Steve Hinton flying P-38 Lightning aircraft 'Glacier Girl' over Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, United States, 21 May 2004

Caption     Steve Hinton flying P-38 Lightning aircraft 'Glacier Girl' over Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, United States, 21 May 2004 ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States Air Force
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P-38 Lightning   Main article  Photos  
Added By C. Peter Chen
Added Date 17 Apr 2010

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1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
19 Aug 2010 12:08:48 PM

'Glacier Girl'

Was the only P-38 that salvaged from a group
of P-38's on their way to England.
The time July 1942, its seven months after
Pearl Harbor, American troops, tanks and
planes were being shipped across the Atlantic
to England.

'The Lost Squadron'

A group of B-17 bombers and P-38 fighters
took off to fly to England with refuelng stops at Greenland and Iceland. The formation
had to stay together, even falling a dozen
feet behind the B-17 and the other P-38's a
pilot could loose sight and become lost.

Low on fuel the group banked 180 degrees and
headed back to Greeland, an hour later the
planes flew out of the overcast and found
themselves over the Atlantic the unforgiving
arctic weather could change from clear skies
to zero visibility and high winds in minutes
to make matters worse,radio transmission and
reception were unpredictable and fade-outs
Another problem was that flying over the
northern latitudes made compasses spin
erratically the group was lost and low on
fuel, and had to make land.
The navigators were unsure of their position
but by turning back they expected to see
Goose Bay any moment.
They were flying dead reckoning, while the
navigators struggled to establish accurate position, that was impossible with the overcast obscuring the sun, and the clouds below concealed landmarks.
To the pilots relief they saw the coastal
mountains of Greeland they had to land.
One by one the P-38's landed on the ice cap
however, one P-38 flapped over, but the pilot
was safe. The B-17's flew overhead sending
out SOS signals without receiving a reply.

'So Far, So Good'

The airmen setup a basecamp and made shelter
inside the B-17' rations were pooled and
they had enough to last two weeks.


A PBY Catalina flying boat flew over the
camp dropping added supplies, and radioing
news that a rescue party was headed their way
from a weather station one hundred miles
away. The men had to make their way back by
dogsled and be picked up by the Coast Guard
cutter Northwind.


It took years for the expedition to get underway and the equipment needed for such
a search. After years of planning the project
was moving forward.
Al the logistics: locating the planes, fuel,
related support materials, supplying food
the technology and equipment necessary to
sink a shaft and recover the planes.
Greenland's winters over the years, had covered them with snow and ice, and buried them 260 feet now all the expedition had to
do is recover them.

To learn more, read The Lost Squadron, by
David Hayes
Published by
Madison Press Books
40 Madison Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5R 2S1
IBSN 0-7868-6048-0

'Glacier Girl' would be restored to the same condition it was in, when it left the
Lockheed factory in 1942. Total flying time
was 50 hours, when she landed on the ice.
Restoration started in 1992, and was the only
P-38 that was salvaged. This is going to be
the finist restoration of any WWII aircraft
in the world.
In 1944 the US Government paid $97,147 for
each P-38.
After WWII you could by a war surplus P-38
for $1,200 dollars.
Today a P-38 is worth millions and the cost
for Glacier Girl on todays market would be
in the ten's of millions.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
19 Aug 2010 12:32:14 PM

More about 'Glacier Girl'

October 26, 2002 Glacier Girl flew for the
firt time in sixty years, a crowd of over
25,000 people traveled from all over to see
this P-38F-1-LO take to the sky.

Glacier Girl has been sold for $6,000,000
Dollars, and is now based in Texas,USA and
has appeared in several air shows around the
United States. About half-dozen aircraft
3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
19 Aug 2010 12:57:07 PM

Did you know that Glacier Girl had 50 hours
flying time, she was brand new 62 days old, as were most of the other aircraft,that made
the emergency landing on that ice cap in

Where Are They Now:

(7) Are airworthy
(11) Are on display
(8) Being restored
(6) Are stored
(4) Are wrecked

Of Interest:

Glacier Girl's mission completed 65 years late.
She will leave for England, and be exhibited
at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford.

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