On the same day that the plane that carried him for his final flight was raised from it’s watery grave, the gravesite of Luftwaffe Corporal Heinz Huhn was visited by Alex Medhurst, the General Manager of the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford, who laid a wreath at the stone marker.
On the subject of the wreath laying, Peter Dye Director General of the Royal Air Force Museum stated: “Today as the Royal Air Force Museum takes stock of its success in raising the Dornier 17 from Goodwin Sands, it is appropriate to remember those who gave their lives during the Summer of 1940. In honouring a fallen German airman, we commemorate all those young men, from across the world, who died in the service of their country. The freedom defended by Britain at great cost in 1940 was built on tolerance, compassion and understanding. In remembering the sacrifice made by the airmen of both sides, we demonstrate our enduring belief in a future based on reconciliation, cooperation and shared values.”
The crash of the Dornier Do 17 into the waters of the Goodwin Sands on August 26, 1940 occurred with a crew of four aboard. The pilot, Willi Effmert and one crew member, Herman Ritzel, survived and were taken prisoner, but the 27-year-old wireless operator, Helmut Reinhardt, and 21-year-old bombardier, Heinz Huhn, perished in the water. Their bodies were found washed up on the shore and identified. To be given a Ministry of Defence permit to raise the Dornier, the museum had to show it was not a war grave.