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B-17E "Swamp Ghost" recovered...

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    B-17E "Swamp Ghost" recovered...

    Finally.




    From the Post Courier (PNG Newspaper):

    US bomber taken from Oro swamp

    SWAMP GHOST, an American war plane that crashed into the swamps of Oro Province during World War II is about to be shipped out to the United States of America. The WWII bomber, a B17E plane is reportedly to be restored in the United States. The plane has been shifted from a swamp in Oro Province to Lae and is expected to be shipped to the USA soon. The National Museum authorities said a Fred Hagen from the US and a Robert Greinert from Australia, have been allowed to have the plane salvaged and restored in the United States at a cost of thousands of US dollars. It is believed the war relic, if sold could be worth over a million US dollars. National Museum acting director Simon Poraituk said in a letter last month that the National Museum and Art Gallery board of trustees have made a decision to let Mr Hagen salvage and restore the plane. The board was empowered by the National Museum and Art Gallery Act of 1992 to make decisions on war surplus materials that were protected by the war surplus material act (1952), he said then. The plane had remained fully intact for the last 64 years in Karaisa village of Oro Province. However, Karisa leaders Jerry Yogoni, Gilbert Yogoni, Gutari Yogoni, Colin Tom and the chairman of the Beach Head Battlefields Tourism Committee in Popondetta Joachim Olai do not want the plane to be salvaged, removed or damaged. They all agreed that the plane should be left where it was because it was priceless and that it could be used to attract tourist.
    Last edited by GooneyBird; 23rd May 2006, 01:51.

    #2
    You know what is sad about this is just how much material will be reused in the restoration?
    Cheers,Peter
    "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"

    Comment


      #3
      At some point you have to decide whether to leave it place and slowly rot or recover/restore it.

      At least something's been done.

      The "E" is a rare ac...especially one with combat history.
      There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

      Comment


        #4
        I wonder if she will be flyable or static?
        Cheers,Peter
        "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by peter
          You know what is sad about this is just how much material will be reused in the restoration?
          Quite a bit for a static, haven't had a report as to what the belly is like though after spending all those years in the swamp.

          Dave

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by J Boyle
            At some point you have to decide whether to leave it place and slowly rot or recover/restore it.

            At least something's been done.

            The "E" is a rare ac...especially one with combat history.

            I totally and utterly agree. It has been lying there too long already. Now the Black Cat Pass Fortress, the upside down Marauder etc. Save them now before it is too late.

            Well done!!!!!

            Cees

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by DaveM2
              Quite a bit for a static, haven't had a report as to what the belly is like though after spending all those years in the swamp.

              Dave
              Given that swampwater is usually acidic, the aluminium (sorry, alumINUM!) and alu-alloy parts may well be in better condition that you might think. Anything ferrous, and no doubt some of the more interesting alloys, will have reacted very badly to the acid water. However one of the techniques used to make aluminium last longer is caled anodising, and is achieved by dipping the parts into an acid solution. This leaves a layer of inert aluminium oxide on the surface which weather etc will not penetrate. So effectively much of the airframe may have been anodised!

              Slightly off-topic, Messerschmitt used to anodise their airframes at the factory.

              Adrian
              "Snow clearing equipment has been found under snowdrift" - message sent from RNAS Hatston, Orkney, 1944.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by adrian_gray
                Messerschmitt used to anodise their airframes at the factory.

                Adrian
                Yes but...as individual sheet metal and pre-drilled/dimpled items, not as riveted assemblies and sub-assemblies I trust.

                It is the electrolyte between the surfaces that does the damage.

                Mark
                "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney"

                Comment


                  #9
                  Actually, Messerschmitt didnt, at least not in my experience.

                  Junkers did though - some of the surviving 88's have survived as well as they have for precisely this reason.

                  Bruce

                  Comment


                    #10
                    yesss, another one saved
                    Magister Aviation
                    It's all in my book

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Bruce
                      Actually, Messerschmitt didnt, at least not in my experience.
                      Bruce
                      Ah, could have sworn I'd read that in everyone's favourite aviation mag beginning with F! Nonetheless, it has certainly been recorded as aiding the preservation of some German aircraft.

                      As Mark 12 suggests, though, the joints and the rivets could be an interesting area. I shall be very interested to see what appears in the mags about this, and the future plans for her. One hopes they didn't spend all the cash on shifting her.

                      By the way, does no-one else wonder how the hell they got it out? IIRC the classic way to visit her was to land a helicopter on the wing...

                      Adrian
                      "Snow clearing equipment has been found under snowdrift" - message sent from RNAS Hatston, Orkney, 1944.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Good to see it recoverd. I hate that planes is left to disepeer. But where is Oro Province?
                        Petter Jensen / Planebeach
                        A proper plane has a prop!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Planebeach
                          Good to see it recoverd. I hate that planes is left to disepeer. But where is Oro Province?
                          Papua New Guinea
                          [QUOTE=Peter]You know what is sad about this is just how much material will be reused in the restoration?[/QOUTE]
                          who cares? As long as it's restored!
                          Magister Aviation
                          It's all in my book

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Mark12
                            Yes but...as individual sheet metal and pre-drilled/dimpled items, not as riveted assemblies and sub-assemblies I trust.

                            It is the electrolyte between the surfaces that does the damage.

                            Mark

                            Ahh, my thoughts exactly Mark,

                            My pet subject, Halifax W1048 at the RAF Museum. Remember the general state of thought by the museum that it is best to preserve as is. But what about the areas where you cannot reach such as the joints, steel against aluminium etc. Good to see the Fortress being treated as she should. Now do the same thing to W1048 and any other recovered airframe. An airframe that is recovered cannot be expected to last fifty to hundreds of years or indefinately. It will crumble into a nice pile of dust before your kids go to university.

                            There is but one way to do it. The right way.

                            Just my thoughts of course

                            Cees

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Gotta remember these planes had a limited life expectancy so having iron bolts,washers through Ally alloy members was rife.Double drill holes,bent over rivets,chop marks etc all were passed to get them into the war.Good to see the old girl go to a good home.She has a rich history too I believe..Wonder how many chickens the natives got for it.Still plenty of stuff in PNG just laying there at peace just waiting to be found again under the jungle canopy.
                              "If the C.O. ask's you to be Tail End Charlie...just shoot him!!!....A Piece of Cake.
                              http://spitfirea58-27.blogspot.com.au/

                              Comment


                                #16
                                I know this is going to sound a bit perverse - and goes contrary to what we all stand for when it comes to saving old aeroplanes and displaying them for our heritage etc. etc. - but I was actually a bit disappointed to hear they had 'rescued' the Swamp Ghost. There was something quite unique about this plane, not just which model it was, but its whole environment.

                                Imagine the effort it must have taken to get out to PNG, to travel into the jungle, then the thrill of coming across this old warbird, resting in the swamp where it has lain for 60 years? The originality of this as a live exhibit - in the wild has now been lost.

                                She will be renovated and will act as a suitable memorial to those airmen who died in the Pacific, but I still feel saddened that no one will be able to make that trip out to her in the swamp again. I know there are many here who enjoy visiting a crash site, and I think this site was something special.

                                I was lucky enough to dive the B17 Bessie the Jap Basher and the experience has never left me. With time, all that will remain of her will be collapsed and unrecognisable metal. But I would not have wanted to see her in a museum even flying if it had meant I could not have dived upon her. That may sound selfish, but plenty of others have seen her too. Is it an elitist experience? Maybe - there are other B17's around. Not enough, I grant you. Some you can see in the air, but underwater......? In the jungle....?

                                DS
                                Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by DocStirling
                                  I know this is going to sound a bit perverse - and goes contrary to what we all stand for when it comes to saving old aeroplanes and displaying them for our heritage etc. etc. - but I was actually a bit disappointed to hear they had 'rescued' the Swamp Ghost. There was something quite unique about this plane, not just which model it was, but its whole environment.

                                  Imagine the effort it must have taken to get out to PNG, to travel into the jungle, then the thrill of coming across this old warbird, resting in the swamp where it has lain for 60 years? The originality of this as a live exhibit - in the wild has now been lost.

                                  She will be renovated and will act as a suitable memorial to those airmen who died in the Pacific, but I still feel saddened that no one will be able to make that trip out to her in the swamp again. I know there are many here who enjoy visiting a crash site, and I think this site was something special.

                                  I was lucky enough to dive the B17 Bessie the Jap Basher and the experience has never left me. With time, all that will remain of her will be collapsed and unrecognisable metal. But I would not have wanted to see her in a museum even flying if it had meant I could not have dived upon her. That may sound selfish, but plenty of others have seen her too. Is it an elitist experience? Maybe - there are other B17's around. Not enough, I grant you. Some you can see in the air, but underwater......? In the jungle....?

                                  DS
                                  And how many people can make that trip to the swamp?...not many. The aircraft was also being slowly scavenged, according to one of the salvage team, major sections of the structure are gone, so eventually it would disappear anyway, to scrappers and the elements.
                                  There are other wrecks that can be visited, including a complete B-17 on a hillside, so there is no lack of 'wild warbirds' for visitors.....the only thing that is a threat is the uncontrolled destruction of them by the 'metal merchants' Get the substantial wrecks out before it is too late, not only to 'Western' Museums, but to the National museum in PNG.
                                  The US Navy has a similar policy..'preserve them for future generations' where they lay...mostly at the bottom of a lake
                                  Sea wrecks abound and are in the main not worth recovering, so little threat to them except time and tide.

                                  my .02 worth

                                  Dave

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    over on wix it says the govt has put a halt on her export until an inquiry set for july.. doesnt look good..!
                                    Cheers,Peter
                                    "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      [QUOTE=Fouga23]Papua New Guinea
                                      Originally posted by Peter
                                      You know what is sad about this is just how much material will be reused in the restoration?[/QOUTE]
                                      who cares? As long as it's restored!
                                      ...because then you might as well build a replica. It will probably cost less and take less time. This is a real aircaft with a real history, and heavy handed 'restoration' might end up getting rid of some of that. It needs to be preserved - that means no modern finishes or materials, no destroying original features to make it look shiny and new, and preferably just enough work to prevent further degradation. During the preservation process, masses can be learned about the history of the aircraft and the type that might not otherwise be recorded.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        XN923--

                                        I concur with that. Further to it (though it likely doesn't apply in the case of a B-17), such study affords the opportunity of "xeroxing" the design in great detail, enabling the building of replicas--viz that glorious-looking Me262 whose flying debut is making the rounds of the fora at the moment...I'd love to see something like that happen with the NMNA Brewster 339. At least, at last word anyway, that aircraft was slated to be conserved, rather than restored. Might be an emergent trend...NASM P-38 and P-61; FAAM Corsair...hope so.

                                        S.

                                        Comment


                                         

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