During the Battle of Britain, it is estimated that the Royal Air Force shot down 1887 German planes. Some planes crashed nose-first into the ground and were completely obliterated but other pilots managed to crash land and their planes remained relatively intact.
These planes were prized trophies for propaganda reasons but also to learn more about the German planes and technology. Last but not least, the remains were recycled back into new planes for the RAF, because the crashed planes were full of metals that Britain desperately needed to survive.
The crashed planes were photographed and cataloged and then removed, here are 22 of the best images we could find!
Troops guard the wreck of Heinkel He 111P (W.Nr 1582: G1+FR) of 7./KG 55, which was shot down during an attack on Great Western Aerodrome (now Heathrow) and crash-landed at High Salvington near Worthing, 16 August 1940. [Via]
Civilian staff investigate the fuselage of a Messerschmitt Bf 109E4, ‘Red 2’, of 3./LG 2, in the grounds of a technical college, 1940. Note the ‘Mickey Mouse’ staffel emblem on the rear fuselage. [Via]
RAF personnel inspecting Heinkel He 111P (coded G1+FA) of Stab/KG 55 which was brought down at Hipley in Hampshire, 12 July 1940. It has been camouflaged to prevent the Luftwaffe attempting to destroy the remains. The bomber was shot down by ‘B’ Flight of No. 43 Squadron over Southampton Water. [Via]
Messerschmitt Bf 109E-1 of Oberleutnant Paul Temme, Gruppe Adjutant of I/ JG 2 ‘Richtofen’, which crashed near Shoreham aerodrome in Sussex on 13 August 1940. [Via]
RAF personnel inspecting the burnt-out wreckage of a Junkers Ju 88 reconnaissance aircraft of 4.(F)/122 on Cockett Wick Farm, St Osyth near Clacton-on-Sea in Essex. The aircraft was shot down on 20 July 1940 by No. 56 Squadron Hurricanes. [Via]
A soldier peers into the cockpit of a downed Messerschmitt Bf 109E. This is probably Bf 109E-1 (W.Nr. 3576) ‘Red 13’ of 7./JG 54, flown by Uffz. Zimmermann, which crashed near Lydd in Kent on 27 October 1940. [Via]
The remains of Junkers Ju 88A-1 (W.Nr. 2142: 3Z+DK) of 2./KG 77 on public display at Primrose Hill in London, 10 October 1940. The bomber had been hit by AA fire and crash-landed on Gatwick racecourse on 30 September. [Via]
Soldiers guard the smouldering remains of Junkers Ju 88 (W.Nr. 4136: 3Z+BB) of I/KG 77 which crashed at Hertingfordbury, Hertfordshire on 3 October 1940. [Via]
Civilians and RAF airmen inspect the burning remains of a Heinkel He 111 which was shot down by RAF fighters over the north east coast of Scotland and crashed on a house, July 1940. [Via]