Melting Glacier Reveals Crashed US Bomber From WWII

Story ByLee Bullen, Sub EditorJoseph Golder, AgencyNewsflash

An American B-17 bomber that crash-landed on an Icelandic ice cap during WWII is gradually coming to light as the glacier recedes.

The B-17 Flying Fortress bomber crashed into the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in southern Iceland on16th September 1944, and all 10 US crew members survived.

Over time, the glacier has melted, showing the plane wreckage in different pieces, some of which remain easily recognisable to the eye, and the site now looks like a scrapyard.

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However, some locals like the former mayor of Isafjorour, Guomundur Gunnarsson, see the wreck as a tourist attraction and have rejected calls to clean it up.

An experienced hiker, Gunnarsson said: “Ever since I heard about the wreck, I’ve been restless. I found the story compelling, and once I told my friends about it, they became restless too.”

They hiked to the American wreck last week to inspect the area and take photos which were later shared on social media.

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In 1996, the US Air Force finally revealed details behind the 1944 crash.

The US bomber was on it was to England after landing at Keflavik Airport to refuel.

However, the weather conditions were poor in Iceland and the bomber was caught in a down-draught before crashing into the ice cap.

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Fortunately, the plane landed on soft snow and kept sliding along its fuselage until coming to an abrupt stop at a snow bank.

One of the plane’s wings was ripped off and the engines caught fire.

Some crew members were thrown into the snow through tears in the fuselage while those left on board managed to escape the plane before it caught ablaze.

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The American servicemen had no idea where they were and could not send an SOS to the US Air Force.

They decided to leave the glacier after two days and headed into a valley where they were helped by farmers in the area of Fljotshlio.

The US authorities carried out two expeditions to the glacier by the end of that month.

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The first made it to the plane wreck and managed to retrieve some items from it. However, the second group had to turn back without reaching the site.

Over time, the glacier swallowed the plane, but it is now slowly coming back to view due to melting caused by global warming.

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