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Work begins to raise German bomber from the Channel

A salvage operation has begun to raise the only surviving German WWII Dornier Do 17 bomber from the English Channel.

A platform is now above the wreck and divers have started to build a cage around the aircraft - working in 45-minute shifts - at the start of the salvage operation which should take around three weeks.

A section of the Dornier bomber is recovered Credit: RAF Museum/PA Wire

Sonar scans by the RAF Museum, Wessex Archaeology and the Port of London Authority confirmed the identity of the aircraft.

An underwater side scan of a twin-engined Dornier 17 German bomber discovered on a sandbank off Deal
An underwater side scan of a twin-engined Dornier 17 German bomber discovered on a sandbank off Deal in Kent Credit: Wessex Archaeology handout

Once the bomber has been lifted it will undergo a conservation process before it goes on display at the RAF museum in London.

Click here for more coverage on the story from ITV Meridian

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Fight for Arctic convoys medals

The government's plans to award veterans of the Arctic convoys campaign medals comes after years of campaigning. Servicemen past and present as well as local politicians had been locked in a battle to get those who served on the convoys recognition for their bravery during the second world war.

Living veterans and widows will be the first in line to receive the new medals. Production of the accolades is due to get underway soon.

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MP welcomes Arctic convoy announcement

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed the news that the Arctic Convoy Veterans of WW2 will begin receiving medals in recognition of their heroism and bravery.

“I'm delighted that having finally made the decision to award the medal, the Government have turned the design and criteria around in rapid time.

"The Arctic Convoy veterans are all heroes in the truest sense of the word. After ten years of campaigning my delight to see justice finally being done is tinged with sadness that so many are no longer alive to receive the medals they richly deserved.”

– Caroline Dinenage MP

'Longest-serving' POW will now 'light up heaven'

The family of the Alfie Frapp - thought to be the oldest surviving and longest-serving British prisoner of war - have said he will now "light up heaven" after he died, aged 98.

Alfie Fripp, at the inner perimeter fence at Stalag Luft III in Zagan, Poland on the 65th anniversary of the Great Escape. Credit: Ministry of Defence/PA Wire

His niece Patricia Fripp announced her uncle's death on Facebook.

She wrote: "For the friends of Uncle Bill, AKA Alfie. He passed away this morning surrounded by his family. He never complained, was always cheerful and will light up Heaven."

Mr Fripp spent almost all of the Second World War in captivity after his plane was shot down by the Luftwaffe in 1939.

Casting his mind back to the fateful day in 1939 when they were shot down, he added: "We were forced to hedge-hop at six feet to avoid being attacked again by a Messerschmitt in a cloudless sky. We crash landed after colliding with the treetops."

'Longest serving' British prisoner of war dies, aged 98

The man thought to be the oldest surviving and longest-serving British prisoner of war has died aged 98.

Alfie Fripp died in hospital in Bournemouth earlier today surrounded by his family.

Mr Fripp spent almost all of the Second World War in captivity after his plane was shot down by the Luftwaffe in 1939.

He was held at 12 different PoW camps, including Stalag Luft III, the scene of prisoner escapes that were dramatised in the film The Great Escape.

Mr Fripp, who lived in the Southbourne area of Bournemouth, joined the RAF in 1930 and married his sweetheart, Vera Allen, in September 1939, just three days after war was declared by Britain on Germany.

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Undercover pigeon carrying WWII secrets found in chimney

Pigeon skeleton and the coded message it was carrying during World War II.
Pigeon skeleton and the coded message it was carrying during World War II. Credit: Bletchley Park

The remains of a carrier pigeon from World War II have been found in the chimney of a house in Bletchingley, Surrey, with the top-secret coded message it was meant to deliver still attached to the bird's foot.

The pigeon could have been dispatched from Nazi-occupied France during the D-Day invasions and was thought to have been headed for Bletchley Park with the coded message.

For more on this story, visit ITV Anglia.

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