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Identity of Aircraft Wreckage

Identity of Aircraft Wreckage
Author: RodM (Guest)
Time Stamp:
01:49:03 28 July 2001
Post:
Dear One & All,

the following photograph was taken in 1944/45 in the district of G%F6ppingen, Germany (about 40 km east of Stuttgart). Three Allied aircraft crashed in the district during W.W.II (two Lancasters and a B-17)and I wonder if any eagle-eyed observer can identify the aircraft type from this limited amount of wreckage.

I believe it to be the outer left wing of Lancaster BIII PB153 (Merlin 38 engines), which crashed on the night of the 16th March 1945. The port outer engine and outer wing section broke off from the aircraft while in mid-air and landed in a meadow.



RE: Identity of Aircraft Wreckage
Author: Sorry, this will display the photo (Guest)
Time Stamp:
01:52:57 28 July 2001
Post:
http://pb153.50megs.com/images/unidentified_wreckage.jpg


RE: Identity of Aircraft Wreckage
Author: RodM (Guest)
Time Stamp:
14:18:41 28 July 2001
Post:
The following is a photo showing the later model propeller blades fitted to Avro Lancasters later in the war.

There are similarities to the blade showing in the crash site photo but it is really not conclusive.

http://pb153.50megs.com/images/lanc2.jpg


Size of Propellor Blade
Author: RodM (Guest)
Time Stamp:
03:24:33 29 July 2001
Post:
I agree with Ian that it is an inline engine and not radial. However, my main concern is the relative size of the prop as compared to the size of the men.

At first glance the prop blade looks far too small for a Lancaster but it may be that it is, firstly, a few metres behind the men and the prop could be bent towards the camera, giving it a much shorter look.

The metal sheeting showing the inline configuration doesn't look like it is from an early Merlin engine, at least. I cannot say that specifically for the Merlin 38.

Rod



RE: Identity of Aircraft Wreckage
Author: Ian Le Sueur (Guest)
Time Stamp:
07:38:30 28 July 2001
Post:
Looking closely it looks very much like an in-line engine and not a radial, in which case it can't be a B17.


RE: Identity of Aircraft Wreckage
Author: Chris Charland (Guest)
Time Stamp:
13:56:36 28 July 2001
Post:
Hi

There is no mistaking it Rod, that's the wreck of a Lancaster. You can see six holes inline on the right hand bottom of the debris and also the cylinder head cover.

Cheers...Chris


RE: Identity of Aircraft Wreckage
Author: RodM (Guest)
Time Stamp:
14:47:31 28 July 2001
Post:
Thanks Chris & Ian,

the photo was taken by the deceased father of an old German lady and the photo has no descriptive details.

a German friend is actually going to the spot where he thinks this photo was taken with a metal detecor to see if small parts are there. The photo is probably from Lancaster BIII PB153 of No. 166 Sqdn, which was lost on the night of the 16th/17th March 1945.

After being hit by a Luftwaffe nightfigher the aircraft dove away from the bomber stream as the pilot struggled for control. Unfortunately, at a few thousand few the aircraft broke up; the port outer engine and wing section broke off and the forward cockpit section also broke away. There was only one survivor in the crew, the rear gunner who was thrown through the rear escape hatch when the aircraft broke up.

The cockpit section and the main section of the Lancaster both landed in a forest, about 500 metres apart.

The main parts of the wreckage were taken away by the American occupying forces after the war but bits and pices are still found in the forest today.

The following is a selection of photos for those who are interested:

The following is a photo of Lancaster PB153 (second from the front) when coded AS-O in 1944

http://pb153.50megs.com/images/pb153.jpg

The next photos are various parts salvaged recently from the area where the main part of the aircraft crashed:

A .303 bullet casing

http://pb153.50megs.com/images/parts_1.jpg

A piece of Perspex

http://pb153.50megs.com/images/parts_4.jpg

Two unidentified parts

http://pb153.50megs.com/images/parts_3.jpg

http://pb153.50megs.com/images/parts_2.jpg

And the last photo is of the man, who as a young boy, hung this piece of wreckage in a tree. This part is still there today:

http://pb153.50megs.com/images/parts_5.jpg

Cheers

Rod