“The Lost Squadron” Story to Be Told at August 20 CAF Living History Series

The first attempt to locate these WWII aircraft was unsuccessful but Epps was determined to succeed. Epps was an active member of, and eventually led, the Greenland Expedition Society (GES) team on another six trips to the ice cap over the next 11 years.
The first attempt to locate these WWII aircraft was unsuccessful but Epps was determined to succeed. Epps was an active member of, and eventually led, the Greenland Expedition Society (GES) team on another six trips to the ice cap over the next 11 years.
The first attempt to locate these WWII aircraft was unsuccessful but Epps was determined to succeed. Epps was an active member of, and eventually led, the Greenland Expedition Society (GES) team on another six trips to the ice cap over the next 11 years.

The story of the Greenland Expedition Society resulted in the discovery and recovery of a World War II P-38 fighter that had been buried 265 feet below the Greenland ice cap for 50 years. Three Georgia adventurers and aviators will be guest speakers at the Commemorative Air Force Dixie Wing on Aug. 20 to discuss their remarkable feat over 11 years, beginning in 1981.
Georgia aviation legend Pat Epps set forth in 1981 on his first adventure to the Greenland ice cap in search of the Lost Squadron – two WWII Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers and six Lockheed P-38 Lightnings. The squadron, running low on fuel, had been forced to land on the Greenland ice cap July 15, 1942, after hours of flying in bad weather.

The summer of 1992 marked GES’ monumental recovery of the vintage Lockheed P-38 Lightning, Glacier Girl, buried 265 feet below the Greenland ice cap for 50 years.
The summer of 1992 marked GES’ monumental recovery of the vintage Lockheed P-38 Lightning, Glacier Girl, buried 265 feet below the Greenland ice cap for 50 years.

Spurred on by a friend who wanted a P-38, Epps knew about the six P-38 Lightnings in Greenland. He joined forces with a friend and two airline pilots who already had search and salvage rights from the Danish government. The first attempt to locate these WWII aircraft was unsuccessful but Epps was determined to succeed. He was an active member of, and eventually led, the Greenland Expedition Society (GES) team on six trips to the ice cap over the next 11 years. The summer of 1992 marked the monumental recovery of the vintage Lockheed P-38 Lightning, “Glacier Girl”. 

The two-hour program begins at 11 a.m. at Dixie Wing Headquarters, Atlanta Regional Airport – Falcon Field in Peachtree City, with special guests Pat Epps, Richard Taylor, Neil Estes and Don Brooks. All were original crew members of the Greenland Expedition Society.

The squadron was forced to land on the Greenland ice cap on July 15, 1942 after hours of flying in bad weather and running low on fuel.
The squadron was forced to land on the Greenland ice cap on July 15, 1942 after hours of flying in bad weather and running low on fuel.

The fee to attend this Dixie Wing event is $10 for the public; admission is free to active and retired military personnel. The Dixie Wing headquarters and museum are at 1200 Echo Ct., Peachtree City, adjoining Atlanta Regional Airport (Falcon Field). The Wing headquarters and museum will open at 9 a.m. For more information, or to schedule rides on Wing aircraft, visit www.dixiewing.org.

1 Comment

  1. The contraption designed to burrow through the ice looks like a technologically advanced spinning top. It’s called the Super Gopher — a thermal meltdown generator — and melts the ice by circulating hot water from a collector and pumping it through copper tubing coiled around the outside. The four-foot-wide device is suspended over the area to be tunneled through by a hoist and chain, being lowered at a rate of about two feet per hour. The water created is pumped out through a hose coupled to a submersible pump.

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