World War II

At the bottom of the North Sea, the almost intact wreck of an American B-17 bomber from the Second World War was discovered. Human remains have also been found there.


The discovery was made during the construction of the high voltage cable link between Great Britain and the European mainland. The wreck is now being investigated and identified. Even if that research is already well advanced, VRT reports. During the soil investigation for the cable connection, the researchers collided on a piece of the aluminum wing and a part with a paddle wheel. There were part numbers on the sheet metal, which makes the identification of the wreck easier for the researchers. These numbers appear in the lists of parts of the B-17 bombers of the Americans.

‘Flying fortress’

After examining documents and consultation with the American government, it could be one of four aircraft of which to date one or more crew members are missing. If it is known which device is involved, a decision will be made about any storage thereof. In a B-17 there could be about 9 to 10 crew members. The aircraft – nicknamed ‘flying fort’ – could carry two to five tons of bombs. The heavy bomber was deployed en masse during the Second World War for attacks on German industry and cities. During the soil investigation, parts of other aircraft were also found, such as the wing of a German Messerschmitt fighter aircraft, the aluminum sheet metal of a British Spitfire, and a radial engine of an American aircraft of the Wright R-1820 type, the Flemish broadcaster reports.

War Grave

“We should mainly see this as a war grave that can solve missing people. From an archaeological point of view we do not learn a lot from this, “says Maritime Archaeologist Wouter Waldus,” The Second World War is so well documented that we already know a great deal. “It is especially important that this is handled with care and that any relatives are well informed. to become.”


The announcement of the discovery of the bomber follows almost a year after the discovery of an almost intact wreck of a German submarine from the First World War. That wreck was found at a depth of about 30 meters near the coast of Ostend.

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