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THE TRACE OF HURRICANE



Aviation Archaeology forms an important activity in the life of most aviation museums in the world. Yugoslav Air Museum at Belgrade formed a team whose primary task is to map and identify all locations of downed aircraft during both wars.

The last crash site which has been located and explored was the wreck of a Hurricane, lost on 27th August 1944, while attacking enemy shipping at Zavratnica near Jablanac, on the Adriatic coast. The remains of the aircraft, which was shot down by AA fire while attacking ships hidden in the deep fjord, are scattered on a steep slope of the fjord. Some bigger parts were found on the sea-bed, the most important being a large piece of left wing with original camouflage and roundel still visible. The wing, along with some smaller parts and a 0.303 in. Browning machine-gun were salvaged and brought to the Museum at Belgrade for further treatment.

At the same time another wreck site was discovered, also of a Hurricane which crashed on the other part of the fjord. Some smaller parts were recovered such as parts of various instruments, engine pieces, cockpit glass, ammunition etc.
With the aid of local residents, a third wreck was located, about 10 km away on Velebit mountain, this one being a B-24 Liberator. Meanwhile legs were found, engines and two turbos, which were picked-up by the team.

The action took several days. Upon investigation on site, the Museum team, led by its director, Mr. Cedomir Janic, is currently researching the identity of the pilots and squadrons to which they belonged. This is a small contribution to the memory of all allied airmen which fell over Yugoslavia.

                                              by Danijel Frka


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