Charity hopes to lift World War II fighter plane from sea

A US historic preservation group is hoping to raise the Lockheed P38 Lightning from its resting place off the Welsh coast where it has lain since 1942.

Lockheed P-38 Lightning
Wales Online  |  Charity hopes to lift World War II fighter plane from sea    |   05-09-2010
The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) are keeping the precise location of the plane, known as the Maid of Harlech, under wraps.

The United States Army Air Force plane’s discovery on Harlech beach in 2007 has been described as “one of the most important WWII finds in recent history”.
The sand that had seen it go undetected for more than half a century, was lifted by local currents to unveil the plane. But the sand that dispersed in 2007 has returned and left its location known only to TIGHAR.
Its pilot Lt Robert Elliott crashed while on training exercises after its engines cut out.
But after surviving the incident with barely a scratch, he went missing in action just months later while serving with US forces in the Tunisia campaign.
The Imperial War Museum were on site in 2007 when they analysed the wreck. This was designed to work out if the plane could be brought from the sea without destroying what remains.
Mr Gillespie added: “One of the big problems with this aircraft is that it has been in a salt water environment for many years.
“Once aircraft are removed from a salt water environment they have to have very specific conservation measures or they just crumble to a white powder.”

   

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