An aircraft found near the village of Maritsa in the Samokov region near the resort of Borovets is believed to be a Bulgarian Air Force Messerschmitt shot down during the Second World War.
The area where the remnants of the aircraft were found is to be drained and the engine removed from the site, local television channel bTV said on May 9.
The aircraft would have been used by a Bulgarian pilot defending Sofia in 1944, at a time when Bulgaria was allied to Hitler’s Germany and the capital city was heavily bombed by Allied forces, including the US Air Force.
The report said that the aircraft was probably a Messerschmitt 109, modification G6.
Colonel Dimitar Nedyalkov, a professor at the GS Rakovski Military Academy, said that the aircraft could be the one that was piloted by Ivan Bonev, shot down in a dogfight with US Air Force Mustangs.
In the June 11 1944 encounter, the Bulgarian aircraft, running short of ammunition and fuel, turned towards Bozhurishte military airfield. “The Americans were able to cut off Bonev’s plane and it was probably shot down in this area,” Nedyalkov said.
Bonev managed a parachute jump, but after his ‘chute opened, he was shot and killed by the US fighters.
Nedyalkov said that the find was a unique one. Currently, no aircraft of this kind from the Second World War Bulgarian Air Force is on display in the country. “The only ‘Bulgarian’ Messerschmitt is currently in the Belgrade Aviation Museum,” he said.
For photos of the remnants of the aircraft, please click here.
A Bulgarian Air Force Messerschmitt; main photo, above, a Luftwaffe Messerschmitt.