This WWII plane was frozen in ice like Captain America before being recovered
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America was frozen in Arctic ice during WWII before being recovered and thawed out in the 21st century. Cap's story is remarkably similar to that of a P-38F Lightning fighter plane appropriately named Glacier Girl. The plane was even restored to flying condition after its recovery.
During WWII, planes had to make a series of hops across the Atlantic from Maine to Scotland before entering the war in Europe. Hundreds of planes embarked on this journey, but not all of them made it to their final destination. On July 15, 1942, Glacier Girl was one of six P-38s that took off from Greenland. Along with two B-17 Flying Fortress bombers, they were on the last leg of their trip to the British Isles.
Bad weather and limited visibility forced all eight planes to turn back. Unable to make it back to the airfield they departed from, the planes made emergency landings in an ice field. Although all crew members were rescued, their planes couldn't be recovered. Over the decades, they became buried under 264 feet of snow and ice.
In 1988, the Greenland Expedition Society, with salvage rights to the planes granted by the Danish government, located all eight warbirds using sophisticated sub-surface radar. Shifting ice carried the planes about two miles from where they were abandoned in 1942.
A Kentucky businessman and pilot named Roy Shoffner heard of the discovery and, in 1992, sponsored and accompanied and expedition to recover one of the planes. The sturdier P-38s were ideal candidates for recovery. Moreover, only one P-38 was photographed in 1942 with intact and unbent propellers; a prime candidate for restoration.
After its recovery from the ice, Glacier Girl (so-named by Shoffner) was transported to Kentucky and restored to flying condition. In October 2002, 60 years after it was abandoned on the ice, Glacier Girl returned to the skies. Five years later, an attempt was made to fly Glacier Girl across the Atlantic from New Jersey to England and complete the journey from 1942. However, a coolant leak grounded the plane in Labrador and discouraged future trans-Atlantic attempts. That same year, Glacier Girl was sold to Lewis Energy CEO Rodney Lewis.