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B-24 Liberator


On the night of February 14, 1945, a lone B-24 Liberator heavy bomber lumbered through the snow-choked skies over the military air base at Gander, Newfoundland. With conditions worsening by the minute, Approach Control was strongly advising in-bound aircraft to divert to their alternate airfields; but for Liberator No. 44-42169 and its veteran pilot, Colonel William C. Dolan, this was not an option. This flight was too important.

Dolan descended in near whiteout conditions, advising Approach Control that he was landing. It was the bomber’s last transmission. For several weeks it lay undetected in the snow-covered Newfoundland wilderness, and more than sixty years would pass before parts of its top-secret cargo would be recovered - a cargo of such scientific importance at the time that it could hasten the end of World War Two.

A one-hour television documentary currently in production - titled Lost Flight of the Eagle - chronicles the tragic last flight of Colonel Dolan and his crew, and the modern archeological survey of the site, ultimately revealing the secret cargo the airmen gave their lives to protect and deliver.

Written, produced and directed by David Hebbard of East Coast Productions, the documentary includes historical documents, interviews, rare archival footage, computer animation and the first advanced archaeological survey done in Newfoundland of a World War Two crash site. Cameras are rolling as archaeologist Michael Deal and his team from Memorial University uncover parts of the bomber’s top-secret cargo.

Historical research for the project was led by former Gander resident Darrell Hillier. Lost Flight of the Eagle is slated for wide release in May, 2008, following its planned premiere in Gander.

East Coast Productions is a Newfoundland owned and operated video production company established in 2003, offering high definition video and post production, photography, print and radio production.

Click here to view the trailer as a Windows Media file (2.14MB).


Archeologists at B-24 crash site

Filmmaker David Hebbard documents the painstaking work of Memorial University archaeologists at the crash site.



Prominent archaeologist Dr. Michael Deal displays a gun and shackle recently recovered from the downed Liberator bomber.


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