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May 15, 2000 Wreck News & Information

1. Message from the Author: Memorial Day & Movies
2. Veterans Speak! New Pacific Veteran Interviews
3. Bill Bartsch: Interview with Pacific Traveler and author of "Doomed From The Start"
4.  Book Reviews - Veteran Narratives Added to Book Reviews!
5.  Peter Flahavin's ARTIFACT pages!
6. Link of the Week- Destination: Chuuk
7. Pacific Trip - Traveling to New Guinea!

1.  Message from the Site's Author - Memorial Day

  With Memorial Day Around the corner, this month's wreck email update is dedicated to Veteran's stories. Read new veterans recollections about the Pacific in the Veterans Speak section. As always, all Pacific War Veterans or their relatives are encourage to submit their stories to the site.

  WWII is once again in the hype of summer movies, such as U-571 and the upcoming Pearl Harbor movie in 2001 people worldwide are once again looking back to WWII and wondering what it was really like. This Memorial Day, seek out a veteran and take the time to record their story - and marvel at the REAL stories behind the ones Hollywood tells.

Experiencing 408 Errors?
  For those of you experiencing problems accessing the Pacific Wreck Database (408 error - too many users) I have just learned that there is a traffic limit for the website. Once the daily limit is reached, the site may be inaccessible. This is frustrating - but also a positive sign, because it means the website is getting thousands of visitors weekly worldwide. Anyone who wants to host portions of the database or make a donation to the website (used to defray the cost of hosting), email me!

My computer Crashed!
  I have been late getting this email update out because my computer crashed, and I might have lost some emails in my inbox ! If you emailed me in the last month, and I have not replied by to your message, please email me again, I lost your message during my computer crash!

- Justin

2.  Veterans Speak! New Pacific Veteran Interviews

Here is a sampling of some of the new veteran interviews on the website:

Walter Seale - 871st Airborne Engineers
  I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Seale at his home. Read about how the 871st worked 24 hours a day building, expanding and repairing airfields in New Guinea. How they built airfields and transported equipment. Mr. Seale talks about the construction of Tsilli-Tsilli, Nadzab, Gusap, Owi and Del Carmen.

Bill Myers - 5th Air Force
   In post war Japan, finding a wrecked B-29 caused Mr. Myers to wonder what happened to the crew, especially tail gunner named Bird... Can you help him identify this bomber lost on a raid in early May, 1945 over Nagoya. See photos of B-29 wreck, Betty Bomber and a Fake B-29 used to train Japanese commandos.

Aubrey Buser - Marine Signals at the Pagoda - Henderson Field
  Sgt. Aubrey Buser worked at the Pagoda of Henderson Field in Signals. He remembers that in the desperate days of 1942 everyone was encouraged to help out on the airfield and the planes.

Carlos Dannacher - 40th Fighter Squadron
   I may be the only guy who put a P-39 down on the Wau strip and lived to tell about it. It occurred on July 14, 1943 when we scrambled from 12-mile to an intercept over Wau. We arrived at Wau and 20,000 feet about the same time, leveled off and about ready to drop tanks, when my bird rocked with a huge backfire in the engine compartment. Manifold Pressure fell way off and the rpm was around 1200-1500.

James A. Pounds - 593rd Engineer Boat & Shore Regiment
  "Washing Machine Charlie" was an aggravating jackass. If we were lucky enough to get a movie going he would always come over and stop the show. I don't know how many times I saw a portion of the movie "Wuthering Heights" and never did get to see the whole thing.

Carl R. Thien - 201 Counter Intelligence Corps
  Speaks about Hollandia, New Guinea from a combat photographer. Mr. Thien is Justin's grandfather, and the subject of his book No Place For A Picnic - http://www.wanpela.com/picnic/

James Hilburn - 41st Fighter Squadron
   Recollections about war in New Guinea from a USAAF veteran who served at many of the most famous Allied airfields across New Guinea.

3.  Bill Bartsch: Interview with the author of "Doomed From The Start" and Pacific Traveler

  Read this new interview with Pacific Traveler, Bill Bartsch. Mr. Bartsch is also the author of the book "Doomed From the Start", which is also reviewed this month on the website. It is an incredible account of American Pursuit Squadrons in the Philippines at the start of WWII. Read about how he went about researching this monumental work, his travels to the Pacific, and future research projects.

  A special treat, Mr. Bartsch has shared four exciting Pacific Wreck photos that appear in a special photo gallery on the same page as the interview. Included are a Japanese Flying Boat, Corsair Wreck, Corregidor Mortars, and Taroa Zeke. Check it out!

Doomed From the Start - Book Review


4.  Book Reviews: Veteran Narratives Added to Book Reviews!
Eric Hammel's Pacifica Press - now know as Pacifica Military History http://www.pacificamilitary.com/ has contributed the follow excellent personal narratives for review. Support this publisher - check out these titles.

The Jolly Rogers
by Tom Blackburn with Eric Hammel

   The Jolly Rogers is the true story of one of the US Navy's foremost World War II fighter squadrons, VF-17, and its charismatic commander, fighter ace Tom Blackburn. Blackburn describes VF-17's intense, winning campaign against the Japanese over the northern Solomon Islands and Rabaul in late 1943 and early 1944.

Dauntless Marine: Joseph Sailer Jr.
by Alexander S. White

  An assembly of letters and interviews, in addition to historical overviews brings us into the world of this famous Marine Corps Aviator and into the cockpit of his SBD dive bomber at Guadalcanal.

Ace! A Marine Night-Fighter Pilot
by Colonel R. Bruce Porter & Eric Hammel

   There are two things Marine Corps Colonel Bruce Porter most cherished possessions are his Navy Wings of Gold and his title of Ace. This book is the story of how he got them both.


5.  The REAL Thin Red Line - Peter Flahavin's ARTIFACT pages!

Australian Peter Flahavin has been corresponding with me about his annual visits to Guadalcanal. This month, he adds to his incredible Guadalcanal picture archive, with three pages of ARTIFACT photos. Don't miss this impressive collection of items Guadalcanal veterans have donated to him.

Page 1 - Coke bottles, Canteens, etc
Page 2 - Grenades, Ammunition, bullets
Page 3 - Buttons, Books, Miscellaneous items


6.  Link of the Week: The 1998 Epic Dive Trip destination: Chuuk

This excellent website begins: "Like many people my age, I grew up with National Geographic documentaries and magazines. I was always amazed by the people and places far away from my home in California. One issue that really stayed with me through the years was from 1976--an article on Truk Lagoon"

Included are many haunting Truk (Chuuk) Lagoon photos and travel notes online. Also visit his other websites:



7.  Pacific Trip Travel to the South Pacific

Signup information

This trip is in the planning stage for either this summer. For all those who emailed me already, I will be emailing additional details very soon.


# # # End of Wreck News May 15, 2000 # # #


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