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Luftwaffe bomber remains are discovered on Norfolk beach

PUBLISHED: 15:29 14 September 2018 | UPDATED: 19:59 14 September 2018

The spot on the beach west of Sheringham where Chris Gleadell uncovered the remains of a German bomber from the Second World War. Picture: CHRIS GLEADELL

The spot on the beach west of Sheringham where Chris Gleadell uncovered the remains of a German bomber from the Second World War. Picture: CHRIS GLEADELL

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The remains of a Luftwaffe bomber from the Second World War have been uncovered on a north Norfolk beach.

The Junkers Ju 88 was the backbone of the German Luftwaffe's bombing fleet during the Second World War. Picture: BUNDESARCHIVThe Junkers Ju 88 was the backbone of the German Luftwaffe's bombing fleet during the Second World War. Picture: BUNDESARCHIV

Chris Gleadell dug out what is thought to be what’s left of a Junkers Ju 88 that crashed on the beach about a mile west of Sheringham after aborting a bombing raid on Liverpool on May 3, 1941.

Mr Gleadell, of Sheringham, said he discovered the remains after almost tripping over a cog and other parts sticking out of the sand earlier this week.

He said: “I had an inkling it might be a plane due to the size of the parts. I did a bit of delving and came across a crash report of a Junkers Ju 88A-5 that crash landed on the beach, one mile west of the lifeboat station.”

Mr Gleadell found a report of the crash, as well as photos of the engine buried in the sand from the 1970s.

The spot on the beach west of Sheringham where Chris Gleadell uncovered the remains of a German bomber from the Second World War. Picture: CHRIS GLEADELLThe spot on the beach west of Sheringham where Chris Gleadell uncovered the remains of a German bomber from the Second World War. Picture: CHRIS GLEADELL

He said: “Given the position and direction of the plane in that photo it’s almost certain this was the right-hand wing engine.”

Mr Gleadell returned to the site at low tide on Thursday bearing a plastic spade he bought from a Starlings toy shop in town for under £1.

He said: “I dug out around it for an hour or so to expose one camshaft with a couple of con rods and five pistons, the cog is the main camshaft gear.

“Obviously since those 1970s photos there has been a lot more deterioration but there’s still a fair old chunk of engine there, four foot in length and two foot across with the possibility there’s much more hidden underneath still.”

The spot on the beach west of Sheringham where Chris Gleadell uncovered the remains of a German bomber from the Second World War. Picture: CHRIS GLEADELLThe spot on the beach west of Sheringham where Chris Gleadell uncovered the remains of a German bomber from the Second World War. Picture: CHRIS GLEADELL

The bomber is thought to have been hit over Skegness by gunfire from a Boulton Paul Defiant night fighter of 151 Squadron, crewed by pilot Guy A Edminson and gunner Sgt A G Beale.

The Junkers lost power, jettisoned a bomb and turned for home, but was forced to make a belly landing on the beach after the starboard engine failed. The four-man crew survived and were taken prisoner soldiers of the Royal Scots Fusiliers, and one was treated for injuries at Cromer Hospital.

The Ju 88 - designed to able to outrun fighters - was the backbone of the German bomber fleet during the war and more than 16,000 were produced.

The discovery comes as thousands of visitors are about to descend on Sheringham and Holt for the region’s biggest 1940s-themed weekend of music, displays and events.

The spot on the beach west of Sheringham where Chris Gleadell uncovered the remains of a German bomber from the Second World War Picture: CHRIS GLEADELLThe spot on the beach west of Sheringham where Chris Gleadell uncovered the remains of a German bomber from the Second World War Picture: CHRIS GLEADELL

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