Legendary P-38 flying to Englandto complete “Operation Bolero”
On July 15, 1942, an Army Air Force squadron left American soil on “Operation Bolero,” a World War II mission to support U.S. allies in Europe.
Due to insurmountable weather problems, the entire squadron of six P-38s and two B-17s was forced to make an emergency landing on a remote Greenland ice cap. “The Lost Squadron,” as it has become known, became encased in the ice. Only one P-38, now known as “Glacier Girl,” was salvaged.
A series of recovery and restoration missions over more than 10 years returned “Glacier Girl” to flight and on June 22 she will set out to complete her original mission when she flies out of 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. “It’s thrilling to be a part of this historic event.”
Dubbed “Operation Bolero II,” the new mission is nearly as challenging as the historic original. “Glacier Girl” will be accompanied by the P-51 Mustang “Miss Velma,” flown by air show pilot Ed Shipley. The P-51 will be equipped with Wingspeed Corp.’s satellite-based aircraft communications technology, allowing anyone on the ground to communicate with the pilots via email while the planes are in flight. Wingspeed’s network also will allow tracking of the flight at AirShowBuzz.com.