Leemans Special Works news stories

News: Aircraft recovery Lancaster ED 603 near Breezanddijk


In September, Leemans Aircraft Recovery will begin the salvage of the Lancaster ED 603, a bomber wreck located several kilometres off the coast of Breezanddijk in the IJsselmeer. For updates and information about the salvage operation, visit this page.

The Lancaster was shot down by a German night fighter on the night of 12 June 1943, killing all seven crew members. Four of the young men washed up on the shore of the IJsselmeer several weeks after the crash. They were laid to rest in the cemeteries in Workum, Stavoren and Hindeloopen.

The remains of the other three crew members may still be in the plane. The initiative to salvage the Lancaster came from the relatives of the fallen servicemen. “The relatives have requested the recovery of the remains of their relatives to give them a dignified final resting place,” said Petra van den Akker, Alderman for Culture.

Leemans Speciaalwerken will carry out the work in cooperation with the Dutch Ministry of Defence on behalf of the municipality of Súdwest-Fryslân. The operation will take several weeks, mainly because part of the IJsselmeer will be drained to recover the plane.

Leemans used the same method to recover a Vickers Wellington near Lemmer in 2016.

The recovery of the Lancaster ED 603 is part of the Dutch National Programme for Aircraft Recovery. The Municipality of Súdwest-Fryslân serves as the client, while the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and the Ministry of Defence support the municipality with funding and advice on the salvage.


How to retrieve an over 80-year old Lancaster from the IJsselmeer?

Recovery of Lancaster Bomber on IJsselmeer Temporarily Halted for Safety

Leemans Aircraft Recovery discovers human remains in WWII aircraft crash in IJsselmeer sooner than expected. 

Admiration for the sacrifices of seven brave, young men.

News: Aircraft recovery Lancaster R5682 Warten

Aircraft recovery Lancaster R5682 Warten

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MAX 2Doc, December 12, 2017 – Liever dood dan vermist

MAX 2Doc, December 12, 2017 – Liever dood dan vermist

Dutch article

Maandag 15 januari zendt MAX om 21.10 uur op NPO 2 de 2Doc Liever dood dan vermist uit. In de Tweede Wereldoorlog stortten talloze geallieerde piloten en andere bemanningsleden met hun vliegtuig en explosieven neer in ons land. Waarom wordt in de ene gemeente wél en in de andere niet tot berging van deze vliegtuigwrakken, explosieven en militairen overgegaan?

News: Aircraft recovery IJsselmeer:

Aircraft recovery IJsselmeer

During the night of the 9th May, 1941 a British bomber was shot down above the IJsselmeer by the Germans. Apparently, it was a Vickers Wellington with six crew members, of which two are still missing. Because the aircraft has bombs on board, it must be recovered. Leemans will drain a part of the IJsselmeer in order to recover the plane. It’s the first time it happened this way in the Netherlands. The recovery will take about a month in collaboration with the municipality Fryske Marren and the Dutch Royal Air Force.

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News: Recovery of a F-5 aircraft near De Bodde in Bitgum

Recovery of a F-5 aircraft near De Bodde in Bitgum

In collaboration with the Dept. Of Defense, Leemans accomplished the recovery of a crashed Swiss F-5 fighter jet. The aircraft crashed early June in a lake at the Bodde in the Frisian town Bitgum. After the analysis of different environmental and soil investigations, the jet will be recovered carefully. Afterwards the area around will be cleaned and restored. Leemans will make every effort to run the recovery as smoothly as possible.

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