During the ‘Big Flood of 1947’, sixteen tanks were sent into Crowland, Lincolnshire by the British Army to act as a barricade against the River Welland’s banks breaking. The tanks created a standing flood defence for almost 30,000 acres of land around the River Welland, however when the water was then pumped back into the flood plain, five of the Buffalo tanks floated away. Whilst they were able to recover one of the tanks, two sank into fishing pits and the rest were unrecovered.
After hearing about the disappearance of the 26ft, 18,000 kg tanks, Daniel Abbott, Chairman of the Crowland Buffalo LVT Historical Group committed himself to finding the tanks over the last four years. Starting with a dedicated committee of friends to help him research, ongoing fundraisers to maintain necessary funds and help from RAF Wittering, along with an army of volunteers and a drone flight from Crowland Cranes, the first Buffalo tank was finally recovered after a five day operation ending on Thursday 29th April 2021.