In the summer of 1981, Pat Epps set forth on his first adventure to the Greenland ice cap in search of the Lost Squadron – two World War II Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers and six Lockheed P-38 Lightnings.
The squadron was forced to land on the Greenland ice cap on July 15, 1942 after hours of flying in bad weather and running low on fuel. Epps’ adventure began as a lark when he was admiring a customer’s new Learjet and the customer responded, “What I really want is a P-38”. Epps certainly knew where six P-38 Lightnings were located so he joined forces with a friend and two airline pilots who already had the search and salvage rights from the Danish government.
Epps was an active member of, and eventually led, the Greenland Expedition Society (GES) team on seven trips to the ice cap over the next 11 years. The summer of 1992 marked GES’ monumental recovery of the vintage Lockheed P-38 Lightning, Glacier Girl, buried 265 feet below the Greenland ice cap for 50 years.
The story of this epic adventure has been retold in the book, The Lost Squadron, and documented in National Geographic History Channel’s, Hunt for the Lost Squadron. Additionally, Epps and the GES team’s expedition have been documented in numerous periodicals such as Smithsonian’s Air & Space and LIFE magazine.