Glacier Girl: The P-38F Lightning That Was Rescued From Beneath The Ice

During the Second World War, the United States initiated a massive movement of aircrafts and ground troops across the Atlantic and into the United Kingdom in preparation for the invasion of Northwestern Europe. As part of this movement, on July 15, 1942, a formation consisting of six P-38s and two B-17s departed Greenland on the third leg of their journey to Iceland. Off the eastern coast of Greenland, the flight ran into bad weather and it was decided to abort this leg and turn back to Greenland.

As they approached the eastern coast of Greenland, the weather worsened, but they pressed on, hoping to get back to the base on the western coast of Greenland. However, a navigational error on the B-17 led the formation far off course. After eight hours of flying with dwindling fuel supplies, the crew ultimately made an emergency landing on the eastern coast of Greenland. They were forced to abandon their aircraft, but fortunately, the entire crew safely returned to their base.

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Lockheed P-38E Lightning "Glacier Girl", in Chino, California. This aircraft was trapped 50 years under the ice sheet of Greenland. Photo credit: Greg Goebel/Wikimedia Commons


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