The Swamp Ghost

US bomber taken from Oro swamp
Post Courier [ May 23, 2006 ]
by Jessie Lapou

DISTURBED: The “Oro Swamp Ghost”, a World War II American bomber which crash landed in a Northern Province swamp has been salvaged and is heading back to the United Sates. It is pictured here at the Lae port being readied for shipment.

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.


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

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