June 26, 2012
-- A team of explorers are hoping drill 100 feet beneath the Antarctic ice to bring back the bodies of three American fliers who died on a remote island off Antarctica 65 years ago. The lost men are shown here, from left: Ensign Max Lopez - NA, "Bud" Hendersin, ARM1C and Fred Williams, AMM1C. The explorers want logistical help from U.S. military officials, who say the project is too dangerous.
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The George One is seen being prepped for its final flight. The plane was on a mapping mission on Dec. 30, 1946 when it became lost in a blizzard, struck a ridge line on remote Thurston Island in West Antarctica and exploded.
The rescue aircraft "George 3" searches the ice for the crash site of the "George One" in January 1947.
The site of the crash of the George One is seen from above with names of dead crewmen written on the wing. Survivors (center top) wave to their crew mates in the George 2 flying overhead. The search plane discovered them 12 days after the crash. The life raft (upper left) had been set ablaze with octane fuel salvaged from the wreck by crewman Robbie Robbins. The crew survived in the tail section (top right). The men are buried under the wing just to the left of the line Robbins painted on the wing to notify the search plane of the fatalities.
The rescue aircraft, "George 2" is seen after hunting for the George One over Antarctica.
Two members of a rescue party paddle back to the amphibious craft George 2 after reaching the crash site.
Ensign Max Lopez was one of the men who died in the crash of George One.
Fred Williams -- another of the lost men.
"Bud" Hendersin -- the third man who perished in the 1946 crash. Family members of the three lost men say that over the years they have been promised by Navy officials that the bodies would be recovered if certain safety and logistical problems could be met. For their part, Navy officials say they recognize the families' concerns recovering the MIAs from Antarctica, but the operation is still too dangerous.
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