UK News: Second World War crash site in Wales gets protected status for historic importance - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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UK News Second World War crash site in Wales gets protected status for historic importance

01:05  12 november  2019
01:05  12 november  2019 Source:   inews.co.uk

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An American fighter plane that crashed off the north Wales coast in World War Two is to be protected for its historic and archaeological importance . The site is the best preserved military aircraft crash site in Wales , according to Cadw. Although usually covered by sand, it has been visible three times

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The crash site of an American Second World War fighter plane which went down off the north Wales coast is to be given protected status in a UK first.

Cadw, the Welsh government’s environment service, has scheduled the location in Harlech, Gwynedd, for preservation. This will make it the first legally designated military aircraft crash site protected for its historic and archaeological importance.

It is regarded as the best-preserved military aircraft crash site in Wales.

In September 1942 the Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter aircraft crashed. Its 24-year-old pilot, Second Lt Robert F Elliott from North Carolina, had flown from Llanbedr in north Wales on a practice mission. He began to experience difficulties and had to crash land. Miraculously, he walked away alive. A few months later, however, he was reported missing in action.

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Buried

The plane is buried around 2m below the sands. It has been uncovered three times since it crashed. The first sighting was in the 1970s. It was seen again in 2007 and most recently in 2014.

The nephew of the pilot, also called Robert Elliott, who is retired from the US Navy said he was “honoured and delighted” that the site where his uncle crashed is to be preserved.

“My uncle was among those brave and expert fighter pilots who served with distinction during World War II,” said Mr Elliott who lives in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Aviation historian, Matt Rimmer, has been an advocate for the preservation of historic military aircraft sites in Wales for more than 20 years.

He said: “I'm thrilled to see the Harlech P-38 scheduled as an historic monument by Cadw, as I feel it not only acknowledges the significance of this particular aircraft in a historical context, but also the important role played by Wales in the air war against Nazi Germany and the thousands of aircrew from many countries who trained here, many of whom lost their lives either in accidents during training or subsequently in combat."

Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis Thomas, said: “This site is of international significance and I’m delighted that this designation underlines its special qualities as well as protecting it for the benefit of future generations.”

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