The fuselage of a wrecked German fighter plane that crash-landed with deputy fuhrer Rudolph Hess at the helm reveals its fascinating story at Bonhams on June 5 in New York.
Hess made the covert flight from Germany to a remote part of Scotland on May 10, 1941, hoping to persuade the Duke of Hamilton to side with the Nazis for upcoming peace talks. However, he crash-landed and, injuring his foot, was apprehended by Dave McLean, a worker at a local farm who immediately handed Hess over to the authorities.
As the plane crashed, McLean managed to save parts of the aircraft and hide them in the bushes before the army maintenance unit could take them away. The fuselage section is now valued at $3,000-5,000.
Hess spent the remainder of the war in British custody, before facing trail at Nuremberg and being sentenced to life imprisonment at Spandau in 1947. He died in jail in 1987, aged 93.
His position as deputy fuhrer was later filled by Martin Bormann.
"As an 18 year old, I was an apprentice and our foreman was a chap called Dave Mclean... I got a call from Dave one late morning in May of 1941 telling me a German pilot had landed on the farm. He had captured the fellow and handed him to the local Corporal of the signals unit next door," recalled Stanley Boyd in an accompanying letter.
"His fighter plane had crashed in the next field which was Bonnytons Farm and Dave had gone over on his cycle and hidden a few souvenirs in the bushes! The army signal unit and Home Guard and police were on their way so he had to be quick."
See our superb selection of militaria for sale, as well as one of the finest pieces of aviation memorabilia on the market.