Date:1940 May 11/11 A/C Type: Me-109 E-3 SN: Code: A/C Nickname:
 File: 587 Airfrce: Luftwaffe Sqn/Unit: 6./JG 186 Mission/Raid: Attack on Den Helder de Kooy airfield
1 P Uffz. Werner Haase       POW 9    
2     10    
3     11    
4     12    
5     13    
6     14    
7     15    
8     16                    

Crashed in northern Lake IJsselmeer, 200m under Afsluitdike, SW of monument 'de Vlieter'.
This Me-109 was damaged over airfield de Kooy by AA-fire, trailing smoke and set return-course east for Germany.
After 18km shot down by Dutch Fokker D.21, belly landed in the Lake and sunk. Uffz. Haase POW, camped in Canada.

It was known from battle-reports May 1940 (German invasion of the Netherlands), that a Me-109 crashed in this area near the Monument. In fact two Me-109 came down in this area. One a D-type equipped with only 4 rifle-caliber MG17 - 7,92mm (.30) machineguns, the other an E-type with also an added 20mm cannon in the propeller shaft. Our guess is the aircraft crashed in the water at the Monument is this E-3.

In August/September 2012, the Dutch SIGNI search dog team (a volunteer civil organisation assisting in finding missing persons with search dogs, assisted by boats, sonar and divers), was asked by relatives of a 1942 missing Dutch RAF Lockheed Hudson-crew, to conduct a search in the Northwest corner of Lake IJsselmeer (Old Zuyder Sea), to find this aircraft and crew.

However, a simple check would have revealed that above Lockheed Hudson was not shot down in the lake, but 60 km more west in the North Sea... 

The searched for Lockheed Hudson was a RAF Mk. III, Dutch 320 Sqn, serial number V8981. With crew pilot W. Jansen, Herman Vos, Bertus Koehl and Krijn van Klaveren. A crew member had washed ashore on the North Sea shore near Breezand village (dyke south Wadden Sea, Balgzanddijk, near village Anna-Paulowna). It appears the family of missing crew who asked for the search, or SIGNI, confused the Breezand village location with Breezand-port on the southside of the Afsluitdijk in Lake IJsselmeer.

SIGNI search team, dogs, boats and divers therefore not find the Lockheed Hudson (because it crashed in the North Sea 60 km away), but they had a good exercise, because a small wreck was spotted on the sonar (image below). To their surprise, an identification-plate from a fuel tank showed 'Me- (Bf) 109'. This was more or less exact on the spot were a Me-109 came down May 11th 1940, but the team did not know that. Because of no knowlegde in this field, they did not succeed in identifying the Me-109 under water, nor by archive-investigation, nor on wreck-items retrieved in their under water reconnaissance.

Already a few weeks later, on October 4/5 2012, the Dutch military send out a vessel from their nearby navy base Den Oever to the location (5 minutes away) and pulled out the wreck. If the GPS-location (given by 'a third party') and recovery-order came from the Mayor of Community Wieringermeer, under whose police authority this part of the Lake resorts, or that it was an operation set up by the Military themselves is not known. Normally a request for recovery of a wreck can take years and can be fruitless. As motivation for the fast recovery, operation leader Major Kappert (see you Tube video) talked about 'securing the site', 'safeguarding weapons and ammo', 'controlling risks', etc. The Me-109-parts have been transported to Dutch Airforce base Woensdrecht.


As the photos and video show, it is clear that recovery was carried out in a very basic manner. Civilian specialist or warbird experts were not involved. Historic significance seems neglected. The aircraft recovered appears much more damaged than on the sonar images, when the aircraft was first found and put on You Tube by the finders a year after the recovery. Not established is if the aircraft broke-up during the salvage and if all parts were recovered from the seabed (6.25m deep), or were removed before. After the Navy recovery it became silent on news on identification of this Me-109 (Werke-/Serial number). 

© ZZairwar (Zuyder Sea Air War)

Watch the You Tube video on the sonar images and the Navy recovery on