When restaurant tycoon David Tallichet was hiking through the jungle, he made the discovery of a lifetime.
Tallichet, a man who brought culture to the restaurant scene, built multiple businesses to ensure the legacy he left behind was one of historic significance. However, as it turned out, his most intriguing accomplishment had nothing in common with his profession. Instead, Tallichet raised ghosts from the dead when he made the following find in a remote region of the world…
1. Making It His Business
David Tallichet has been called the father of the successful businessman made a killing in the food industry, starting Polynesian-themed restaurants in California.
But Tallichet was also a part of the military before he started his successful career. He was deployed to Europe during World War II and initially flew as co-pilot on a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress.
A Passion for Planes
After completing his time in the military, and building up a successful business in the restaurant industry, this adventurer found he still had a passion for planes.
A Pristine Collection
Tallichet slowly grew his aircraft collection and even made replicas of military planes. He started a subsidiary company and went on to have some of his replicas used in movies like Pearl Harbor.
But the tycoon’s adventures didn’t stop there. Tallichet didn’t just want to restore old planes. He wanted to find them and bring them back from the dead.
A Testing Trek
This is where Tallichet and his team got the idea to tramp through a remote swamp in Papa New Guinea, one of the most underdeveloped regions in the entire world.
The Journey Presses On
With a team in tow, Tallichet made the exhausting journey through the jungle and into the swamp. They had years of expertise and survival skills to rely on, but the team didn’t know just what was in store for them.
Lost and Finally Found
When they finally found what they had been searching for, we were left speechless and they were left cheering.
Let’s Go Back To The Beginning
Allow us to take you back for a minute to 1942 when the story commences. World War II was at its peak. U.S. Army Air Corps Captain Fred Eaton and Henry Maynard Harlow were commissioned for a secret and dangerous mission.
Heroes of War
The war heroes were flying from Australia and facing dangerous conditions from the opposition. They were up against the Japanese Fortress at Rabaul in New Britain and when things took a bad turn, they were left with few options.
The mission took a nose dive, as did their plane, right in the middle of a Papa New Guinea jungle. The team of nine was left with limited resources in hostile terrain and few prospects of hope.
Battling The Elements
The men left behind the bullet-riddled U.S. B-17E bomber and began the trek back to safety, an arduous trek that tested their strength as soldiers and as men. For six weeks, they battled malaria and heat exhaustion as they attempted to make their way back home.
A Tomb Preserved
For the remainder of the war, the pilots carried out their duties. All the while, the lost ship sat in the jungle, inaccessible and perfectly preserved in the swamp.
On a Mission
Nobody knew what came of the “swamp ghost” that sat there for decades. It mission was incomplete and it was said to be the world’s only intact and un-retired World War II-era B-17E bomber…until Tallichet came along.
No More Time to Waste
After the team made their initial visit to the wreck, it lay abandoned and alone for another eight months. But upon their return, Tallichet did not waste any time.
Bit by bit, they disassembled the old war plane and flew it the pieces to a nearby boat using a helicopter to airlift the rescue out of there. But all did not go as planned.
A Fallen Wing
At one point, the team lost a wing due to it being poorly secured at awkward angles. This setback almost spelled disaster and it would have too, if they didn’t press on.
When they finally completed the job, the “swamp ghost” was finally retired and given a proper home to rest.
The Story Lives On
Now, the ship has been laid to rest at the Pacific Aviation Museum in Hawaii. It’s soul lingered in Papa New Guinea for too long, but its story lives on.
The Final Rest
In 2007, Tallichet went to his final resting place, but he made his contribution to the world and gave us back a piece of history that was thought to be lost forever.
[Featured Image: Photo credit: LanaV777 @ Youtube]