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January 21, 2000 Wreck News & Information

   1. New Millennium: Visions for the website in 2000
   2. Michael Claringbould Interview with Wreck Expert and Author
   3. Fortress is a Liberator! Exciting news, the identity of a new wreck is confirmed!
   4. Patricia Gaffney Event Pages Updated!
   5. Book Reviews - Guadalcanal - Starvation Island by Eric Hammel
   6. Link of the week - (from Elliot Smock) PBY Catalina Pages
   7. Pacific Tour - Phase II Form: Passport and Health Information


1.  New Millennium: Visions for the website in 2000

  Sixty years ago, the year was 1940. The world was a very different place. After visiting my grandfather last week, I was reminded yet again about the beauty of the oral history of the war, and the importance for us all to ask, and remember the wisdom of the past, before it is lost.

  This coming year, I will rededicate myself to making the website the best it can possibly be with forums and outlets for veterans and those who remember the war to share their recollections and memories. I have almost completed a MAJOR renovation of the website. Look for completely redesigned database pages full of new information. I apologies for any broken links as I work to complete the overhaul of the site's nearly 500 pages, and thousands of hyperlinks. If you have bookmarked any pages of the site, be advised their address has probably changed as the site has been drastically restructure to encompass new growth.

  To all of you who expressed wishes for a happy new year and holidays past, thank you and I look forward to hearing from everyone from around the world again. As always, feel free to drop me a line. My apologies if it takes me a little while to get back to your email.

- Justin

2.  Michael Claringbould Interview with Wreck Expert and Author


  I am proud to present a superb interview with one of the most interesting people in wreck research, Michael Claringbould. He has provided exclusive information to the website over the past months, and is a key collaborator to the site. Author of several important contemporary books about the history of the 5th Air Force, he is also involved with the discovery of many new wreck sites, including the first F-4F Wildcat, shot down by Saburo Sakai.

  Read the interview to learn about his early interest in wrecks, as a Grammar School Student in Port Moresby, where there was a P-40 wreck near his school! His work over the years around the South Pacific, his publishing company, Aerothenic Publications, and his presentation to the famous Japanese ace, Saburo Sakai.

  Don't miss this exclusive interview, and look for Claringbould's name as the contributor to countless photographs, facts and histories throughout the website.


3.  Fortress is a Liberator! New wreck's identity is confirmed! With wreck's SN 42-40640

  First reported on this website October 1999, now the true identity is revealed: B-24D 42-40640 Discovered in 1997, this plane crashed into a ridge 1,500 feet up on the tip of the island. Wreckage has been scattered due to the impact and weather. USAAF star is visible, as is "240640" on the tail. Photo and video from Jeff Johnson.

   This wreck was initially described as a B-17, and referred as a B-17 by locals, but as it ends up it is actually a B-24. Its story was brought to light but collaborator Michael Claringbould who correctly identified it as a Liberator.

  B-24D-80-CO #42-40646 was assigned to the 72nd B.S., 5th Bomb Group, 13th Air Force. It may have been named "ALLEY CAT," but that info is not confirmed. It was officially written off in US records on December 1, 1943 as "Condemned," but this doesn't mean the date of crash, although that is often within a day or two, or sometimes the exact date it was lost. The fact that it was listed as condemned rather than missing or crashed confuses the issue. The time this B-24 went into service is long after there was any serious Japanese air activity in the Guadalcanal area, so it probably wasn't a combat loss.

  Also, check out Jeff Johnson's page on the subject: http://www.outofbounds.com/html/b-24.html


4.  Patricia Gaffney-Ansel Event Check section for new photos and information!

  The successful online event with Patricia Gaffney-Ansel's, now has photographs of the event online. Recently, you might have seen Patricia telling her story on Lifetime Television's "Beyond Chance" program. Check your local listing for rebroadcasts if you missed it. The streamed video from last month's event is still waiting to be put on line. and hope to have this video functioning next month. For now, there are photographs to browse, and news articles to read about Gaffney, and the coverage of the event in Capital district newspapers.


5. Book Reviews - Guadalcanal - Starvation Island by Eric Hammel

Guadalcanal - Starvation Island
by Eric Hammel

  Hammel crafts his book in a way different than most histories. Instead of being merely an analysis from the General's level, we read about the thoughts and observations of a whole wealth of characters involved, from the fighter pilot in the sky, to the marine on the ground. Enlisted men and officers. Just as exciting, is the Japanese side of those same figures. For the first time, that I have ever read certainly, we are able to see and understand more about what was going on in the other side.

Pacific Wrecks and Where to Find them
by Charles Darby

   This is the "classic" source book about WWII Pacific Wrecks. An infamous book full of mystery, intriguing photographs, and all the lore and mystique of rusting Japanese and Allied relics.. Originally published in 1979, then reprinted in 1986, then 1999. Its re-release was brought to my attention by a reader of the website, who was kind enough to acquire the book for me to review.


6.  Link of the week -Wreck of A24-1 in Darwin Harbor

PBY CAtalina Pages - Wreck of A24-1 in Darwin Harbor

  Elliot Smock borough this link to my attention again, about other Catalina wrecks in Darwin Harbour's East Arm. Interesting and complete history presented on this webpage full of PBY information, including a list of veteran crews and pliots around the world. An well done site.

7.  Pacific Tour - Phase II Form: Passport and Health Information

  To all of those who replied to my about joining me on my 60th anniversary visit of Pacific wreck sites, with veterans and having it documented, pleas take a moment to visit this link and submit this online form. Anyone who missed the earlier announcements may also fill out this form, but may be added to a "waiting list"


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# # # End of Wreck News #V2.#7 January 21, 2000 # # #


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