During combat in WW2, every aircraft had its own identity. On May 1943, pilot Willi Lück took off from Deelen (the Netherlands, near Arnhem, see map below) to counter USAAF Flying Fortresses. The fighter he flew, a Focke Wulf FW 190, had its own code Yellow 13 ("Gelbe 13") painted on the fuselage. Willi was shot down by an American Thunderbolt, bailed out too late, and was killed half a mile from where Gelbe 13 hit the earth, near Kalken (Laarne - Flanders/Belgium, see map below right).
In 2014 a search started to find the exact spot where the Luftwaffe fighter came down, and a year later substantial remains of Gelbe 13 were recovered during an archaeological investigation. Besides the engine, armament and countless other parts, personal effects of Willi Lück, including photographs, emerged the first time in more than 70 years.
The results of this project led to a unique insight into the air war over Europe - and the people involved.
In this site, we describe the history, based on documents found in archives, and the archaeological dig, the artefacts found and the results.
Cynrik De Decker - president Belgian Aviation History Association Archaeology Team
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