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Italian WWII fighter plane recovered from Mediterranean

Micoperi marine contractors salvaged it for free

05 December, 16:29
Italian WWII fighter plane recovered from Mediterranean (ANSA) - La Spezia, December 5 - Salvage contractors said Thursday they have recovered the wreck of an Italian WWII fighter plane that crashed into the sea off the northern coastal town of Porto Venere 70 years ago.

Purple-heart-decorated Air Force pilot Luigi Guerrieri, 27, was forced into an emergency water landing when his engine failed on April 16, 1943.

Navy divers found the wreck during an exercise in April this year, and it was finally lifted out of the water Wednesday by salvage firm Micoperi.

Micoperi, which also salvaged the Costa Concordia cruise ship, did the job for free after defense officials approached CEO Silvio Bartolotti. ''The ministry of defense wanted to salvage the plane, restore it and put it in a museum, but we didn't have the budget. Bartolotti offered to do it free of charge'', Air Force sources told reporters at a news conference.