Last Update: August 26, 1999 

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Group Embarks Upon Historic Mission to Salvage WWII Planes



JULY, 1999

 Cincinnati, OH — This week marks history, as a group lead by Bob Ready of Cincinnati, departs for Greenland to retrieve two B17 planes lost in WWII. Once retrieved from the cold Greenland waters, the planes will be returned to US soil. One of the planes known as "Sooner", was a vital part of the 97th Bomb Group in the 8th Air Force. "Sooner" was part of the very first flight of B-17’s on their way to Europe that morning committing the U.S. to participate in WWII in the European Theatre.

After taking off from Goose Bay (June 27th, 1942), "Sooner" fell victim to inclement weather and was forced to make an emergency landing on a fjord near Narsak, Greenland. Due to a perfect water landing, all crew members survived. One of those survivors, Lt. Paul Blaida, the "Sooner’s" bombaradier, will be part of this expedition to Greenland.

The second B-17 attached to the 351st Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, ditched on an ice-covered fjord April 9th, 1944, also due to inclement weather. This B-17 did not as yet have a name because she was so new. All crewmembers survived as well. Today there are four survivors who are expected to meet their aircraft sometime in late August when it arrives in Cincinnati.

This expedition has been months in planning. The interest continues to be overwhelming as more people learn about this piece of history and the opportunity to bring it home. Mr. Ready has assembled an experienced group of salvagers to do the recovery of both B-17’s. Other crewmembers include a variety of recognized authors, historians and photographers. The recovery team anticipates having the B-17’s safely home by late August.

For further information, contact Mr. Bob Ready at (513) 793-3200, e-mail , or follow the expedition daily on the Internet at

To see more information about this project, including today's update, click here.