MSO7937 - The Liberator Monument, Porlock Marsh (Monument)


A monument to the memory of the United States airmen whose Liberator plane crashed in 1942 on Bossington Hill. It comprises a simple concrete structure and has been moved to this site on the coastal path from its original location.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 87934 47975. A monument to the memory of the United States airmen whose Liberator plane crashed in the marsh on Oct 29th 1942. A simple concrete monument erected by the members of the Porlock Branch of the British Legion with materials available at the time. Initially erected at SS 88148 47763 [1], it was moved to its present site at SS 87934 47975 alongside the coastal path so more people can see it. The plane was a long range Bomber, Transport and Reconnaissance Aircraft, its full title being Consolidated B-24 D. It was a Liberator. The plane had four 1200 horse power Radial engines; a wing span of 110 feet, and a total length of 67 feet 2 inches. Its maximum speed was 300 miles per hour at 30,000 feet and its range 2100 miles. It carried a crew 12 and had ten and carried 50 machine guns. This particular plane, which was helping RAF Coastal Command at the time, took off from Holmsley, South Hampshire, at 7.20am on October 29th, to fly on anti-submarine patrol in the Bay of Biscay. The weather was dreadful, a very wet day with low cloud all around when, returning about 3.30pm, it hit the top of Bossington Hill. Pieces fell off, a wheel and part of the undercarriage were lying at the bottom of Sparkhayes Lane and the rest of the plane crashed onto the marsh. Only one man survived Staff Sergeant H B Thorpe. Very little of the plane was seen by locals as its remains were salvaged within a few days [2]. Surveyed at 1:2500. [3] The war memorial was unveiled in November 1945. [5] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [6] The feature is marked "Memorial" on the 2022 MasterMap data. [7]

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1972. 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. Revised Sheet SS 8847.
  • <2> Monograph: Corner, Dennis. 1992. Porlock in Those Days. Exmoor Books. p75 (picture).
  • <3> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. IS Sainsbury, 24 November 1994.
  • <4> Report: McDonnell, R.. 1995. Porlock Bay and Marsh: A Rapid Preliminary Assessment of the Cultural and Palaeoenvironmental Resource. P. 18.
  • <5> Website: Imperial War Museum. United Kingdom National Inventory of War Memorials.
  • <6> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 957702, Extant 8 February 2022.
  • <7> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2022. MasterMap data. 1:2,500.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Coastal Risk 2014: Flood Zone 3 tidal
  • Coastal Risk 2016: Flood Zone 2 tidal
  • Coastal Risk 2016: Flood Zone 3 tidal
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10289
  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 NE58
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 957702
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 18075



Grid reference Centred SS 88173 47671 (6m by 6m) Surveyed
Map sheet SS84NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Feb 8 2022 3:27PM


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