MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- The bronze eagle and swastika that once adorned the battleship Graf Spee have been recovered from the vessel, which now sits on the ocean bottom off Uruguay.
The eagle was barged into Montevideo Friday and taken to a Customs warehouse, Merco Press reported. Hector Bado, leader of the salvage team working on the wreck, said that the swastika was covered.
The Graf Spee is believed to have sunk at least nine merchant ships in the Atlantic during the early weeks of World War II. But the German ship suffered several direct hits in the Battle of the River Plate in December 1939.
Captain Hans Langsdorff brought the Graf Spee into Montevideo, only to be ordered out after the British put pressure on Uruguay. He scuttled the Graf Spee and killed himself three days later in Buenos Aires.
The salvage team found the Graf Spee's range finder in 2004.