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Lough Foyle WW2 bomber wreck story to be explored at the Tower Museum

24 February 2017

The story of how a World War Two bomber aircraft ended up on the seabed of Lough Foyle will be explored at a special event at the Tower Museum on Thursday March 2nd.

Expert diver Danny Keenan will deliver a talk about how he, along with fellow divers from the Inishowen Sub Aqua Club, discovered the wreck of ‘The Meltin’ Pot’ B17 bomber between Greencastle and Magilligan in 2001.

The aircraft crash landed on the local waters on September 5th 1942 and the crew, led by Captain Curt Melton, survived by walking onto the wing.

They were rescued by locals from nearby Magilligan Point before the aircraft sank to the bottom of the Lough.   

Speaking ahead of the event, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hilary McClintock encouraged local people to take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about the colourful history of local waters.

“This is a fascinating local history story and Thursday night’s talk is a great opportunity to explore another significant event in our local maritime history and view some of the associated artefacts for yourself.

“The success of the recent events to mark the 100 year anniversary of the Laurentic tragedy proved that there is huge interest in the history of our local waters during the World Wars and this is a chance to learn about another aspect of that.”

Among the artefacts on display will be a pair of perfect condition original Aviator Sunglasses made by Bausch and Lomb, who went on to found the iconic Ray Ban brand in 1939.

The talk will also include Danny’s accounts of speaking to the survivors of the crash 60 years on.

Acting Education Officer at the Tower Museum, Ronan McConnell, noted that Danny has a detailed knowledge of the ‘incredible story’.
“Danny is an expert diver and has a great knowledge and first-hand experience of diving on the Meltin’ Pot as well as many other wrecks around the North West and indeed the world,” he said.

“Similar to Ray Cossum’s research after discovering the Laurentic, Danny’s research has uncovered an incredible story of survival and skilled piloting to survive the crash, as well as the story of the crew members continued involvement in the Second World War afterwards.”

 “This talk is a fine example of how the story grows from initially finding a wreck before researching it.”

Thursday night’s talk will take place at 7pm, to register e mail [email protected] or call 02871372411.

The Laurentic exhibition continues to run at the Tower Museum until June. Admission is free and anyone interested in maritime history can view a range of exhibits featuring items recovered from the unfortunate vessel.

Ends