Monday, August 23, 2010

My Town Monday: WWII Bomber Raised from Murky Depths in San Diego, CA

On May 28, 1945, a couple of pilots were flying a practice run in a SB2C-4 Helldiver bomber plane. The engine stalled (a common default in these planes). The plane ended up at the bottom of the Lower Otay Reservoir (not far from the US Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA, the subject of Mon., Aug. 9's post).

(You can breathe a sigh of relief; this is a happy post. The two pilots surived. In fact, one of them is now about 90 years old and living in Michigan.)

Okay. Cut to present day. A couple of bass fishermen are out doing their thing. They have a nifty electronic fish finding device. (This has got to make fishing more enjoyable!) One of them notices a plane's tail poking up through the silt in the Reservoir, about 85 feet down.

An underwater robot was sent down to take video. The video was dispatched to the Navy who, after watching it, knew they wanted this plane. They sent 12 Navy divers.

It took a couple of days to dig the plane out of the silt. This past Friday, a crane slowly lifted the rare WWII bomber from the water and set it on blocks.

There are only a few of these planes on display in museums around the country. Most of them were crashed or were shot down during World War II. We're hoping to display the aircraft in San Diego. It'll cost about $400,000 to restore.

This all goes to show that you never know . . . what's lurking beneath the surface! (Wasn't that a smooth way to remind you of last week's Great White Shark post!

Click here for links to more My Town Monday posts. (Thanks Clare2e for hosting this week) Also, if you're even marginally thinking about writing a My-Town-Monday post, please do! Throw up your post, then leave a comment here or in the comment section of this week's Women of Mystery MTM post, which, by the way, is interesting and about rocking the libraries in Bound Brook, New Jersey.

Happy Monday!



debra said...

Love the modern day mystery with a happy ending, Barrie.

San Diego Momma said...

I love reading these stories.
WWII-era ones especially.

A great telling.


Clare2e said...

Cool Story, and what an ad for the fish finder! I'm sure not many fisherman have ever netted that big a catch.

Bee said...

I wonder how many treasures are buried in the sea?

We just got back from Wales -- and coincidentally enough, we took my mother-in-law there to see all of her old haunts. She was a London child who spent WWII in the Welsh countryside.

Gabriele Goldstone said...

That 90 year old survivor must be just thrilled. Wow!

David Cranmer said...

Very cool post, Barrie. Nice to know the one guy is still alive.

Teresa said...

Very cool post. San Diego's version of the Loch Ness monster!

SS Firedancer said...

Hi I just saw yout blog via another bloggerette and just wanted to say I can't wait to read more for now it's off to lala land as I live in Jolly 'Ol England and it is 12:33am plus I can't find my 'bins'(cockney slang for glasses) and the words are beginning to look like a trail of ants on a picnic hunt.
I'll pop back soon, Soroya aka Firedancer

Graphic Design by Tara said...

OMG, I cannot wait til they restore it! My husband is a pilot and we live in SD. This will be HUGE for him and my boys when they see it.

So glad I found your post!

Amy said...

Awesome! It's stories like these that make me hopeful that some day they will find Amelia's plane!