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THE RECOVERY OF A BLENHEIM MkIVF, FROM THE AEGEAN

Article about: I would love to participate in that project! It would be a perfect opportunity for my University career! Instead i work for the Telecommunications Museum watching old telephones whilst other

  1. #1
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    Default THE RECOVERY OF A BLENHEIM MkIVF, FROM THE AEGEAN

    In April 1941 German Forces invaded Greece. After capturing Athens on 27th April, the island of Crete became their next target. The island was defended by a few remaining RAF and Royal Navy aircrafts, among them some Blenheim IVF long range fighters of 203 Squadron. On 28th April, Blenheim IVF L9044 while trying to cover a convoy of ships sailing in the Aegean, which evacuating the British Expedition Forces from the Greek mainland, became a victim of friendly fire when it was accidentally attacked by destroyers of the Royal Navy, despite giving the correct recognition signals. The plane tried to return and land to Crete with one of the engines in trouble, but it was finally controllably ditched in the sea near the coast of Rethymno area. The three crew members escaped from the sinking Blenheim, inflated a life raft and helped to reach the beach, by a Greek soldier who saw the event and swam until the spot for the rescue.
    In 1995 a team of divers from the Hellenic Air Force recovered the wreck from the sea bed, and transported it to the HAF Museum for preservation. It is now on display, unrestored but cleaned up. The remains include most of the aircraft, although the nose structure was crashed due to the ditching and already missing.
    These are some photos of the plane recovery from the Cretan sea , courtesy of HAF Ltn K. Semos (one of the divers from the KOΣΥΘΕ team who carried out the project).
    John
    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

    Default Re: THE RECOVERY OF A BLENHEIM MkIVF, FROM THE AEGEAN

    It's a sad fact that the RN regularly shot down friendly aircraft throughout the war, even when the colours of the day had been pooped off or a coded signal from an Aldis lamp flashed. But under the circumstances, it's not really suprising.

    Another interesting post Johnno, thanks!

    Regards, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  3. #3

    Default Re: THE RECOVERY OF A BLENHEIM MkIVF, FROM THE AEGEAN

    Very nice recovery.
    Salt water does do a lot of damage
    chris

  4. #4

    Default Re: THE RECOVERY OF A BLENHEIM MkIVF, FROM THE AEGEAN

    Great photos thanks for sharing!...
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: THE RECOVERY OF A BLENHEIM MkIVF, FROM THE AEGEAN

    Brilliant.
    Well done the Hellenic AF on the recovery.
    Pity she's not been preserved better.

    Regards etc
    Ian D

    AKA: Jimpy

  6. #6

    Default Re: THE RECOVERY OF A BLENHEIM MkIVF, FROM THE AEGEAN

    Nice pics! Any of it showing how it's currently displayed?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: THE RECOVERY OF A BLENHEIM MkIVF, FROM THE AEGEAN

    Quote by cricketchris1944 View Post
    Very nice recovery.
    Salt water does do a lot of damage
    chris
    This plane was in surprising good condition after almost 50 years in the sea. The real trouble for the recovery was the mud and the sand which was accumulated inside the fuselage and the internal cavities of wings. That was the reason (a lot of excess weight) for the lifting out of the sea of the aircraft in two parts (wings and center section and aft fuselage and tail ). Also for the proper cleaning and protection later in the museum, decided the removal of wings upper side skin plates.
    See some more pics of the cleaning- sand blasting and preservation works in the museum...
    John
    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8

    Default Re: THE RECOVERY OF A BLENHEIM MkIVF, FROM THE AEGEAN

    Gentlemen he's done it again !!
    John another fantastic page, thanks buddy
    Sad to say that friendly fire still happens to this day.
    I would have hated to be on the receiving end of it and loosing members of your crew and mates.
    what did they do to prevent the corrosion effects??, most aircraft are in need of a fresh water bath for at least a year then to get the salt out of the metals, then a protective coat of polymer to keep it safe from future effects.
    WELL DONE AGAIN MATE

  9. #9
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    Default Re: THE RECOVERY OF A BLENHEIM MkIVF, FROM THE AEGEAN

    Quote by kiwiwreckdiver View Post
    ..................................
    what did they do to prevent the corrosion effects??, most aircraft are in need of a fresh water bath for at least a year then to get the salt out of the metals, then a protective coat of polymer to keep it safe from future effects.
    ................................
    Thank you for your kind comments Hamish.
    About the corrosion protection, as far as i know the museum guys further to the preliminary cleaning of the airframe, they performed sand blasting and after that surface protection with chemical means. I agree with you that this is not a complete treatment and needs further action by the years...
    Any way, for the Blenheim guns it was quite different ! An other proper procedure followed and the result is obvious in the attached pics....
    John
    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10

    Default Re: THE RECOVERY OF A BLENHEIM MkIVF, FROM THE AEGEAN

    Can't believe my eyes...
    Incredible how this stuff has been preserved.

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