Work is about to start on recovering the aircraft, some 80 years after German forces shot down a British bomber over a Dutch lake, in the hopes of discovering the crew's missing remains. According to a statement, Dutch officials have officially approved efforts to recover a British bomber that was shot down by German forces during World War II.
After the plane was shot down, it is being carefully retrieved from the bottom of the IJsselmeer lake by the families of the crew who went missing.
Providing a "final resting place" for the crew
The municipality of Sudwest-Fryslan, a small region in the northern Netherlands, made the news this past week. Officials anticipate that the operation will enable the families of the three missing crew members of the bomber by to find closure.
Petra van den Akker, a local councilor, said in the statement, "We think it is vital to transfer the crew members to a final resting place and offer them an official grave."
She said, "After all, they paid the greatest price so that we may live in freedom today.
When the mission to recover the Lancaster bomber will start is still unknown.
The nation's national program to recover aircraft wrecks pays for the costs of the recovery, with financial support from the Dutch federal government.
The program was created to assist local governments in recovering World War II-era aircraft, particularly those where human remains may still be present.
What became of the aircraft?
On June 12, 1943, the British aircraft, which had a crew of seven, participated in a bombing raid on Bochum in western Germany.
German anti-aircraft fire struck the bomber during the raid, causing damage.
The Lancaster bomber was shot down by a German fighter plane while it was returning to England, according to Dutch public broadcaster NOS.
The largest lake in the Netherlands, the IJsselmeer, is where the British aircraft touched down. Nazi Germany was occupying the nation at the time.
The wreckage of four crew members washed up on a neighboring airplane shore after the crash.
Raymond Moore, Charles Sprack, and Arthur Smart are the three crew members still missing. According to experts, there is a very good chance that the British bomber still contains human remains.
Before local fishermen discovered the wreck in 1996, the location of the plane was unclear. Divers from the Dutch navy later investigated the site.
The Dutch government estimates that during World War II, 5,500 Allied and German aircraft were lost over the Netherlands.
According to the national initiative to salvage airplane wreckage, 400 of the aircraft may have human remains on board. Currently, the program aims to assist in the recovery of 30 to 50 World War II aircraft wrecks.
Part of the information for this report came from the DPA news source DPA.
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