On 15 July 1942, poor weather and limited visibility forced six P-38 fighters and two B-17 bombers to return to Greenland while they were en route to the British Isles during the buildup of US forces in the United Kingdom, Operation Bolero.
The aircraft made emergency landings on an ice field, and all the crew members were rescued, but the planes had to be abandoned. P-38 Glacier Girl, and the five other fighters, and the two B-17s were left untouched on the ice field and became buried under 268 feet of snow and ice that had slowly built up over the decades.
In 1992, 50 years later, members of the Greenland Expedition Society, after years of searching and excavation brought the Glacier Girl was brought back to the surface.
Hand excavation of snow at the surface to establish the start of the excavation shaft. (Source)
Recovery team members lowering themselves down the melted shaft. (Source)
Glacier Girl, head on!
To recover the glacier girl they used a manually-operated hoist, 7,000 pounds, one guy, four cranks to raise it 1/4 inch (Source)
Cockpit while still in the ice (Source)
Retrieving the Glacier girl, bit by bit up a long shaft melted in the ice (Source)
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