Research by the Air Historical Branch and RAF Museum suggests they have identified the aircraft lying on the Goodwin Sands as being Dornier 17 Z-2 Ser No 1160 of 7 Staffel, III Gruppe/KG3 (7th Sqn of 3rd Group of Bomber Wing 3).
The aircraft believed to be coded 5K + AR, was lost on Monday 26 August 1940 when operating from St Trond in Belgium. The aircraft landed on Goodwin Sands at low tide (1340 hrs) after an attack by fighters that damaged the engines and left the crew wounded.
5K + AR was one of 7 carrying 16 x 50kg bombs tasked with bombing the Fighter Command airfields in the Medway area. Before reaching the target, when flying above clouds, the aircraft became separated from the rest of the formation and lost its bearings. It was then attacked by fighters (Boulton Paul Defiants from 264 Sqn based at Hornchurch in Essex). Both engines were hit as was the cockpit. With at least one of their engines stopped, a forced landing was made on the Goodwin Sands. The identity of the RAF fighter responsible for shooting it down has not been confirmed as it may have been shot down by the escorting German fighters from Jagdgeschwader 3 (Fighter Wing 3).