also Day&Night Ground attacks...
    Thanks for the translation!

    Again, this strikes me as unusual; a single unit that carried-out all these mission types.
    WA$.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creaking Door View Post
    Thanks for the translation!

    Again, this strikes me as unusual; a single unit that carried-out all these mission types.
    I assume the reason for this multi-purpose units was simple math...

    The longer the war lasted, the less experienced pilots were left.

  10. #10
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    Am I alone in thinking there is a sub-story that's being glossed over here?

    There are a lot of personal effects being found.

    Are we to assume that the crew stripped off watches, jumpers, tunics and the like before leaping from the crashing aircraft?

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

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    I’d assumed, perhaps wrongly, that no human remains were found; the article talks of ‘marshy ground’, I’m no expert but after this length of time in wet ground would any remains survive?

    I’m sure there is nothing illicit involved.
    WA$.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kesha View Post
    The longer the war lasted, the less experienced pilots were left.
    Yes, I understand the necessity of that stage of the war but that variety of missions, and the skills to fly them, would be asking a lot from far more experienced pilots.

    No criticism of the pilots involved but the vastly different types of mission flown struck me as very unusual.
    WA$.

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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by Moggy C View Post
    Am I alone in thinking there is a sub-story that's being glossed over here?

    There are a lot of personal effects being found.

    Are we to assume that the crew stripped off watches, jumpers, tunics and the like before leaping from the crashing aircraft?

    Moggy
    I too am worried about the lack of any reported human remains being found, even of a fragmentary nature. There seems to be too many personal items being found in the wreckage for the recovery team not to have come across some signs of the brave crew. I hope that this is not going to be a case of a future dig at the sight finding remains in a plastic bag!.

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    Surely there would be some remains of the crew to be found? There are alot of personal items that they are finding...
    Cheers,Peter
    "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"

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    Moggy,

    You are not alone, I also thought that yesterday when I first read the article, there was clearly a lot of human remains discovered to account for the personal effects and uniform fragments. There is a lot of media interest in this now that the Telegraph have run an article.

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    I too was somewhat mystified by the lack of any reports conerning the crew, who by the declared finds, were definately in the aircraft at the time of the crash.
    I have asked myself the question why I would want to dig up such a huge aircraft at what must be a fair cost , judging by the number of diggers and the depth involved.
    I was more than a little surprised to read the figure of 400 previous recoveries by Mr Graves. With such a vast experience, what was the reason for the dig, and where is the benefit if there is to be no recognition of the crew i.e. memorial or burial service.
    Surely not the evil-bay ??
    'Where the hell have you been?'

  17. #17
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    Is this former London Air Museum Tony Graves? I assumed it was.

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    Yes ...now resident in France
    'Where the hell have you been?'

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    When I first read the article, I have to say I assumed the absence of any detail concerning H R was out of sensitivity, as they are freely publishing the identity of the aircraft and crew - presumably before JCCC have been informed or had time to trace / contact relatives? However, thinking about it now, since when did journalists show any sensitivity! and I did find the detail they went into regarding the personal effects a bit much after reading it right through too.
    Regards - Nick - Lancashire UK

    "Ex tenebris Lux"

    L.A.I.T.

    North West Aircraft Wrecks

    Aircraft Wrecks: The Walker's Guide

  20. #20
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    I think there is a thin line between publishing efforts of finding missing aircrew, and to publish an article in graphic detail regarding the maps and photos of individuals picking through personal effects.

    I was lead to believe this was the second attempt at its recovery, it would be a great shame if any remains are lost in the hundreds of tons of earth they have excavated.

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    I am led to believe that this was the 3rd dig of this A/c.
    'Where the hell have you been?'

  23. #23
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    The Daily Mail had the gall to take the photographs of the crew from a 97 Squadron website http://www.97squadron.co.uk/Coningsb...%20Carter.html and then the cheeky ******s put their own copyright upon them.
    Researching my father at 50 Squadron, 97 Squadron, Dulug Luft, Stalag Luft VI, Stalag 357 and Stalag Luft III.

    http://wallyswar.wordpress.com/

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    There is something very strange here. How can it be that so much personal equipment and clothing is found but no trace of the crew members? Perhaps this is a world first in the history of crash recovery?
    A Thousand Shall Fall

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nachtjagd View Post
    There is something very strange here. How can it be that so much personal equipment and clothing is found but no trace of the crew members? Perhaps this is a world first in the history of crash recovery?
    Perhaps they have found remains and are keeping it quiet pending D.N.A. testing, just a thought.
    Researching my father at 50 Squadron, 97 Squadron, Dulug Luft, Stalag Luft VI, Stalag 357 and Stalag Luft III.

    http://wallyswar.wordpress.com/

  26. #26
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    From what I have seen of human bones that have been buried I'd say that there should be remains of the crew still there. I think it highly unlikely that the clothing and maps would last longer than bone or teeth.

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    Are we reading too much into this; is what the article states not possible after nearly seventy years in the prevailing conditions?
    WA$.

  28. #28
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    In some instances, Peat type soil conditions can cause bones to disappear in a few decades.
    Hertfordshire Airfields Memorial Group
    http://hamg.co.uk

    Hunsdon, Sawbridgeworth and Matching Green airfields..
    http://www.wartime-airfields.com

  29. #29
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    DNA might not survive. I seem to recall a program on tv that mentioned that human remains can be in such a state (of decay) that no DNA can be reliably obtained.

  30. #30
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    In a way this is kind of sickening really..
    Cheers,Peter
    "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"

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