Shifting Sands Reveal Sunken WWII Treasure

Created on the drawing boards of two of America's most notable aircraft designers - Hall Hibbard and Clarence 'Kelly' Johnson - the P-38 Lightning was the only US pursuit plane to remain in continuous production throughout WWII.
Created on the drawing boards of two of America's most notable aircraft designers - Hall Hibbard and Clarence 'Kelly' Johnson - the P-38 Lightning was the only US pursuit plane to remain in continuous production throughout WWII.
Created on the drawing boards of two of America’s most notable aircraft designers – Hall Hibbard and Clarence ‘Kelly’ Johnson – the P-38 Lightning was the only US pursuit plane to remain in continuous production throughout WWII.

In July 2007 after 65 years under the sands a P-38  was discovered off the coast of northern Wales.  Uncovered by tides and shifting sands, the Lockheed P-38 Lightning had spent 65 years in its broken-shell entombment.

The exact location is being withheld from the public until its excavation.  The British Protection of Military Remains Act, effectuated in 1986, protects the wreckage in theory, although looting is still a legitimate concern.

A fuel supply issue compelled the P-38 to land on the Welsh beach on September 27, 1942 during a practice run.  Second Lieutenant Robert F. Elliott (only 24 years old at the time) managed to escape unscathed, even though the emergency landing caused some damage to the wingtip.  Sadly, Elliott disappeared in combat during the North African offensive a few months later.

Locals have dubbed the plane the “Maid of Harlech,” in reference to the 13th century Welsh castle by the same name.  A joint coalition of British and American archaeologists are now attempting to recover and restore the old bird.

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