The Virtual Underwater Museum in Malta has published a series of images revealing the submerged wreck of a Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc, sitting upright on the seabed at a depth of some 70m.
It had been discovered 12 months earlier during a commercial sonar survey close to Malta's second island, Gozo.
While the aircraft’s identity is yet to be confirmed, reports suggest the airframe is likely to be ES182 – which was lost with its pilot, 2nd Lt John B Steven Jr of the USAAF – on June 30, 1943.
Assigned to the 31st Fighter Group’s 308th Fighter Squadron, the aircraft disappeared following a missed approach to the airfield at Xewkija on the south of the island while returning from a combat mission in Tunisia in preparation for Operation Husky, the planned Allied invasion of Sicily.
Although the RAF Air-Sea Rescue Unit on Malta is recorded as having picked up a distress call and conducted a search in the area, no trace of ES182 or its pilot were found – until now. At this time the fate of the pilot remains unknown, with reports that no human remains have been located at the wreck site.