The Swamp Ghost

February 23, 1942
Two groups of B-17s of the 19th BG from various northern Australia airfields (Mareeba and Concurry) assembled at Garbutt Airfield at Townsville for the raid. They took off on the night on February 22, 1942 for a morning strike over Rabaul and Simpson Harbor the following morning.

1st Echelon
2nd Echelon
Col. Richard H. Carmichael
Captain William Lewis, Jr
B-17E 41-2446 pilot Eaton
B-17 piloted by 'Swede' Swenson
B-17E 41-2408 pilot Harry Brandon
B-17E 41-2434 Deacon Rawls (aborted)
B-17E 41-2416 Frank Bostrom (aborted)

1st Echelon

B-17 Piloted by Charmichael
Flown first from Mareeba to Garbutt, Townsville. Piloted by Major Richard Carmichael, C.O. of the 19th BG in Australia. RAAF Squadron Leader Richard Cohen flew as the co-pilot / observer on this mission. He was a PBY pilot who had been flying missions over Rabaul since it fell. This B-17 landed with two wounded aboard, hit by bullets in the knee and foot of gunners Sgt Sutton and Sgt. Mouser.

B-17E 41-2446 Piloted by Eaton
(aka Swamp Ghost)

B-17 Piloted by Swenson
Swenson's B-17 returned with Lt. Cihak wounded in the knee.

B-17E 41-2408 Piloted by Brandon

2nd Echelon

B-17 Piloted by Lewis
Pilot Captain William Lewis, Jr. (0-286960)
Co-Pilot P/O Robertson (RAAF)

B-17 Piloted by DuBose
1st Lt. James R. "Dubby" DuBose (0-21585)
Navigator John J. Steinbinder
Garbutt, Townsville, aborted the mission before take off because no. 3 engine would not start.

B-17E 41-2440 Piloted by Harry Speith
Took off from Garbutt, Townsville. It aborted the mission and returned to Garbutt unable to find the target due to bad weather.

B-17E 41-2434 Piloted by Rawls
Collison on the ground with 41-2416, later repaired

B-17E 41-2416 Piloted by Frank Bostrom
Collision with 41-2434. Heavily damaged and stripped for parts.


List of B-17s in Australia February 22, 1942
7th BG in Northern Australia on February 22, 1942
Six of the below planes are possibilities, listed by serial number
The five other B-17s listed above

B-17E 41-2408
Flew mission, piloted by Brandon

B-17E "San Antonio Rose" Serial Number 41-2416
Collision on the ground with 41-2434, stripped for parts

B-17E 41-2421

B-17E "Why Don't We Do This More Often" 41-2429

B-17E "Naughty But Nice" 41-2430
Damaged from Australian air line collision, repaired February 27, 1942

B-17E 41-2432

B-17E 41-2434
Collision on the ground with 41-2416, later repaired

B-17E 41-2435

B-17E 41-2438

B-17E 41-2440
Flew mission, aborted piloted by Harry Speith

B-17E 41-2446
Flew mission, piloted by Eaton, force landed in New Guinea swamp, aka 'Swamp Ghost'

B-17E "San Antonio Rose II" 41-2447

          B-17E 41-2446 art by Jack Fellows via IHRP

© 2006-2010  Contact Us | Subscribe