B-17 salvaged from New Guinea swamp unveiled in Long Beach

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by syscom3, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    B-17 salvaged from New Guinea swamp unveiled in Long Beach - The Daily Breeze

    From wire service reports
    Posted: 06/11/2010 01:08:31 PM PDT

    More than 68 years after a B-17E Flying Fortress crash-landed in a New Guinea swamp, the salvaged aircraft, nicknamed Swamp Ghost, was unveiled today in Long Beach.

    A formation flyover by a vintage P-51 Mustang and P-40 Warhawk above the Long Beach Harbor began the ceremony to unveil the recovered bomber.

    The event in the parking lot of The Reef restaurant, where the plane's remarkably intact front fuselage was displayed, also included a flag presentation by the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard and remarks from recovery team members.

    Unfortunately, the aircraft's last four surviving crew members died shortly before Swamp Ghost returned to the United States. The plane's return was one of bombardier Richard Oliver's last wishes. His death last year denied him the privilege of seeing his warbird come home, but his widow, Linda, attended the ceremony, along with a handful of other air crew family members.

    First spotted by an Australian Air Force crew in 1972, the effort to salvage and export the plane was initiated in the mid-1980s by the late Specialty Restaurants Corp. founder, World War II veteran and antique aircraft collector David Tallichet.

    "My father was a young B-17 pilot flying out of England with the Bloody 100th Bomb Group during World War II," said John Tallichet, president and CEO of Specialty Restaurants.

    "He never lost his passion for aviation or love of his combat aircraft, the venerable Flying Fortress," he
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    said. "Sadly, my father could not be here to witness his dream fulfilled. However, my family is honored to continue his vision of preserving this invaluable relic of aviation history for the benefit of future generations."

    In 1996, aircraft salvage efforts were continued by Aero Archaeology founder and aircraft recovery enthusiast Alfred Hagen, who has located seven missing World War II aircraft and returned the remains of more than a dozen missing-in-action airmen to the United States for burial with full military honors.

    "Much of my work has been to honor those whom we have come to know as the Greatest Generation, and we look back on their accomplishments for inspiration," Hagen said.

    Swamp Ghost will be restored, possibly to flying condition, for permanent display at an aviation history museum.
     
  2. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Very cool! Thanks for posting sys
     
  3. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Wow!:shock: Thanks for the info Syscom!:thumbright: Would really be neat to see her fly again.:)
     
  4. robwkamm

    robwkamm Member

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    anyone got some pictures? / condition?
     
  5. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I heard about this yesterday from a fellow photographer. I know there were a couple of guys heading out there to see it. Let me see if they got any shots.
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Great news , thanks Sys. Last pics I saw were in an aviation magazine a year or so ago.
     
  7. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Great news! Interesting to see it when the pics surface.
     
  8. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    She's on loan at Planes of Fame now. All that I saw is the main fuselage to the tail gunner section.
    It's going to take a lot of work to fix her. My camera was broken so no pictures..., yet.


    Wheels
     
  9. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    I finally thought to take some pictures when I was there on the 5th.
    The entire Plane is being stored at Planes of Fame but they only have the fuselage on display.
    sSwamp_Ghost_001.JPG

    sSwamp_Ghost_002.JPG

    sSwamp_Ghost_003.JPG

    sSwamp_Ghost_004.JPG

    sSwamp_Ghost_005.JPG

    sSwamp_Ghost_006.JPG

    sSwamp_Ghost_007.JPG


    Wheels
     
  10. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    wow...that's awesome news! I've seen the Swamp Ghost pop up in the news over the years and always hoped they would eventually bring 'er home.

    Thanks for the pix, Wheels! :thumbleft:
     
  11. herman1rg

    herman1rg Well-Known Member

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    Interesting, thing is should it be restored or kept in the condition it was found and perhaps laid out as found in a memorial to the crew?
     
  12. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    I think that restoring an aircraft actually preserves it's lifespan, while at the same time restores the machine to "the way it was" when it was in its prime...usually the way the crew would rather remember her.
     
  13. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Good to see. Thanks for posting.
     
  14. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Awesome! Nice shots Wheels.
     
  15. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Very cool!:cool: Thanks for posting the photos Wheels!:thumbright:
     
  16. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    great pics Wheels, thanks.
     
  17. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    That's great. Last I heard the aircraft was tied up in litigation with the government of
    Papua, New Guinea. Good to have her back in the US.

    Charles
     
  18. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    Good stuff
     
  19. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    Glad you guys liked the pictures. I only wish I could have got some before they put up that darn fence. I was there before it was up but my camera wasn't working. :|

    No such luck on the restoration. At the moment there are no plans to restore her. Until the owner decides what to do with it it is going to be on loan to the Planes of Fame displayed just like it is now.


    Wheels
     
  20. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    Read a story about this Fort years ago in Flight magazine. Glad to hear they will restore her, and hopefully make her airworthy.

    TO
     
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