Skip to comments.Submerged bomber lifted from Lake Murray’s bed (WWII B-25)
Posted on 09/21/2005 6:41:29 AM PDT by Rebelbase
It had been 60 years since Robert Barnes had seen a B-25 up close. Monday the Irmo resident got another look as workers slowly raised a World War II bomber that had crashed in Lake Murray.
Barnes was among 500 people, gathered at the landing on the north side of the dam, who cheered and applauded as the B-25C bomber surfaced just before 9 p.m.
Then workers spent nearly three hours draining water and 800 gallons of fuel from the plane. For a while, cables held it a few feet above the lake, a steady, gentle rain falling from the fuselage.
Early today, the bomber was lowered into a cradle, where it will rest until workers start disassembling it.
Watching the slow raising of the bomber made Barnes feel like he was back in the Army.
Its hurry up and wait all over again, said the former artilleryman, 83.
He had spent more than six hours at the landing watching the final preparations to raise the plane Monday, after also waiting Saturday until the salvage attempt was called off.
Workers stopped the recovery Saturday, worried that they needed more equipment to prevent the planes damaged nose from breaking off. There was another 90-minute delay Monday night to pump out 800 gallons of fuel and water from the craft.
John Adams Hodge, who helped organize the operations, said workers were being deliberate to protect the aircraft.
Were keeping it gentle, Hodge said.
But Barnes remained at his post among the estimated 500 on hand with a prime view of the effort because of his sense he was watching history.
Its something you dont see every day.
Barnes said he often saw bombers like the B-25C flying overhead during the war.
When he saw them 60 years ago, he said, he knew they would go to it and cause the destruction that would force Germany to surrender earlier.
The planes retrieval, he said, is important for those who have no firsthand knowledge of the war, unlike Barnes.
Its just great. I havent seen one for years.
I hope it brings history to some of the young folks who have never seen these planes.
Check out the model that was created to assist in the recovery. Feds would have let bids for the model and probably would have spent $500,000 on it:
Foxhole Air Corp ping
For consideration on your respective ping lists.
Ooops, please pardon the typos!
save for later
Shades of the B-25 recovered from Huntington Lake Ca. Back in the 60's
It looks in fairly good condition considering it's been under water all these years.
Hope those boys got a good look ;D
"The biggest river mystery in Pittsburgh is the sinking of the B25 bomber in the Mon near the Hi-Level Bridge in 1956. The airforce says it is still there but it has never been found! Many people report having seen it being salvaged and hauled away during that same night."
B-25 was the Liberator???
B-24 was Liberator. 25 was Mitchell (US) and Hudson (?) for Brit's.
The Liberator was a B-24, also called "Flying Coffins" by the krauts.
Very cool. I always remembered hearing stories, living in Columbia, that there were B-25s crashed in Lake Murray, but I thought they were just tall tales. There's already a partially-restored B-25 parked in a rotting hangar down at Columbia Owens Downtown; supposedly *somebody* is going to restore it and put it out at Columbia Metro someday. Maybe.
The Hudson was a different plane, built by Lockheed. It's an earlier design than the Mitchell, based on a civilian airliner. Some went to Great Britain under Lend-Lease.
A-20 = Boston
A-16 = Hudson
Thanks for the ping.
It would be interesting to see a listing of bomber groups that used the B25 Mitchell and which theater they operated in. The B25 came in a lot of variants, some of which were not official, since they were created 'in the field'. Still, it's my impression that most B25's were used in the Pacific Theater of Operations. In the ETO the USAAF used a lot of Martin B26's Marauder and Douglas A-26 Invaders in the medium bomber role. B25's were used in the Mediterranean, however (remember "Catch-22"?).
Thought you might enjoy it....................
I recall reading a book about field modified variants flying out of Australia, no bombs, no bombardier, but they mounted 14 (that's right, fourteen) .50 cal M2 machine guns, all firing forward, controlled by the pilot. Sort of like a big fighter.
They were used usually at night, hunting for Japanese troop barges. They even sank a destroyer, and disintegrated one unobservant Japanese fighter who made the terminal mistake of circling around in front of one after making a pass from the rear, thinking it a normal bomber.
The nose was reportedly enveloped in one large fireball when all 14 guns were fired, and long bursts knocked off significant airspeed. Pilots said it had a substantial psychological effect on Japanese troops seeing the fireball in the sky accompanied by massive destruction on the ground.
When I was a kid, in the 1950's, it was still very common to see B-25's at airports around the country, usually painted with civilian paint schemes. I guess they were being used privately.
A friend of the family was a radio operator on a 'field-modified' B25 Mitchell. His had the 75-mm nose cannon & the .50 cal blisters on the sides of the fuselage. They flew mostly out of New Guinea looking for Japanese troop ships. He said that the plane seemed to stop momentarily when the gun was fired.
Legend has it that the engineers from North American refused to build planes with the nose cannon until they saw it with their own eyes. Their calculations told them that the plane would stall, I guess.
Interesting tales [B-25 nose armament].
I remember reading that the pilot and co-pilot stated that the gun lay between them and that the plane seemed to "hesitate" when it fired. They could see the gun recoil right beside them. I guess the bombardier fed the shells into the breech.
I'd also guess that when the 3-inch wing mounted rockets appeared, this "upgrade" was obsolete.
When my Dad was stationed at Willow Grove NAS during the early 60's, the commander of his AF reserve unit had a B25 as his 'personal' transportation. Beautiful polished aluminum. Beautiful, that is, until a hydraulics technician accidentally reversed the feed lines to the nose gear and the plane taxied off the runway. The nose strut was stuck halfway into the mud... Never saw the plane after that.
Lockheed Hudson US Air Corps assigned designation was A-28 however the US Air Corps never used the aircraft
A-16 was part of RAAF serial numbers http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/research/attack/a4/a4-37.htm
Each service used it own official designation system.
The USAF use a letter and number A20, P51 etc
While the RAF used a official name designation system Boston, Mustang, etc. ...
The US in the early part of the war started to use a official common "nickname" for there aircraft but the letter/number was the official designation
Anyone know what version was recovered? J or earlier?
BTW, I believe this is the only flying Hudson around
Will have some more salvage pics of the B-25 Mitchell later today
More here(B-25 Pics)
Cool. from the article it wasn't clear if the crash was recent. Obviously not.
It doesn't look like the model...........
Pic of guns being fired at night, HOOOAH
Obligatory nose art pic on a TB-25N
Last one for now, Gotta get to work :-)
Sorry don't have any "H" Model Pics, 75mm Howitzer model handy.
I'm pretty sure I saw a show about this while it was being searched for. Glad they got her up.
Looks like a Lockheed Electra (Howard Hughes round-the-world record holder?) trying to grow up using steroids.
All the right things are almost in the right places, but the bulges and bumps and lumps are slightly wrong.
Link here(Hudson )
The US Navy also flew a Lockhhed Electra derivative
This was developed into the PV-1 Ventura
Which was developed into the PV-2 Harpoon
The PV-2 was the end of that line but a new one was started with the P2V Neptune Patrol Bomber.
That's all for now folks, have a great day
A handy man special. A little paint, knock out some of those dings and she'll be good as new.