The Lightning has been identified using its serial number and other records. It was built in 1941 and reached Britain in 1942 before flying combat missions along the Dutch-Belgian coast. It was flown by Second Lieutenant Robert F. "Fred" Elliott, 24, from North Carolina. During a gunnery practice mission on September 27, 1942, a fuel supply problem forced him to make an emergency landing on the Welsh beach. That crash-landing in shallow water sheared off a wingtip, but he escaped unhurt.
The recovery group plans to collaborate with British museum experts in recovering the nearly intact but fragile aircraft next spring. The Imperial War Museum Duxford and the Royal Air Force Museum are among the institutions expressing interest in it. Link