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  #1  
Old 11th November 2012, 02:01
FRANCESCO M LENTINI FRANCESCO M LENTINI is offline
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FRANCESCO M LENTINI
Junkers JU 88 wreck off Selinunte beach

Dear friends, I'm happy to share with you some of the pics that I have taken in Selinunte (Sicily) this summer and autumn.
Little preface: when I was young, often during my summer holidays (I live in Rome) I heard rumours from the old fishermen about " a german plane that crashed in the sea just off the Selinunte acropolis, the pilot rescued and the engine soon removed"; also friend of mine sometimes told me that the plane was visible: fuselage, wings, and broken away also the tail. All depended from the winter season if wreck was under or over the sand in the next summer. But from the end of the 70' none seen the wreck again.
Every years I tried to find it but nothing.
Finally after hard scirocco wind of the last autumn at the beginning of the last summer the news that I'm waiting from over 30 years: the plane was again visible!

The wreck is located between 3.0-3.2 meters deepth: left wing (9.0 meter lenght) well over the sand connected with the fuselage, central fuselage well visible, right wing barely visible in the sand, no tail. In october the left wing was a little more discernible from the sand and the new segment free from marine plants. I identified the plane like a JU 88 (see the wing attachments for the ailerons, any comments are welcomed).

I would like also to know the last mission and the fate of the crewmen of this elusive plane.
Thanks in advance.

Francesco Maria Lentini

PS: a message appeared during the upload of the pics: "your submission could not be processed because a security token was missing" bo??
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Old 11th November 2012, 04:18
edNorth edNorth is offline
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Re: Junkers JU 88 wreck off Selinunte beach

Hello Francesco.
We always are prepared help finding out "mysterious wrecks" (at least I am)! Good story, but it is not possible tell anything specific on this by just this. I take your words good on type of aircraft (photos can easily confirm type and possibly general version too). But hundreds of Ju 88´s (of many versions) were lost in WW2 in the Sicily area, and many hundreds more "missing in sea" without trace. But only one pilot, yes, but Ju 88 total crew was either three or four, rare cases five men. Then some crew died? That is better to find out (nobody dies, no record!) You think this might be in good condition to save parts from and perhaps bring to museum? Anyways, about 20 m wingspan says possibly Ju 88 A-5 or A-4 version, or D-2, D-1, D-5, A-14, A-17, C-4, C-6 etc. (I say this rather than the 22m wingspan of Ju 188s) but we need period when this happened (preferably a month of the year, certainly within a year, period be 1941 to 1945) and then find any info possible on the aircraft itself, like letters or markings. Its like a detective story. We need clues to find out more. Parts. Photos (old/new). Dataplates or such from the tail, wing, wingroot or bottom of cabin. All other is just guesswork.

Best regards
ed
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Old 11th November 2012, 13:28
FRANCESCO M LENTINI FRANCESCO M LENTINI is offline
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Re: Junkers JU 88 wreck off Selinunte beach

Hello Ed,

thanks for your words; I am aware that's like a giant puzzle and we must put in the right place the pieces. Castelvetrano was a major airfield only ten km away north and Cape Granitola-Selinunte route often was the landing approach route for the ghost Sciacca airfield. From Castelvetrano and the several airfields near Trapani starded the bombardaments to Malta and allied ships across the channel and finally Castelvetrano was one of the most important place for resupply the Tunisian campaign (my father remembered very well the six engine Me 323). Also NJG 2 sometimes was there (see wonderfull pics of H.Rokker's JU 88 C in Luftwaffe im Focus n13 pag. 10)
I can add that my uncle (88 years old) this summer told me that he sow well the airplane under the sea few time after the crash and that all happened during the beginning of the grap harvest one or two years before the Sicily invasion.
At the end of July the major of Castelvetrano with the harbour office went over the wrecks and declared that will be a good idea to preserve (how under the sea in so few meters of water? It's not the like the JU 88 off Galatina) the plane for an hot spot for divers and tourists. After the silence.
I'm not expert about KG or Aufklarer units but only JG but I'm beginning to search about units like KG 54, KG 76, 77, KGRUPPE 806 etc and the loss lists.
Friends of mine are ready to go there also in the winter season to check if the plane is always over the seabed and eventally take also other pics (I left them my sub camera) if the sea condition will be good = clear water.

I will be in Selinunte again in mid December.

I'm afraid that in the winter some big storm can covered again the bird and I don't want wait other 30 years......

Francesco M Lentini
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Old 11th November 2012, 13:36
FRANCESCO M LENTINI FRANCESCO M LENTINI is offline
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FRANCESCO M LENTINI
Re: Junkers JU 88 wreck off Selinunte beach

Other pic, the mid fuselage from the sea surface

FML
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Old 11th November 2012, 13:39
FRANCESCO M LENTINI FRANCESCO M LENTINI is offline
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FRANCESCO M LENTINI
Re: Junkers JU 88 wreck off Selinunte beach

Fuselage from front to rear

FML
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Old 11th November 2012, 14:00
FRANCESCO M LENTINI FRANCESCO M LENTINI is offline
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Re: Junkers JU 88 wreck off Selinunte beach

For other pics a message appear out of memory.

I will try again in the afternoon

FML
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Old 11th November 2012, 20:19
edNorth edNorth is offline
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Re: Junkers JU 88 wreck off Selinunte beach

Thank you Francesco. Very clear water!
It indeed looks Ju 88 (of 1941 onwards; possibly one with the double-gun installation, that did not have fixed fairing aft of cockpit).
So can indeed be from the 1941 to 1942 period (according your info). Cockpit and tail are broken off, only center fuselage and wings remaining. Likely both motors are gone. Them two here (below) are "fair to strong" candidates:

3539 Ju 88 A-4 8./KG 77 (Ob.befh.Sud)
OPS (F) engine failure and crashed (100%) near Castell Vetrano 24.01.1942 (F Lt. Ernst Fischer BO Fw. Hans Willemson, BF Fw. Horst Werner and BS Obgefr. Johann Listewnik killed)

140449 Ju 88 A-4´ II/KG 76 (Luftflotte 2)
OPS (F) crashed into sea (100%) near Castel Vetrano 24.03.1943 (crew was saved) (rep A1 140449 in LWFLV losses; likely error for A-4)

But nothing is certain. There might be others that say maybe crash into sea but do not go into more detail position....

140067 Ju 88 A-4 5./KG 77 (Ob.Befh.Sud)
OPS (F) damaged by fighters and force landed at sea (100%) off coast of Sicily 10.07.1942 (F Uffz. Joachim Schierz, B Obgefr. Johann Kott, BF Uffz. Johannes Ohlingsschläger and BS Uffz. Harry Novate injured)

140122 Ju 88 A-4 II/KG 30 (Luftflotte 2)
Non-OPS (H) force landed at sea (100%) at Scauri Harbour 25.03.1943 (crew seaved) (rep as A4 140112 in LWFLV losses 175v04.04.43; amd 140122 in e/21.04.43)

3993 Ju 88 A-4 3Z+HP II/KG 77 (Luftflotte 2)
OPS (F) mis (100%) unk location (south coast of Sicily) 11.07.1943 (F Lt. Walter Hötzeneder, BF Uffz. Walter Meyer and BS Obgefr. Werner Schmidt missing)

8702 Ju 88 A-4 F1+FS III/KG 76 (Luftflotte 2)
OPS (F) mis (100%) unk location [Bidone, Sicily?] 27.03.1943 (F Ofw. Bernhard Geiss, B Uffz. Karsten Tedemann, BF Fw. Franz Baudengistel and BS Uffz. Albert Schaun mis/rep killed in v/18.04.43: was found crashed at Bidone, Sicily? <later> <rep as F1+NP in LWFLV losses 185v04.04.43; amd F1+FS in f/21.04.43>)

142508 Ju 88 A-4 II/KG 77 (Luftflotte 2)
OPS (F) belived downed by fighter fire (100%) unk location (Sicily) 17.07.1943 (F Uffz. Kurt Weber, B Gefr. Albin Marholf, BF Uffz. Alfons Hörmann and BS Obgefr. Kurt Häusler missing)

These are raw from GQM 6.Abt. losses (not from WASTi NVM records)

Finding evidence of when this wreck accident happened can be tricky, best if some dataplates can be traced from within the wing/fuselage juction, from inside the bomb bays. Some airplanes had wing-fairing fillets marked with painted numbers matching the W.Nr. (088/xxxx etc.) but I do not know if coral can be cleaned of fuselage side and painted unit letters still be visible. Likely this lettering be too corruded to have survived, only three meters deep is very shallow and plenty oxygen for corrosion ... But very nice images.

Best regards
Ed
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Old 11th November 2012, 23:05
FRANCESCO M LENTINI FRANCESCO M LENTINI is offline
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Re: Junkers JU 88 wreck off Selinunte beach

Thank you very much ED,
Your JU 88 loss list it's very interesting and the first two much more! Thank you also for version identification because i'm not to much expert about bombers (ahh what I know about my favourite birds FW190D anD ME 262 don't help for nothing !!) You have reason about the risk to focused about the period of the crash because the remembers fade away and the legends grew up. Until now the Selinunte plane was a single engine ( "messerschmitt or stuka") and only one man rescued becuse only one man was the crew. Also this summer local papers reported this.
We have tried with care to polish the fuselage side but in apnea it's hard also for a friend of mine that can dive until 30 meters. It's necessary the oxigen, but this is not the problem my friends have the licence (and in october the oxigen bottles were on board) but be aware that we are only 200 meter off the archeological acropolis of Selinunte in front of the Temple C and every stop in this area with the boat is considered suspect to search and robbery old greek manufacts.
After 20 minuts a fast boat of costal guard arrived and naturally asked why we were there; the answer was the plane and all was ok but no oxigen bottle dives. But be sure this is not the last word. All the pics are taken in apnea like also some tubes and pipelines (one colored in blue).

I will tried again to send other pics

Best regards

FRANCESCO M LENTINI
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Old 13th November 2012, 18:14
DB601E DB601E is offline
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Re: Junkers JU 88 wreck off Selinunte beach

Hi Francesco,
is the tail section still visible?
That's the best place to find a inox serial number plate,
the best and probably only way to identify a ju88 wreck in bad condition. If you should have any questions, feel free to get in contact.
All the best
Lino

I was in Selinunt three years ago, fortunately (at least for my wife) i didn't know anything about the wreck :-)
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  #10  
Old 13th November 2012, 22:04
ginklo ginklo is offline
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Re: Junkers JU 88 wreck off Selinunte beach

Hi Francesco,
are you sure about a Ju.88?
I think it is a Bf.109.
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