ABOUT 9 JUNE 1942
CRASH LANDING OF A B-17 FLYING FORTRESS

AT CARISBROOKE STATION
WITH A FUTURE AMERICAN PRESIDENT ON BOARD

 

b-17e.jpg (9126 bytes)

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.

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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

 

REFERENCE BOOKS:-

"Gateway to Victory"
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

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I'd like to thank Paul McMillan for his assistance with the early history of this aircraft.

 

Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?

 

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This page first produced 11 February 1999

This page last updated 26 March 2013