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Aviation Archaeology

Explore the work of Britain’s most experienced team of Aviation Archaeologists as they reveal remarkable secrets of World War 2.
The phenomenon of ‘Aviation Archaeology’ – finding the wrecks of long-lost aircraft – has captured the public’s imagination for years and millions have watched TV documentaries showing legendary machines being lifted from their muddy graves.
During World War 2, countless aircraft fell to earth, but remarkably few of the crash sites were accurately documented. The Wingleader team have been actively involved in finding those sites for over 40 years and have appeared in most of the famous TV recoveries.
This page covers the latest inside news from the aviation archaeology world along with recording some of the most significant digs from the past 40 years.
A Defiant Night fighter is shot down by an unseen foe in 1941. Suggs from Madness investigates for the 'WW2 Treasure Hunters' TV series.
Tony Robinson's 'Time Team' Recover a Spitfire in France.
The Bishop of Bath and Wells Blesses a Spitfire Dig
A tragic case of friendly fire, investigated as a WW2 Treasure Hunters TV Dig with Suggs from Madness.
A lost Battle of Britain Hurricane recovery, with a Saigon connection.
A Battle of Britain Cardiff raider, shot down by Stanford Tuck over Somerset.
Sgt Ray Holmes rams a Dornier over central London on the 15th September 1940. An epic tale and an epic recovery.
Shot down in the Battle of Britain, John Cock saw parts of his Hurricane recovered in 1983.
Cobber Kain's first kill. A Dornier 17P shot down in France.
A Royal Navy Corsair pilot is lost during a dogfighting exercise. Seventy years later, his watch is recovered and returned to his family.
An American Eagle Squadron pilot abandons his Spitfire over Northern Ireland. Seventy years later it is excavated for the BBC 'Dig WW2' series with Dan Snow.
A specially modified He111 is shot down during a night raid on Avonmouth docks. 70 years later it's remains are recovered for a BBC documentary.
The only P-61 Black Widow night fighter to crash in the UK, excavated from an enormous hole in Cheshire.
Shot down and abandoned over Essex at the height of the Battle of Britain, 'Paddy' Hemmingway, the last surviving member of 'The Few', watched fragments of his Hurricane emerge from...
The incredible story of a B-24, shot up and abandoned after bombing the Ardennes, which found it's way back to rural Herefordshire.
The longest surviving member of the Dambusters, Johnny Johnson, witnesses the remains of his Lancaster being recovered for the Channel 4 documentary 'Last of the Dambusters'.
A week before the official start of the Battle of Britain, a young Welsh pilot is lost on patrol. Sixty Seven years later, the remains of his Spitfire are recovered...
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