Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fascinating 1995 Story Of The 'Kee Bird' B-29 Salvage Attempt


 There are so many interesting stories from the world of aviation that it's easy to miss some of the really fascinating ones. One such story for me is seen in this video about the 1995 attempt to recover the B-29 Kee Bird from a frozen resting place in northwest Greenland. The effort was led Darryl Greenamyer, a man who has had a most incredible life in the sky. He was my hero when I was a kid watching him race the F8F Bearcat known as Conquest 1 at Reno in the late 60's. His experiences include flying the SR-71 at Lockheed's Skunk Works, over 40 years of air racing, and unusual projects like working to set speed records in a modified F-104. Those stories I knew about, but a long lost B-29 in Greenland, and the effort to bring it back home... somehow, that's a story I had missed.
 This video is a segment from a 1996 NOVA special on the salvage attempt titled B-29 Frozen In Time. This is the last segment and it runs 10 minutes. If you really want to experience the entire story, you can click this link to go to the full listing of all the segments on youtube.
 To get as far as they did in retrieving this incredibly rare aircraft, only to lose it as they did is disheartening to say the least. But seeing the level of self-control as they watch the airplane burn is a real lesson in realizing that there's only so much we can control in this life.

Video screenshot of the B-29 Kee Bird on fire during the salvage attempt in 1995

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