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Author Topic: Swamp Ghost Returns to the US  (Read 5919 times)

Russ Matthews

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Swamp Ghost Returns to the US
« on: June 10, 2010, 03:32:19 PM »

The recovered remains of US Army B-17E 41-2446 (later nicknamed "Swamp Ghost") have reached the US mianland and will be publicly unveiled at a Long Beach, CA area restaurant tomorrow (Friday June 11, 2010).

http://www.presstelegram.com/news/ci_15263020
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Monty Fowler

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Re: Swamp Ghost Returns to the US
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2010, 02:55:00 PM »

From their website - "The aircraft will be restored, possibly to flying condition, for display at an aviation museum as a symbol of America’s military aviation heritage."

Sigh ... if I remember correctly, was this not one of TIGHAR's earliest ventures into historic preservation? By the time these guys get done "restoring" this plane, ain't gonna be much historic about it left. But that's just me.
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Swamp Ghost Returns to the US
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2010, 01:04:34 PM »

No Monty. It's not just just you.
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Mark Petersen

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Re: Swamp Ghost Returns to the US
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2010, 03:54:19 PM »

If I remember correctly, I think that the Swamp Ghost project was the first that I had heard about Tighar.  My first thoughts about Tighar were 1) It's great that people were doing this stuff for lost warbirds and then 2) Wow, treking through the jungles and swamps in New Guinea is a heckuva lot of hard work!   Both of my thoughts about Tighar haven't changed :)

As far as restoring the B17 goes, my thinking is that there should be examples of both (restored and unrestored).  One of my fondest memories has been flying in a B17 (the 1099 from the Collins Foundation).  Listening to the steady drone of the four Radials is just a unique experience.  The only thing that would top if would be to see an original unrestored B17 like the Swamp Ghost.  Doubly so since the Swamp Ghost was lost in combat in the early years of WW2 and more historic (I think that 1099 was manufactured after the end of the war and used for search and rescue, and later used in A-bomb testing).  

Unfortunately I didn't see this post until after the June 11th display so I'll never get a chance to see it in it's unrestored condition. All I can say is I hope that they take lots of photos.

Edit:  Now that I think about it the B-17 that I flew in was the "909".  They say that memory is the first to go with age and the second is....  umn I forget!
« Last Edit: August 02, 2010, 12:51:12 AM by Mark Petersen »
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Mark Petersen

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Re: Swamp Ghost Returns to the US
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2010, 06:00:02 PM »

As an aside, the issue of restoration vs originality is something that the classic car industry has had to grapple with as well.  At one time rare collectible cars were "restored" to better than new condition as the norm.  There is a growing awareness that no matter how careful the restoration, some history, originality and character is lost in the process.  As the vast majority of collectible cars have been restored, unmolested original examples have become even rarer which interestingly enough has caused collectors to begin favoring unrestored examples.  Unrestored (survivor) cars have also begun to be judged separately.  Here is a case in point:
http://www.survivorcollectorcar.com/?link=history

A few months ago I was given a tour of a car restoration facility by a top restorer who is well known at Pebble Beach. He had several cars being worked on in his facility that were in the several million dollar price range (a Delage and a Delahaye to name a few).  At any rate, he told us this story that a rare old Bugatti was found in a lake and it was sold to a Museum who commendably will put it on display (as is) rather than restore it.  I think it was this car, but I could be wrong:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1241644/The-rare-Bugatti-car-plucked-lake-70-years-fetch-80-000-auction.html

I would love to see the history of 41-2446 preserved and placed (as is) into a museum.  Perhaps the same awareness of preservation and originality that has begun to take shape in the classic car market will also take hold in aviation.  If so, no doubt that TIGHAR will deserve a lot of credit for that. 
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