Another wet and dreary day in the Fens, but nothing could curb our enthusiasm as we continued excavating the #fenspitfire! Day One finished with the trench being stripped methodically in spits; today we uncovered the outline of the impact crater about 0.7m down. See picture above - the lighter brown circular shape cut into the darker surounding peat is the impact crater. The long lighter line running through it is a modern field drain (confusingly), and the wooden boards on the left are the shoring the rescue team put in place in 1940 to recover the pilot. The area was trowelled off to make it 'clean' for recording photographs, and then the machine began excavating the crater itself.
At close of play today we were about 2m down in the crater, and are starting to find bigger remnants of the Spitfire, including engine wiring, a pitot, and part of the fuel tank. Poignantly, the pilot's headrest was also recovered this afternoon, reminding us of Harold Penketh who died in the crash. We hope we may uncover the engine tomorrow. Finds are being washed by service personal of the Defense Archaeology Group who oversee Operation Nightingale, and members of the Great Fen Archaeology Group.
A star find this morning was this RAF dining plate, clearly left by the Spitfire rescue team in 1940 when they recovered the pilot from the wreckage. We assume they must have broken it and thrown it in to the crater.
For more photos of the finds and the excavation, do visit our Flickr page.