Dornier 17 – ‘The Old Plane and the Sea’

I enjoyed watching the repeat of The Old Plane and the Sea on BBC-TV over the Christmas period, having missed it when first shown.  This was a documentary about the crashed Dornier 17 bomber recovered from the sea-bed in the English Channel in June 2013.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer

It was intriguing to see history come together, as shots of the recovery were followed by interviews with the daughter and grandson of one of the crew members, bomb-aimer Hermann Ritzel.  Referring back to my earlier post about locating POW ancestors, the crash of the aircraft in August 1940 is recorded in The Battle of Britain Then and Now, (After the Battle Publications).  The entry, doubtless sourced from records of the time, states that crew member Huhn was killed;  Reinhard and Ritzel were missing; and “Essmert” was taken prisoner [the actual spelling was Effmert].  Ritzel was later found and was also taken prisoner.  Details such as these could be helpful to anyone researching their ancestor.  I noticed, in particular, that Ritzel’s daughter said he had never talked with her about his wartime experiences.  This can be typical of former members of the German armed forces, and makes it especially difficult to trace that person’s history.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *