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'Flying Pencil' WWII German bomber raised from depths of English Channel

Iain Duncan / Royal Air Force Museum via AFP - Getty Images

The wreck of a German World War II Dornier Do 17 plane is lifted on to a ship at Goodwin Sands in the English Channel on June 10, 2013. Experts from the Royal Air Force Museum had spent five weeks preparing to lift the aircraft, which was shot down during the Battle of Britain in 1940. The operation to retrieve it was the biggest of its kind in British waters, the museum said.

Royal Air Force Museum via AP

An archive photo shows a formation of German WWII Dornier Do 17 bombers.

Royal Air Force Museum via Reuters

Alex Medhurst of the RAF Museum lays a wreath at the tombstone of Luftwaffe Cpl. Heinz Huhn at Cannock Chase German war cemetery in Cannock, central England, on June 10, 2013.

A British museum on Monday successfully recovered a German bomber that had been shot down over the English Channel during World War II.

The aircraft, nicknamed the Luftwaffe's "Flying Pencil" because of its narrow fuselage, came down off the coast of Kent more than 70 years ago during the Battle of Britain.

The rusty and damaged plane is believed to be the most intact example of the German Dornier Do 17 bomber that has ever been found. Divers discovered the aircraft submerged in 50 feet of water in 2008.

There were no human remains aboard the aircraft. Of the four crew, two survived and saw out the war in prisoner of war camps in Canada, according to a blog post on the Royal Air Force Museum website. Bombardier Heinz Huhn was killed and Wireless Operator Helmut Reinhardt died of his injuries. A wreath was laid at Huhn's grave in Cannock, England, on Monday. 

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Port Of London Authority via EPA

An undated sonar image shows the wreck of the Dornier Do 17 bomber lying on Goodwin Sands before it was raised.

Peter MacDiarmid / Getty Images

The plane found on Goodwin Sands is believed to be aircraft call-sign 5K-AR, shot down on August 26, 1940 at the height of the battle by RAF Boulton-Paul Defiant fighters.

Iain Duncan / Royal Air Force Museum via Reuters

The cockpit of the recovered aircraft, which will be preserved and put on display for the public at the RAF museum in London.

Peter MacDiarmid / Getty Images

Salvage workers inspect the aircraft after it was lifted from the English Channel in a project that suffered many delays due to poor weather.