P A C I F I C  W R E C K   D A T A B A S E
Comprehensive guide to WWII Pacific Wrecks http://www.pacificwrecks.com

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Wreck News & Information - February 20, 2002

New PWD Features
- Day-to-Day & Discussion Board

Larry Hickey - Author of Warpath Across the Pacific
Veteran Jack Heyn - Charters Towers Photographs

Two MIA B-24's From "Black Sunday" Found
Papuan Wreck Diary by John Douglas

A Face Without A Name Part II by Michael Moskow

B-17 Swamp Ghost by Jack Mierzejewski
Ponape Ordinance & Guns
by Stan Gajda
Kavieng Area Fortifications by Claude Gibson

Reviews - Warpath Across the Pacific
Links - WWII Pacific websites to visit



Welcome to the first 2002 update. As always, thanks to collaborators, travelers, and veterans who contribute information and recollections from around the world. Also, special thanks to Alex of http://www.11net.com who hosts the PWD website. He has graciously donated additional server space and +2 gigs of bandwidth to the website. This is much appreciate, and should help to accommodate more visitors using the site. If you are looking for affordable website space, I highly recommend 11net. When you sign-up, mention referred by pacificwrecks.com so that Alex knows that his donation of additional space is making a difference.

As rapidly as the site grows now, I can only imagine what it would be capable of with even greater support. The site is maintained by donations from viewers, and maintained and expanded as a labor of love for history, the preservation of remaining relics, and to document the recollections of Pacific Veterans. This is an independent & unsponsored site, that grows with audience participation. Donations, Submissions and New Information help to make the site better! http://www.pacificwrecks.com/help/

For those in America, I recently noticed that Qantas is having a real travel deal... get this...
LA -> Syndey = $1,198 "Bring A friend" 2nd fare = $299. The only stipulation is that the travel must be booked by 3/31/02. This is an excellent price when split equally between two fares. If anyone is interested pairing up to take advantage of this fare, please email me at justin@wanpela.com I have had the pleasure of meeting some of you in person, others I hope to one day meet.

- Justin

2. New PWD Features - Day-to-Day & Discussion Board


WWII Pacific Day-To-Day

A new feature of the website! Learn what was happening today in the Pacific Theater with this day-by-day chronology of events, compiled from Jack McKillop's USAF Combat Chronology 1955-59, USN Chronology and Australian Campaigns of WWII. The versions are edited to contain information on the Pacific Theater only, and are linked to pages in the Pacific Wreck Database website for information on locations today. If anyone has links to any other online chronologies that will add to this database, let me know. Particularly, USMC, New Zealand and Japanese related chronologies.

PWD Discussion Board

The highly popular discussion board is back in action. I have decided to limit the current board to year 2002 posts only. To conserve space, the past three years of archives have been moved offline. If there is still interest in these past posts, I will archive them and add them back to the site later - all are saved. This discussion board is unique to the topic of WWII Pacific history, units, MIA and information. It is read by many veterans, visitors and collaborators and itself has helped to identify previously unknown sites, reunite old war buddies and former crews, and relay information about Pacific MIA's. Looking forward to a new year of exciting posts and discussions online! I have kept the non-login format, so that the posts reach the widest audience and hopefully connect you with the information you are looking for.


3. Author Interview -
Lawrence Hickey

Lawrence Hickey is the author and publisher of "Warpath Across the Pacific" the comprehensive unit history of the 345th Bomb Group. In his interview with Pacific Wreck Database, Mr. Hickey talks about his background and interesting influences. He talks about research methodologies, and how he went about writing Warpath. Also, about future projects in the "Eagles Over the Pacific" book series. Read his interview to learn more. For a review of "Warpath" see the link below.

4. Veteran Jack Heyn - Charters Towers


Veteran Jack Heyn, of the 3rd Bomb Group contributes photos and recollections of Charters Towers, Australia from his ten months stationed in northern queensland. Learn about the early day of WWII - including formations with WWI style helmets, and operations with A-24, A-20, B-25 before permanently moving north to Port Moresby in New Guinea.


5. Two "Black Sunday" B-24's Found
News flash! Two MIA B-24's from the infamous "Black Sunday" mission of 16 April 1944 have been found by CILHI Chief Field Officer, Brian Bennett with the help of locals. For complete information, see the following links on Michael Claringbould's Aerothentic website.

B-24J # 42-72946 Here T'is 403rd BS, 43rd BG

B-24J # 42-100225 408th BS, 22nd BG

For more information on the Black Sunday mission, read the definitive book:


6. John Douglas - Papuan Wreck Dairy

Long time collaborator John Douglas' monthly wreck report from PNG

Parachute Discovery
This is arguably one of the most incredible finds presented on PWD ever. What appears to be a partially opened parachute, persevered at altitude with human remains present. The fact that this artifact and remains have survived is only due to its isolated location and the high altitude location. Once again, John Douglas and his wreck tech network have outdone even themselves. Hopefully, this lead will be investigated by the correct authorities and we can learn more about the fate of this unknown WWII aviator...


7. Michael Moskow - A Face Without a Name Part II


Collaborator Michael Moskow contributes a part II follow-up to his article on B-29 POWs and MIAs. Read his research for insights about this topic and learn why "The capture of a B-29 crewman by the Japanese was the worst of fates. … For those who came back [from combat missions] there was a cleaning shower and a clean bunk to purge their weariness. But for those who did not there were many possibilities, all of them brutal and tragic." - - Kevin Herbert, Maximum Effort


Ponape Ordinance & Guns by Stan Gajda

Long time contributor Stan Gajda sends two current photo galleries from Ponape.
Both are amazing in terms of condition and forgotten WWII history.

Japanese Ordinance Discoveries
Few world wide can say they hear Japanese Ordinance detonating in 2002!

Temwen Gun Fortress
Massive emplacements and guns forgotten by time.


B-17 Swamp Ghosts 1976 by Jack Mierzejewski

See impressive B&W photographs of Mierzejewski's December 1976 visit to this famous PNG war wreck. Have you visited this B-17? Do you have photographs of it from WWII or a visit? Get in touch. For additional information on this wreck and the controversial recovery efforts to recover it, visit http://www.pacificwrecks.com/swampghost/


Kavieng Area Fortifications by Claude Gibson

Claude Gibson from PNG contributes photographs from Kavieng of Japanese artillery, pillboxes and bunkers as they still exists to this day.


11.  Reviews - Warpath Across the Pacific


Warpath Across the Pacific

by Larry Hickey. This is the history of the 345th Bombardment Group, the "Air Apaches" WWII Pacific service. Others reviews have called this book 'the finest history of an air combat unit ever published' . This distinction was earned from twenty years of research by the author, and honed during four editions of updates since its first publication in 1984. The scope of the research and writing go beyond the pilots and missions of the group, to the larger history and details of individual experiences. The book is a beautiful, hardcover 8x10 table top volume with dust jacket. The art direction and design are equally amazing - providing hundreds of photographs, captions, maps, paintings and detailed appendixes.

12.  Links of the Month
Great links related to WWII Pacific, submitted by visitors and collaborators.

312th Bomb Group
by Robert Hornbeck

Joseph F. Baugher's USN, USMC, USAAF Serial Numberss

3d Down Under - WWII RAAF photos

34th FS at Ie Shima Photo Album

Navy to Repair Oil Leak from Sunken Ship
Thanks to Mike Mair for this link

7th AF B-25D discovered in Mili Lagoon, Marshall Islands
discovery by Diver Matt Holly

WWII British Mine Discovered Off Queensland
Thanks to Dan Leahey for this link

Rabaul on a Wing and a Prayer (Air Force Magazine)
Thanks to Phil Bradley for sending this link

J.V. Vandruff's B-24 being shot down, and rescue by the USS Cobia

USAAF attacks on Rabaul Nov 1943
Thanks to Ashley Mison for sending this link

Japanese air operations over New Guinea during WWII
Thanks to Phil Bradley for sending this link

WWII Pacific Theater Maps

3d Underwater Truk Movie
Thanks to Jorma Öster for the link


# # # End of Wreck News February 21, 2002 # # #

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