Body of pilot found among wreckage of WWII bomber
The body of an airman has been discovered amongst the wreckage of an Allied Second World War bomber, 75 years to the day it was shot down not far from Auschwitz.
The human remains were unearthed by amateur historians as they dug up the wreck of the B-25 Mitchell in a forest near Bieruń, just to the west of the town of Oswiecim, the location of Nazi Germany’s most infamous death camp.
Although the B-25 was American designed and made, the one found at Bieruń is believed to have been one of the around 860 B-25s supplied to the Soviet Union during the war.
Locals have known for decades that the aircraft had come down in the forest as fragments of it were often being found scattered across the ground.
But this was the first time a formal dig had been made to recover the shattered remnants of the warbird.
The fact that the wreckage still contained human remains came as a surprise to the historians.
Information on the plane showed that it had been carrying a five-man crew when it was shot down over Oswiecim on January 19, 1945.
Its commander, Alexi Bochin, managed to bail out but his four comrades died in the crash.
It was thought that all of them had been buried at a war cemetery in the nearby town of Pszczyna, but the discovery of the corpse proves this was not the case.
Once cleaned and examined the remains of the B-25 will go on display at the Museum of September 1939 in Tychy.