Save Our Shipwrecks & Military Remains


SS Mahratta ran aground in 1909

The Goodwin Sands are infamous for their toll of shipwrecks, about 2,000 in total. Some ships went down with all loss of hands; in the Great Storm of 1703 four ships floundered and 1,200 sailors drowned in one night alone.

The Goodwins are also the maritime military graves of about 80 brave young British, German and Polish pilots who crashed into the area during the fierce fighting of the Battle of Britain in 1940.  Their locations are unknown and will most likely have moved from where they crashed or bailed out, as the sands shift regularly each year.

P/O K.R. Gillman, missing

Military air crash sites are protected under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986; however this protection only applies to crash sites where the locations are known.  It is illegal to disturb such sites where human remains are likely to be found.

In 2015, Wessex Archaeology, in a case study for Historic England, described the Goodwin Sands as ‘archaeologically extraordinary’ yet disappointingly, neither of these organisations have made a robust case against  the proposed dredging in order to save the nation’s heritage.

Ironically, shipwrecks are often the only method we have of learning about our maritime past, as those ships that survived were eventually scrapped.




Kent Battle of Britain Museum’s list of missing pilots 1940 – Goodwin Sands area


Date Aircraft Unit Details
27/05/1940 Messerschmitt Bf110 2(F)122 TBC Crew missing (off Kingsdown/Deal – Goodwin Sands area)
28/05/1940 Bristol Blenheim 235 Squadron Crew safe
29/05/1940 Avro Anson K8771 48 Squadron Crew safe
29/05/1940 Bristol Blenheim 1F L9260 235 Squadron Crew safe
29/05/1940 Bristol Blenheim IV L9397 235 Squadron Crew killed
29/05/1940 Spitfire N3289 610 Squadron Flying Officer Kerr-Wilson, missing
29/05/1940 Avro Anson 1 K8773 48 Squadron Crew safe
31/05/1940 Spitfire N3274 610 Squadron Flying Officer G L Chambers, missing
01/06/1940 Bristol Blenheim ‘A’ 254 Squadron Crews missing/killed. One survivor remaining between ‘A’ and ‘O’ below.
01/06/1940 Bristol Blenheim ‘O’ 254 Squadron Crews missing/killed. One survivor remaining between ‘O’ and ‘A’ above.
01/06/1940 Bristol Blenheim NOT KNOWN 254 Squadron Crew missing
02/06/1940 Bristol Blenheim L9476 53 Squadron Crew safe. Forced landing on Sands
08/07/1940 Spitfire K9907 65 Squadron Squadron Leader Desmond Cooke (26009), missing presumed dead.
09/07/1940 Messerschmitt Bf 109E Seenot Fleig Mission Pilot missing
09/07/1940 Messerschmitt Bf 109E Seenot Fleig Mission Pilot missing
20/07/1940 Hurricane I N2670 32 Squadron Fleet Air Arm Sub Lt. G.G.R. Bulmer, drowned – shot down by a Bf 109 of JG 51 off Dover at 18:00 hrs.
23/07/1940 Junkers JU88A 4(F)122 Lt Forster and crew missing
25/07/1940 Spitfire R6707 54 Squadron Flt. Lt. B.H. “Wonky” Way, presumed drowned. Shot down by Bf109 and crashed into channel.
28/07/1940 Spitfire P9547 74 Squadron Pilot Officer J H R Young, killed. Shot down in the Channel off Ramsgate near the Goodwin Sands by a Bf 109, possibly Oberleutnant Muncheberg of III/JG26.
29/07/1940 Spitfire N3038 41 Squadron Flying Officer D.R. Gamblen, missing following combat with Ju87s and Bf109s.
06/08/1940 Messerschmitt Bf110 V/LG1 Crew missing
12/08/1940 Hurricane P3803 501 Squadron F/O K. Lukaszewicz (Polish), missing following a combat with enemy fighters west of Ramsgate.
12/08/1940 Messerschmitt Bf109E 111/JG 54 Gefr Stabwer TBC
12/08/1940 2 x Messerschmitt Bf109E JG 54 Both pilots missing (Goodwin Area)
14/08/1940 2 x Messerschmitt Bf109 4/JG 52 Both pilots missing (Deal area)
15/08/1940 Dornier Do172 6/KG3 Crew safe
15/08/1940 Hurricane I V7410 151 Squadron P/O M Rozwadowski, missing after combat with Bf109s, Deal/Dover area.
16/08/1940 Spitfire K9915 65 Squadron P/O Lee L Pyman, shot down and killed at 1730hrs over the Channel near Deal, after combat with Bf 109s that had just attacked RAF Manston.
22/08/1940 Spitfire R6708 54 Squadron Sergeant G R Collett, killed after dogfight with enemy fighters off Deal.
24/08/1940 Hurricane P3141 51 Squadron Pilot Officer P Zenker (Polish) missing (in area of the Goodwin Sands) after pursuit of enemy aircraft.
24/08/1940 Junkers JU88A Stab 11/KG76 3 crew missing, 1 killed
Uffz Meier, Fw Flessner and Fw Vetter missing
24/08/1940 Junkers JU88A 5(F)122 3 crew missing Lt Hellermann, Lt Hurck
24/08/1940 Junkers JU88A 4/KG76 3 crew missing, 1 killed Uffz Duos, Freimann and Froba
24/08/1940 Junkers JU88A 4/KG76 3 crew missing, 1 killed Lt Grell, Uffz Wetzker and Fw Thomas
24/08/1940 Junkers JU88A 11/KG76 3 crew killed, one missing
24/08/1940 Junkers JU88A 111/KG51 1 crew killed, 2 missing, 1 POW
25/08/1940 Hurricane P2755 32 Squadron Pilot Officer K R Gillman, missing (North East of Dover)
26/08/1940 Dornier Do172 7/KG3 1 killed, 2 missing, 1 POW, Uffz Ram, Ober Fr Knochenmuss
26/08/1940 Dornier Do172 7/KG3 1 killed, 2 missing, 1 POW, Uffz Reinhard and Uffz Ritzel missing
28/08/1940 Spitfire R6751 603 Squadron Flt Lt J L G Cunningham, missing after combat over Dover.
31/08/1940 Dornier Do17 w/No 3414 5/KG3 1 killed, 3 POW
02/09/1940 Messerschmitt Bf110 D
w/No 3197
11/2G2 2 crew missing, Uffz Denker and Uffz Krapp.
07/09/1940 Messerschmitt Bf110 C-4
w/No. 3570
11/2G2 1 killed, 1 POW.
15/09/1940 Dornier Do172 8/KG2 1 missing
15/09/1940 Dornier Do172 5/KG3 1 missing
15/09/1940 HEINKEL HE111 111/KG53 Crew killed
15/09/1940 Dornier Do172 5/KG3 1 missing
19/09/1940 Junkers JU-88A-1
w/No 7058
1/KG51 2 killed, 2 missing, Fw Walter and Gfr Roeder.
19/09/1940 Junkers JU88A-1 1/KG51 Crew missing 3 miles off Deal
23/09/1940 Messerschmitt Bf109E
w/No. 6304
7/JG3 Uffz K Evsing, POW
24/09/1940 Bristol Blenheim 1V T1794 139 Squadron Crew missing, Squadron Leader M G Hendry, Sergeant Arrowsmith and Sergeant Davidson.
30/09/1940 Dornier Do172 8/KG3 5 crew missing. Fw Bauer, Fw Salomo, Fw Schierling, Fw Schonn, Uffz Schroff
06/10/1940 Dornier Do172 KG3? 4 crew missing (off Kingsdown in Goodwin Sands area)
10/10/1940 Messerschmitt Bf109E
w/No 4143
4/JG53 Oblt Vogel missing
11/10/1940 Messerschmitt Bf109E
w/No 6267
5/JG27 Safe
15/10/1940 Junkers JU88A 1/LG1 ? 4 crew missing (evidence says 3 miles off Kingsdown in area of Goodwin Sands)
25/10/1940 Junkers JU88A 111/KG77 Crew killed
25/10/1940 Junkers JU88A 111/KG77 4 crew missing
01/11/1940 Messerschmitt Bf109E Off Ramsgate/ Goodwin Sands
14/11/1940 Junkers JU87B 9/STG1 1 killed, 1 missing