New efforts to raise Canadian WW2 bomber off the Donegal coast

A scheme to raise a World War 2 bomber from the Atlantic off Donegal, twice abandoned in the last four years, is planned to be attempted again in 2013.

The man organising the bid has also sent a New Year message to families of dead Irishmen who served in the Royal Canadian Air Force to make contact with the recovery campaign so their loved ones can be remembered in a special hall of honour.

Planned seabed surveys have been abandoned twice since 2009 for the Canadian four-engine Halifax bomber number LW170 forced to ditch 140 miles north-west of Donegal while on peacetime weather patrol in August 1945.

Now Karl Kjarsgaard, an Ottawa-based retired airline pilot who is manager of the ‘Halifax 57 Rescue’, believes he has the commitment of another company which owns a high-tech sonar ship to conduct a recovery survey next Summer.

He wants to raise the plane from the seabed 1.6 kilometres down and take it back to Canada as a memorial to the airmen who served in the war. He also wants to remember all the 12 Irish who died with the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The plane is regarded as the most historic bomber in Canada’s history and went on 29 combat missions in 1944, including on D-Day when it bombed heavy guns on the Normandy coast.

When it sank in 1945 the crew took to a life raft and were rescued by a passing banana freighter. None was Irish, but Mr Kjarsgaard wants to honour all 12 who were killed in action with RCAF Halifax bombers in WW11.

He hopes relatives and descendants can provide more details by emailing 57rescuecanada@rogers.com.