Wreck News & Updates - December 2004
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Click For Enlargement
Click For Details
Phil Bradley
Click For Story
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Read Review

Reported Last Update, Returned to Grateful Veteran!
An amazing story! Discovered at a former wartime airfield, the tag appeared on PacificWrecks and was returned to the veteran, learn this remarkable tale!
Final Update for 2004, see you next year!
Lady in the Clouds - Marion Lutes' Intact P-47 Wreck Recovered

Complete history of this remarkable wreck, and interview about its recovery last month.
Phil Bradley - On Shaggy Ridge
Author of the new critically acclaimed history of the Australian battle for "Shaggy Ridge' talks about interviewing veterans, researching and traveling to the battlefield
Major Friedman 31st Infantry Division
Rifle company commander company I 155th infantry regiment. Served in Western New Guinea and the Philippines.
John Douglas Explores Port Moresby Gun Batteries
Exploration of the history and rediscovering the locations of the Australian costal defense batteries.
On Shaggy Ridge
To WWII Pacific websites

1. EDITORIAL - Upcoming Events

Happy holidays & New Year. Welcome to the final PacificWrecks update for 2004.   This month's update is full of exciting news stories, interviews and reporting.  As always, thank you to contributors worldwide for new, links and information. Foremost is the recovery of one of the most intact P-47 aircraft wrecks known in the Pacific, including all facets of this story: its recovery, photos of the site and an interview with the former pilot, and questions about its pilot who is still listed as an MIA. PacificWrecks needs you!  Due to overwhelming usage of the site, (averaging 2,500 unique visitors daily!) We need your support! Consider making a donation to the this non-profit project, for additional server space and keep this free resource growing.

Yours in history,

Justin Taylan
email - |



Remarkable P-47 Recovered, Pilot Still Listed as MIA
The most intact Thunderbolt wreck known in the world was recovered in early October by an American businessman and Australian salvager.  Only problem: the pilot is still listed as Missing In Action.

Click For StoryP-47D 42-22687
History of the Thunderbolt. It flew with the 49th FG, before being transfered to training role.  Flown by J.W. Harris and lost while being flown by Marion C. Lutes, from the 312th BG, who went MIA on this flight.  First discovered in 1979 in remarkable condition, the wreck remained where the war left it until this October 2004 when it was recovered to Australia.

Click For StoryRecovery of Lutes' P-47
Interview with Robert Greinert, the man responsible for the recovery of this P-47 this October.  Although he rarely does interviews related to his aircraft recovery work, Greinert has been involved with airplane wrecks in Australia, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and acquiring in other countries. Learn about his side of the story, why the wreck was selected for salvage, how he feels about its MIA pilot, and what will happen to this aircraft in the future.

Click For Story Visiting to the Lutes Wreck
New Guinea resident and wreck explorer, Richard Leahy had the distinction of logging the most visits to this wreck site.  He shares his recollections about each visit, and the background about this crash site, and his feelings about its recovery.  Also, he shares his remarkable photo collection of the Lutes wreck including its pristine markings, nose art and cockpit fittings.  This is arguably one of the most amazing Pacific Wrecks, and these are the last photos of the wreck in situ

Click For StoryInterview with Former Pilot, John Harris
This Thunderbolt's first pilot, J.W. Harris of the 49th joins the discussion with an interview about his wartime service, and feelings about the recovery.


Click For DetailsAn amazing story! Discovered by Henry Mayer at a former wartime airfield in Port Moresby, the tag appeared on PacificWrecks and was returned to the living veteran, Gurden Barnett.  What a Christmas Present!  Learn about Barnett's wartime history, and the remarkable tale of this metal tag, now returned.


Click For StoryPhil Bradley - Author of "On Shaggy Ridge"
Long time collaborator to Pacific Wrecks, Phil Bradley is now an author, with his critically acclaimed book, "On Shaggy Ridge" published this year, about the Australian Army battle in New Guinea for this pivotal terrain feature. He shares his experiences writing, researching and traveling to this historic but forgotten battlefield.  Also, spectacular 'then & now' photography of the features of the battlefield.


Click For StoryMajor Martin M. Friedman
Rifle company commander company I 155th infantry regiment. Served in Western New Guinea and the Philippines. He shares his memories about the forgotten fighting in Western New Guinea, Philippines and photos from his personal collection.



Click For EnlargementThe Costal Gun Batteries of Port Moresby
by John Douglas.  Most people who dwell in Port Moresby are only vaguely aware of the concrete structures to be found on Paga Point. They are the remains of a coastal gun emplacement built in the desperate early years of WWII; when all threats off danger seemed magnified and urgent, defensive measures were called for.

6.  REVIEWS - Pacific WWII Related Books

View all WWII Pacific Book, Magazine and Video Reviews a comprehensive source for all the best Pacific related references and reading. Have a book related to WWII Pacific to recommend? Write a review and add it to the archive. This month's update focuses on new DVDs and multimedia releases.

Read ReviewOn Shaggy Ridge
by Phil Bradley. Tells the story of one of the most remarkable campaigns in Australian military history. This latest volume in The Australian Army History series details the dramatic but little known story of the 1943-44 Ramu Valley campaign in New Guinea. Drawing on extensive records that are brought to life by the vivid recollections of over 140 veterans, and illuminated by the author’s own journeys to the region.

Corsair Versus Zero (DVD)
Read ReviewTired of seeing those same sequences of air combat repeated in nearly every television documentary? Here is the answer: Rare Aviation's Corsair Versus Zero DVD. This release shows spectacular COLOR gun camera footage from F4U Corsairs in the Pacific. For anyone interested in dogfights and air combat, this release is not to be missed!

What Pacific WWII Books Are You Reading? Submit your review of Pacific WWII related books, videos or other publications. anything, new or an old from your bookshelf. All reviews are credited.

7.  Pacific WWII - Links of the Month

Great links related to WWII Pacific, submitted by users of the Pacific Wreck Database site. Do you know of a good Pacific related website? Email the URL for inclusion in our comprehensive list of links!

Charles Lindbergh in WWII
Thanks to Bob Rocker for this link

348th Fighter Group
5th AF fighter unit that served in New Guinea, Philippines and Japan
Seeman Edward Sheean
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for this link.
Saipan WWII Site Photos
Excellent website by Teith Tarrier
Christmas Island & Canton Island
Thanks to veteran Ken Barber for these links
Kwajalein Lagoon Wrecks
Great site by David Fortin
Kokoda Memorial Vandalised
ABC news story via Daniel Leahy
USATC in Australia
Link by Peter Dunn
Beached Japanese Ships
Thanks to Peter Flahavin for this link
PT-109 Torpedo Photo
From Ballard Expedition
George Silk, New Guinea Photographer & LIFE Mag
Died at age 87, thanks to Phil Bradley for this link.
Underwater art of Randal Scott
Fine art paintings and photos of airplane wrecks
Gabe Pressman Returns to Leyte Gulf
WNBC reporter's journey to the Philippines
Sunken Navy Seaplane found off Hawaii
1950 crash discovered
Mexican Air Force | 58th Fighter Group
Thanks to Bruce Fenstermaker  for this link
60th Annniversary Saipan & Tinian Board
Thanks to Bruce Petty for this link

# # # End of Wreck News December 23, 2004 # # #

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