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Fisherman pulls bomber's propeller from sea bed

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ALMOST exactly 70 years since an American B-17 aircraft crashed into the sea off Guernsey, one of its four large propellers has been lifted to the surface.

Fisherman Zeb Le Noury, 43, was fishing about five miles north west of Grand Havre, when one of his crab-pots snagged on a propeller on the sea bed – about 72 metres down.

Intrigued, he attached a cable to it while he finished fishing and then towed it back to Portelet, where he landed it on the beach yesterday morning.

Weighing in at between 200 and 400 kilos, two of the aluminium blades are encrusted in barnacles and relatively well preserved as they were under the sand. However, the third blade is badly deteriorated and the whole structure is encrusted in barnacles.

'I have pulled up a few bits before, but never a full propeller,' said Mr Le Noury, who has been a fisherman for more than 20 years.

'I would be interested to know what happened to it.'

The propeller drew a lot of interest yesterday and among the crowd was local aviation expert John Goodwin.

He immediately identified that the propeller was one of four that would have been on a B-12 Flying Fortress, which he believed crashed on Sunday 11 June 1944.

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