Kas Plane Wreck – Savoia Marchetti SM 79 "Sparviero"
A Italian three-engined bombardment plane is lying in the azure depths of Kas. The wreck is located near Flying fish reef in Turkish Waters near Meis Island at a depth of between 58 and 71 meters. The plane lies still complete except her motors but because of the time, her body is getting damaged and her skeleton can be seen.
The airplane is a Savoia Marchetti SM 79 I "Sparviero" (Sparrowhawk) and many regarded it as one of the most succesfull hunter-torpedo-bombers of the World War II. It held a number of airspeed records since it first flew in September 1935 and had damaged a lot of allied ships by the deployment of its torpedo bombs in the Mediterranian and Aegean Sea.
The 21m-long Sparrowhawk was built in Italy and designed to be flown with a crew of four or five. She has 3 propeller motors and her wingspan was 21,2 meter. She was armed with 3 x MG 12.7 mm and 2 x MG 7.7 machine guns for self protection and had capacity for a 1250kg bomb-load on internal racks or two torpedo slung beneath the fuselage.
Taking off from the Greek islands controlled by the Axis states, the warbirds raided the eastern part of the Mediterranean. It seems that the particular plane was took off from an air base in Rhodes in 1941 with the assignment to bombard the Bristish warships inside the Meis harbour. According to an eye withness, the plane was one of three aeroplanes which came under fire by anti-aircraft weapons stationed in Meis. One of the planes crashed to the mountains of Kas, the other one was sunked right in front of Meis harbour and the third one (our plane) had glided into the sea near the small Turkish island. No survivors left from the plane. The pilot has been buried to Kas by Turks but after sometime Italians reburied him and took hi sbody to Italy.
The Sparrowhawk was found in 1990. A very strong current made it a struggle to reach the correct side of the underwater rock on the slope of which the bomber wreck lies. The plane’s three engines can be seen clearly from 57 meters. They were well-preserved, with beautifully contrasting propeller blades, rusted and covered with underwater growth. Between them, elements of the aircraft construction were scattered on the seabed. Further on, the rubber-tyred tail-wheel and other parts lay at around 70 meters. There is still ammunition near the plane that didn’t exploded, thought to be still active.
Other Mediterranean Aircraft Wrecks:
Boeing B17 Flying Fortress bomber (Calvi) in 23m
Heinkel He111 bomber (Cap Martin) in 60m
Junkers Ju88 fighter-bomber (Marseille) in 56m
Messerschmitt Me109 fighter (Marseille) in 45m
Republic P47 Thunderbolt fighter (Bastia) in 40m
Arado Ar196 floatplane (Capraia Island) in 44m
De Havilland Mosquito fighter-bomber (Tyrrhenian coast) in 30m
Fiat BR-20 Cicogna (Liguria) in 47m
Handley Page Halifax bomber (Liguria) in 80m
Hawker Hurricane fighter (Sicily) in 27m
Junkers Ju52 bomber (Sicily) in 45m
Macci Mc200 Saetta fighter (Sicily) in 60m
Reggiane Re2001 Falco fighter (Sardinia) in 36m
Boeing B17 Flying Fortress bomber (Vis) in 73m
Bristol Beaufighter fighter (Naxos) in 34m
Messerschmitt ME-109 (Crete) in 23m
Bristol Blenheim (Malta) in 39m
Bristol Beaufighter fighter (Malta) in 38m