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Shropshire Star comment: Recovery of aircraft a victory

By Shropshire Star | Opinions | Published:

The story behind the recovery of one of the most important aircraft of the Second World War is truly remarkable.

The aircraft being lifted from the English Channel in 2013

The Dornier was a rare German wartime bomber that is now to remain permanently at RAF Cosford, having been painstakingly retrieved from the seabed.

It played an important part in the Battle of Britain and given its fragility will not be moved outside the region.

It is exceptional news that Cosford has once again won the race to secure an important part of European military heritage. It is important for us to learn the lessons from our past as we look to build a brighter future and the Dornier is a powerful and potent reminder of our not-too-distant history.

Its preservation at Cosford also serves to remind us of the pre-eminence of that facility. Make no mistake: Cosford is responsible for a considerable coup in keeping this one-of-a-kind craft. Its expertise in restoring and preserving our vital heritage is profoundly important not just to the region or nation, but to the wider world.

Aircraft technician John Warburton at work on the outside of the Dornier

The World Wars were full of stories as men, women and children showed considerable bravery and valour in helping to keep our country free.

Remarkable human deeds were not the only facet of the Second World War, however. The machinery and engineering involved in war played an equally remarkable role. And in the case of the Dornier, that is especially true.

The plane’s fuselage lay for 70 years on the seabed and the metal now requires special work to make it fit for public exhibition. It had been hoped that it would be moved to London but Cosford has been identified as its permanent home instead.

Experts will now lavish more time and attention on the craft as they bring it back to life. And once the restoration is complete, future generations will learn not only of its deadly prowess during wartime but also the story of its rescue and restoration. For it is truly remarkable that the vehicle was recovered and that experts have sufficient skill and tenacity to restore it.

We are fortunate that Cosford is a centre of global renown and the Dornier is another feather in its cap. We can thank our lucky stars that the RAF Museum sits right here on our doorstep as we celebrate its excellence.

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