In Berck sur Mer on the French Channel coast shifting sands revealed the shattered remains of a German Dornier Do17z medium bomber.
The wreckage was in a public area and could pose a danger to tourists and should therefore be removed as quickly as possible.However, the remains could represent historical value since the Do17z only saw action over the Channel during the Battles of France and Britain in 1940. ADEDE, in cooperation with Wessex Archaeology and the RAF Museum, salvaged and recorded the remains. Because archive research showed possible demolition with the inherent risk of an unexploded charge, no evidence to exclude presence of bombs, likelyhood of machine gun ammunition in or near the wreckage and the proximity of a heavily bombed aerodrome the site was cleared using a combined salvage, archaeology and UXO threat method.
Debris on the beach at Berck sur Mer: bomber remains on the surface.
Data plate confirming make, type, part number and serial number.
Wartime image of the site. It shows scattering of wreckage which supports the theory that the aircraft had been blown up using demolition charges.
All the recovered parts were listed, identified, photographed and reported to DRASSM, the “Département des Recherches Archéologiques Subaquatiques et Sous-marines”. (French Marine Archaeology Authority).
The parts will get an interesting destination. They will be used to complete the exhibit of the Dornier D017z in the RAF museum at Hendon. The museum displays an identical aircaft which was salvaged from the English Channel in a big marine archaeology project in June 2013.