Yesterday the remains of a Heinkel He 219 WWII night fighter was excavated, buried in the sand on 8 feet deep water about a hundred yards from the Danish North Sea coast.
The wreak has been known by amateur divers for at least 25 years, but there are a great number of WWII wreaks in Danish waters, so no attention was paid (there are enough WWII wreaks around here to keep us busy digging for the next thousand years). Then the winter storms uncovered it to a greater degree, and is was noticed that it had a tri-cycle landing gear - unusual for WWII planes which crashed in Denmark. Therefore it was decided to retrieve this plane.
It is of course in very bad shape, but it is hoped that it can be restored for a museum.
It is not yet known which variant it is. But likely it is a He 219A-2 which is known to have been used from "Fliegerhorst Grove" (now RDAF Karup Air Base) some 100 miles south of where this plane was found.
Only one He 219 existed before this one was retrieved - at Smithsonian. At the end of WWII the US Army took three He 219A-2 from Fliegerhorst Grove back home for testing and investigation, and two of them were later scrapped making only one single survivor in the world. Until yesterday.
There are no records of what happened to this "new" He 219. Very likely it made an emergency landing on the beach in winter 1944/45 and soon disappeared in the sand.
Only 294 He 219s were produced, seeing limited service in the last year of WWII as the most capable Luftwaffe night fighter. It is often compared to the US P-61 Black Widow of similar configuration and performance.
During the last days of WWII a very large part of the remains of Luftwaffe fled to still nazi occupied Denmark. Countless quantities of all Luftwaffe types ended up here, including mile long rows of rail cars with brand new fighter planes, such as Fw 190, which only needed to have the wings mounted (there was no reason to mount the wings since there was little fuel). The British and US Armies took a few handfuls of the most advanced types such as Me 262 and He 219 back home, the rest was driven over by tanks and handed over to local scrap handlers.
Have a look at http://politiken.dk/newsinenglish/EC...1/heinkel-he-219-found-in-denmark/
[Edited 2012-04-25 16:06:27]