News, WW2

B-24 Discovered off the Coast of Denmark

Discovery of a World War Two Aircraft

The B-24 mystery is over. In 2019, local divers discovered the remains of an aircraft that crashed off the coast of Denmark during World War Two. Following the discovery, the Danish Navy secured the site to prevent public interference of the wreck. Initial inspection revealed that the plane had plummeted into the sea after a fatal mid-air collision.

After a thorough investigation which included mapping of the area, marine archaeologists recovered the remnants of the missing plane. Furthermore, the Danish Navy extracted a number of artefacts from the sunken plane. These included a parachute, a propeller, and personal items belonging to the crew.

The divers have gathered enough evidence to conclude that the wreckage belongs to a World War Two B-24 Bomber. The B-24s were a highly efficient modern aircraft of that time. The Consolidated Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of San Diego, California, designed it in 1938 and it was considered cutting edge compared to other bombers of the era. Eventually, the plane took to the skies on 29th December 1939.

Investigation of the Wreck

Diver going down on the wreck of a B-24
The remains are scattered over a large area. Credit: USAF / Trident Archäologie.

Currently, the Danish authorities are still investigating the wreck. The U.S. DPAA Agency has collaborated with the Danes in the undertaking. Their aim is to thoroughly analyse the site to recover and identify the remains of the crew members.

The authorities will reveal the names of the aircraft’s crew once the investigation comes to an end. However, before that, the Navy will first inform the service personnel’s families.

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Marine archaeologist, Ralph Behr, shared his views on the ongoing investigation. He said, “It’s not every day that archaeologists connect people living today with the past in such a direct and meaningful way.”

Behr added, “It is humbling and a privilege to partner with the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency to help return the missing service people to their families. Despite the stormy weather, our team of expert marine archaeologists has successfully recorded and recovered evidence from the B-24 aircraft.”


Artefacts recovered from the wreck include a mostly intact parachute, and various personal effects (Image: Trident Archäologie)

History of the B-24

The B-24s were famous for their attacking range, which proved invaluable particularly in scouting and destroying German U-boats. In addition, these bombers created safe passage for Allied transporters and destroyers traveling across Europe’s seas. The bombers were also responsible for destroying German oil refineries and other industrial installations during the war.

According to Lockheed Martin, B-24s dropped 98 percent of their bombs on target. Undoubtedly, the accuracy of a B-24 strike was unmatched by any other aircraft.

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The B-24 was a modern design that featured a high aspect ratio ‘Davis’ wing during its early years. This wingspan gave the aircraft its high cruise speed, long range, and its ability to carry a heavy bomb load.

An Amercian B-24 Bomber flies over China during WW2

Although the B-24s were challenging to fly, it proved effective for the USAAF during World War Two. These early B-24s were also the first heavy planes to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The planes served in almost every single branch of the American armed forces and were a comforting site to the Allied troops.

In 1943, Operation CARPETBAGGER made use of the B-24s; this was the most notable mission in the history of B-24s. The planes were modified, and all unnecessary equipment was removed. During the night, B-24s dropped supplies and weapons to French Resistance fighters.

Beginning on the 4th of January 1944, the planes supplied at least 4,680 containers, 2,909 packages, and 1,378 leaflets. At the end of World War Two in 1945, the U.S Army almost immediately retired the aircraft from military service. However, after only 3 years of combat flying, the aircraft had already become an icon of military aviation.