Author Explores WWII Story "Frozen in Time"

Nov 22, 2013

In November of 1942, a U.S. cargo plane on a routine flight crashed into the Greenland ice cap, setting in motion an extraordinary chain of events. Four days after the crash, a B-17 searching for the missing cargo plane also went down in a blinding storm.

All nine crew members survived the crash, and an amphibious Grumman Duck was sent on a daring rescue mission to bring them home. After picking up one member of the B-17 crew, the rescuers of this third flight flew into a severe storm and vanished.

What followed over the next five months is an amazing tale of adventure, survival and raw courage.

Today’s guest, Mitchell Zuckoff, offers a spellbinding account of the fate of the survivors and their would-be rescuers in his book, “Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II.”

The book also recounts the efforts of modern-day adventurer Lou Sapienza, who worked for years with the Coast Guard to solve the mystery of the Grumman Duck’s last flight and recover the remains of its crew. Dr. Zuckoff  returned to Greenland this past summer as part of a new expedition to attempt to recover the remains of the three crew members from their tomb deep beneath the ice — but once again, the attempt was unsuccessful.

Mitchell Zuckoff is a professor of journalism at Boston University and the author of six books, including the New York Times bestseller “Lost in Shangri-La,” winner of the 2012 Winship/PEN New England Award. He was a guest on our program last year to discuss his earlier book, and I am pleased he’s with us once again today.