Mon, Sep 19, 2005
Project Delayed By Silt As Spectators Look On
Salvage crews attempting to rescue a WWII B-25 Mitchell bomber
from the depths of Lake Murray outside Columbia, SC need to wait a
few days longer to raise the 62-year-old wreckage. Silt accumulated
in the plane's nose has to be removed first, or else the weight of
it might break apart the plane's fragile aluminum structure.
The news has done nothing to quell enthusiasm for the project
among the crew, nor has it lessened the number of spectators
looking on as the crew works to raise the remains of the
twin-engine bomber from the bottom of the 350-foot-deep lake.
"I've always heard my grandma say planes fell in the water, so I
finally get a chance to see something that really happened a long
time ago," said witness Tonya Brown to WIS-TV.
During WWII, bomber crews from the Army Air Corp Base in
Columbia -- now the Columbia Metropolitan Airport -- used islands
on Murray Lake with bulls-eyes painted on them to practice bombing
There are dozens of
planes at the bottom of the lake, although the plane crews are now
trying to rescue -- that went down in the lake during a 1943
training mission-- is the only one believed to be largely intact,
according to the Lake Murray homepage.
While the crew and those watching them work are of course eager
to raise the bomber, they all believe the end result is more than
worth the wait. "It's kinda like watching a baby being born," said
crew member John Adams Hodge. "It pops out and there it is in
pretty good shape."
"It happens when it happens," Hodge said. "There is no need to
rush, to put our own impatience over the fact we want a beautiful
aircraft sitting on the beach in one piece that can be conserved
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