Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Beaufighter found in Aegean sea

The remains of a Bristol Beaufighter were discovered in June 2007, near the Greek island of Naxos. A team of divers had been searching for the wreck for over a year, following stories that a Beaufighter had ditched in the area during World War 2. It was discovered off the coast of Cape Kouroupas, to the west of Naxos, at a depth of 34 metres. The aircraft, identified as a Beaufighter TF.X serial JM225, was part of a flight attacking enemy ships in Naxos Harbour on 30th October 1943. It was hit by ground fire, and the two crew - F/O W.E.Hayter and W/O T.J.Harper, both New Zealanders - baled out before the aircraft hit the water. They were rescued by locals, treated and later smuggled off the island. JM255 was based in Cyprus with No.47 Squadron RAF.

The aircraft is on its belly and surprisingly intact, apart from a broken back. Some smaller items, such as the nosecone, are unattached and resting on the sea bed nearby. The propeller from the starboard engine is missing, so it may have come off when the Beaufighter hit the water. Naxos Diving Centre can arrange visits for experienced divers, see

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