A lavishly illustrated work records the amazing reclamation of a fleet of American World War II warplanes buried in ice in Greenland since the war and recovered by two amateur aviation enthusiasts.
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In 1942 a squadron of new U.S. warplanes (two B-17 Flying Fortresses and six P-38 Lightnings) were forced by foul weather to land on Greenland's vast glacier. The stranded airmen were rescued 11 days later (a story in itself, told here), but the planes had to be abandoned. This entertaining, large-format book, for which Hayes (No Easy Answers) interviewed participants in the search for the last squadron and veterans of the 1942 forced landing, illustrated with some 300 color photos, tells how the "lost squadron" was located by radar four decades later under 260 feet of ice. One Lightning was brought to the surface in 1992 and transported to a hangar in Middlesboro, Ky., where it is undergoing reconstruction. The effort, funded by private investors, required eight expeditions over a period of 11 years. More than a technical chronicle of a unique archeological project, Hayes's text also recounts the organizational and emotional dynamics of the venture and the tensions that occasionally erupted in physical violence. For aviation enthusiasts and armchair adventurers.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
In July_ 1942, two B-17s and six P-38s belly-landed onto the Greenland icecap. Nowadays, except for one of the planes, they are 250 feet under the cap's surface. The exception, now being restored to flight worthiness, was excavated in 1992. The vintage plane world is all agog about this resurrection, and this documentation verily meets every demand for every detail of the expeditions that located and dug out the Lightning fighter. Pictures galore, including insouciant snapshots of their mishap taken in 1942 by the original pilots (all were safely rescued), accent the winding chronicle of discovery and recovery. It started with two Georgian aviators who in 1980 became fixated on finding the planes, infected others with their enthusiasm, and then hauled off to Greenland, ice augurs, ice-penetrating radars, and metal detectors in tow. Author Hayes does this group proud and truthful (he doesn't flinch from telling its infighting and animosities), and airplane aficionados will examine every page, studded as the pages are with hundreds of color photos. Gilbert Taylor
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