A World War II relic gets a new lease of life after being hauled out of the Goodwin Sands

Hundreds of ships and boats have been claimed by the treacherous Goodwin Sands, but archaeologists are planning to recover one of its more unusual victims – a second world war German bomber.

The Dornier 17 ‘flying pencil’ made a ‘wheels up’ landing on the sands on 26 August 1940 after being damaged by RAF Defiant fighters, but, although it touched down safely, it then sank inverted.

Two of the aircraft’s crewmen died and their bodies were washed ashore later, but the pilot and his observer were captured.

The Dornier emerged from the sands two years ago, since when the RAF Museum has worked with Wessex Archaeology to complete a full survey of the wreck site.

Once the Dornier 17, believed to be the last of its type in existence, has been salvaged, it will undergo a programme of conservation before being put on display at the RAF Museum in Hendon.

More information about the recovery plan, together with film of the aircraft, will be available at the RAF Museum’s Battle of Britain weekend to be held at Hendon on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 September 2010.