"Operation Bolero II" Will Launch June 22
On July 15, 1942, a United States Army/Air Force Squadron
departed American soil on Operation Bolero, a World War II aid
mission to support US allies in the war torn European theatre. Due
to insurmountable weather-related problems en route, the entire
squadron of six P-38s and two B-17 bombers was forced to abort its
mission and make an emergency landing on a remote ice cap in
"The Lost Squadron," as it has become known over time, drifted
miles from its original location... and only one P-38, encased in
268 feet of ice, was salvaged.
You may be familiar with what happened next. A recovery and
restoration mission taking more than 10 years and costing over a
million dollars brought this legendary P-38 Lightning, now known as
Glacier Girl, to her original flying glory... and on June 22,
Glacier Girl will finally complete her fabled World War II
transatlantic mission when she departs from Teterboro Airport in
New Jersey bound for Duxford, England.
"This monumental flight will bring closure to Operation Bolero
as well as pay homage to the brave aviators who beat the odds to
survive certain death on that polar ice cap in Greenland during
World War II," said pilot Steve Hinton, who will fly Glacier Girl
in her transatlantic flight in June. "It’s thrilling to be a
part of this historic event."
Dubbed Operation Bolero II, after the original WWII operation,
the mission remains as challenging as it is historic.
Glacier Girl will be accompanied by the P-51 Mustang Miss Velma,
a vintage WWII warbird that will be flown by Ed Shipley. The
P-51 will be equipped with Wingspeed Corporation’s
satellite-based aircraft communications technology, that will allow
anyone on the ground to communicate with the pilots via email
communications and receive answers from the cockpit while the
planes are in flight. Wingspeed's network will also allow real time
tracking of Glacier Girl’s historic journey.
"It's an honor to be Steve’s wingman as we trace the same
flight path that Glacier Girl flew over 60 years ago," said
Shipley, US Air Force Heritage Flight pilot. "Wingspeed’s
cutting edge communications technology will allow us to chat with
enthusiasts from anywhere on the globe while we’re in flight,
so the world can experience this with us."
After landing, Glacier Girl will remain in Duxford for the
renowned Flying Legends Air Show on July 7 and 8, where she will be
featured alongside an impressive line-up of over 50 aircraft from
both the WWI and WWII era. Glacier Girl will then return to the US
for EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI, where she will fly the US Air
Force Heritage Flight.
As ANN reported Thursday,
Glacier Girl will also be one of six vintage aircraft competing in
the National Aviation Hall of Fame's "Best of the Best" People's
Choice Award throughout Oshkosh.