Fundraiser to create museum for second World War amphibious vehicle dug up in the Fens

Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Stuart Leithes.

After spending 74 years buried in the Fens, a Buffalo amphibious vehicle from the second world war is now being restored.

The vehicle was dug up earlier this year in the Fens near Peterborough seventy-four years after it sank.A team of ten spent days excavating the site in Crowland to find the American LVT-4 'Buffalo' which was built in Florida in 1944.Now a team of experts are fundraising to create a museum to display it in.

Daniel Abbott is leading the team which dug it up, and hopes the museum will be in Crowland, near where they found it.

In 1947, two years after the war the Buffalo was one of several used to build a defensive wall at Crowland to try to hold back flood water from the River Welland.

But it was swept away, sank and lay buried until April this year. After the team had unearthed it - they were visited by veteran Ernie Covill who'd driven them during the war.

He has since passed away. His friend Jill Pannell is also keen to see a museum created for the Buffalo.

The vehicle was buried around twenty eight feet underground and is in near perfect condition with its engine intact and its door still able to be operated with ease.

The vehicle could carry up to forty soldiers and would have had weapons to protect the troops onboard, although there were no weapons found when it was dug up.

The 'Buffalo' vehicles after the River Welland burst its banks in 1947 Credit: Crowland Buffalo/LVT Association

The vehicles were used for both troops and cargo for both landings and river crossings, as well as assaults in waterlogged areas.

There are only two of these vehicles left in the country and this is the only one with its engine still onboard.

The vehicle was towed through Crowland along the same route it would have taken in 1947. Credit: Ross Harris

Farmer Will Sly is part of the restoration team and he managed to locate a replacement engine that a company in America had in storage.

Not content with finding one Buffalo. They believe they know the location of another. And they plan to dig that up next year.