5. The Maid of Harlech
On on September 27, 1942 Second Lieutenant Robert F. Elliott was piloting his US P-38 Lightning fighter plane on a training mission in Britain when low fuel forced him to land on a beach in Wales. The water landing damaged the plane’s wing, but Elliot was unhurt. However, he was later shot down in combat and died only weeks after the ditching incident. According to official records, the fighter plane was salvaged, but that turned out to be not quite so. Beaches were closed to the public during wartime and sand gradually buried the plane. In July of 2007, a family spotted the plane, 65 years after it was left on the beach. The plane is now called the Maid of Harlech, and TIGHAR is raising money to fund the plane’s recovery.