On November 29, 1942 three American service members vanished in a storm in eastern Greenland during one of the most daring rescue attempts in aviation history. Today marks 73 years since Lt. John Pritchard and Radioman Benjamin Bottoms landed on a glacier in their ampibious biplane to retrieve crewmembers from a crashed B-17. They took Cpl. Loren Howarth on board and flew off into an approaching storm.
These men and the plane carrying them vanished beneath the snows of Greenland's winter, but their memory lives on and the quest to find them remains a pursuit of a few dedicated individuals.
The families of these three missing men have not forgotten the bravery, generosity, and resourcefulness that exemplified their service during the war. Nancy, the younger sister of pilot John Pritchard, recalled fond memories of her brother during a recent radio interview. The families of Benjamin Bottoms and Loren Howarth also desire to see their loved ones returned to them after 73 years beneath the ice. This is a long time to wait and much work remains to be done to find these men.
The other family that is eager to see the recovery of the missing men is the men and women of today's Coast Guard. The mission of the Duck is legend within the service and the spirit of Pritchard and Bottoms serves as inspiration to all Coast Guard aviators who have come after them. These are the only 2 members who are missing in action and with 2016 marking the 100-year anniversary of Coast Guard aviation, the time is right to focus on finding them.
Global Exploration and Recovery is the team to lead the search. We are making preparations for a 2016 survey and are in close communication with the Coast Guard on the design of the search mission. The breadth of support we have built through sponsorships and supporters is humbling and speaks to the significance of this work. Having the backing of the families is a powerful motivator and keeps us going towards the goal of finding the men.
We also have the support of a growing number of generous donors who are supporting our project by contributing to our crowdfunding campaign. As we commemorate this somber occasion with respect and gratitude for the sacrifices of Pritchard, Bottoms, and Howarth we ask you to join us in this cause. Please make a donation today and spread the word of this important project. The members of all the families appreciate it.