Memorial to Spitfire crash pilot unveiled at Holme Lode
The family of a Spitfire pilot who died in a crash have unveiled a permanent memorial near the site where his plane was excavated near Peterborough. Pilot Officer Harold Penketh, 20, died in 1940 during a routine training exercise when he entered a dive from which he failed to recover. The aircraft crashed vertically, was buried several metres into peat, and exploded underground, killing Mr Penketh instantly. He had just 13 hours 15 minutes of Spitfire flight experience at the time. A week-long excavation at Holme Lode, the Great Fen, Cambridgeshire, recovered the crashed plane in 2015. Thursday’s dedication service saw the unveiling of the memorial, commissioned by the Cambridgeshire Wildlife Trust. The service was attended by Harold’s first cousin’s Valetta Cranmer, 78 and Sheila Morris, 77.