P-38 Resurrection Earns Following

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Local politicians and townspeople are working together to raise money to create a fitting home/museum in the town of Middlesboro, Ky., for the restored P-38F known as Glacier Girl. Ten years ago, the aircraft was pulled from more than 200 feet of Greenland glacier by a team headed (and bankrolled) by J. Roy Shoffner. It had rested there since making an emergency landing in the Second World War.  October 26 it departed the 3,600-foot strip at Middlesboro and flawlessly flew before about 20,000 people. According to pilot Steve Hinton, included in the crowd were the governor, a senator and congressman and enthusiasts from as far as Alaska. The aircraft's first flight in more than half a century lasted about 30 minutes and included several circuits around the field, cycling the flaps and landing gear, and P-38-conservative speeds of no more than 200 knots. "It ran perfect -- thanks to the meticulous and dedicated restoration. It felt just like a P-38.  It felt good," Hinton said. "Being an early -38F it appears to be pretty fast compared to the original." The extraordinary story of loss, recovery, restoration and flight is slated for airing on the History Channel, March 3 at 9 p.m. (eastern). Shoffner, 74, originally intended to complete the aircraft's mission and fly it to England ... and may still.

NOTE: For more information, mail-order videos, and contributions, visit The Lost Squadron Web site.