Glacier Girl To Finish Mission, 65 Years Late

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A P-38 Lightning that was supposed to be in England in the summer of 1942 will finally get there in a few weeks. The P-38, now known as Glacier Girl, will launch from Teterboro Airport on June 22 on a multi-legged flight to Duxford, England, where it will take part in the Flying Legends Air Show on July 7 and 8. Glacier Girl was among six P-38s and two B-17s that had to land on an ice field in Greenland because of bad weather during a mission called Operation Bolero. All the crews were rescued, but the aircraft were abandoned and slowly melted into the ice. Glacier Girl was recovered from 268 feet of ice and restored to flying condition four years ago and is the only surviving airframe of the so-called Lost Squadron. Ed Shipley, who will be flying a P-51 accompanying Steve Hinton in the P-38, told AVweb in a podcast interview that finishing the mission, dubbed Operation Bolero II, has great symbolic significance. “This really is something that has to be done,” he said. “It represents the human spirit.” The original flight was ended because bad weather surprised the aircrews. With modern technology there’s virtually no chance of a repeat, and it’s also allowing the rest of us to go along for the virtual ride. The aircraft will be decked out in satellite gear that will allow the public to contact the pilots in real time through Shipley’s Web site, AirShowBuzz.com. A documentary film is also being produced.