(Dave Wax and Taren Reed/First Coast News, 6 November 2009) -- NAS JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It took more than 47 years, but an air crew lost during the Cold War is finally being honored. A dedication ceremony was held Friday morning for the crew aboard a P-2V patrol aircraft that disappeared in 1962. On January 12, 1962, the crew aboard the P-2V, part of Patrol and Reconnaissance Squadron Five (VP-5), disappeared while flying over Greenland on a routine Cold War mission. Crews searched for about a week in increasingly harsh conditions, but never found any sign of wreckage, so they assumed the plane and crew had been lost at sea. In 1966, a team of British geologists found the crash remains on a glacier in Greenland, and a new recovery effort for the crew was launched. The glacier—Kronborg—is very remote, and the environment is quite harsh, so the recovery effort launched in 1966 wasn't concluded until 2004. Heritage Park at NAS Jax has a P-2V on display, because the VP-5 was attached to NAS Jax in the 1960s. Beginning in September, a team of Mad Foxes from VP-5 repainted the aircraft to mirror that of LA-9, the tail number of the lost P-2V from 1962. "It really gives the squadron and entire VP community a chance to honor our fallen comrades and pay tribute to their Cold War service and sacrifice," says Lt. Cmdr. Robert Huntington, maintenance officer for the Mad Foxes. "On a more personal level, it gives us a chance to say thank you to the surviving families and to let them know their loved ones will not be forgotten." Surviving family members of the crew were on hand for the dedication, along with many people who never gave up the effort to get the crew back home, decades later.
Posted 9 November 2009; 12:53:13 PM. Permalink