Thursday, May 29, 2008

WWII-Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon, Hot Stuff

Press Release
American Military Heritage Foundation
Mt. Comfort Airport, Greenfield, IN
Contact: Penny Litz, President

Mt. Comfort Indiana (May 23, 2008) The American Military Heritage Foundation’s WWII-Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon, Hot Stuff – the only one currently flying – has been temporarily grounded with an engine problem. Repairs to bring the engine within service limits are estimated to be $20,000 and could be completed this year if funding can be secured soon.

“This is a small amount of money, compared to what a complete overhaul would cost,” said John Parka, AMHF board member. “We hear those are running around $60,000; we’re trying to be cost efficient and this would give us a good safe engine. We’d prefer one in a can that the Navy overhauled and preserved in the 1950’s, - they did a great job back then – but the R-2800-31 is hard to come by and the price of one, if it’s to be had, approaches that of an overhaul.”

Anyone interested in making a contribution can call 760-835-7529 or go to the website “All we would need is 200 people making a $100 contribution and we’ve already got a small jump on it”, said Parka. The AMHF is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, and all contributions are tax-deductible.

The Harpoon’s last show flight was in July 2007, when she made an appearance over downtown Indianapolis during a parade honoring the surviving crewmen of the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis ( It was a PV-1 Ventura, the Harpoon’s predecessor, which found the men of the torpedoed ship after 4 days in shark-infested waters. Both organizations are based in Indianapolis, IN.

The PV-1's and PV-2's were used during the war in a variety of roles, serving as long-range maritime patrol aircraft, medium bombers, night fighters, and submarine hunters. They patrolled the eastern seaboard including South America, served throughout the Pacific theater, and protected the U.S.-owned Aleutian Islands. “Everyone knows that the Japanese invaded Pearl Harbor, but few people remember that they seized Attu and Kiska (in the Aleutian chain, off Alaska) in 1942,” said Penny Litz, foundation president. After U. S. forces liberated Attu, the PV-1's and PV-2's operated offensively from the Japanese-built air bases.

Hot Stuff belonged to one of these “Empire Express” squadrons, VPB-136, flying long-range bombing missions against the northern Japanese Kurile Islands. It’s been estimated that the Japanese had to divert one-sixth of their fleet in defense of their northern islands because of these aircraft.

“It’s in the process of being nominated for the National and State Historic Register, there is a lot of historical and associative value with this aircraft; it is so important to keep it flying, by this time next year it will officially be a national treasure,” said Litz.

“Hot Stuff” has been on the national airshow circuit for almost two decades and was featured on Aero Shell Square at EAA Airventure Oshkosh in 2005.

The PV-2 Harpoon, the longer-ranged big brother to the PV-1 Ventura, was used as a double for the PV-1 in a Nova documentary, “The Last Flight of Bomber 31,” which aired on national PBS for several years.,

The Harpoon is viewed as a valuable Indiana resource by the Geography Educators' Network of Indiana, as reflected in the classroom curriculum developed by the organization on behalf of Indiana high school and middle school Social Studies and Language Arts educators.


PV-2 Harpoon Products on Amazon

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