Skip to comments.Greek divers lift WWII bomber wreckage - German Junkers-87 Stuka dive-bomber
Posted on 10/06/2006 6:42:29 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
ATHENS, Greece - Greek military divers Friday successfully raised the wreckage of a German World War II Stuka bomber from the sea off the eastern island of Rhodes, the air force said.
The Junkers-87 dive-bomber was shot down in 1943 and will be conserved and displayed at the air force museum at an airport near Athens, air force spokesman Col. Ioannis Papageorgiou said.
Papageorgiou said there was no trace of the two airmen's bodies.
"The plane was raised a couple of hours ago, and I don't know yet whether there are any remains inside," he told The Associated Press.
He said part of the plane's tail section appeared to be missing.
The two-seater's wreckage was located two years ago by a trawler, which caught it in its nets seven miles offshore at a depth of 492 feet, and dragged it close to the island's southern coast.
Air force experts believe the plane was part of a Luftwaffe squadron operating from Rhodes that lost several Stukas to allied ships and aircraft on Oct. 9, 1943.
"Once we locate the serial number, we will be able to identify the plane, what squadron it belonged to and the crew," Papageorgiou said.
Fitted with a screaming siren for maximum psychological effect, the gull-winged, single-engine Stuka was a feared symbol of Nazi military power.
Used in action in the Spanish Civil War, it played a major role in the German invasions of Poland and France, but was outdated and severely outgunned by allied fighters by 1943.
Out of some 6,000 aircraft produced between 1936 and 1944, only two survive intact in museums, while the wrecks of three more Stukas have been salvaged.
A German dive bomber Ju 87 Stuka flies over an unknown location in this November 1, 1940 file photo taken during World War II. Greek military divers Friday successfully raised the wreckage of a German World War II Stuka bomber from the sea off the eastern island of Rhodes, the air force said. (AP Photo)
Why would they need 2 crew members. Did the guy in the back seat hold a pistol to the head of the pilot?
he was a tailgunner, look at the photo.
whole bunch of pics at luftwaffepics.com
The Russians had a similar aircraft with one pilot -- the Il-2 Sturmovik. Early in the war, it was good for one mission, two at most because there was no rear gunner and the Germans slaughtered them. The Russians quickly added a rear gunner to the Sturmovik.
By far the most successful Stuka pilot was Hans-Ulrich Rudel. He flew 2,530 combat missions (not all in Stukas, though), destroyed 519 tanks, 7 landing craft, 150 self-propelled guns, 4 armored trains and 800 other vehicles. Shot down or force-landed 32 times, wounded five times and finally lost the lower part of one leg, but continued to fly until the end when he flew to an American air base and surrendered. Fortunately for us, all or most of this destruction fell upon Russian forces, resulting in Rudel having a 100,000 ruble reward placed on his head by Stalin.
One the most recognizable profiles in the history of flight....and one of the most intimidating for it's time.
for the forum:
Stuka Pilot (War and Warrior)
by Hans-Ulrich Rudel
He also was consulted when the A-10 Warthog was under development.
An ardent Nazi by the way...
I guess he did his part.
I had a gas engine flying model of this plane when I was a kid. Had the Cox 0.49 engine and dropped a bomb by lanyard control. It was wa-a-a-ay cool in the late '60's. It would not have been in 1939.
His book "Stuka Pilot" (oddly enough!) was a great read!
That and a couple other such, including "Commando" made me realize there were some true heroes on the other side, too.
(On the Japanese side, now, well, let's just say we didn't ang near enough war criminals)
Does anybody know what Stuka means? Some sort of hawk perhaps, it looks like one.
Also, I wonder how the Stuka compares to other dive bombers, say the US Navy SBD. Both had tail gunners. Which was the best WW2 dive bomber?
I read Rudel's book years ago. He was an amazing man.
What I remember most was when he landed on the muddy Russian steppe to rescue a shot-down comrade and couldn't take off again because of the mud clogging up his wheel pants. He, his gunner and friends got chased by the Russian army for miles, had to shed his clothes and swim the Dneiper river (this was wintertime!) Because of his superb conditioning, he made it across whereas his comrades drowned. Finally, after several days of dodging Russian patrols looking for him, Rudel made it back to German lines.
A great read for any WWII nut.
Me too! I think I broke it just playing with it though.
It doesn't seem like there would be much left of the aircraft unless it was in fresh water or very deep in the ocean.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." -Manuel II Paleologus
Essentially, German for "dive bomber".
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