WW II bomber tire surfaces after 74 watery years

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Crain News Service report

HAYWARDS HEATH, England (March 12, 2014) — A tire tire 6 1/2 feet in diameter from a Vickers Wellington N2767 World War II bomber aircraft was exposed during recent storms that battered southern England, according to a report in the Mid Sussex Times.

The tire was found by a dog walker on Pett Level beach, Hastings, East Sussex, the newspaper said.

Volunteers from the WW II Wings Museum at Balcombe, West Sussex, raced to the scene to recover the tire before it was washed away again. “A hasty decision was made to recover it before the sea reclaimed the relic,” museum curator Daniel Hunt said.

“It took a considerable amount of effort to extract the tire from the sand and at one point it almost seemed impossible. But with a lot of determination from the team [of five] the tire was finally salvaged [by hand] from the soft sand and wheeled ashore for the first time in 74 years.”

The Wellington’s six-man crew had a miraculous escape on November 9, 1940. Mr. Hunt told the Times: “While cleaning out the tire the team noticed a very clear hole caused by a German flak splinter.

“No doubt the aircraft was hit by flak over its target [Düsseldorf, Germany] and sustained some form of damage which could have contributed to the aircraft running out of fuel.”

All six crew members were rescued later that night after the plane had limped back to the English coast.

This report appeared on the website of European Rubber Journal, a UK-based sister publication of Tire Business.

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