Around seventy years ago during the Second World War, an American pilot crashed his plane off the island of La Palma. Local fishermen went to his rescue and pulled him from the sea and took him back to their town of Tijarafe in the north west of the island.
This week, the pilot’s family travelled to La Palma to thank the descendants of the fishermen of Tijarafe who rescued him from the coastal waters.
The family of John Carr explained that he had spent two days in the sea after his plane had crashed when it ran out of fuel. Two fishermen from Tijarafe helped him and took him to their village.
John Carr received friendly treatment from the islanders, but the local authorities took him prisoner. Eventually, he ended up at an American base in Gibraltar.
Now this important act of kindness to the American pilot has been recognised and shared with people who knew nothing of this incident. This meeting with the family of John Carr was partly arranged by a resident of Tijarafe, Raul Aguiar, and the Government of La Palma.
Sadly, John Carr died earlier this year, but one of his last wishes was that his life jacket would remain on the island. This amazing symbol of a rescue during the Second World War is now on display at the Naval Museum of Santa Cruz de la Palma.
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