Classic Bomber Lost in the Jungle
|Swamp Ghost is retrieved from its watery grave.|
The B17-E was shot down after a raid on New Britain in 1942. It was the first big US bomber raid of the war. Running out of fuel, the pilot expertly put it down in a swamp, and nobody was hurt. The plane crash-landed in New Guinea and the crew had to walk out through the jungle - which was no fun at all. In those days, they didn't spend a whole lot of time looking for lost bombers.
|For comparison, here is the B17F Memphis Belle in flight.|
The crew was given a week's leave after spending six weeks walking out of the jungle. Then, they were sent back up in new bombers. The plane's pilot, Capt. Frederick “Fred” C. Eaton, would often fly over the wreck and tell his new crew about how all nine men survived. Today, they would probably instantly promote and retire anyone who went through that and send them to meet the President. Then, it was just part of the job.
- Copilot - Captain Henry M. "Hotfoot" Harlow
- Navigator - 1st Lt. George B. Munroe, Jr.
- Flight Engineer - T/Sgt. Clarence A. LeMieux
- Bombardier - Sgt. Richard E. Oliver
- Radio/Gunner - Sgt . Howard A. Sorenson
- Waist Gunner - Sgt William E. Schwartz
- Waist Gunner - T/Sgt Russell Crawford