The mystery of the Ju88 wreck in Macedonia, Greece

Aircraft wrecks, Contact, Interviews, WW2, WW2 in Greece, WW2 Wrecks

By Pierre Kosmidis

Research and photos submitted by George Karelas and used by permission

The location of the Ju88 wreck in Macedonia, Greece
The location of the Ju88 wreck in Macedonia, Greece

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.

Scuba divers explore this WW2 Wreck in Greece
Scuba divers explore this WW2 Wreck in Greece

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.

Once a flying machine, now a hospitable home for fish.
Once a flying machine, now a hospitable home for fish.

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.”

The aircraft wreck is at a depth of 55 metres
The aircraft wreck is at a depth of 55 metres

Experienced wreck diver Vassilis Mendogiannis, used his scooter’s propeller to remove the sediment off the wing of the aircraft”.

The Balkenkreuz on the wing of the aircraft wreck. Photo Credit: Vassilis Mendogiannis
The Balkenkreuz on the wing of the aircraft wreck. Photo Credit: Vassilis Mendogiannis

“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.”

The wreck was identified as a Ju88, thanks to the landing gear configuration. Photo Ctredit: Vassilis Mendogiannis
The wreck was identified as a Ju88, thanks to the landing gear configuration (ΤΡΟΧΟΙ=Wheels). Photo Credit: Vassilis Mendogiannis

“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”.

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