By Pierre Kosmidis
Research and photos submitted by George Karelas and used by permission
The skies over Greece saw intense air battles during WW2, resulting in many aircraft destroyed. Several have been located, out of which some have been identified, while others are still shrouded in mystery.
One such aircraft wreck, located thanks to information received by local fishermen in the sea area of Stavros in Macedonia, Greece, was thoroughly explored by a team of Greek scuba divers, consisting of Vassilis Mendogiannis , Anastasis Agathos, Giannis Vlachopanayiotis, Giorgos Karelas and Nikos Golfis.
According to George Karelas, “the wreck is covered with fishing nets and it appears that it has been moved to its current position by trawlers, therefore we do not know the exact location it initially crashed at sea.”
“When we dived the wreck, we saw that a large part of it is buried in the muddy seabed.”
Visibility at the seabed is limited. The wreck is upside down at a depth of 55 meters in a rather poor state.”
Experienced wreck diver Vassilis Mendogiannis, used his scooter’s propeller to remove the sediment off the wing of the aircraft”.
“This is when we all saw the Balkenkreuz, the German Cross, which enabled us to identify immediately the wreck as a Luftwaffe aircraft.”
We then contacted aviation expert Mr. Dave McDonald, from New Zealand, who checked the photos. Based on the landing gear configuration and dimensions, Mr. McDonald is certain that we had a Ju88 aircraft wreck.”
“While we have researched the archives, in order to establish the identity of this specific aircraft, we have not been able yet to positively identify it, but the search continues. We can assume though that this aircraft was lost probably in 1944, as the Luftwaffe records of that period have been lost”.