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Comprehensive guide to WWII Pacific Wrecks http://www.pacificwrecks.com

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Wreck News & Information - April 4, 2002


John A. Mair -Veteran of the USS Mississinewa
William Buckner - Unknown B-25 Wreck in Japan

CILHI team to PNG - News release

Rabaul Remembrances
- Steve Saunders

USS Peary Sunk At Darwin - Phil Bradley

Papuan Wreck Diary
by John Douglas
Ureparapapa & Aore Islands - Jean-Claude Tranape

Tankette Restoration, It Runs! - Stan Gajda
B-24 Werribee - Update on Restoration

Reviews - Saipan Oral Histories & Fire In The Sky
Links - WWII Pacific Websites to visit




Thank you for all the kind words and best wishes with last months special issue. This month's update is full of information, and interesting interviews. This month has some exciting news and information from around the Pacific, and from two veterans. I trust you will enjoy the history, photos and information it contains.

On a darker note, the P-38's exported from PNG has developed into a much larger story. The only positive thing to come out of this will raise awareness of the issues related to WWII wreckage. PWD will address this in a separate email, later in the month of April. The sad part is history is the real looser, and of course the larger ethic of war relics as commodities. PWD only advocates for taking pictures of history and learning more about the past - not tampering with it.

- Justin




John A. Mair, Jr. USS Mississinewa AO-59

Written by USN veteran, John Mair, this is the story of his WWII service and overseas duty on board the fleet oiler, USS Mississinewa. His story includes joining the new ship for her commissioning, and then overseas duties that included support of operations in the Marshall Islands, Manus and later raids on Okinawa, Luzon and Formosa. The Mississinewa will be remembered most notably for what happened to her on November 20, 1944 when a Japanese "Kaiten" suicide torpedo sunk the Mississinewa. Mair survived, and retells his experiences leading up to and on that fateful day. This amazing memoir is graciously presented in its entirety via son Mike Mair.

William Buckner Unknown B-25 Wreck in Japan

While stationed in Kaysu, Japan (near Nagasaki) Buckner visited a B-25 wrecksite. He has always wondered what the story of this plane and its crew was. Can you help him learn more about the identity of this mystery wreck....


3. NEWS - CILHI team to PNG

Thanks to Ginger Couden of CILHI for submitting this news release.

Recovery Teams Leave for Papua New Guinea to Recover American Serviceman
HICKAM AFB, Hawaii - Two search and recovery teams from the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii, will leave for Papua New Guinea March 14, on 45-day missions to recover American service members who are accounted for as a result of World War II. http://www.cilhi.army.mil/pr030802.htm

4. Rabaul Remembrances
- Steve Saunders

Steve Saunders contributes this list of events and happenings at Rabaul for the 60th anniversary of WWII coming up this May. Anyone traveling there from the USA, email me to let me know. justin@wanpela.com Regardless if I can personally make it or not, PWD hopes to have follow-up coverage of the events and guests.


5. USS Peary Sunk At Darwin - Phil Bradley

Article about the Japanese Air Raid on Darwin, 60 years ago, and the sinking of the US destroyer DD-226 Peary. The ashes of one of the ships last survivors, Melvin Edward Duke were scatted over the harbor to join the other 91 US sailors that went down with the ship. Thank to Phil Bradley for sending this story.


6. John Douglas - Papuan Wreck Dairy

Long time collaborator John Douglas' monthly wreck report from PNG

Follow-up on Kenevi and Sogeri Plateau Explorations

Due to overwhelming response about his amazing parachute photographs last month, Douglas shares more about the B-25 on Mt. Kenevi and an early war P-40 wreck. Also, about wreck tec Wilkie's explorations in the Sogeri plateau area and three B-24 wrecks.


7. Jean-Claude Tranape - Ureparapara Island


Jean-Claude sends two excellent reports from New Caledonia where he lives. Next month, look for his coverage about WWII 60th anniversary remembrances.

Ureparapapa Island

Ureparapara is located in the north of Vauatu, in the Banks Islands, very near from Guadalcanal. Learn more about this island, its stories from WWII and see the wreckage of an unidentified USN aircraft.

Aore Island

Aore Island is just 3 km across the water from Espiritu Santo. Aore provides coconuts, cocoa, beef cattle and jungle. Even today, there are still relics of the war - including bunkers an old USN bouy and aircraft wreckage.


8. Type 97 Tankette Restoration, It Runs! - Stan Gajda

Stan Gajda has succeeded in his Tankette restoration! This most exciting effort has been covered on PWD since the earliest stages of the process. Today, the tank is running, and unique as it is completely authentic project - that will stay on Popape. Congratulations Stan on this accomplishment and for your dedication to preserving WWII history of the Pacific!


9. B-24 Werribee - Update on Restoration


Mike Lee contributes a report and new photos of this B-24 restoration at Werribee, that includes recently discovered wing extensions, wings from B-24 "Flying Wolf" wreck in PNG, and detailed photos of the gun turret and ball turret.

10.  Reviews - Saipan Oral Histories & Fire In The Sky


Saipan: Oral Histories of the Pacific War by Bruce Petty

It is impossible to pick up this book and not feel profound emotions. As a work of oral history it is an important read. For anyone interested in Pacific history on levels beyond simply the official accounts and statistics, Saipan - Oral Histories of the Pacific war is a must read. It honors the past while giving the read plenty of new insights and perspectives to ponder.


Fire In The Sky by Eric Bergerud

At over 700 pages the book is a substantial one and thus one feels that it will provide a very detailed overview of what has been a previously much neglected topic. This is certainly true, but there is also a great deal of background information in the book on the history and science of aircraft development. It is in fact the best reference Reviewed by Phil Bradley.


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

David Rubitsky's Story
Thanks to Phil Bradley for sending this link

Squadron Leader C.R. "Bob" Gurney
Thanks to Peter Holm for this link

RAAF Spitfires
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for this link

Antipodean Hawks - P-40's in RAAF Service

Special Task Air Group One (TDR-1 Drone Raids)

Japanese Veteran Preceptions about the War in New Guinea

Bent Prop / P-ManIII Project
Thanks to Pat Scannon for sending this link

Bristol Aircraft Worldwide Survey
Thanks to Daniel Leahy of RAAF DB for this link

Charles Lindberg During WWII

My First Visit To A WW2 Chrash Site
Peter Dunn's Australia At War

Requesting IDPF

B-25 Tadji & Tin Liz Tail

# # # End of Wreck News April 4, 2002 # # #

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