Swamp Ghost

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Swamp Ghost
Swamp Ghost restoration at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, April 2014
Swamp Ghost restoration at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, April 2014
Type Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress
Manufacturer Boeing
Construction number 2257
Manufactured 1941
Serial 41-2446
First flight 1941
Owners and operators Delivered new to the USAAF
In service 1941-1942
Fate Ran out of fuel and crash-landed in Agaiambo swamp, Oro Province, Papua New Guinea
Preserved at Currently (May 2013) un-restored at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor.

The Swamp Ghost is a Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress piloted by Captain Frederick 'Fred' C. Eaton, Jr, that ditched in a swamp on Papua New Guinea during the Second World War, after a raid on ships at Japanese-occupied New Britain on February 23, 1942. While flying over Rabaul, it was intercepted and eventually, having run out of fuel, had to force-land in a remote swamp near the north coast of New Guinea. All of the crew survived the crash landing and arduous trek out.[1]


The aircraft was rediscovered in 1972 in Agaiambo swamp, where it earned the nickname Swamp Ghost. In 1989, the Travis Air Force Base Heritage Center planned to recover it.[2] It was salvaged in 2006 and moved to Lae wharf where it lay waiting for permission to be transferred to the United States.[3] By February 2010, the wreck had been cleared for import to the United States.[4]


Swamp Ghost undergoing restoration in October 2015

In 2010, the aircraft was shipped to the United States, and on June 11, 2010, was shown to a public gathering in Long Beach, California, that included family members of the original crew. Plans were made to bring Swamp Ghost to the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson for restoration to static display. After arriving at Long Beach, the aircraft was on indefinite loan to the Planes of Fame Air Museum at Chino Airport.[5] The Swamp Ghost was received by the Pacific Aviation Museum in Pearl Harbor on April 10, 2013.[1] As of August 2013, the museum planned to restore the aircraft for static display in Hangar 79 on Ford Island. As of January 2019, the aircraft is on display in Hangar 79, undergoing restoration.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Murata, A.; Koivunen, J. (2013-04-10). "Legendary Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress a.k.a. "Swamp Ghost" Arrived Today, April 10 At Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor" (PDF). press release. Pacific Aviation Museum. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-07-21. Retrieved 2014-05-20.
  2. ^ Soberanes, Bill (11 June 1991). "The Swamp Ghost". Petaluma Argus-Courier. p. 11.
  3. ^ Antczak, John (11 June 2010). "World War II Bomber 'Swamp Ghost' Returns to US". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on 29 May 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  4. ^ "B-17E Bomber Rescued from Papua New Guinea Swamp, Now On Display in Hawaii". War History Online. 6 February 2016. Archived from the original on 13 April 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  5. ^ "Swamp Ghost Fuselage On Display at Chino" (PDF). Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  6. ^ Rivette, Thomas (January 28, 2019). "Pacific Aviation Museum, Oahu 2019". Retrieved October 2, 2019 – via Flickr.

External links[edit]