Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lou Sapienza of the George 1 Antarctic Recovery Project Executive Director sent this info to me today ACWV supports this project whole heartedly please check out their website and support The George 1 Recovery Project.

The George 1 Recovery Project is committed to the recovery of the remains of three U.S. Navy aviators who died when their flying boat — a Martin PBM-5 Mariner codenamed "George 1" — crashed in Antarctica on December 30, 1946. The George 1 was participating in Admiral Richard Byrd's "Operation Highjump" expedition.

The three Navy aviators — the first American servicemen to die in Antarctica — were buried under one of George 1's engines:

* Ensign Max Lopez, 20, of Newport, Rhode Island

* Petty Officer Bud Hendersin, 25, of Sparta, Wisconsin

* Petty Officer Fred Williams, 26, of Huntingdon, Tennessee

The plane and the men's remains are now about 150 feet below the surface of the ice on Antarctica's infamous Phantom Coast.

An experienced polar recovery team is preparing to retrieve the George 1 — and to carefully and respectfully return the remains of Max Lopez, Bud Hendersin, and Fred Williams to their families.