Glacier Girl P-38 Lightning Aircraft In Dallas Today

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Eric, May 17, 2014.

  1. Eric

    Eric Big Giant Head CLM

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    I agree absolutely that the P-38 was the best all-around twin-engine fighter of the war, but there was at least one other legendary twin-engine fighter (Well, it had fighter-bomber and night-fighter variants, at any rate. It saw extensive use as an interceptor, because of its speed.) in WWII: The Mosquito. I realize it was a wooden-framed fighter, but that was a big part of the key to its scorching speed and made it no less lethal. It was successful enough that the Germans attempted to copy its design, laminated wood frame and all. The Germans feared the bite of that mighty insect, day or night.

    [​IMG]


    BTW, I will check out that book. Thanks for the heads-up. I gave always been fascinated with that aircraft, even as a fairly young boy.
     

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  2. G19Tony

    G19Tony Sneet CLM

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    Great pictures Eric. I believe another group found a B24 on the ice, got it in flying condition on the ice, but it burned up during engine testing. :crying:
     

  3. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

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    Beautiful plane! :cool:

    Thanks for sharing.
    I've always marveled at the glacial recovery.

    Old war birds have a character all all there own. [​IMG]
     
  4. carloglock19

    carloglock19

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    Awesome pictures. I read about that aircraft in a magazine a few months ago and how it was recovered and restored.
     
  5. Eric

    Eric Big Giant Head CLM

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    It was a B-29. It made an emergency landing in a very remote area of Greenland and sat there for decades, untouched. When it was rediscovered, it was in pristine condition, with few exceptions. The engines and propeller hubs had to be replaced. The fabric skin of the control surfaces had long since rotted away and they had to be re-skinned. They had to change the tires and make many other repairs, big and small, but the plane was mostly ok. The cold, dry air had preserved most of the aircraft very well. It was a difficult job, at a very remote area. One of their mechanics died from some sort of internal strain or problem that plagued him for a lot of the work.

    They had a short span of just a few weeks, during which it was warm enough to survive the weather and work on the aircraft, but still cold enough to have a frozen and therefore stable runway to take off from. They were a great distance, away from the nearest town. The only way in or out was by air and it was a very long flight. They were operating in incredibly difficult circumstances, on a shoestring budget.

    In the end, they got the plane ready, but it had warmed up too much to use the runway they had been preparing on the frozen ground. It had begun to melt and turn to mud. So, they attempted to take off on the frozen lake beside which the plane had been discovered. The surface of the ice was very rough and during the takeoff roll, something (I believe it was a toolbox) broke loose from its mount and punctured an auxiliary fuel tank installed inside the fuselage. A spark ignited the fuel and the plane burned to the ice.

    Everyone got off the plane ok and the new engines, prop heads and props were undamaged. The crew left the area for some rest, with intentions of returning soon thereafter, to recover the engines and stuff. They had a huge amount of money invested in them and could at least recoup that investment. When they returned, the ice on the lake had melted enough to send everything to the bottom, hundreds of feet below. The aircraft was a total loss.

    I am going off of memory here, from a documentary I saw on this fifteen years or more ago. There are almost certainly going to be some errors in my recounting of things, but this is the gist of the story. It was a real tragedy. If they had succeeded, it would have given the world a second flying B-29. It was a shame.
     
  6. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

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    Damn, I hadn't heard that one. :crying:

    The B-29 was the worlds first "super-aircraft" in many ways.
    Aside all it's merits, it'll always hold a special place in my heart as a relative was a B-29 crewman who served many missions over Japan in WW2.

    So sad there's only 1 flying 29 left.
     
  7. Eric

    Eric Big Giant Head CLM

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    I looked it up. The B-29 in question was called Kee Bird and it made an emergency landing, in a very remote area of Greenland, in 1947. Here is a Wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kee_Bird
     
  8. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

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  9. Eric

    Eric Big Giant Head CLM

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    I'll be damned. I think I found the documentary I saw on it, many years ago. The whole thing is posted on You Tube. It is almost an hour long, but it is worth the time. It is a sad, but compelling story.

    [ame]http://youtu.be/1u4YBwjQTds[/ame]
     
  10. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

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    I came back to thank you for the Wiki link after reading it and found this!

    Many many many thanks!

    I'm passing this on to family members who will appreciate it as much as me.

    :cheers:
     
  11. Eric

    Eric Big Giant Head CLM

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    I am watching it now on the You Tube web app on my TV. I haven't seen it in a very long time.
     
  12. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

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    Well, now I can blame you for the wife being miffed I'm staying up :tbo:

    I'm farting around with my SmartTV so I can do the same. Got tired of it on my laptop, time to Supersize!
     
  13. Eric

    Eric Big Giant Head CLM

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    It's standard definition of course, but it is good video quality on my TV. There is some great info in this documentary, that I had forgotten. The guy who spearheaded the effort was/is(?) a very interesting man.
     
  14. Eric

    Eric Big Giant Head CLM

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    Well, that was as good and as sad as I remembered it. I'm very glad to have found it, so I could watch it again. I wonder if there is a way to capture the video, so I can have a copy of it?

    As I said, in my first post on the Kee Bird, earlier in the thread, it was a long time ago and I will have gotten some facts wrong and I did. It happened mostly the way I remembered though.

    Anyone who has an interest in aircraft in general and especially those that love old military birds as much as I do, really should take the time to watch this video. It is a compelling story and a bit of history that isn't very well known any more.
     
  15. Eric

    Eric Big Giant Head CLM

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    I had an Air Force JROTC instructor in high school who was a navigator on a B-29 in WWII. Lt. Col Joel J. Feigenbaum. He had some great stories. The hairiest was when they had to crash-land their damaged B-29 on a runway on one of the Pacific Islands (I believe he said Tarawa), while a battle for that runway straddled the field. He said they got the plane down and stopped, with a couple of injured crew. There was a tree line paralleling each side of the runway, with about one-hundred meters of cleared ground to each side of it. There were Japanese troops in one tree line and Americans in the other, shooting at each other.

    The problem was, they had no idea which was which. They decided there wasn't fire being directed at them specifically from one side, so they took a chance and sat out for that tree line. It took them about an hour to cover the ground, moving from cover to cover and when they got there, they had chosen correctly. He went on to fight throughout WWII and in Korea, but not as part of an aircrew there. He was a hell of an interesting person and I think we spent almost as much time learning of the wars through his eyes, as we did covering course material.

    I had always loved aircraft, but I think he is the person who gave me my love of old military aircraft and the stories of their exploits.
     
  16. Janno05

    Janno05

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    Thank you for the pictures and very cool story. There is just something about an old aircraft that makes you feel like a kid all over again. I spend a lot of time at the USAF Museum at WPAFB, and they have a Douglas O-38 with a similar story. It spend 25 years or so in the wilderness in Alaska before they flew it out by helicopter and restored it.

    http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=342
     
  17. Blast

    Blast 'nuff said

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    Awesome pics.


    Sweet music of my favorite WW2 fighters.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vY6d-_ILCvo"]Smooth, Sweet Sounds of the Allison V-1710 Engines on the Lockheed P-38 Lightning ! - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PayI-T_mgto"]P-51 Mustang Flight Demo- Sweet Sound of the Rolls-Royce Merlin! - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQxb-V-rZqA"]F4U Corsair "Whistling Death" Flight Demonstration ! - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVAiGYBrajs"]Six (6) Restored Republic P-47 Thunderbolt Fighters! - YouTube[/ame]
     
  18. gwalchmai

    gwalchmai Lucky Member

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    P-38, gotta love it. Speaking of the guns, when they were retrieving Glacier Girl they pulled the 20mm out, loaded it with a round from its drum, and fired it at a gasoline can. It hit the can and blew it away. Not bad for 50 year old cold-storage ammo. ;)

    Also, GG was pretty much smushed flat from the weight of the ice on her, and had to be restored completely. In Doraville, GA, IIRC.

    Bodie's book on the P-38 is great:

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Lockheed-P-38-Lightning-Warren-Bodie/dp/0962935956"]The Lockheed P-38 Lightning: Warren Bodie: 9780962935954: Amazon.com: [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51%[email protected]@[email protected]@51%2BMa5MgKYL[/ame]

    also get his book on the P-47:

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Republics-P-47-Thunderbolt-Seversky-Victory/dp/0962935913"]Republic's P-47 Thunderbolt: From Seversky to Victory: Warren M. Bodie: 9780962935916: Amazon.com: [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@516hOlQQ3lL[/ame]
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2014
  19. JuneyBooney

    JuneyBooney

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    That is very cool Eric. You are lucky to live near that very eventful place. Some beauties there. :supergrin:
     
  20. Deanster

    Deanster Cheese? Millennium Member CLM

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    Thanks for posting. P-38 is one of the coolest planes of all time - and an incredible history.