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B-17 Search 1998
The Salvage

Who are these Guys?

It must be said, and known to all that through adversity and challenges this team of 12 people performed in a manner that can only be described as, "OUTSTANDING." From the first flight to exploration of Mars, men like these 12 have faced the extraordinary challenges and have been successful. History always remembers the winners but many people with the same drive never make the finish line. To those strong of heart individuals and groups we salute you and your efforts.

The Salvage Team Members

From back row, left to right;

John Schliemann - John was hand picked for his diving skills as well as his mechanical skills – If it gets broken MacGyver can fix it.

Gary Shaw Sr. - Gary is the man when it comes to outfitters in Western Labrador. His help enabled us to utilize all the local resources necessary to do this project. We tip our hats to Gary. He has a wonderful family. Gary Jr. is also a guide on site and his wonderful wife Carol. The family as a whole contributed tremendously to the success of this project.

Don Brooks - or Mr. Don as he is called. Don is the heart and pocket of this project. I first met Don in 1998 when we came to Labrador to locate the B-17. No word can describe the importance of Don to this and many other aircraft recovery projects. From the Boreal forests of Labrador to the frozen depth of a glacier in Greenland Mr. Don will be one of those individuals that will be remembered and praised for having the inspiration and tenacity to locate, recover and restore WWII era aircraft. All of these historical recoveries have been under extremely adverse conditions both political/legal as well as environmental.

Mark Allen - the officer and a gentleman. Mark is the Projects director and President of Underwater Admiralty Services Inc. See www.uasi.org. Being a diver, navigator and assistant salvage master, Mark is a critical part of the administration and operations management. Having been an officer in the Merchant Marines and a graduate of Kings Point he uses his maritime skills to navigate this project to a quick, safe and successful conclusion. He is always exceptional as whatever he does.

Hamilton M. Halford - One of Georgia State Patrol's finest and helicopter pilot for the Patrol's aviation branch. Hamilton's aviation experience and expertise on the B-17 will be essential as he will direct the stabilization and disassembly of the aircraft. His cheerful attitude and seemingly endless supply of humorous stories will keep the moral of the team at full throttle.

Gordon Forguson - Gordy as we call him. The rigger and diver. Gordy actually builds Boeing aircraft, in Renton Washington, when he is not on some project with UAS. Gordy has been active with us for 19 years. A friend and trusted compadre, his skills are greatly appreciated and consistently used.

Roy Skanes - The archaeologist. Roy was the only person that was not hand picked for this project. Roy represents the Province and the office of Archaeology run by Ms. Martha Drake. Our first meeting demonstrated to the team that Roy was professional and dedicated to helping as well as observing, this project in any way that he could. He jumped in and gave a hand whenever and wherever needed. He will always be welcome in our camp.

Front row:

David Keers - The intern. David is 19 and ready to start college at UPS in Tacoma Washington in just a few days. David is part of the UAS educational program that takes student and moves them out of the classroom into the Boreal forest of Labrador (the real world classrooms). David has grown each and every day with a new awareness that life is full of bugs, friends, struggles and triumphs. It also relies about math and physics. David will leave this project the 29th to start college. He will have bites and bruises but he will also have gain a unique experience in life. He will ALWAYS remember the recovery of the B-17 in Labrador and the friends he made. He will never be the same as before. He is now, “One step ahead!”

Joey Hand - I call him the gentle Giant. Joey is the only member of Don’s original team that was on the 1998 project where we located and studied the submerged B-17. He is a man of few words but the few words he does share are sincere, intelligent and always helpful. He is dedicated to seeing this B-17 fly once again.

Zak Jones - Mr. Hollywood. It is really good having a handsome guy as part of the crew. He attracts all the female mosquitoes. Zak is a diver extraordinaire. A tech diver and instructor Zak loves to spend time underwater - Zak has been diving with UAS for many years. He is witty and helps keep the moral high. He is a team player and is always ready to dive, dive and dive.

Bob Mester - A director of Underwater Admiralty Services with over 25 years experience in undersea technology and submerged cultural resource location and recovery. Bob was the expedition leader in 1998 when UAS located the B-17 for Brooks Aviation. Bob's expertise has been pivotal in the development and planning of this recovery operation.

Gary Shaw Jr. - The next generation. In 1998 Gary Jr. was a young guide for the expedition. He spent most of his time asking questions and fishing. He was very good at both. Gary and I became good friend communicating through e-mail over the last 6 years always hoping to return and finish the project. Now that time has come and victory is near and at hand. Our many thanks to Gary Jr. and his family, RGP.