Intermission (11) – Swamp Ghost

B-17 Flying Fortress - Swamp Ghost

B-17 Flying Fortress – Swamp Ghost

On February 23rd, 1942, a B-17E Flying Fortress bomber crashed in one of the most remote and wild places on Earth: the impenetrable Agaimbo swamp located in the island nation of Papua New Guinea.

 The plane, piloted by young U.S. Army Air Corps Captain Fred Eaton, had flown a long and dangerous mission from Australia against the Japanese Fortress at Rabaul in New Britain. This was the first long-range Allied bombing mission of World War II following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor that included the U.S.

The crew survived their ordeal and, after a six-week trek to safety, returned to combat. Their B-17E, however, remained forgotten in the swamp until it was rediscovered in 1972 by an Australian Air Force crew.

In the mid-1980s, the late World War II pilot, restaurant industry pioneer and antique aircraft collector David Tallichet initiated efforts to recover and return the plane to U.S. soil. His dream was fulfilled in 2010 through the joint efforts of his family and aircraft salvage enthusiast Alfred Hagen.

Nicknamed Swamp Ghost, the B-17E has become an icon of military aviation. In tribute to its intact state, romantic isolation and the extreme challenges involved in its salvage, it is known among historians as military aviation’s Holy Grail.

Coincidentally, the B-17E was assigned to the Kangaroo Squadron, which flew into Pearl Harbor from San Francisco during the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941. This occurrence contributed to the disaster because U.S. Oahu radar personnel assumed the incoming Japanese attack wave represented the squadron’s expected arrival. Swamp Ghost was not with the squadron on that fateful day, instead flying in shortly after the attack.
Before its salvage, Swamp Ghost was considered the best-preserved unrecovered B-17E in the world. With its return to the Port of Long Beach, Swamp Ghost completed its final mission 68 years after take-off. Only four aircraft models of its type have ever been recovered. The aircraft will be restored, possibly to flying condition, for display at an aviation museum as a symbol of America’s military aviation heritage.
From Warhistoryonline.
Video is only 2½ minutes long!!
*****
Swamp-Ghost

B-17 Flying Fortress – Swamp Ghost

Disney and the Pacific Aviation Museum collaborate….

From: General Aviation News

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 Military Humor – 

military-humor (640x512)

military-humor-famous-last-words-hook-down-carrier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on images to enlarge.

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 Farewell Salutes – 

Ray Anderson – Cynthiana, KY; US Army, WWII, ETO, TSgt.

Remo Belli – Mishawaka, IN; US Navy

Missing Man formation

Missing Man formation

Joseph Coffey – Philadelphia, PA; US Army & US Air Force

Albrecht Hering – Jamaica Hgts., NY; US Army,1st Lt, A/B Ranger, 3rd Infantry Division

Gerard Lanouette – Montreal, CAN; RC Air Force, WWII, Korea

Thomas McCullough – Albequerque, NM; US Army Air Corps, WWII, 187th/11th Airborne

Hector Preston (100) – Auckland, NZ; Expeditionary Navy Force # 60671, WWII, Warrant Officer

James Rooney – Toledo, OH; US Army, WWII/ US Air Force, Korea

James Schwartz – Mobile, AL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, B-17 pilot

David Walls – Phoenix, AZ; US Army, WWII

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on May 19, 2016, in Current News, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 79 Comments.

  1. WOW! It’s in such great condition too after all of these years!

    Like

  2. Excellent coverage of the recovery of the Swamp Ghost gp.
    Great to know it’s being considered for restoration to flying status, more importantly as it being one of only four recovered.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thankfully its landing in a swamp is what saved the fuselage and the crew. I’m just surprised, with satellite coverage and modern technology, it took so ling to discover its location.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. hey GP – moi again – just thought you would want to see this cool plane I just saw in my feed…

    https://secretartexpedition.wordpress.com/2016/05/22/sepia-sunday-come-fly-with-me/

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The video was great – and talk about a well edited 2 minutes! Very nice – and interesting that they were expecting an arrival during Pearl Harbor – such little yet significant things are so interesting -happy Sunday

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Amazing post Brad, the photo of the Swamp Ghost is awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This article about the plane was very interesting.

    Like

  7. Riveting. The mission, the trek to escape, and the recovery of the Flying Fortress all have one hungry for much more detail. (Amazing that the dropped wing didn’t have an, ‘Oh, (censored)!’ from him, at the very least!)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Interesting story and a spectaculary video

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A really interesting story…thank you for sharing it with us!

    Like

  10. What an incredible endeavor. I have been a student of WWII aviation for a long time but somehow missed the the tale of this recovery. Thanks for posting!

    Like

    • The video is what did it for me (don’t know why it didn’t show up here besides the link). Watching that aircraft get lifted out of the swamp and the look on the men’s faces!! It doesn’t get any sweeter than that!!

      Like

  11. A great story of recovery of the plane.

    Like

  12. Interesting find , eh ? My uncle was a B-17 pilot , based in England .

    Like

  13. Great story. Crashing into a swamp–that must have been challenging for the crew. Good grief.

    Like

  14. The Far East must be littered with old aircraft, many will probably never be found. A massive undertaking.

    Like

  15. Always enjoy stories of history being preserved. Perhaps they will restore the plane and bring it to the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, my home state.

    Like

  16. A very interesting story of historical importance! I wonder whether it would have been made a difference in the devastating Pearl Harbor attack, if the US squadron had not been expected on that fateful day.

    Like

  17. What a amazing story and glad that they were able to bring it back. What a undertaking that was. Also loving the military humor especially ” what hook?” Great post, Everett!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Wonderful little snippet and info on the Swamp Ghost. Its such bits of info that makes wonderful reading, things which we laypersons might never have otherwise known. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I wonder if the plane might end up here in Oregon at The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evergreen_Aviation_%26_Space_Museum

    Liked by 1 person

  20. That six-week trek to safety could make a good book, to go along with the restoration of this plane. I wonder how they survived, and what dangers they encountered.

    Like

  21. That was a real labour of love. The conditions in the film look challenging, to say the least!
    There is a flying fortress at the Duxford Museum, just over an hour from here. It is often flown, on special occasions and at air shows.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sally_B
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I saw some WWII aircraft at our Boca Raton Airport (I made a post about it), and it thrills me to see them fly. I’m happy to hear you have one too.

      Like

  22. Wünsche dir einen schönen Nachmittag eine Umarmung Gislinde

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Any idea which museum will end up getting this plane?

    Like

  24. What an extraordinary undertaking. I am so amazed it survived for so long.

    Like

  25. What a treat it would be to see that restored!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Pierre Lagacé

    Reblogged this on My Forgotten Hobby and commented:
    About the Swamp Ghost

    Like

  27. Military humour – “I’m with stupid” hahahaha 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Intermission (11) – Swamp Ghost — Pacific Paratrooper – Journal Edge

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