The Kee Bird was an American B-29 Superfortress bomber that became marooned after making an emergency landing in northwest Greenland during a secret Cold War spying mission in 1947. Although the entire crew was safely evacuated, after spending three days in the isolated Arctic tundra, the aircraft itself was left at the landing site. It lay there undisturbed until 1994, when a privately-funded mission was launched to repair and return it.

After months of painstaking work on the aircraft and setbacks such as the death of the mission's chief engineer, the repairs were completed and the aircraft prepared to take off from a frozen lake nearby. As it was taxiing to its takeoff position, however, a fire broke out inside the rear fuselage and quickly engulfed the whole aircraft.

The entire crew on board escaped unharmed, but the Kee Bird was completely destroyed. When the lake thawed in the spring, the wreckage sank to the bottom, where it now lies. The attempted repair and return of the Kee Bird was documented in the 1996 NOVA television episode "B-29 Frozen in Time".

Picture of the plane in 1947.

B-29 “Kee Bird” in the process of being reborn.

coordinates : 80°04'13.05"N 60°07'21.05"W
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pictures sources :
Marcel Pepin

text source :

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  1. Froggmann // Sunday, June 07, 2009 2:00:00 AM  

    I remember seeing this special years ago. Truly a sad story.