German WWII bomber hoisted from English Channel

Divers discovered the intact plane in 2008 off the coast of southeastern England.

LONDON — A British museum Monday successfully recovered what could be the last intact model of a famous German World War II bomber from the English Channel.

German bomber hoisted from English Channel: a formation of Dornier Do 17sReuters Photo: Trustees of the Royal Air Force Museum

The aircraft, nicknamed the Luftwaffe's "flying pencil" because of its narrow fuselage, was shot down off the coast of the county of Kent in southeastern England more than 70 years ago during the Battle of Britain.

It is believed to be the only known complete example of the German Dornier Do 17 bomber.

"It has been lifted and is now safely on the barge and in one piece," RAF Museum spokesman Ajay Srivastava said. The bomber will be towed into port Tuesday, he added.

The museum had been trying to raise the relic for a few weeks, but the operation was delayed by strong winds.

In 2008, divers discovered the undamaged aircraft submerged in 50 feet of water.

Experts say the bomber is remarkably undamaged despite the passage of time.

Museum officials plan to conserve the relic and put it on exhibition next to the wreck of a British Hawker Hurricane fighter that also was shot down during the battle.

Related: German WWII bomber to be salvaged off UK coast

Related: Long-lost diary of top Nazi leader recovered in US

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