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P38 Question

Discussion in 'AviatorChat.com' started by DMC308, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. DMC308

    DMC308 F1 Rookie

    Aug 19, 2006
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    A few years back I was reading a magazine that had an article about P38's and how at the end of the war many of them were buried?
    How many I don't remember, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't done here in the US.

    Anyone have a little more info on this?
     
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  3. JCR

    JCR F1 Veteran
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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-38_Lightning
    "The majority of wartime Lightnings present in the continental U.S. at the end of the war were put up for sale for US$1,200 apiece; the rest were scrapped. P-38s in distant theaters of war were bulldozed into piles and abandoned or scrapped; very few avoided that fate."
     
  4. DMC308

    DMC308 F1 Rookie

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    Um weird... I looked there and couldn't get anything. Thanks :)

    This restoration is amazing..
    The link has pics.

    Glacier Girl (41-7630), this P-38F-1 flown by 1st Lt. Harry L. Smith, Jr., 94th Fighter Squadron, was one of six P-38 fighters of the 1st Fighter Group escorting two B-17 bombers on a ferry flight to the United Kingdom as part of Operation Bolero on July 15, 1942. While en route over Greenland, bad weather caused the eight aircraft to turn back, the entire flight attempting to land together before they ran out of fuel. Although one P-38 overturned, the flight successfully belly-landed. The crews were rescued within a few days, but the airplanes were abandoned and, over the years, covered by ice. A few attempts to salvage the airplanes were made but were unsuccessful. Eventually, Roy Shoffner, a businessman from Middlesboro, Kentucky, acquired the salvage rights and in 1992, 50 years after the planes landed, a P-38 recovery mission was undertaken. Using photos taken by the original crews while they were awaiting rescue as well as modern seismographic equipment, the salvage workers located the buried squadron and selected the least damaged of the planes. They reached it by boring a hole using hot water through the layer of ice 268 feet thick. The airplane was transported to Middlesboro, where a ten-year restoration began using many parts from late model aircraft. Nicknamed Glacier Girl, the restored P-38F Lightning made its first post-restoration flight on 26 October 2002

    http://www.damninteresting.com/exhuming-the-glacier-girl
     
  5. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

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    Glacier Girl is a very special Lightning. If you get a chance to take a look at her up close, it is hard to believe that she was trapped under ice for that long.
     
  6. sowest

    sowest Formula Junior

    Aug 18, 2006
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    There was an hour long show on one of the cable channels (History?, Discovery?) about the retrieval and restoration of this airplane. The story was followed right up to the airplane's first flight after the restoration. It is an amazing story.
     
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  8. solofast

    solofast Formula 3

    Oct 8, 2007
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    We followed the recovery and restoration of Glacier Girl since my company was one of the sponsors that helped fund it. While the restoration is a beautiful aircraft, there wasn't a lot of sheet metal that was actually recovered and used. Most of it was flattened into scrap. The things that were heavy and robust, were recovered, but most of the sheet metal was all wrinkled and wasn't used...
     
  9. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    In 1986 or '87 I was contacted by a Boeing rep that I worked with on the B-17 reunion celebration to attend some meetings with the group that wanted to recover the B-17 that was buried with the P-38's. I have all the maintenance and erection manuals that have all the weights and C.G. locations of the separate components. I imagine we are talking about one group that was going after all the airplanes. After three or four meetings I was never contacted again so I assumed that they abandoned the idea. I predicted that none of the airplanes was salvageable due to the crushing movement of the ice that entrapped them. I was half right ( never alright), the B-17 was ground up into trash and I guess that the P-38 wasn't much better but good enough to reconstitute.
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  10. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Bob- Glacier Girl was over 250' down in the ice pack, a number at odds with all the global warming experts on ice pack in the Arctic. She was really valuable because she was one of only a couple of early P-38s extant. The restoration effort was really a nothing is too expensive effort on a high g airframe. A B-17 in similar condition would have been a much more difficult proposition because it was a 3 g, at most, airframe with significantly more surface area for the ice to impact and grind away.

    Noble effort, but nobody except an early Microsoft exec could afford that B-17's restoration.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     
  11. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    Thanks, terry. I thought that I remembered something in excess of 150 feet . From what I read about the B-17 it was mangled beyond hope and one doesn't easily re-create B-17 structures from scratch since it is a very busy archaic type of airframe in the forward fuselage and simply a square metal tubular truss in the wings that were made by methods that can no longer be easily re-created ie; using aluminum tubing and pulling a square mouse through it to square it up. The cab, mid fuselage, and nose were 1934 vintage. The aft fuselage and empennage were 1941 and 1942 vintage. The fuselage drawings are dimensioned in FRACTIONS-English. The tail drawings are dimensioned in DECIMAL increments as are some of the detail parts. The wing was a combination of the two on the G model. A beautiful example of technological transition.
    Bob
     
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  13. solofast

    solofast Formula 3

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    One of the neat things about Glacier Girl is that when they took apart one of the rear tail booms, they found that a couple of guys on the line had written inside one of the booms a nasty note to Hitler and both had signed it. I'm sure the guys never expected that to be seen again since the tail boom was all buttoned up.

    When they disassembled the boom and found the note, they went looking and sure enough the found one of the guys still living near Mines field (LAX) and asked him about it. He said, yea they did write stuff in the tail booms of P38's. They then found the second guy (also stil alive) and got them both to come over and recreate the note inside the boom and sign it, so the aircraft is now as close as possible as to how it left the factory, including the custom note in the tail boom.....
     
  14. 1ual777

    1ual777 Formula 3

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    What a great story.
     
  15. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    These are the things that make this forum so rich. Those who have done so many interesting duties in the service or in their everyday flying or in their aspirations keep this thing invigorated by freely sharing it with others. Notes. When we were working on the innards of some of our AT-7's or C-60's we would find girls names and phone numbers written on panels inside. Also the "Kilroy Was Here" drawings. Anybody remember that?
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  16. sowest

    sowest Formula Junior

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    "Kilroy Was Here": was that the top half of a face with a big nose hanging over the top of a fence??
     
  17. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    You are corredt. I have got to draw that up for my studio so I can look at something that I hadn't thought of for centuries.
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  18. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Bob- Those Kilroy drawings were still there when I first visited Germany in the late fifties. On fences, on doors, in rest rooms, and on military aircraft and vehicles. Turns out Kilroy started as an inspector's way of keeping track of progress in a shipyard.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     
  19. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    WOW ! I never knew that and it makes good sense, thanks.
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  20. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    That recovery was covered in Smithsonian "Air & Space" magazine, it was on the cover.
     
  21. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    I was at an Estate Sale last weekend, a lot of oriental art and such...

    Among the statues was a 2" tall depiction of a VERY young girl, very pregnant.

    The base was inscribed:
    "Kilroy was here..."

    I bought the signed Ray Charles LPs, but left the statue....
     
  22. BeachBum

    BeachBum Formula 3

    One of the places P38's were built was in Santa Maria Calif. A friend of mine who has since passed away mentioned one day that they burried some parts at the airport at the end of the war.
     
  23. Mule

    Mule F1 Rookie
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  24. DMC308

    DMC308 F1 Rookie

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