The Associated Press has reported that a wrecked aircraft found in the muck on the bottom of the Baltic Sea that looked like a single-engined JU87 Stuka divebomber is actually an equally rare twin-engine JU88 aircraft. Apparently, enough of the aircraft has been recovered to make the distinction as both aircraft had included similar or the same parts. Stuka divebombers were more well known in the war thanks to their sirens but in actuality, more JU88 aircraft were produced and they were more versatile as they were used as dive bombers, tactical bombers and night fighters.
Interestingly enough, human remains have also been found with the aircraft, including a partial skull. If researchers can identify the aircraft and do further archival research, perhaps they will be able to end the mystery about the disappearance of someone’s father or grandfather during the war.
Otherwise, its worth noting that there are only a few intact or virtually intact JU88s still in existence with one of them sitting in the RAF Museum in London where one of two complete JU87 Stukas is also on display. In addition, there are also several recovered wrecks of both aircraft.
As for this lost JU88, the recovery operation will wrap up today with more than half the aircraft still buried at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. However, it is hoped that those behind the recovery operation will be able to return to the site at a later date to complete the operation with the goal of having the aircraft on display at the German Historical Museum’s Air Force Museum at the former Gatow airport in Berlin.
Junkers Ju 88