Essex Aviation Group identified the crash site of the Dornier Do 217m near Runwell Hospital in 1976
The aircraft was part of the attack on London on the night of 21/22nd January 1944. As the Dornier flew up the Thames estuary it was hit by anti aircraft fire from guns stationed at Pitsea. The aircraft was smashed beyond recognition when it hit the ground, the only clue to its type being the pieces of DB 603A engine scattered around the site. The crew of four were killed.
Aviation archaeology became popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Since then most crash sites, particularly those of the Battle of Britain era, have been uncovered. Excavations of these site cannot be undertaken without a licence issued by the Ministry of Defence.
Most of the finds from the crash are on display at Duxford Museum
The crew of the Dornier were Erick Reiser, Gunther Kablitz, Erich Kanz, and Georg Sauer.
Their remains were removed to Cannock Chase German Cemetery, Staffordshire
A much more detailed account of this crash and the subsequent excavation can be found on this site entitled Excavation of WW2 crashed Dornier, by T Williams.