The unique story of a squadron of American WW2 aircraft that crashed in Greenland, and the story of the recovery and restoration of "Glacier Girl" a P38 Lightening fighter.

                                               The lost squadron and Glacier girl.

In 1941 American was drawn into world war two, by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. America declared war against Japan.  In retaliation to this declaration Germany declared war on the United States.  Britain and America are very close  politically and socially.  America wanted to join in the European theatre of war, there first act was to set up an army air force that was based in Britain, which would allow America to launch aircraft against targets in Germany.

Ferry flights of aircraft left America from Presque Island in Main to Labrador then onto Greenland then to Iceland and finally arriving in Scotland.  On July 7th 1942 a Squadron of aircraft left the United States bound for England, the squadron consisted of six P38 lightening fighters.  The lightening fighter was very distinctive looking aircraft it was twin engine and a twin boom fuselage.  Both engines were supercharged which gave the P38 a very high top speed and a high service ceiling.

A crash landed P38 Fighter in Greenland 1942.

The P38 was the first fighter to have the fuel range to escort bombers into Germany.  Joining the six P38’s were two Boeing B17 heavy bombers,  The B17 was a very capable high flying well defended bomber.  The ferry operation was called “Operation Bolero”

A Boeing B17 Flying Fortress crash landed safely on the ice in Greenland.

There were 25 Army Air Force personnel in the flight.  The squadron had an uneventful flight to Greenland where the flight landed and was refuelled.  The squadron took off and headed for Iceland.  An hour before the squadron was due to land in Reykjavik in Iceland the weather closed in with freezing cloud formations and drifting blizzards of snow.

The radio operators in the B17 Flying fortresses were unable to reach the airport in Iceland probably due to the appalling weather conditions.  The decision was made to return to Greenland and wait out the snow storms.  In the desperate weather conditions the squadron made its way back to Greenland once over land there was confusion as to where the airport lay, the squadron was lost!

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  • Alive11 on Apr 13, 2010

    Impressive write

  • ken bultman on Apr 13, 2010

    Great story. Hats off to all vintage aircraft enthusiasts.

  • diamondpoet on Apr 13, 2010

    Excellent story and great presentation, but you got cheated, this story should have been placed in a better catagory, leave it to Triond I don’t know why they do this the story was well written and great pics overall it was a wonderful presentation. Thanks for sharing.

  • LoveDoctor on Apr 13, 2010

    A very well-presented historical story with awesome pictures. Although the restoration of Glacier Girl cost millions of dollars, it was worth it. Like the pilot said,” It flew like a dream.”

  • LOVELYHONEY on Apr 15, 2010

    its nice to read u

    and thanks for all ur encouraging comments

    but for ur good sentiments

    my work would be nought

  • PR Mace on Apr 17, 2010

    Outstanding tale which you told so well.

  • AMTCM John Long on Nov 23, 2010

    Just an observation. I took a picture of that B-17 photo when I visited the National Archives researching our lost Grumman J2F-4 Duck. I posted it on a military related site. The text is a little misleading. Search planes lead a ground party to the downed aircraft. The Lost Squadron crew was eventually rescued in part by the Coast Guard cutter Northland

    John Long

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