First Impression. As we ascend down into the clouds (C-121 Super Connie, named the Phoneix) and broke out into a reasonable clear visibility several moments later, we found ourselves several miles from Williams Field ODF 62-63. Several seconds later, I caught a sight of something orange that intially I could not indentify. As we came in lower and closer, I then recognized what I’d seen. It was the vertical stabalizer, orange colored, of an old P2V an anti-submarine warfare ship that had crashed on approach several years earlier. (I later found out.) Apparently the ship had gone down in a whiteout and the heat on impact had been so intensive that the aircraft had melt into the 34 foot deep Ross Ice shelve and the men in it were left inside her. I don’t think I have ever not thought of the crew on that P2V any time I think of my time on the Ice. Does anyone know what ever happened to the airplane or did it simply just float out and sink after the ice broke up. I understand that the ice breakage has been more than usual in the past six years.
The plane you saw was presumably the first one listed on this page: http://www.vaq34.com/vxe6/p2v.htm…that crashed during Deep Freeze II, 18 October 1956. A total of 4 dead (4 others survived). I really think the bodies would have been returned to the US for burial. And I suspect the aircraft wreckage is long gone by now.
Lots of other good info on that VXE-6 web site…and some of it comes from the OAE’s/FNG’s mailing list, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OAEs-and-FNGs/ which you may want to check ou.. There are some other DF63 folks around…
Speaking of wrecks. I’m running 3 trips tomorrow out to the site of the pegasus c-121. It’s still there, mostly buried in snow.
I was wondering if anyone is around that flew on it. I’ll take some photos for you.
mike in mcmurdo.