On October 26, 1944 WASP pilot Gertrude (Tommy) V. Tompkins Silver took off from Mines Field (LAX) in a North American P-51D and was never seen again. An eye-witness had seen three P-51s take off close together, including hers, and had seen only two come back over the field.
There have been several searches for Tommy Tompkins and her P-51. First in 1944, again in 2009, and again in 2012. These searches failed to locate any P-51 wreckage but did find other aircraft wreckage.
AIR has assembled a team consisting of volunteers from eTrac Engineering, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, The US Navy, R2Sonic, and Hypack. This team brings a never before available collection of expertise, technology and passion to continue the search for Tommy Tompkins. State of the art multibeam sidescan SONAR, computer software for the collection, modeling and analysis of the data, a SONAR and photo equipped unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), and the most capable dive team in the world.
We’re hoping to launch in the fall of 2013. More to come!
5 thoughts on “The Last Missing WASP of WWII”
Are there any update on this case?
Not yet but we are still working on it. Hoping to get on site this summer but that is not for sure yet.
Totally unfamiliar with Tommy Thompkins. Can’t wait to see what the Discovery Channel unearths tonight. Nothing beats history, and mysteries like this one. Perhaps the time has finally arrived when we will learn the truth of her disappearance.
Josh Gates did a piece on finding her. They think she may have gone down in the Banning Pass area and the episode that he recently had on Expedition Unknown didn’t completely record. While living in Palm Springs years ago As a student pilot I recall dealing with the crazy wind conditions wile flying thru there. Can anyone point me to where I can find that program? It was an add on at the end of one of his recent programs.
That episode is here: S6 E8, https://go.discovery.com/video/expedition-unknown-discovery-atve-us/americas-lost-wwii-hero