A PERMANENT monument to Porthleven’s Second World War hero Guy Gibson is being built at the site of his death, containing actual pieces of his crashed aeroplane.

Wing Commander Guy Gibson, who spent much of his childhood in Porthleven, was a decorated first commanding officer with the Royal Air Force, who led the Dam Busters raid in 1943.

His life came to a premature end just a year before the end of the war when the Mosquito aeroplane he was flying crashed in the Netherlands in September 1944, killing both Gibson and his navigator Jim Warwick.

Now a memorial to the two men is being built by a Dutch artist, Peter de Koning, who lives in Gibsonstraat (Gibson Street) in Steenbergen, just behind the crash site and named after the war hero.

Mr de Koning has started work on models of a Mosquito plane and a Lancaster – Gibson’s usual aeroplane – made out of wood. The finish monument will also contain pieces of debris from the original plane that crashed, which the artist was given by the son of one of two Dutch resistance fights – Mr van Mechelen and Mr Stoffel – who recovered the plane and the two airmen following their death.

Mr de Koning’s daughter Esmay said: “My dad has various reasons to start this project - in the first place, out of personal interest and because he personally knew the resistance fighter.

“Another reason to make a monument for Guy Gibson and Warwick is because many English visitors come here every year and there isn’t that much to show them.”

Next year marks the 75th anniversary of Guy Gibson’s death and it is anticipated that the monument will be in place before then.