GF-2, a Mitchell B25-C, went down in Lake Greenwood, SC whilst on a training mission on June 6, 1944. The aircraft was fished out of Lake Greenwood in 1983 and is now in the hands of the South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation. This video was made to not only capture the audio history provided by Col. (then, Lt.) Rossman on the day of the downing - but to also educate and enlighten those who lived in and descended from our WWII generation - in the hope that they will realize the importance of this restoration work.
From the SCHAF site:
"On D-Day, June 6th, 1944, while Allied forces were storming ashore at Normandy, France, this plane was on yet another training mission. At this point in its history, the plane was on temporary assignment to the Greenville Army Air Base (GAAB), a CAAB auxiliary base. While stationed at GAAB, GF-2 was painted on the plane’s fuselage to designate Greenville AAB, Foxtrot Squadron, Plane Number 2. An earlier pilot or ground crew had given the plane the name “Skunkie”, but by 6/6/44, that nickname had been painted over.
On this day, while practicing low-level bombing runs over Lake Greenwood, the instructor pilot swooped a little too low, and when the propellers touched the water, he had to ditch. The aircraft sank in minutes. There were no serious crew injuries, but the plane was lost under the water and, shortly afterwards, was declared unrecoverable by the Army Air Force.
After 39 years lost under the waters of Lake Greenwood, the plane was recovered in 1983 by a group led by Mat Self of Greenwood. From that point forward, the plane passed through a succession of owner groups, and ultimately was returned to Columbia, specifically to the Curtiss Wright Hangar at Owens Airport.
A cosmetic restoration was undertaken by volunteers and completed in time for the plane to be used in 1992 as a centerpiece for the 50th Anniversary Reunion of the Doolittle Raiders being held in Columbia, where recruitment for these crews took place.
Ten years later this plane once again was a focal point, this time of the Raiders’ 60th reunion. It was repainted to appear identical to Lt. Col. Doolittle’s B-25. Since then, the plane languished in virtual limbo, with little being done to further its preservation, much less its restoration.
This is where the newly-formed South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation (SCHAF) came into being.
Recognizing the plane’s fate was in jeopardy, the SCHAF was formed. Securing ownership and accepting stewardship of the B-25C Mitchell Bomber is the organization’s prevailing initiative.
The level of restoration the plane can receive will be determined by the level of interest to be generated within – and out of – state for saving this valuable piece of South Carolina aviation history for future generations to learn from and enjoy."