P A C I F I C  W R E C K   D A T A B A S E

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  Wreck News & Information - May 25, 2002


Plans to Steal P-38 Wreck Foiled

Richard E. Smith - 39th FS P-38 Pilot & 7 victory ace
Walter Seale - In Memory, 871st Airborne Engineer  

John Stanaway - Pacific Aviation Author

John Douglas
- Wewak Visit & Japanese Remains
Phil Bradley
- Japanese Guns at Rabaul
New Caledonia Remembrance - Jean-Claude Tranape  

Tankette Road trip through town - Stan Gajda

New photo gallery - Aerothentic Publications

Reviews - P-38 Aces of the Pacific & CBI
Links - WWII Pacific Websites to visit




This update has a P-38 focus, with news, interviews and reviews related to the Lightning. After months of speculation, read a world exclusive about the happenings with P-38 wrecks in New Guinea. Also, an interview with Richard E. Smith, 39th FS P-38 pilot, and 7 victory ace. And, an author interview with John Stanaway, followed by a review of his P-38 aces book.

Other updates come from long time PWD collaborators - an amazing new report from John Douglas, including the discovery of Japanese remains in the Wewak area. And, Phil Bradley's fascinating study of Japanese guns around Rabaul. Jean-Claude Tranape reports on 60th Anniversary Remembrances at New Caledonia and Stan Gajda's "Road Trip" with the completed Tankette restoration. Finally, plenty of internet links related to WWII Pacific.

As always, thank you to all the collaborators worldwide that contribute to the site. This is an independent & unsponsored site, that grows with audience participation. Submissions, new Information and donations help the site to grow http://www.pacificwrecks.com/resources/help.html

- Justin



2. Wreck News - Plans to Steal P-38 Wreck Foiled

WORLD EXCLUSIVE! Read the truth about happenings with intact P-38's in New Guinea. PWD presents the facts behind the attempted illegal export of a P-38 Lightning from near Arufi, in the Fly River Delta. The booms and wings of the aircraft have been seized at Lae in March 2002, marked for export to Australia. They will now be returned to the control of the PNG Museum, but sadly, this remarkably intact wreck was gass-axed apart to fit into containers. Quite incredibly, the thief, when caught at Lae, asked curator of the PNG Museum, to allow him to continue with the salvage otherwise he would not get paid by his boss in Australia!

It now appears that s two previous exports of other intact P-38s are technically illegal. An Australian claimed in his export permit that they were retrieved from Finschhafen, dug up from a forgotten dump pit, where they had been buried. These airframes were then sold to private parties in the United States, none of whom responded to emails or phone calls for comment.



Richard E. Smith - 39th FS P-38 Pilot & 7 Victory Ace

Exclusive interview with Smith on the Pacific Ghosts website. Learn about     what it was like to fly the Lightning in combat, and details about his overseas     service, and some of his 195 mission, including his missions during the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, April raid against Port Moresby and his double victory over Ki 61 "Tonys" over the Madang area. Also, he is one of the     few veterans who has the distinction of returning, in 1986 to New Guinea and sitting in the cockpit of his former aircraft! To see video and photographs of his P-38 as it existed in the jungle, check out the Pacific Ghosts CD-ROM  http://www.pacificghosts.com


Walter Seale - 871st Airborne Engineers
In Memory - Walter Seale passed away on March 10, 2002. He was very proud     of his country and WWII service. As a recessional at the funeral his wish     was to play America the Beautiful. Seale was one of the first WWII veterans interviewed on the PWD website, and was very kind man who often emailed about     his WWII experiences and feedback about the website.


4. INTERVIEW - John Stanaway - Pacific Aviation Author

John Stanaway is the author of many Pacific related WWII aviation books,     including three titles in the Osprey's Aircraft of the Aces Series on P-38, P-39, P-47 and P-51 Pacific aces. In an interview with Pacific Wreck Database, he shares insights on his books, research process and about his upcoming projects. Also, look for a review of his P-38 Aces book, the first in a series of reviews     of Stanaway's books on PWD.


5. John Douglas - Papuan Wreck Dairy

Long time collaborator John Douglas' monthly wreck report from PNG

Report from Wewak
More research in Oro province, and new leads. Learn about his recent trip to Wewak, and discoveries of Japanese remains and dog tags, Ki 43 Oscar wreckage and other relics, including machine guns and air field equipment. Thanks to Henry Sakaida for the dog tag translation, and description.


6. Phil Bradley - Japanese Guns Rabaul

It seems every street corner or village in Rabaul has a gun from the war. Phil Bradley contributes photographs of various Japanese and Allied guns at  Rabaul, taken in 2001. Locations including the Kokopo Museum, the Submarine Base and Malabanun, and other sites around town. Also, thanks to Richard Vangampler, for type identifications on some of the unknown guns


7. Jean-Claude Tranape - New Caledonia 60th Anniversary Rememberances

New Caledonia 60th Anniversary Rememberances

Photos of the US Memorial, and photos of the memorial services on 28th of     March at the "Place de la Moselle", the ceremony included troops from the USS Blue Ridge, the Vice-Admiral Metzger, the mayor of the city of  Noumea, and some part of the population who do not forget the Americans. You can see six American jeeps which were well keep from 1942, and also a beautiful motorcycle.


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

Tankette Road Trip! April 2002
Stan was responsible for the biggest stir Kolonia has seen for some time,     when he drove the completed T97 tankette down the road to Ace Hardware and parked it outside for all to see over the whole morning. Minor traffic jams occurred as I drove down the hill. Many people stopped and came to have a look and talk and wonder at this largely unknown resurrection. It caught many by surprise and eventually the local tv channel , BNN came around to did an interview and they filmed the T97 and then also the trip back to the workshop when I left Ace at midday. This video was shown on cable tv. They titled it 'WWII Japanese Tank Comes Alive!'     See photos of the completed tank, and its three color paint scheme.


9.  PHOTOS - New Aerothentic Photo Gallery


New update to the Aerothentic website. This site is full of 5th AF content and information.Many new photos of the RAAF recovey of A-20G "Hell'N Pelican II" for additional photos, commentary and video of this famous wreck see Pacific Ghosts CD-ROM http://www.pacificghosts.com or the book "Hellva Pelican" for more details and information.

A-20 Hell'N Pelican II Photos


10.  Reviews -
P-38 Aces of the Pacific and CBI


P-38 Aces of the Pacific and CBI
By John Stanaway. The P-38 Lightning is undoubtedly one of the most famous aircraft of WWII. In nearly every region of the Pacific, dozens of pilots became 'aces' in this twin engined fighter, including America's highest scoring aces of the war. Its service included nearly all theaters of the Pacific.  Illustrated with beautiful color plates of aces aircraft, and dozens of WWII photographs, Stanaway's meticulously researched book tells their stories.



11.  Links of the Month
Great links releated to WWII Pacific, submitted by users of the Pacific Wreck Database site

Article on B-17 41-9234 - Robert Stitt and Janice Olson have now written, with the assistance of several contributors to the Pacific Wrecks Database site, including Phil Bradley, a 16,000-word in-depth study of the aircraft,    the missions on which it flew, the background leading up to its last flight,     and the dramatic, often moving events following its crash-landing almost 60     years ago. The two-part article will appear in issues 100 and 101 of the UK journal AIR Enthusiast, to be published on June 21 and August 16, 2002. The journal's web site is www.airenthusiast.com  

Destruction of Force Z and other WWII Wrecks

Panama Jacks
Australian warbird restoration facility  

USAF Museum - Combat in the Pacific WWII

Marine's WWII cup found on Guam
Thanks to Dan Collier for this link  

Orgainzations of IJA&N

RAN Corvettes

Island Mulls Showcasing Rusting Land Relics
Thanks to Phil Bradley for this link  

WWII Ordinary Heros
Thanks to Phil Bradley for this link  

Peter S. Owens - Tribute to MIA of B-17 "Listen Here, Tojo" Laid     to rest in 1998
Thanks to Peter Owens for this link  

The Marshall Islands - An Electronic Library and Archive

J-aircraft.com Captured Aircraft Special Section
Thanks to Goh Loon for sending this link

500th Bomb Sqdn. Association

Rob's Papua New Guinea Links

Japanese Navy Air Force Kokutai List

Hiroyoshi Nishizawa Pilot Profile

52 Submarines lost in WWII

Status of Combatant Ships of IJN at the end of WWII

New England Air Mueum - 58th BW - B-29 Restoration

The Battle of Midway
Thanks to Bill Price for these links

# # # End of Wreck News May 25, 2002 # # #

This is an independent & unsponsored site, that grows with audience participation.  Donations, Submissions and New Information help the site to grow http://www.pacificwrecks.com/resources/help.html


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