Efforts to bring B-25 ashore evoke lessons from the past

(Columbia) September 16, 2005 - A piece of history that has been hidden at the bottom of Lake Murray for decades may have to continue to wait to come ashore.

In 1945 a B-25 crashed during a training mission. Now anticipation rises as it waits to be pulled up from the water.

The plan for Friday is to take the plane and bring it to the surface of the water all the way out to the middle of the lake, but they're not going to bring it to shore until Saturday when cranes will pull it out of the water

As of Friday afternoon, crews were still on the lake trying to bring the plane about 50 feet from the bottom so divers can check it out. There was lot of filth collected on the tail of the plane and they want to make sure all of that is gone.

This process has been described as going two steps forward and one step back.

In this team's effort to raise the plane, they're learning the same lesson the plane's crew learned 60 years ago...everything doesn't always go as planned.

The story is that the plane went down on a Sunday morning on a routine mission.

Before they had time to practice dropping bombs they lost power in one engine.

The pilot wanted to head back to base, but the trainer decided to ditch in the lake.

They had a lively discussion in the cockpit and finally pulled the wheels up and very gently set the plane down in the lake. No one was injured.

Army corps missions like these were common in the 40's

It has been said that on any given day you could look and see several B-25s in the sky.

Interestingly enough, the very same day this B-25 went down, another B-25 ditched into Lake Murray, too

The navy reserve has scanned the lake with sonars and have never been able to find that second plane.

It is believed that it was retrieved at the time but never documented.

According to sonars, the plane that is out there right now is the only one on the bottom of Lake Murray that is in pretty good condition.

This is a pretty big project and a lot of it is being paid for by private donations.

The plane is expected to be up on shore by Saturday morning.

It will probably be there for about two days or so. Then it will be broken up and put on to a flat bend and taken to a museum in Alabama.

Reported by Heather Brown

Posted 6:53pm by Kaela Harmon