WWII Lancaster to be salvaged from IJsselmeer in Friesland
The municipality of Sudwest-Fryslan is going to salvage a British bomber that crashed into the IJsselmeer in 1943. This will happen in collaboration with the Ministry of Defense and the National Salvage Program for aircraft wrecks. The Lancaster ED603 likely still contains the remains of three British crew members.
The National Aircraft Wreck Recovery Program was launched in 2019 with the aim of recovering World War II wrecks that may still contain the remains of deceased people. There are still about 30 such wrecks in the Netherlands’ water and seabed. Previously, the program removed a British bomber from the Markemeer and a German Messerschmidt from the seafloor near Dalfsen in Overijssel.
The Friesland municipality registered the salvage of the Lancaster with the National Salvage Program last year. The government recently made over 1.7 million euros available for the salvage operation. Another British wreck, a Manchester L7390, is also believed to be in the water of Sudwest-Fryslan, but its location has not yet been found.
The National Salvage Program aims to return the remains stuck in the wrecks to their relatives. The municipality of Sudwest-Fryslan also considers it important to give these three men an official grave. “They have paid the ultimate price so that we can still live in freedom today,” said alderman Petra van den Akker. The Lancaster will likely only be taken from the water next year.
Reporting by ANP