A collection of blogs and musings from the people that work at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum - Florida's Finest Lightstation.

« LAMP disputes new Fort Caroline claims | Main | 3/7/14: Lecture, "The Excavation of the Storm Wreck, a Loyalist Refugee Ship Lost During the American Revolution" »

Lecture: The Recovery of a WWII bomber in Loch Ness

Posted by: Chuck Meide in LAMP Events, LAMPosts

What: Lecture, titled “The Loch Ness Wellington Bomber: The Story of the 1985 Recovery of a World War 2 Aircraft from Nessie's Water”

When: Tuesday, March 5th at 3:30

Where: Anastasia Island Branch Library

Who: Joseph "Zarr" W. Zarzynski, RPA (Register of Professional Archaeologists)

Zarr is a friend and colleague, a volunteer, and a big supporter of LAMP and the Lighthouse. On Tuesday, March 5th at 3:30 he is presenting a talk at the Anastasia Island Branch Library. Read more about it below the fold . .

On New Year's Eve, 1940, a twin-engine Wellington bomber, a veteran of 14 combat missions over enemy territory in Europe, was on a training mission out of Lossiemouth, Scotland, when it lost power in one of its engines. The pilot spotted a large waterway below and he succeeded in ditching the plane at Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. One of the crew members died when his parachute failed to open, but the other British airmen survived. Years later, in 1976, Martin Klein (Klein Associates--Salem, New Hampshire) discovered the rare World World 2 aircraft lying in deepwater during a Klein side scan sonar survey, part of a state-of-the-art scientific expedition to find the loch's legendary "Loch Ness monster." The aircraft, called "'R' for Robert," turned out to be one of only two Wellington aircraft out of over 11,000 built to have survived and the only Wellington aircraft with combat experience. Following several deepwater remote sensing investigations to gather information on the condition of the aircraft, the bomber was raised in September 1985 in a noteworthy underwater recovery using a sophisticated atmospheric diving suit (ADS), a type of one-person submersible. The program presenter was a member of the Loch Ness Wellington Association, one of the groups in the coalition that raised the twin-engine aircraft. He was present during the recovery operation. Zarzynski, an underwater archaeologist and a winter resident of St. Augustine Beach, will present a program that will trace the history of this British aircraft, review its combat missions, tell about the sunken aircraft's discovery and recovery, and show how it was restored and exhibited in an English museum. The presentation will also interpret the airplane's discovery and salvage in the context of the search for the legendary "Nessie" during the decades of the 1960s-1980s, the heyday of the quest to understand the "Loch Ness monster" cryptozoological mystery.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)