Two charged after raising WWII bomber from lake

This forum has been developed to discuss aviation related topics.

Moderators: Sulako, lilfssister, North Shore, ahramin, sky's the limit, sepia, I WAS Birddog

Post Reply
DEL
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed May 05, 2004 4:50 pm

Two charged after raising WWII bomber from lake

Post by DEL »

Two charged after raising WWII bomber from lake

'The Flying Prostitute' crashed en route to aid Russia in 1942
Jun 05, 2009 04:41 PM
Comments on this story (3)
Bob Weber
THE CANADIAN PRESS

The fate of a derelict Second World War bomber once nicknamed ``The Flying Prostitute" is up in the air since two Calgary brothers fished part of it out of a remote Yukon lake.

The brothers want to complete the salvage and see the B-26 Marauder restored and placed in a museum. But the territorial government, suspecting a profit motive, has grounded their plans and is charging the pair with violating the territory's heritage legislation.

"Our past is not to be peddled," Jeff Hunston of the Heritage Resources Department said Friday. "We want our heritage in the Yukon."

The B-26 was a high-speed, medium-weight bomber developed by the United States and saw action in several theatres of the war. Some were used during the D-Day invasion, the 65th anniversary of which is being marked this weekend.

The plane's nickname was derived from its short wingspan, which appeared to give it no visible means of support.

Many Marauders were part of a lend-lease program that helped arm Russia against the Nazi invasion. In a massive airlift called the Northwest Staging Route, about 7,000 warplanes were flown from Great Falls, Mont., to Fairbanks, Alaska, en route to Siberia. There were stops in Canada to refuel.

On Jan. 16, 1942, six of them left Great Falls. Three got lost in Yukon airspace and crashed after running out of fuel, said Bob Cameron, a Yukon aviation buff in Whitehorse. The fourth crash-landed on the ice of Watson Lake and another crashed on takeoff as it set out again. Only one made it to Fairbanks.

"That was an unlucky group of airplanes," he said.

Enter history buffs Brian and John Jasman, who found one of the planes last year with a sonar device. They had been combing through declassified military records and accident reports for 20 years. This spring, the brothers floated the nose cone of the derelict up to the surface and hauled it to shore.

"It was kind of amazing," said Brian Jasman from his campsite beside Watson Lake, just north of the British Columbia-Yukon boundary.

"It should be in a museum where everybody could see it. Sitting in 70 feet of water, it's just going to rot to nothing."

The Jasmans were starting their search for the rest of the plane when the territorial government stepped in.

"The government of the Yukon owns that plane," said Hunston.

The Northwest Staging Route helped establish some of the territory's modern-day airports, he said. The many warplane wrecks it left behind are important artifacts of Yukon history – and potential tourist attractions.

Hunston suspects the Jasmans' motives.

"We're well aware of the antique warbird market out there. There's a lot of money to be made and even parts can be hot commodities."

Although thousands of Marauders were built, there are only a handful in museums and even fewer in flying condition.

Hunston fears the Watson Lake Marauder could wind up in an American private collection, much like a P-39 Cobra fighter that was allowed to leave the Yukon and ended up in a private museum in Oregon.

"We, too, want our warbird heritage preserved and exhibited in museums so that everybody benefits."

Hunston said the brothers have been served notice to appear in court on charges under the territory's heritage legislation. They could face a fine of up to $50,000.

But the Jasmans claim finders, keepers. Brian says the U.S. air force has relinquished any claim on the wreck. He also points out that the plane's location underwater places it under federal, not territorial, legislation.

"We're going to stick it out and let the lawyer deal with it and see what happens. Legally, they can't take it."

So, for now, the Marauder sits atop a trailer alongside the Watson Lake airport where it attempted to land 67 years ago.

There are dozens of relics like it along the old flight route. Just this week, a pair of unexploded 227-kilogram bombs were found near the airport.

The Marauder isn't even the only wreck in Watson Lake. Cameron said an old Lancaster bomber is visible from the surface.

The town's airport was a maintenance depot during the war and used for testing in the years afterward.

"There have been quite a few accidents in Watson Lake," Cameron said.

http://www.thestar.com/article/646307
---------- ADS -----------
 
imarai
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 236
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 5:59 am
Location: Lethbridge

Re: Two charged after raising WWII bomber from lake

Post by imarai »

I doubt the Yukon Government was planning on doing anything with the B-26 wreck.

The other wreck is not a Lancaster, as stated in the press release, but an Avro Lincoln B.2, SX924, remnants of which rest in 10 feet of water at the south part of Watson Lake. The Lincoln was outfitted for cold weather trials, and crashed November 10th, 1948.
---------- ADS -----------
 
C-FABH
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 783
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 8:06 am

Re: Two charged after raising WWII bomber from lake

Post by C-FABH »

I agree. If this was such an "important piece of heritage" as the government wants you to believe, they would have done something about it between now and 1942..

Reminds me of the poor old Lockheed Constellation that sat at the north end of Pearson. That bird looks absolutely stunning now and the Museum of Flight will be a great home for it (even if it's in the good old USA)

If you're going to talk the talk....
---------- ADS -----------
 
just curious
Rank Moderator
Rank Moderator
Posts: 3592
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 9:29 am
Location: The Frozen North
Contact:

Re: Two charged after raising WWII bomber from lake

Post by just curious »

If Mr Hunston actually cared the slightest bit about the Yukon's flying Heritage, maybe he could stop having coffee at the Tim Horton's in YXY and walk over to the Yukon Air coffee shop for his breaks.

As far as actually supporting the rehabilitation of wrecks, there are DC-3's aplenty, B-36's, and whatever the hulk in Watson is; all waiting for him and the Heritage Department to get off their asses.

Even if they just, like most politicians, wanted to pay lip service to the whole idea they could drive the 0.6 KM up the hill to talk to Joe, Ace, or Big Ed for a full and complete picture of just exactly where "our heritage in the Yukon" has lain for so long.

He sounds every bit as sincere as those idiots in the NWT that have left Avro Yorks, and P-39's to rot since, well, before most of us were born.

JC
---------- ADS -----------
 
User avatar
GilletteNorth
Rank 7
Rank 7
Posts: 704
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 1:09 pm
Location: throw a dart dead center of Saskatchewan

Re: Two charged after raising WWII bomber from lake

Post by GilletteNorth »

Any politician who states that decaying wrecks laying around are the property of the government and are heritage pieces makes me wonder what they are going to do about all the car wrecks that are laying on the side of the road and in the bush. I don't see the Heritage Minister making plans on removing them to museums anytime soon.
---------- ADS -----------
 
Having a standard that pilots lose their licence after making a mistake despite doing no harm to aircraft or passengers means soon you needn't worry about a pilot surplus or pilots offering to fly for free. Where do you get your experience from?
WJflyer
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 912
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:08 pm
Location: CYVR/CYYZ

Re: Two charged after raising WWII bomber from lake

Post by WJflyer »

GilletteNorth wrote:Any politician who states that decaying wrecks laying around are the property of the government and are heritage pieces makes me wonder what they are going to do about all the car wrecks that are laying on the side of the road and in the bush. I don't see the Heritage Minister making plans on removing them to museums anytime soon.
The aircraft are technically still the property of the military, and this is considered to be theft. Even though the USAF has relinquished any claim to the wreck, the wreck is still protected under the US Sunken Military Craft Act so it is protected by US Federal government regulations...

I also wonder if anyone died in the wreck and if there were any remains that were not recovered when the aircraft went down; then it becomes a much more serious charge that will result in jail time... disturbing a grave is a very serious charge to be facing.
---------- ADS -----------
 
User avatar
rum-runner
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:55 pm
Location: Pacific Ocean and south

Re: Two charged after raising WWII bomber from lake

Post by rum-runner »

just curious wrote:If Mr Hunston actually... coffee at the Tim Horton's in YXY and walk over to the Yukon Air coffee shop for his breaks.

JC

Where is the YUKON AIR coffee shop?
---------- ADS -----------
 
User avatar
GilletteNorth
Rank 7
Rank 7
Posts: 704
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 1:09 pm
Location: throw a dart dead center of Saskatchewan

Re: Two charged after raising WWII bomber from lake

Post by GilletteNorth »

Oh I know the legal boundaries that governments put on wrecks such as these... but what I'm saying is that if these wrecks ARE so historically important WHY are they ignored??? Why is it only when someone wants to recover pieces of what is essentially discarded and forgotten pieces of rusting metal that government officials start yowling how this stuff is important and must be protected. Protected from what? Being allowed to decay into nothing? The guys who raised a section at LEAST have shown a desire to see the pieces go to a museum... what has the Yukon government done for that wreck since it crashed so long ago other than ignore it? How is ignoring a sunken wreck historically significant or helpful to maintaining a historical heritage? You don't need the wreck to be at the bottom of a lake when no one else is interested in diving in to see it to know that 'historically' it crashed there.
---------- ADS -----------
 
Having a standard that pilots lose their licence after making a mistake despite doing no harm to aircraft or passengers means soon you needn't worry about a pilot surplus or pilots offering to fly for free. Where do you get your experience from?
N181CS
Rank 2
Rank 2
Posts: 92
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:05 am

Re: Two charged after raising WWII bomber from lake

Post by N181CS »

"US Sunken Military Craft Act " I dont see how that law applies in Canada to Canadian citizens, if they were Americans or shipped across the border maybe.
---------- ADS -----------
 
DEL
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed May 05, 2004 4:50 pm

Re: Two charged after raising WWII bomber from lake

Post by DEL »

The US Sunken Military Craft Act basically has to do with the US Navy. This act is anything within the borders of the US. The US Navy does not allow the savage of any of their airplanes at all. In Lake Michigan there are estimated to be about 200+ of them but they will not allow any one to savage any of them.

As for the US Army Air Corps, later the US Air Force that is a different matter. They have struck off all their planes from their records. I have read of many Air Force planes recovered from various places within the US. A B-25 for a river and so on. I know of a complete P-47 sitting the bush within the US that was an Air Force plane and it is mine for the taking. If it were a Navy plane it would be off limits to me.

This plane will go to court just like the B-17 44-83790 found and recovered in Newfoundland. That plane is now at the California Air Heritage Foundation, LA, CA.

As the Yukon government is so concerned about the historic value of it, they should allow savage of it but have it restored there by their people. That way they can be used to promote the Yukon and be a tourist ambassador for them. Of coarse the ownership still belongs to the guys who recovered it. I do give credit to these guys for getting it out of that cold water.
---------- ADS -----------
 
zorro7
Rank 1
Rank 1
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:55 am
Location: midwest USA

Re: Two charged after raising WWII bomber from lake

Post by zorro7 »

Martin Marauder Folks/Watson Lake find!

Interesting story of a B-26 Martin Marauder found in Watson Lake, Yukon Territories! c. 2009

There is another version in Wix about this aircraft. No AAF S/n known yet. They comment that the Martin B-26 crashed somewhere in Canada on its way to the former USSR. c. WW II. The front cockpit area was saved & later dumped into the lake. The rest was scrapped. I'm not sure about the real details of it unless we can see some pictures of the rest of the aircraft underwater. Photo via Wix!

Where is this case in Dec 2013?? would someone post some pics of the B-26 in the storage area??

Tks in advance!

Image
---------- ADS -----------
 
J31
Rank (9)
Rank (9)
Posts: 1079
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:21 am

Re: Two charged after raising WWII bomber from lake

Post by J31 »

They were looking for a salvage fee in July 2009. http://www.ctvnews.ca/siblings-seek-sal ... e-1.418347

Hopefully got it sorted out but I'm sure the Maurauder is still rotting away. :roll:
---------- ADS -----------
 
co-joe
Rank 11
Rank 11
Posts: 3695
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 2:33 am
Location: YYC 230 degree radial at about 10 DME

Re: Two charged after raising WWII bomber from lake

Post by co-joe »

God we miss you Just Curious.
---------- ADS -----------
 
snoopy
Rank (9)
Rank (9)
Posts: 1118
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 6:19 pm
Location: The Dog House

Re: Two charged after raising WWII bomber from lake

Post by snoopy »

Roger that.
Cheers,
Kirsten B.
---------- ADS -----------
 
“Never interrupt someone doing something you said couldn’t be done.” Amelia Earhart
Post Reply

Return to “General Comments”