Bf-109 relic

Andrea Lusini, a non-commissioned officer belonging to the 37° Stormo, sent me the following interesting pictures of the remains of a Messerschmitt Bf 109 (a chunk of fuselage, from the seat to the tail), taken at Trapani Birgi airport. The aircraft was found on Aug. 29, 2003, by a fishing boat 3NM from S. Vito Lo Capo, near Trapani, and was donated to the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force, ItAF)  after spending about 5 years in a car park. Barely visible on the wreckage, a red “11”  and the straight-armed Balkenkreuz (the stylized version of the Iron Cross). According to researches made by Andrea, the aircraft should be a 109G-4 W.Nr 19586 11 red II./JG27 piloted by Uffz Herbert Lotter (MIA) that ditched in front of Capo S.Vito Siculo on Jun. 18, 1943. The current status of the aircraft is unknown, even if some think that the relic is currently stored in the depot of the Museo Storico dell’Aeronautica Militare (ItAF Museum) at Vigna di Valle.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Simply…..B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L !!!
    Amazing pictures of a not so well known history !

  2. Hello, my name is Giuseppe Rallo I am from San Vito lo Capo, last year I created the video on youtube about the Bf-109 in question.

    I am very happy to see him back in these photos, and see that it is still “healthy” and was not thrown in some landfill,because in 2009 had disappeared from the parking lot of San Vito lo Capo and no one knew what had become more.

    Thanks for posting these photos
    Giuseppe Rallo

  3. Hi David and Giuseppe,
    i already was in contact with Giuseppe about his interesting video. Finally i was checking the loss records in german archives and have a small correction concerning the pilots name “Lothar Herbert”:

    Akte RL 2 III / 1191 (Juli 1943)
    Hauptquartier, Generalquartiermeister 11.07.1943
    Seite 168, lfd. Nr. 88
    Luftflotte 2
    18.06.1943 > II./JG 27 > Feindflug > Mittelmeer > vermutlich Motorschaden
    Bf 109 G-4, WNr. 19586 (rote 11) > Bruch 100%
    Unteroffizier Herbert (Lastname)
    Lothar (Firstname)

    Do you have additional infos, that indicate San Vito lo capo as location of the crash? (Maybe from NVM)?

    Best Greetings


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