A 14-year-old student’s history homework turned into a full-blown excavation when he stumbled upon a World War II plane buried in his backyard. As the BBC reports, the wreckage of the German Messerschmitt, uncovered from a private farm in Denmark, contained ammunition and the remains of its pilot.

The plane was found after Daniel Rom Kristiansen’s dad Klaus made the tongue-in-cheek suggestion they search for war artifacts on their property to jazz up his son’s WWII assignment. Klaus told the BBC that his grandfather once claimed a plane had crashed on the farm in 1944: “He was telling a lot of stories, my grandfather. Some of them were not true, and some of them were true—but this one was true.”

After scouring the grounds with a metal detector, the father and son team found exactly what they were looking for. They had to borrow an excavator from a neighbor to reach the debris, which was buried up to 20 feet below the dirt.

The ME 109 Messerschmitt plane was broken up into thousands of pieces, one of which was the engine. The pair also discovered the bones of the pilot along with his tattered clothes and personal effects, including "a wallet with money,” Klaus told the BBC.

Messerschmitt ME 109 planes first arrived on the scene during the Spanish Civil War. During World World II, the lightweight aircraft shot down more Allied forces than any other fighter planes. Klaus has lived on his family’s farm for 40 years, with no idea that there was a piece of history hidden underground. After bomb disposal experts handled the ammunition, the remains of the plane were turned over to historians. Daniel plans to update his homework assignment once the details of his discovery are made clear.

[h/t BBC]