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B-17 Search 1998
The Salvage

Friday, August 20, 2004

It is a beautiful morning, the water is mill pond flat and the team is in good spirits. Once again Pat feeds us a good robust breakfast with eggs to order and a choice of sausage, bacon, or bologna, toast and juice.

Gordy, Roy, Zak and John are in the water on the first dive of the day with excavation under number 3 nacelle and chaffing gear placement continuing.

Mark is over his vertigo and is back into the water on the second dive. Gordy and Mark place chaffing gear around the now clear number 3 nacelle while John and Zak work on strapping the bomb bay doors in place. It is believed that the steel bomb bay door hinges have corroded away and may not hold them in place during the lifting process. Zak removes his main tank and works his way under the aircraft with just a pony bottle in order to get the straps into place.

Mark and Gordy remove the inner/outer wing joint fairings to inspect the bolts that fasten the two panels together. It appears that the bolt heads and the securing nuts have corroded away.

The last dive of the day John and Zak are back in the water beginning to place the custom lift bags under the nacelles. The project continues well ahead of schedule.

Roy had obtained permission from the Province for Don to recover items from the 1947 survival camp. The arrival of the supply boat with Rick and Tony provided the means for Don, Joey, Hamilton, Roy and David to travel the 8 miles upriver and back to the camp on the shores of Dyke Lake. They had no problems finding the camp, but most of the aircraft parts that had been found and left there during the 1998 expedition were gone. The group also reported that the swarms of mosquitoes and black flies at that site made the squadrons of the pests at our camp seem quite pleasant.