Wreck of US World War II fighter unearthed in Germany

The remains of the plane, which crashed on Feb 14, 1945, on the outskirts of the town of Baden killing a 25-year-old French pilot.
The remains of the plane, which crashed on Feb 14, 1945, on the outskirts of the town of Baden killing a 25-year-old French pilot.AFP

FRANKFURT (AFP) - German history buffs on Saturday unearthed the wreckage of a World War II US fighter that crashed in February 1945 with the remains of a young French pilot inside, DPA news agency said.

The single-engine P47 Thunderbolt went down on February 14 1945, just 10 weeks before the end of the war in Europe, at Ottersweier, in the southwestern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.

Its wreckage was found 4m below ground in an orchard by Uwe Benkel, an amateur researcher in World War II crash sites, DPA said.

Its pilot was identified as Antoine Allard, 25, from Paris.

The location of the crash had long been known, and marked by a monument.

A local inhabitant, Werner Doll, now aged 77, described how as a seven-year-old lad he saw the Thunderbolt collide with another plane before plummeting to earth.

"Whenever I went by (the crash site) I always said a few words" to the ill-starred pilot, Doll said.

German soldiers placed a French flag and flowers on the site, to a crowd of several dozen onlookers.

Allard's remains will be interred at an as-yet unidentified cemetery, the report said.