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Wreck News & Information - June 3, 2003

Click For StoryEDITORIAL
Appearance at Mid-Atlantic Air Museum, PA
Photos From Planes of Fame Air Show

Click For StoryGuadalcanal's Henderson Field / Name Change?
CILHI Helicopter Crash Halts Current MIA Investigation
WWII Photos Returned to Japanese Relatives

Earle Painter - The Final Flight of the "Rum Dum"
Click For Story13th AF B-24 Ball Turret Gunner

Silvano Jung - Aviation Archeology & Protection Laws

John Douglas - Papuan Wreck Diary
Peter Flahavin - USMC In Melbourne 1943 - 2003

Click For StoryRESEARCH
Aerothentic's Historical Records Assistance Service

Reviews - 25 Best Pacific Sites, In The Service of the Emperor& More
Read ReviewLinks - Recommended WWII Pacific websites


1. EDITORIAL - June News Update


There is much to report in the past month, and a great update with many excellent reports, visits and history from collaborators from around the world. Also, there is a call to universal call to action, to sign an online petition to keep Guadalcanal's 'Henderson Field' name from being changed, see below. Below is information related to another upcoming air show appearance. Getting to meet some of you in person, and veterans of the Pacific are the highlight of this work!

Mid-Atlantic Air Museum's WWII Weekend
Just confirmed! Pacific Wreck Database / Pacific Ghosts will be at their "WWII Weekend" with a display and information. If you are on the east coast, or in the Philadelphia area, join us at the air show. Their museum has the Irian Jaya P-61 under restoration. For more info and directions, visit:

Click For StoryPlanes of Fame Air show
I was honored to meet many of you in person at the Planes of Fame air show earlier in May. Also, to make many new friends. Also, I would like to thank Bruce Fenstermaker, Henry Sakaida and Gary Nila for their attendance. For some photos from the event, visit:

Yours in History,

- Justin Taylan
email -
Pacific Ghosts -


2. NEWS - WWII Pacific Related News Stories


Guadalcanal's Henderson Field - Possible Name Change?
Click For StoryIn May, a proposal was made to change the name of Guadalcanal's "Henderson Field" airport name by a consulting company. In response, Pacific Wreck Database has initiated an online petition to let the government of the Solomons Islands know that thousands around the world still feel the name "Henderson Field" is significant today, and should never be changed. After being online for only three days, the petition has amassed thousands of online signatures, and many moving comments from veterans, relatives and travelers to Guadalcanal.

CILHI Team Investigates 43rd BG B-24, Their Helicopter Crashes
A search and recovery team from the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii will deploy Friday, May 2, to Papua New Guinea to excavate a crash site of a World War II B-24D aircraft that went down in 1943 with nine service members. Sadly, on May 8th, a Pacific Helicopter Lhama contracted by the U.S. Army CILHI carrying five personnel crashed into the ocean off the coastline of Lae, Papua New Guinea. There were three personnel from the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory aboard, a representative from the Papua New Guinea National Museum and a Pacific Helicopter pilot. The pilot was killed, one of the CILHI personnel was injured and is in stable condition at Angau Memorial Hospital, Lae, and the others are in good condition. The CILHI team has suspended operations and will be returning to Hawaii.

Return of WWII Photos to Relatives in Japan
Click For StoryDuring WWII, many Japanese soldiers were captured by the Allies from conquered positions. Learn the story of how a set of haunting "Ghost Photographs" depicting young Japanese aviators was sent to us by Veteran Jack Heyn, who asked us to try and locate the relatives of the men pictured. With the help of esteemed collaborator, Alfred Weinzierl, and a newspaper article in the Sankei Shimbun Newspaper in Japan, three of the relatives now have copies of these photographs. Learn about the efforts of people all over the world to make this story happen.


VETERANS - Pacific Veteran Interviews

Click For StoryThe Final Flight Of The “Rum Dum”
The story about Earle W. Painter, a B-24 Ball Turret Gunner
13th Air Force, 307th Bomb Group, 371st Bomb Squadron

A gripping account sent by nephew, John Painter, about his uncle Earle's enlistment and training at age 19, and going to war with the 13th AF as a replacement B-24 crew. And, the gripping account of their final mission over Truk when the aircraft was attacked by Zeros and crashed, killing the crew.


INTERVIEWS - With Personalities in the field
Silvan Jung, Aviation Archeology & PBY Research
Click For StoryJung has been involved with aviation archeology and PBY research in northern Australia. Also, landmark legislation to protect wreck sites, and advocate for their protection as archeological sites. In an interview with Pacific Wreck Database, he shares details about his work and roles in preservation.


VISITS - To Pacific Wrecks & Wartime Sites

Papuan Wreck Diary - May Report by John Douglas
Click For StoryReports of his latest wreck explorations, including two B-24 and one B-25 wrecks, and the story of the 90th BG B-24 ""Ten Knights in a Barroom". As always, we are amazing with John and his 'Wreck 'tec' work in locating wrecks, and thank him for presenting his findings on Pacific Wreck Database.

USMC In Melbourne 1943 - 2003 by Peter Flahavin
Click For StoryA comparative study of sites in Melbourne during WWII and locations today. The 1st Marines took their furlough in the city at the conclusion of their campaign on Guadalcanal. Melbourne was the only large city the 1st Marine Division saw until the end of the war. For the next 12 months the volume of Marine mail to and from the city exceeded the volume to the United States. Many enduring friendships were made, many hearts broken and many Aussie girls married Marines!


6.  RESEARCH - Aerothentic's Historical Records Assistance Service
Aerothentic Publications and historian / author Michael Claringbould's website has been updated with some exciting new resources and historical sections. Once again, we are humbled by Aerothentic's expertise and commitment to the history of the South Pacific. Check out the Aerothentic website at for information. particularly the new sections:

5th and 13th Air Forces - Historical Records Assistance Service
Because we continue to receive numerous inquiries regarding the personnel, aircraft, missions and losses of the 5th Air Force (and more recently the 13th Air Force), we decided to offer a Missing Aircrew Report (MACR) service, along with guidance on where specific material might be researched.

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and Director for POW matters, Jerry D. Jennings hosted the President of Aerothentic Publications Michael Claringbould in Port Moresby at a diplomatic function on the evening of 30 May 2003. Jennings wanted to thank Claringbould for his ongoing work in assisting MIA recoveries in New Guinea. At the function Claringbould presented Jennings with copies of his books as well as a copy of Pacific Ghosts CD ROM. In Port Moresby Claringbould also held discussions with Jean Mansavage PhD, an analyst on MIA issues who is attached to the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

"No Atheists in a Foxhole"
Powerful diary entry that relates to Kenneth Paul Meriam's service with the 49th FS. From the powerful section "Writings from the men of the Fifth AF"

Pacific Wreck Database's Pacific WWII Book & Media Reviews

Read ReviewThe 25 Best World War II Sites - Pacific Theater
by Chuck Thompson. Ever consider traveling to the real Pacific battlefields of WWII? If so, this is the essential travel and history reference for 25 of the best sites in the 20 million square miles of the Pacific theater. As this book proves, even for those who only dream about travel, it is still an impressive reference to the history and sites today.

In The Service Of The Emperor - Essay on Imperial Japanese Army
Read ReviewEdward Drea's book is a collection of twelve essays that together sheds new light about its prehistory, foundations, and its leaders. He explores crucial battles and decisions that dictated the IJA's actions during the Pacific War, and concluded with its plans for its fanatical & self-- destructive defense of the Japanese home islands. For anyone interested in learning more about the truth behind one of the most infamous armies in the history of war, this book is essential reading.

World War II On The Web - A Guide to the Very Best Websites
Read ReviewThe phenomenon of 'internet websites' has lead to an explosion of websites related to nearly every facet of WWII. This book covers internet websites related to a variety of topics, and provides a summary review of the website and its contents, and rates them with a 'star system' in terms of content, navigation and aesthetics. This book is a good overall summary of WWII sites on the web, but disappointing for those who seek more specific or Pacific related information.


8.  LINKS Related to Pacific WWII
Great links related to WWII Pacific, submitted by users of the Pacific Wreck Database site:

Air Niugini 'Paradise' Article Scans
Thanks to Peter Flahavin for this link

B-24 Hitchenbrook Island 60th Anniversary Remembrance
Thanks to Carl Silber, Jr. for this link

Australian Hospital ship Centaur Torpedoed by Japanese Submarine
Thanks to David McNeill for this link

USS Emmons - Okinawan Shipwreck
Thanks to David McNeill for this link

USS DeHaven
Thanks to David McNeill for this link

A-20 Havoc Restoration at Beaver Creek, PA
Thank Rick Young for this link

WWII Uniforms Website
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for this link Japanese Aircraft Walkarounds
Excellent page by Dave Pluth & collaborators

Photos from S/SGT William F. Wilson 43rd BG, 64th BG
Interesting WWII Photographs

B-25C Mitchell Bomber Crashed on Mount Bartle Frere, Queenslands
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for this link
Also, a link on Peter Dunn's website about this crash

The Diary of a Coursair Pilot in the Solomons
Thanks to Michael Moskow for this link

380th BG Website
Excellent website by Theodore Williams and Barbara Gotham

Children & Families of Far East POWs
Organization related to Pacific POWs, history and research

Japanese Type 95 Light Tank, "HA-GO"
Good photos & diagrams of this famous Japanese tank

Pacific War in Papua New Guinea: Perceptions and Realities
Excellent site with oral history and interviews

348th Fighter Group
Flew P-47s & P-51s during WWII, in New Guinea and the Philippines

AWM's Australian - Japanese Research Project
Excellent website with Japanaese WWII realated research, in english

# # # End of Wreck News June 3, 2003 # # #

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