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Denver man leads mission to bring home MIA vets

Posted: 6:01 PM, May 30, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-31 03:26:42Z

A Denver man is leading a mission to find, and bring home, three war heroes in one of the harshest places on the planet -- Greenland's ice cap.  

"Greenland is a very harsh environment," said John Bradley, President of Global Exploration and Recovery. The company has taken part in the last three government-led expeditions to search for the men who have been missing for 74 years. "You are at the will of the weather and the terrain."

But now, for the first time, a privately funded group is making an effort to succeed where others have failed.

In 1942, shortly after the United States entered World War II, a B-17 Bomber crashed on the Greenland ice cap, and remarkably all nine crew members survived.

"Lolly was the radio man." said Marc Storch, proudly remembering stories he has heard about his great uncle, Army Corporal Loren Howarth, managing to repair the radio and calling for help. "And that was what allowed the Coast Guard to find them."

Two U.S. Coast Guard aviators, pilot Lt. John Pritchard and radioman Benjamin Bottoms, hatched a rescue plan to make their amphibious bi-plane the first to ever land on the glacier.

They successfully rescued the two most severely injured men, but after picking up Howarth on the second trip, a storm moved in and their plane went down.

Since then, the U.S. Government and private groups have made several attempts to find the crash site , expeditions featured in the New York Times bestseller "Frozen in Time."

"This is me, on the right," said Bradley who has been part of three expeditions now, but this time a private search with a team of four experts will use new tools and technology to look deep into the ice.

"With this small group of people and the right technology, we can move a lot quicker and a lot more efficiently," said Bradley.  "We are not going to just pinpoint an area. In the past, we've gone in with a lot of equipment that wasn't needed, and we weren't able to get the most fundamental thing done first, which was the location."

Bradley said his team will focus on finding the fuselage, and that is where they will find the heroes whose memory still lives.

"For us to know that he came home and was able to be returned back to the States would be huge," said Storch. "Those who served, we always remember, we always care for and when we can, we want to bring them home again."

Bradley said the mission will start at the end of July and last about a month.

It will cost approximately $60,000, mostly for the helicopter to get to the ice cap.

They are Crowdsourcing the mission, raising funds through their gofundme page:  gofundme.com/ greenlandrecovery .

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