Tangmere Military Aviation Museum near Chichester has received a welcome donation from Tarmac after the company’s marine business discovered parts from a WWII German dive bomber involved in the Battle of Britain.
Following a series of discoveries in the sand and gravel from the seabed off the south coast, Tarmac’s Marine business contacted the museum, on the site of the cornerstone Battle of Britain airbase, to see if there would be interest in a donation of the Junkers 87 Stuka dive bomber wreckage. One item was a propeller blade fragment - complete with bullet hole.
Ed Skinner, Marine Resources Coordinator at Tarmac commented: “Our head office is just a mile away from the museum and it’s fantastic to be able to donate such interesting items for the public to see in such an appropriate place. We are pleased to offer support for local heritage projects as part of the archaeological initiatives Tarmac Marine shares with Historic England with discoveries from the seabed”.
It quickly became apparent that the finds may be of further significance to the museum given the location, east of the Isle of Wight, where the plane debris was dredged.
Commenting on the discovery, Dudley Hooley, Museum Director at Tangmere said: “We were excited to hear from the team at Tarmac and very pleased to receive the donation which will be added to our collection and exhibitions. These Stuka parts are from one of the 3 aircraft shot down on 16 August 1940 by Squadron Leader 'Tubby' Badger of OC No 43 Squadron at about 1300, whilst flying Hurricane P3179.”
Remarkably, the remains of this Hurricane are also on display in the Museum after being recovered in 1996 from its WWII crash site in East Sussex.