The Royal Canadian Air Force is recovering the wreckage of a World War II Nomad aircraft that crashed into Lake Muskoka in 1940.

Flight Lieutenant Peter Campbell of the Royal Air Force and Leading Aircraftsman Ted Bates of the Royal Canadian Air Force died when the plane crashed on December 13th 1940.

Captain Martin Campbell said “it's important for us to recover this important part of military history and pay proper respect to the two souls that were on board.”

The aircraft was on a search and rescue mission in 1940 to find a fellow pilot when it collided midair with another aircraft.

“The aircraft broke into five separate pieces when it hit the water,” said Chief Petty Officer Andrew Tiffan. “Our initial recovery pieces will be the engine and the starboard wing of aircraft.”

The divers, who are with the Royal Canadian Navy, will start recovering the wreckage on Tuesday.

They’ll have to rely on an underwater camera and sonar to see in the murky water 30 feet below the surface.

Matt Fairbrass, president of the Lost Airmen of Muskoka was the one who first discovered the wreckage in 2007.

Since then he has worked to have the plane recovered after the two airmen’s remains were recovered in 2012.

“I never thought the day would come,” he said “that we could help tell the story of these two men who died while looking for a friend.”

Kevin Windsor from the National Air Force Museum says the wreckage is a rare piece of Canadian history from the Second World War.

“This is one of only 32 Nomads purchased by Canada during the Second World War,” he says. “It will be the only one in existence in Canada.”

It will take around 10 days to recover the wreckage, at which point the restoration will begin at the National Air Force Museum.