Remains of a RAF Spitfire unearthed in Ireland

Archaeologists were able to unearth remains of a RAF Spitfire airplane that that crashed into a field in in Figullar, Emyvale, Ireland, in 1942.

Recovery of the engine (by Monaghan County Museum)

Although the Irish Army had removed all the wreckage at the time, archaeologists were able find some remains buried just four metres below the surface. According to the experts, the pilot, named Gordon Hayter Proctor, and safely bailed out of the plane, which had seen action in the Battle of Britain, on the northern side of the border after his instruments froze. It glided on before crashing in a field on 20 November 1942. The plane, prior to the crash had been assigned to a weather-monitoring squadron operating out of RAF Aldergrove in Antrim in 1942. Flt Lt Proctor was later declared missing while serving in Burma.

Piece of the aircraft (by Jonathan McNee)

Internal parts of the Rolls-Royce engine, cockpit door, and plates inscribed with information were unearthed. Experts estimate that 90% of the plane had been taken away at the time and probably scrapped. Prior to excavations the researchers have conducted a ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey, which detected the impact crater and showed sizeable metallic remains.

Once of the artefacts (by Monaghan County Museum)

A local inhabitant, who was a witness to the plane falling the sky observed the excavations, stating that it happened on a Sunday morning and was accompanied by loud noise. The plane took the tops off the trees and a piece of it fell down in a gooseberry bush behind his house. He remembers the wreckage being taken by the Army on a lorry.

(after BBC News, Monaghan County Museum & Jonathan McNee)

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