(Lexington) Sept. 14, 2005 - Thursday, WIS viewers could get a first glimpse of a vintage World War II airplane. The B-25 has been submerged in the water of Lake Murray for more than half a century.
Bryce Lever remembers when Lexington's 378 used to be a dirt road lined with cotton fields, "I tell you, my folks never did plow this land with anything but mules, and I've owned two to three tractors"
Mr. Lever recalls a day he won't soon forget at the lake, "I was 19 when I saw that airplane go under."
It was the spring of 1943. Two B-25's were on a routine training run when one crashed into the water, "Next thing, there was a smash out there. You didn't see nothing for a while, then I looked out there. The nose of the plane was down in the water and the tail was sticking up."
"I was a good runner back then. I ran all over that side of the lake looking for a boat."
But he never found one. Mr. Lever spent years regretting that he didn't get the chance to rescue the crew. Another thing that haunted Mr. Lever for years, he didn't know for decades whether or not the crew on board the airplane made it out alive, "Of course, they didn't have tv back then."
So Lever went, "at least 30 years or more" never knowing the five crew members on board got out okay.
Crews are working right now to recover the plane. Mr Lever says, "I'm certainly glad to hear that."
The man who saw the plane go down over 60 years ago says he plans on being there to see it come up.
Reported by Kara Gormley