Glacier Girl, under the ice in 1992
Speaking of buried vehicles and time capsules, a blog published by a media outfit called the New York Times today carries an interesting item about a visit to New York by "Glacier Girl," a World War II P-38 Lighting fighter aircraft that was salvaged from an ice field in Greenland. Glacier Girl was later restored to flight status, and now the plane is en route to England -- where it was originally headed in 1942 before the flight was cut short by bad weather. The Lede carries the details:
Around 1:30 p.m. Eastern time today, a World War II-era P-38 Lightning fighter plane is set to take off from Teterboro Airport in northeastern New Jersey, bound for Duxford, England — where it is almost 65 years overdue.
The plane was one of six P-38s and two B-17 bombers on their way to help shore up the defenses of the British Isles in July 1942, seven months after Pearl Harbor, when bad weather blocked them first from reaching a refueling base in Iceland and then from making it back to their previous stop in western Greenland. The pilots wound up having to make emergency landings on Greenland’s ice cap, where they were spotted by air and rescued by dogsled teams three days later.
Greenland’s harsh climate soon buried the planes in snow and ice – almost 270 feet of it, eventually — so though the rough whereabouts of what came to be called the Lost Squadron were known, the planes were not precisely located until 1983. Nine years later - when they had been icebound for 50 years - an expedition succeeded in burrowing down to one of the P-38s.
Remarkably, though the weight of all that ice had squeezed and crushed some parts, for the most part the arctic deep-freeze had preserved the plane in remarkably good condition. Named Glacier Girl by the salvagers, the plane was carefully disassembled to get it to the surface, shipped home and painstakingly restored to flying shape over the next nine years; since 2002 it has been a regular visitor at air shows and aviation museums.
(Thanks, Brian Floca!)
Lost Squadron Museum (The organization that salvaged and restored Glacier Girl)
(Photo top, by