The Me-323 was shot down on July 26, 1943 by a Beaufighter fighter. It was on its way to the Tuscan city of Pistoia from its German base in Sardinia.
"The plane managed to moor before plunging into waters off the Maddalena islands. Some soldiers escaped on a raft, but most of the troop sank with the aircraft," Freghieri wrote on her website.
After spending a year searching military archives and flight path records, Freghieri identified the wreck with a wire-guided camera and then explored it with a small team of researchers.
"It was a pure emotional charge to suddenly see the airplane in the veiled blue of the sea. First we saw a piece of a sheet of metal, then another until the plane appeared, in an explosion of images, in all its beauty. My heart skipped a beat," Freghieri told the Italian news agency ANSA.
It is the second important discovery of a WW II wreck off Sardinia in just three months.
InJune, Italian researchers found the the wreckage of the Corazzata Roma, the flagship of the Italian navy. The massive battleship was sunk by the Germans in Sept 1943.