The Agaimbo swamp is located in one of the most remote regions of Papua New Guinea. It is infested by malaria–carrying mosquitoes and huge crocodiles. The vegetation is dense and the intense heat is overpowering.
In fact, it is the last place in the world you would expect to find a Second World War bomber plane. That, however, is exactly what was discovered there in 1972 by members of the Australian Air Force.
The bomber was a B-17E Flying Fortress, a four-engine heavy bomber used by the United States Air Force. It was originally piloted by Captain Fred Eaton and took part in one of the first air attacks by the United States Army Air Force during the Second World War.
The bomber was intercepted by Japanese Fighters after a raid on ships at Japanese-occupied New Britain. The airplane suffered numerous hits and eventually crash-landed in Papua New Guinea – not because of the damage to the airplane, but because it ran out of fuel.
Eaton and his men were on their way back to base at Long Reach in Queensland, Australia, but they crashed into Agaimbo Swamp on February 23, 1942.
They survived six weeks of struggling on foot, fighting malaria and terrible heat. When the crew was reunited with American troops, these heroic individuals were immediately assigned to another aircraft and were flying again within a week.
A moment captured with the USAF Captain and his wife.
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