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  • Excavating a Hurricane.

    They've been digging up a Hawker Hurricane live on the TV this afternoon.

    It crashed in the middle of London on September 13th, 1940 - the height of the Battle of Britain.

    The pilot, Flight Sergeant Ray Holmes had been attacking Dornier bombers over London when he saw one heading for Buckingham Palace.

    He tried to attack it with his guns, but his plane was out of ammunition, so he circled around and rammed the Dornier, slicing off the tailplane with his own wing.

    Cue some amazing real B&W footage of the actual tail-less Dornier plummetting to the ground.

    Holmes' own plane was done for of course and it too smashed into the ground. He bailed out and headed for the nearest pub' once he had landed. Some people will do anything to avoid going back to base so they can have a pint.

    He was heralded at the time as the man who had saved the King.

    As I type this, they have just found the Hurricane's engine - the only substantial part of the plane to survive. They have to get it out and the area repaired and resurfaced (it's under a road!) before the end of the holiday weekend and in time for rush-hour on Tuesday morning.

    Fascinating stuff...

    Dr. S.
    Imagine a ball of iron, the size of the sun. And once a year a tiny sparrow brushes its surface with the tip of its wing. And when that ball of iron, the size of the sun, is worn away to nothing, your punishment will barely have begun.

    www.sinisterincorporated.co.uk

    www.tabletown.co.uk

  • #2
    I remember seeing a show on the Discovery Channel IIRC.

    They dug up an entire flight of P-38 Lightnings that had crash-landed on the Greenland icecap. Over the years they had become covered with ice; anyway, they had to dig 80(?) feet into the ice to get them out. The aircraft were in pristene condition, being encased in ice for 40some years.

    If I'm not mistaken, National Geographic also did a story on it.
    Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

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    • #3
      A few years ago they recovered a crashed Lancaster bomber from, of all places, Loch Ness.

      Fortunately, the monster didn't make an appearance.

      Dr. S.
      Imagine a ball of iron, the size of the sun. And once a year a tiny sparrow brushes its surface with the tip of its wing. And when that ball of iron, the size of the sun, is worn away to nothing, your punishment will barely have begun.

      www.sinisterincorporated.co.uk

      www.tabletown.co.uk

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Excavating a Hurricane.

        Originally posted by Doctor Sinister
        He was heralded at the time as the man who had saved the King.

        Was he decorated?
        http://canadiangenealogyandresearch.ca

        Soviet and Canadian medal collector!

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        • #5
          Re: Re: Excavating a Hurricane.

          Originally posted by dannybou
          Was he decorated?
          I don't believe he was!

          I just found the story on the BBC (which must annoy them, since the actual program featuring the dig was shown on a rival network).

          Link:

          WWII hero's lost Hurricane found

          Dr. S.
          Imagine a ball of iron, the size of the sun. And once a year a tiny sparrow brushes its surface with the tip of its wing. And when that ball of iron, the size of the sun, is worn away to nothing, your punishment will barely have begun.

          www.sinisterincorporated.co.uk

          www.tabletown.co.uk

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Re: Re: Excavating a Hurricane.

            Originally posted by Doctor Sinister
            I don't believe he was!

            I just found the story on the BBC (which must annoy them, since the actual program featuring the dig was shown on a rival network).

            Link:

            WWII hero's lost Hurricane found

            Dr. S.
            Sad. He is credited with saving the life of your King by deliberetely crashing his fighter into a bomber and no decorations?? Very sad.
            http://canadiangenealogyandresearch.ca

            Soviet and Canadian medal collector!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Re: Re: Re: Excavating a Hurricane.

              Originally posted by dannybou
              Sad. He is credited with saving the life of your King by deliberetely crashing his fighter into a bomber and no decorations?? Very sad.
              I agree. Even if you disregard the supposed attack on the Palace*, the fact that he rammed an enemy plane to take it down surely surely places him in the VC category doesn't it?

              *As the program unfolded (and since my first post), they revealed a bit more about this. The Dornier he took down was already damaged with white smoke pouring from one engine. It may even have been the same plane Flight Sergeant Holmes had attacked a few minutes earlier (his canopy got sprayed in oil when his bullets tore into the German plane and he temporarily lost visibility). If you ask me, the Dornier was in no fit state to attack anything, it had probably just fallen out of formation and was turning to go home, it just happened to be heading for Buckingham Palace. But what the heck, the fact that he "saved the King" was probably a good morale-boosting story at the time.

              Dr. S.
              Imagine a ball of iron, the size of the sun. And once a year a tiny sparrow brushes its surface with the tip of its wing. And when that ball of iron, the size of the sun, is worn away to nothing, your punishment will barely have begun.

              www.sinisterincorporated.co.uk

              www.tabletown.co.uk

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              • #8
                In the heat of battle, who knows? the pilot may have thought that the Dornier still had bombs on board or was gonna try and crash into the Palace. Even if it wasn't...better to be safe than sorry.
                Pvt. Bob Mana,
                Co. B, 3rd Maryland Vol. Infantry, 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 12th Corps, Union Army of the Potomac

                For the Union

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by PvtManaCoB3MD
                  In the heat of battle, who knows? the pilot may have thought that the Dornier still had bombs on board or was gonna try and crash into the Palace. Even if it wasn't...better to be safe than sorry.
                  Oh I agree absolutely, it's only once a battle is over that you can apply logical thought - and even then, your logical thought might not be right, so he was right to ram the Jerry.

                  Dr. S.
                  Imagine a ball of iron, the size of the sun. And once a year a tiny sparrow brushes its surface with the tip of its wing. And when that ball of iron, the size of the sun, is worn away to nothing, your punishment will barely have begun.

                  www.sinisterincorporated.co.uk

                  www.tabletown.co.uk

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tigersqn
                    I remember seeing a show on the Discovery Channel IIRC.

                    They dug up an entire flight of P-38 Lightnings that had crash-landed on the Greenland icecap. Over the years they had become covered with ice; anyway, they had to dig 80(?) feet into the ice to get them out. The aircraft were in pristene condition, being encased in ice for 40some years.

                    If I'm not mistaken, National Geographic also did a story on it.
                    There's a website about their recovery and the restoration the one P-38 is currently undergoing. I'll try to find it. In fact I think I saw the web listed in a National Geographic.
                    Lance W.

                    Peace through superior firepower.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Re: Re: Excavating a Hurricane.

                      Originally posted by Doctor Sinister
                      I don't believe he was!

                      I just found the story on the BBC (which must annoy them, since the actual program featuring the dig was shown on a rival network).

                      Link:

                      WWII hero's lost Hurricane found

                      Dr. S.
                      It's nice to know the pilot is still living to see this story told again. Maybe he'll get his medal now?
                      Lance W.

                      Peace through superior firepower.

                      Comment

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