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Last Updated: Friday, 29 June 2007, 14:55 GMT 15:55 UK
The search for the Lost Squadron
The aircraft were destined for the war raging in Europe, but became known as the Lost Squadron.

The fate of six P-38s and two B-17 bombers that crash landed on Greenland while flying from the US to Britain intrigued many Americans.

The Glacier Girl
The P-38 was recovered in 1992 after a team melted their way down to its wreck and recovered it from the ice piece by piece

Between 1977 and 1992, 12 different expeditions made attempts to find and recover one of the aircraft.

Early efforts were thwarted by a plane crash, bad weather and problems with radar equipment.

A team believed they had found the squadron buried under ice in 1983, but they could not confirm their radar readings.

Nine years later, entrepreneur Roy Shoffner and the Greenland Expedition Society led an expedition to the site confirmed in 1988.

The venture involved 40 people and cost more than 191,141.

Greenland ice
The P-38 aircraft cost 62,803 ($115,000) to build, according to the US Air Force
It has a maximum speed of 414mph (666kph)
The fighter has a range of 1,000 miles (1,770km)
Greenland is the world's largest island
More than 80% of the island is covered by an ice cap which is 2.4 miles (4km) thick in places
Using a device called a Super Gopher thermal meltdown generator, they burrowed down to a P-38 - the fighter that became known as the Glacier Girl.

Workers using steam, carved out a cavern around the plane. I was a long process to take the aircraft apart piece by piece.

Restoration work began in 1993, but it did not take to the sky again until October 2002.

Shoffner died in 2005, and the project to complete the aircraft's original flight from the US to England went to Rod Lewis, of Lewis Aeronautical in San Antonio.

Before taking off from Middlesboro-Bell County Airport in Kentucky, the last surviving member of the Lost Squadron recalled his experiences of the aircrafts' original mission.

Brad McManus, 89, said at the time the incident had captured worldwide interest.

Sixty five years on, mechanical problems have foiled hopes of the Glacier Girl finishing the historic flight.


SEE ALSO
Problems ground ice tomb fighter
29 Jun 07 |  Highlands and Islands

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