Sunken Spitfire recovery appeal launched

A group in North Yorkshire led by David Daniells believes that it has pinpointed the site of a wartime Spitfire crash on the Norfolk Broads. It is currently raising funds to conduct a professional survey in order to establish the extent of any remains…

On April 1, 1942, Spitfire Mk.Vb AD377 of 19 Squadron was on approach to its base at RAF Ludham when its engine failed at around 300ft following an attempted ‘go around’. The pilot – Czech-born Col Rudolf Borovec – was left with no other option but to put the fighter down as best he could.

The machine slewed into wetland, the impact tearing off the port wing, the engine and bearers. Rudolf managed to extricate himself and successfully paddled ashore in a dinghy, returning to Ludham on foot. The unit immediately declared the aircraft a write-off – it’s believed that due to the inaccessibility of the site, AD377’s substantial remains were left to sink into the silt. The accident report and associated paperwork indicate that, apart from the tail, the wreck should be complete, albeit in three pieces.

A crowdfunding site has been set up offering more information on the project, and opportunities to support it. Should the campaign be successful, the MOD has said it will issue a licence to recover the aircraft’s remains: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/the-lady-in-the-lake-a-sunken-spitfire

The wreckage of Spitfire Mk.Vb AD377 shortly after the 1942 crash-landing
The wreckage of Spitfire Mk.Vb AD377 shortly after the 1942 crash-landing VIA DAVID DANIELLS