THIS WEEK IN 1971: Fisherman nets parts of mystery bomber

Maurice Harknett with the bomber's engine - a Bristol Perseus nine cylinder made in 1939.
Maurice Harknett with the bomber's engine - a Bristol Perseus nine cylinder made in 1939.

An amateur diver went to the rescue when an Eastney fisherman’s net was caught on a mystery object – and dragged part of a Second World War bomber from the murky depths of Langstone Harbour. 

 With his specially equipped boat, Gina Anne, Maurice Harknett winched up a propeller, Bristol Perseus nine cylinder engine, inscribed with the date May 25, 1939. 

It took the efforts of more than half a dozen men to carry the propeller ashore on to Eastney beach. 

The specifications suggested the plane was British, almost certainly a bomber and probably the victim of an air battle during the war.

Mr Harknett, who lived at Milton and was a member of the Southsea Sub-Aqua Club, said: ‘Fishermen have lost their nets in the same area not so long ago.’ ​​​​​​​