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Wreck News & Information - February 25, 2003

Click For StoryJustin Taylan - February Update
Daniel Leahy - PWD Forum Update
Shaharom Ahmad - Malaysian Wreck Stolen

Jack Morris - USMC F4U Pilot

Barrett Tillman - WWII Pacific Author

Click For InfoVISITS
John Douglas - Papuan Wreck Diary
Dick Odgers - Cold Bay, Alaska Digging Up Aircraft
Tony Feredo - Caballo Island's Gun Batteries
Don Fetterly - Tufi & Morobe PT-Boat Base

Reviews - Four New Book Reviews
Links - WWII Pacific websites




Welcome to the February Update
Welcome to the PWD email update. Thanks to new and old collaborators from around the world, for excellent reports about WWII Pacific locations today - from Alaska, New Guinea, the Philippines and beyond. For magazine readers, look for an article in the April 2003 Issue of "Flight Journal" about Pacific Wrecks and Pacific Ghosts - We are very excited about this press, and the honor of being named the #1 Aviation Travel Adventures. For more information on the issue, visit:

Our dream of a website that keeps the history of WWII Pacific, the legacy of its veterans, MIA Cases, relics and history continues to grow. Thank you for all those who have supported the Pacific Wrecks and Pacific Ghosts projects with your visits to the websites, and those who we have met in person, or emailed and associated with. And, for all the new friends we continue to meet. We hope that other new developments are forthcoming in terms of research, developments and more. This is an independent & unsponsored site, that grows with audience participation.  Donations, Submissions and New Information help the site to grow

- Justin Taylan
email -

Pacific Wreck Database Discussion Forum
Daniel Leahy, Moderator. This month the Pacific Wreck Database forum turns two months old. In this time, over 100 members have joined, and over 250 messages have been posted. Recent discussions have been about Australian aircraft boneyards and scrapping activities, NEIAF wrecks located in Australia and USAAF General Kenneth Walker. There has also been an increased interest in the 'Seeking Information' (MIA, KIA, Veterans etc) section. Thanks to all those who have supported the forum so far. For those who are not members, feel free to join up - it's 100% FREE.


Hunting Down A Wreck Hunter
by Shaharom Ahmad, Malaya Historical Group. A Japanese aircraft wreck from 1942 was taken from Malaysia. For wreck hunters and scrap hunters, this wreck means money to them. They don't care about history. They only care for their profit. For a few years behind, one group from outside Malaysia was been tip by this wreck location and they set up some reccon trip to the site. They also give several of the local people a large of money to keep their mouth shut and helping them to recovered the wreck. We are mad about this group. They steal our war heritage. Help in the search to locate these people.


Jack Morris, USMC F4U Pilot, Traveler & Author

Click For StoryA USMC F4U Pilot in the South Pacific. On his fourth mission, he was shot down over Rabaul, while escorting bombers attacking Vunakanau airfield. His aircraft was damaged by gunfire, and he was wounded in one eye. The title "One Angel Down" refers to the altitude he regained consciousness and bailed out (1,000 feet) and the inspiration of his girlfriend, and later wife, Rosalind back home that kept his spirits high and allowed him to survive eight days behind enemy lines, as he made his way out of the jungle and to the sea. His story is one of survival and close calls with nearby Japanese. Luckily, Morris was rescued by a RNZAF PBY "Dumbo" and returned to safety. In 1991, he returned to Rabaul, where is was reunited with his former F4U, that had been discovered where it crashed, and brought to the Kokopo Museum in Rabaul for display. Morris had the unique distinction to be reunited with the very aircraft he flew during his final mission. Also, to retrace his escape from Rabaul and to safety.


3. Author - Barrett Tillman
Click For StoryAuthor Barrett Tillman has written 31 published titles, many of which are related to WWII Pacific, and the famous tailhook aircraft like the F-4F, F4U, Avenger and F6F. Tillman share insights about his research processes, and current releases and upcoming projects. Also, look for a review of one of his WWII Pacific books, Wildcat Aces of WWII reviewed below.

Pacific Wreck Database's exclusive reports from Pacific locations where remains of WWII still exists to this day, from visitors and experts from around the world.

Click For StoryJohn Douglas - Papua Wreck Diary
Another great report from John Douglas from Papua New Guinea today. Learn about his recent visit to the two islands off Wewak - Muschu and Kairiru Islands, both occupied by the Japanese for the duration of the war, although neither was directly invaded, there are some remains of war that exists to this day, and wrecks in the vicinity.

Click For StoryDick Odgers - Digging Up P-38s
Ever dream of digging up a P-38 or P-40? Dick Odgers has lived that dream. He describes the process of researching, and gaining property rights to dig up abandoned aircraft wrecks from Cold Bay, Alaska. And, the history of the airframes and how they were used to assist in other aircraft restorations.

Click For StoryTony Feredo - Caballo Island's Gun Batteries
A new collaborator to the site, Tony lives in the Philippines. He contributes two photos galleries of the Gun Batteries: Battery Craighill and Battery Gillespie. These massive weapons, M1912 12-inch mortars and 14" M1910 gun on a disappearing carriage mounting are depicted in their condition today.

Click For StoryDon Fetterly - Tufi & Morobe PT-Boat Bases
Don Fetterly contributes photographs from his visits to two former USN PT-Boat bases in New Guinea. Also, "Then & Now" comparison photographs of locations during WWII and today. These two bases reveal the legacy and history of PT-Boat operations in New Guinea during the early part of 1943.


5.  REVIEWS - Pacific Book Reviews

One Angel Left... A Memoir

Click For StoryOne Angel Left is the memoir of Jack Morris, a USMC pilot. His story is details his wartime service flying the F4U Corsair in the South Pacific, and the recovery of a wounded pilot. Most importantly, it is a touching memoir of a veteran who returns to location he was shot down to be reunited with the very aircraft he bailed out of in 1944, and a reflective memoir of war, love and life.

Wildcat Aces of WWII
Click For Storyby Barrett Tillman. From December 1941 to June 1942 the five frontline USN fighter units had a combined strength of only 138 aircrews and fought at Midway, Wake, carrier strikes. With an additional 136 USMC and other pilots added during the battle of Guadalcanal the first year of WWII Pacific was fought by 224 USN fighter pilots. It was the F-4F that they flew, fought and became aces the air. A total of 58 pilots were made aces in the Grumman Wildcat.

Click For StoryRAAF Camouflage & Markings 1939-1945
Review by Daniel Leahy. Both books include many black and white photos, a handful of rare colour photos and a large number of colour profiles. Overall these books would make an excellent addition to the collection of any RAAF enthusiast and especially the model builder.

Click For StoryQueensland Airfields WW2 - 50 Years On
Review by Daniel Leahy. During the beginning phase of the Pacific war, the RAAF and USAAF set up a large number of airfields in the Australian state of Queensland. Many of these were previously civilian airfields ‘impressed’ into military service, others were built specifically for military purposes.


6.  Links of the Month
Great links related to WWII Pacific, submitted by users of the Pacific Wreck Database site:

FG-1D Corsair Restoration

Preserved Axis Aircraft
Excellent site with listing of Japanese aircraft - WWII Pictures of the Pacific
Excellent site Jo Davidsmeyer

Naval Historical Center News
thanks to Jack Green for this link

NPR PT-109 Story & Discovery

Hap Halloran - "Rover Boys Express"

Alaska at War 1942

Alaska WWII Harbor Defenses

Joe McCusker's list of Air Force Bases

USS San Juan CL54 Website
Thanks to Red Harper for this link

20th Combat Mapping Squadron


# # # End of Wreck News February 25, 2003 # # #

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