The Swamp Ghost
RAAF Detachment Surveys Area
Leigh Alver adds:  
"I visited in 1985 when serving with the Australian Army. I had put in a task request to the RAAF detachment in support of the exercise to conduct an aerial recon of a training area. On completion of this task the pilot advised he was going to take a quick look for a B-17. The initial search found nothing. So the pilot flew out over the coast, then headed back on a direct line for Port Moresby (as if coming from Rabaul), saying "if we were in a B-17 and wanted to put it down, where would we do it" and at the same time losing height. To my surprise the aircraft appeared just to the left of the UH-1H when we were at an altitude of about 200 feet. I had seen a number of WWII aircraft wrecks since my first visit to PNG in 1967 but this was the most intact.

The pilot hovered off the right wing and a couple of us went for a quick look. At that time the water level inside the airframe was low and floor was covered with spent 50 cal rounds. Sign of previous visitors showed as a couple of instruments had been removed from the instrument panel (I now see that the whole pane has gone, along with the control wheels from the control columns). Most of the interior seemed to be intact. I am not certain but think that a number of weapons (50 cal) were still on board. I notice from the aerial photo that the growth of small trees is now starting to dominate the wetlands. This wasn't the case nearly 20 years ago but it was certainly an isolated area and was a little amazed how previous visitors had found and 'stolen' stuff. It is sad to see it deteriorating from those who had and seem to continue taking souvenirs."

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

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