By Pierre Kosmidis
All photos © by Marco Bartolomucci, used by permission
Video © by Davide De Benedictis
At a depth of 72 metres below the surface of the sea, another WW2 Wreck is unveiled, a Luftwaffe Ju52 transport aircraft, thanks to the wonderful photos and video by Italian scuba divers Mr. Marco Bartolomucci and Mr. Davide De Benedictis
See a stunning video of the yet to be identified Ju52 WW2 aircraft wreck off Capri island, Italy, by Italian scuba diver and cinematographer Davide De Benedictis
www.ww2wrecks.com has reached out to Mr. Marco Bartolomucci, to learn more about this Ju52 aircraft wreck, which still remains shrouded in mystery, as the exact details of its loss are yet to be identified.
“The wreck was discovered in 2016 and lies at a depth of 72 metres (236ft), on a sandy seabed, in the so called “Mouth of Capri”, the channel between Capri Island and the Italian mainland.”
“This Ju52 has not yet been identified, although we presume it was lost, either shot down or due to engine failure, in 1943, during the Allied Operation codenamed “Avalanche”, the amphibious landing on mainland Italy that took place in September, in the early stages of the Italian Campaign.”
“Probably a lot of damage has been caused by a big fishing net that has been partially removed.”
“Two of the Jumo engines with their propellers are still in place on the wings while the central one is between the right engine and the cockpit.”
“The tail is broken and is located, along with other debris, 20 meters from the fuselage.”
“We enjoyed this dive a lot, we used rebreathers and spent 30 minutes hovering around the wreck at an average depth of 72 metres. Our decompresssion time was 110 minutes.”
“At the seabed visibility was very good, but the sunlight was minimal, therefore we used very powerful video lighting equipment to illuminate the wreck, mounted on our underwater scooters (dpv).”
“The wreck is heavily damaged and is broken in two parts. The top of the fuselage appears to have been ripped off, possibly by fishing nets. “
“The dive site has moderate currents between the Gulf of Naples and the Gulf of Salerno.”
“Water visibility is generally good, in excess of 15 meters so during the
descent you have an impressive view of the whole wreck: intact wings with their engines still attached to what’s left of the fuselage and the cockpit.”
“The aircraft was accidentally discovered by a fishing vessel which hit the
nose of the wreck with a huge trawling net.”
“Despite the fact that the fuselage and tail are heavily damaged, all the parts lie scattered on the seabed, within a few meters from the main wreck, so we think that the aircraft was mostly intact before it was caught in the fishing trawler’s net.”
“The center engine with its propeller lies on the right wing near the
fuselage. The trawling net still covers part of the wings and engines with
their propellers still in place: Propellers are straight which leads us to
believe the engines feathered or were switched off during the ditching at sea.”
“The cockpit windows are missing, as well as the top fuselage made of corrugated light alloy.”
“We dived the wreck shortly after its discovery in 2016 and today, just two years after, we sadly found that some of the cockpit instruments are missing.”
“We hope that the wreck of “Tante Ju” will be preserved in a more effective manner for the joy of the divers and the history’s heritage it represents.”
The Junkers Ju 52/3m (nicknamed Tante Ju “Aunt Ju”) is a German trimotor transport aircraft manufactured from 1931 to 1952.
In a military role, it flew with the Luftwaffe as a troop and cargo transport and briefly as a medium bomber.
The Ju 52 continued in postwar service with military and civilian air fleets well into the 1980s.