ABOUT 9 JUNE 1942
CRASH LANDING OF A B-17 FLYING FORTRESS
AT CARISBROOKE STATION
WITH A FUTURE AMERICAN PRESIDENT ON BOARD
B17-E Flying Fortress
Lyndon Baines Johnson, the future 36th President of the United States, hitched a ride back to Australia from New Guinea in Lt. Gen. George H. Brett's B-17D Flying Fortress, "Swoose", #40-3097 after being involved in a bombing raid on Lae on 9 June 1942 in a different aircraft. The pilot of "Swoose", Captain Frank Kurtz, got lost on his way to Cloncurry and when they almost ran out of fuel, he decided to land in the bush at Carisbrooke Station near Winton.
This B-17D, "Swoose", then flew back to the USA with General Brett. "Swoose" is now on display at the National Air and Space Museum (N.A.S.M), in Washington (see URL below). "Swoose" had previously been assigned to the 19th Bomb Group.
B-17D Flying Fortress #40-3097 was initially assigned to the 19th Bomb Group at Hickham airfield on 14 May 1941. It relocated to Java on 30 December 1941. It returned to the United States on 17 November 1944. It was used as a personal hack for Lt. Gen. George H. Brett, and later as a VIP transport aircraft. It is the longest serving B-17 in the USAAF.
Lyndon Baines Johnson (on right) shaking hands with Brigadier-General Martin Scanlon on the morning of 9 June 1942 at 7 Mile airfield in Port Moresby prior to him taking off for a bombing raid on Lae
By Noel Tunny
The Forgotten Fifth
A Classic Photographic Chronology of the
Fifth Air Force in Action in the Pacific in WW2
By Michael Claringbould
I'd like to thank Paul McMillan for his assistance with the early history of this aircraft.
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© Peter Dunn 2007
This page first produced 11 February 1999
This page last updated 26 March 2013