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WWII B-25 Mitchell Bomber was raised in 2005 from the bottom of Lake Murray near Columbia, South Carolina, one of the Doolittle Raiders training sites in 1942. During a training flight, it crashed. This aircraft never flew it the raid. Although it looks pretty broken up it is restorable. With enough time and money this bird could fly again or be made to look new for static display in a museum.

This is the story of the Lake Murray's B-25 told at www.lakemurray-sc.com:

"While the Doolittle Raiders group went off to California for the mission to Japan, other pilots continued to train at Lexington County Army Air Base. Many flights were conducted over Lake Murray for practice bombing runs. Records indicate that at least five B-25s crashed into the lake, three were immediately salvaged, and at least one remained abandoned at the bottom of Lake Murray.

On April 4, 1943, a B-25 took off from the Army Air Base outside Columbia on a skip-bombing mission over the lake’s island targets. The crew ditched in the water about two miles west of Dreher Shoals Dam when the left engine lost power. It finally ended up at the bottom of Lake Murray, at a depth of 150 feet—too deep for the U.S. Army Air Forces to salvage it. It was written off as a loss.

Greenville resident Dr. Bob Seigler had researched the plane since 1989. In 1992, he was working with the US Naval Reserve Sonar Unit when they located the exact position. With help from attorney John Hodge, they began the long process of obtaining salvage rights from South Carolina Electric and Gas, the owner of Lake Murray, as well as securing a quit-claim deed from the United Sates Air Force. Also, a host museum had to be found. Dr. Seigler, John Hodge and Dr. Bill Vartorella, formed the Lake Murray B-25 Rescue Project to salvage the aircraft from the bottom of Lake Murray.

In September 2005, the plane was brought to the surface by a team of divers, aviation historians, and explorers. The aircraft was transported to the Southern Museum of Flight in Birmingham, Alabama, for stabilization and permanent exhibition. John Hodge, Dr. Bob Seigler, and Dr. Bill Vartorella were honored by receiving the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina's most prestigious civilian award on May 21st, 2008 at the opening of an exhibit at the South Carolina State Museum."


Dennis Selvig (Youtube) | www.lakemurray-sc.com

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