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Wreck News & Information - September 30, 2001


NEWS - No Reward for History

EVENTS - Ghost Wings Conference & Rabaul

David I. Garrett - 31st "Dixie" Division

Saundra Kay Proctor - Niece of MIA discovered in 1994

Snapshot into History - Fate of B-25C 41-12980
Photo of the Month
- 5th AF Defends Darwin
SDCH - Prewar America do you remember SDCH?

John Douglas - P-39 Wrecks Port Moresby
Stan Gajda - Western Australia
Dan Leahey - Cowra POW Camp & Moorabbin
Chris Cowx - Solomons Islands Travel
Steve Saunders - Rabaul's Japanese Machine Tools

Video - A6M DVD & A Missing Plane
Links - New websites to bookmark!

1. Message from the Editor


This past month saw ominous comparisons of the recent terrorism acts in the USA to the attack on Pearl Harbor. It seems everywhere WWII is in the news and popular culture, between the "Band of Brothers" television series, and upcoming "Windtalkers" film. This past month, a new Hollywood movie was also announced, about to the war in New Guinea starring Russel Crow. Thanks to Chris Seehase for this brief http://www.pacificwrecks.com/news/crowe.html

More exciting interviews, news and visits are on the horizon for the rest of the year. As always, I am seeing Pacific veterans, travelers and those with information in this field to interview. All nationalities and branches of service are encouraged to submit their stories. If you enjoy this newsletter, support the site by visiting, or contributing to its continued growth http://www.pacificwrecks.com/help/

Friends of the website around the world - old & new, enjoy this new update. Those worldwide, thank you for your best wishes in regard to the tragedy in the United States and concern.

- Justin

2. News - No 'Reward' for History


Last month, a paid advertisement appeared in a Papuan New Guinea newspaper with the headline "REWARD For Missing Airplanes". Read about attempts to sell WWII history to the highest bidder, and why efforts like this are counterproductive to the goals of preserving history. Instead, they instead encourage scrapping, land disputes and deprive the world of the richness of these artifacts. Attempts to contact the group that placed the ad for further comments were not returned.

I challenge the world to embrace the notion of learning the history of these relics of war, and take photographs of them. Outsiders must respect the history of these relics and their ownership by the countries where they have lay since the war. The idea of bringing a can of oil, hacking down a jungle airstrip and flying out a P-47 from an overgrown airstrip is fantasy.

3. Events


Salute to Aviation Heroes 2001 Air Event

Free aviation event hosted by Ghost Wings Magazine October 4-7th at the Pennsylvania College of Technology Lumley Aviation Center (500 Airport Road), located at the Williamsport Regional Airport, Montoursville, Pennsylvania (north-central PA). This event is highly recommended. The impressive list of events, speakers and aircraft should prove a combination with something for everyone. To learn more about Ghost Wings Magazine, see: http://www.ghostwings.com

Rabaul 60th Anniversary Tour

Preparations for the 60th Anniversary ceremonies in Rabaul are still underway. Added to the agenda is a memorial service will take place at the 2/22nd memorial. To get involved in this exciting travel opportunity and event, send an email to indicate interest. Although not until January 2001, reservations are being made now.

4. Veterans Speak - David Garrett - 31st "Dixie" Division


David I. Garrett - 31st "Dixie" Division

Mr. Garrets service spanned from training in Columbus, Georgia to overseas at Oro Bay, and combat in the Dutch East Indies at Maffin Bay, Moritai, Mapia and in the Philippines at Mindanao, Cotabato & Davo. Thanks to Shepard G. Montgomery of Jackson, Miss. for submitting this memoir, and Dorothea Garrett of Monroe, Louisiana for permission to share her deceased husband's memoirs.


5. Saundra Kay Proctor - Niece of MIA Pilot Discovered in 1994


This is the first installment in a series of three with the relatives of the "Beautiful Betsy". Moving interview with Sandra Kay Proctor, the niece of Lt. William McDaniel, MIA pilot of B-24 "Beautiful Betsy" that was missing until 1994. Learn about her recollections of her Uncle, and reaction to the bombers discovery in Australia 49 years after it went missing.

6. Snapshot In History - Fate of B-25C 41-12980

Aerothentic Publications was interested to read Michael Moscow's account of three captured airmen in New Guinea. He wondered whether we would ever know who they were, and the answer is an emphatic yes! Read this history for complete details on this 3rd BG B-25 including what US records do not tell you about the sad fate of this crew and their capture and demise at the hands of the Japanese.

7. Photos of the Month - 5th AF Defends Darwin

Aerothentic Publications have just added a remarkable section to their photo archive. The section covers the time in 1942 when U.S Warhawk pilots defended Darwin against Japanese bombers. With most Australian flyers scouring Europe's skies in Lancasters and Spitfires during the war's opening days, it was American pilots of the 49th Fighter Group which defended Australia’s north.

The new webpage proscribes the life of one such American flyer. Through the logbook, diary, and photos of 2/Lt Joseph H. King, donated through his son Joseph H. King Jnr, Aerothentic makes us privy to this remarkable slice of joint US/ Australian history, encapsulating a mini-era which to date has received little accurate treatment, and which is still surrounded by mystique and historical error.

The photos encapsulate the northern Australian experience of King, thus reflecting on the wider story of the first American flyers in combat over Australian skies. King was assigned to the 7th Fighter Squadron of the 49th Fighter Group. Most of the remarkable photos which complement Aerothentic’s webpage were taken at Batchelor Field near Darwin in mid-1942. The page can be found through the Photo Archive section at www.aerothentic.com

8. SDCH - Prewar America Do you Remember SDCH?

As many Pacific historians know, the United States sold tons of scrap metal to Japan prior to the start of WWII. In one of the great ironies of the war, this American scrap metal was used in the manufacture of many Japanese warplanes. Often the logo stamp "SDCH" is visible on this scrap metal, on interior surfaces of Japanese aircraft skins, never painted over or erased from the metal's former life in the United States. Do any Americans recall what the initials "SDCH" stood for? Most likely, it was an American company in the 1930's. If so, email me justin@wanpela.com

9. John Douglas - Papuan Wreck Diary

Another great update from John Douglas, who speaks about explorations in the forests around Port Moresby. Much of this area is steep, forested and little used except by occasional hunters. So, there are wrecks to be found. CILHI have been working on a couple with remains, but a lot more need to be located and checked out. For the moment we've been working in one valley that seems to have gathered up P-39s. All apparently lost in May 1942, when matters were very evenly balanced between the opposing forces. These P-39s are all D or F models, not reported to the outside world before, and come from 35 and 36 sans, USAAF. No remains obvious.

10. Stan Gajda - Western Australia
Gajda contributes these amazing history and photographs of the Ki 46 Dinah wreck in Western Australia. This Japanese Army plane was shot down on July 20, 1944 by RAF Spitfire pilot Meakin. Large portions of the wreckage were still at this forgotten site and were recived by the Japanese relatives who knew nothing about the fate of its crew. Also briefs on two RAAF and USAAF airfields in Western Australia - Drysdale and Truscott.

Ki 46 Dinah Shot Down in Western Australia

Drysdale Airfield

Truscott Airfield


11. Daniel Leahey - Corwa POW Camp & Moorabbin
Australian Daniel Leahey, creator of the RAAF Database website has been on the move. This month, two interesting Australian locations. Look for additional updates in the next months about his travels in Queensland.

Corwa POW Camp

Moorabbin Museum

RAAF Database


12. Chris Cowx - Solomon Island Tours


Chris Cowx has returned from a sucessful trip to the Solomons, and has returned with updates and photos from a wide variety of locations including Guadalcanal, New Georgia, Gizo, Plum Pudding Island, Kolombangara, and, the Treasurys. Also, he has a new Solomons Travel website:

Solomon Islands Battle Site Tour


13. Steve Saunders - Japanese Machine Tools Rabaul

Japanese Machine Tools

The machine tools in Rabaul are perhaps not the most exciting war time 'wrecks' but are surviving well as they are still being used to this day. All were found in tunnels in the 1950-60's well greased up, most have been doing service ever since for saw mills and general engineering shops in town.

14. Reviews


A Missing Plane

A Missing Plane it is a book that tells the story of B-24 Liberator Serial Number 42-41081, and how its crew and passengers went missing in Papua New Guinea during WWII. Far more than just a war story it touches on the greater tragedies of war, and their lasting effects on the survivors. It is a story about amazing personalities in the present, who dedicate themselves and their work to solve the mysteries of the past. In this case, the homecoming of twenty-two of America's nearly 80,000 MIAs from WWII.

Roaring Glory A6M5 Zero DVD

Nothing could match the power, speed, range or handling of the Japanese A6M5 Zero fighter at the start of World War II. This DVD features the only authentic flyable Zero remaining in the world, in flight and on the ground. It is crammed with bonus material and supplemental materials that fully utulize the audio and special capabilities of the DVD medium.

15.  Links of the Month
Great links for your pleasure and bookmark list

John Iness' Guadalcanal Website

Dan Williams's PT 347 Website

Dan Marsh's Marine Raider Page
Thanks to Dan Marsh for this link.

NBC News Home of the Brave: A flip of fate
Thanks to Chris James for this link

B-24 Wreck at Moonlight Creek
Thanks to Goh K. Loon for this link

The Carl Hoenshell Squadron

Clark Aibase in the 1960's

# # # End of Wreck News September 30, 2001 # # #

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