- On 07/05/2010
- In Airplane Stories
By Peter Hutchison - Telegraph.co.uk
A Second World War fighter plane buried under sand on a Welsh beach for 65 years is to be recovered and placed in a museum under a new plan.
Conservationists are in discussions with museums over hosting the United States Army Air Force fighter thought to be the oldest surviving aircraft of its type.
The Lockheed-P38 Lighting, known as the Maid of Harlech, crashed on the Gwynedd coast in 1942 when its engines cut out while taking part in secret training exercises.
The pilot, Second Lieutenant Robert Elliot, walked away from the crash uninjured but was reported missing in action three months later during a campaign in Tunisia.
In 2007 shifting sands revealed the plane for the first time in decades and the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) set about protecting it.
Ric Gillespie, leading the TIGHAR team hoping to secure enough funding to pull the plane from the sand, said: “It’s one on the most significant WWII-related archaeological discoveries in recent history. Nature has done a good job hiding the wreck.”