The Malta Independent 5 December 2023, Tuesday
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Details emerge on WWII plane wreckage found in elderly home garden

Friday, 10 March 2023, 14:21 Last update: about 10 months ago

Details of the WWII plane wreckage have started to be made public after a discovery that was revealed by Minister for the Elderly Jo Etienne Abela earlier this week.

The minister had said that work on a garden at the St Vincent de Paul residential home had to be delayed after the wreckage was discovered during digging work.


The Malta Aviation Museum has now given more details about the discovery, on 25 February, of what was “immediately evident” that the site was a “dump containing wreckage from several different types”.

Upon gaining further approval from the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage and custodianship of the wreckage, museum team members started to excavate deeper into the crater where parts were found, the museum said on its Facebook page.

“The unexpected discovery of a BF109 horizontal tail section was the beginning of an exciting few days. The makers plate initially indicated that the part belonged to an F2 variant. Further excavation revealed the wing root of a wing with a W.Nr still clearly visible.

“Loose rubble was cleared by hand off the wing surface. Once securely lashed at one of the attaching points, the wing was lifted to ground level from about 2 meters underground. Once the wing was lifted it was apparent that more of this aircraft was buried. The fuselage was still there although chopped up in 3 sections. Obviously this was done for ease of disposing,” the museum said.

“It was also evident that certain parts were copped of and souvenired during the war. With paint markings and W.Nr 8668 still very clearly visible, it was no great feat to figure the history of this Erla built Messerschmitt Bf109 F4Z. The history of the crash in a nut shell is that it was hit by flak during a sortie on the 1st April 1942 while being flown by Unteroffizier Hans Pilz of 5.JG3,” the museum said.


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