Wreck News - May 2006
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Discovery of I-401 off Hawaii
Aichi M6A1 Seiran floatplane
New Book on I-400 by Sakaida, Nila, Takaki
New Downloads & Planes of Fame Airshow
Yap's Air Campaign - by Richard Dunn
Pat Ranfranz - Search For Uncle's B-24
French Air Forces in the Pacific
Part 2: Aircraft of Salvage in PNG (1950-1960)
USMC Uniforms, Insignia & Personal Items - by Harlan Glenn
On Shaggy Ridge (new softcover edition) - by Phil Bradley
Featured Links to WWII Pacific websites


MapWelcome to another Pacific Wreck update. This month's update includes some new features: a Google Earth File that readers can download with locations mentioned. Google Earth is a free software, then download and open PWD May Location File.

Also, a download of the George Watson and the s'Jacob segment of "Honor Deferred" that aired in February. It includes an interviews with the late Don Fetterly. Thanks to Al Roker Productions for premission to stream that video clip. For those in the Los Angeles area, see you at the Planes of Fame Airshow May 20-21. Look for our information booth at the upper end of the flight line near the command post.

Justin Taylan
email - |

------------------------------------------------------ Yap's Air Campaign
Click For Storyby Richard Dunn
Excellent research piece about the Japanese development and usage of Yap Island during the Pacific War. The island went from a backwater location, to the front lines in 1944 with its role in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, then as a target of USN carrier planes, and long range B-24 that neutralized the island.

Click For StoryPat Ranfranz
Yap Search For Uncle's B-24
Pat Ranfranz on his own initiative and funds, traveled to Yap Island to search for his missing uncle, aboard B-24J 44-40598. The was the beginning of larger research related to losses suffered over Yap Island. He is also the creator of

3. Japan's Secret I-400 Class Sub & Seiran Seaplane

The I-400 Class of submarines was the largest fleet submarine built by any nation during WWII. Armed with torpedoes, anti-aircraft guns and a sealed deck hanger for three Seiran floatplanes for offensive operations. The Serian seaplane was designed to be folded into a hanger and deployed for offensive from the sub. Captured at the end of the war, these super subs were evaluated, then sunk by the US Navy.

Click For StoryDiscovery of I-401
In June, 1946, the USN sank this sub in a torpedoed test, along with I-201, I-14, I-400 and I-401. In March 2005, the University of Hawaii submersible discovered the wreck of the Japanese super submarine, the I-401 and recorded photos of its condition.
Click For EnlargementAichi M6A1 'Serian' Floatplane
This floatplane was designed to be stowed disassembled inside the watertight deck hanger of the I-400 Class Submarine, and could be assembled and ready for flight in minutes. There is only one surviving example of this amazing aircraft, displayed at the National Air & Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center.

Order BookNew Book: I-400 Japan's Secret Submarine
by Henry Sakaida, Gary Nila and Koji Takaki This book tells the complete history of the I-400 and its plan to attack the Panama Canal, with Serain floatplanes. No book to date has tackled this incredible subject matter, and the authors debunk myths and facts of the I-400's wartime service and mission. Lavishly illustrated with previously unpublished wartime photos from its service with the Japanese and USN evaluation, crew members, many full page photos.


French Air Forces in the Pacific War
Click For Storyby John Douglas. French Pacific possessions in 1939 were the large territory of French Indochina (now Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam), New Caledonia and French Polynesia. When Germany occupied France in mid 1940 the rump French Government signed a treaty with Germany, and directed its overseas territories to support the Axis war efforts, wherever they might be.  This rump Government became known as the Vichy Government.Click For EnlargementAircraft Salvage in Papua New Guinea (Part 2)
1950s - 1960s  by Justin Taylan  Aircraft salvage in Papua New Guinea (PNG) spans from the war years to the present day.  This update covers large-scale scrapping activities at former airfields, and the beginning of interest in warbirds in the late 1960s

5.  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.

Order BookUSMC Uniforms, Insignia And Personal Items of World War II
by Harlan Glenn  BAR-none, this book is the definitive book on USMC gear. Harlan Glenn has spared no expense on documenting the nuances of the USMC uniforms, equipment and insignia of WWII. Lavishly illustrated with photos of actual equipment studio photos and wartime photos, this book is a work of art as much as it is a reference book.

Order BookOn Shaggy Ridge (New Softcover Edition)
by Phil Bradley  This critically acclaimed book has just been reprinted in a new softcover edition. "On Shaggy Ridge" tells the story of one of the most remarkable campaigns in Australian military history, detailing the dramatic but little known story of the 1943-44 Ramu Valley campaign in New Guinea.

6.  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!

Yamato Movie Website
Current Japanese Movie
Friends of the Zero Fighter Website
Thanks to Ron Werneth for this link
Military Camps Around Wellington, New Zealand
History, Photos and sites today
Visiting Pacific Battlefield Sites
(Japanese) Tatsuaki Inoue excellent website
Wreck Discovery Cape York, Australia
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for this link
Defending Port Moresby - Dick Suehr 39th FS
Thanks to Robert Rocker for this link
Ray Machalinski's TBD Devastator Adventures
Thanks to Edward Rogers for this link
Barrett Tillman's Website
Author Barrett Tillman's website
Loss of B-17E 41-2464 in New Guinea
Thanks to Leondus Hutchison for this link
RAAF 78 Squadron W/O James Harvey
Thanks to Ed Bodedward for this site
P-38 Pilot George Gray (67th FS, 347th FG)
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for this link
USMC Veteran Guy Gabaldon
Thanks to Adam Makos for this link
Landing Strips & Airfields in PNG
Thanks to bodedward for this link
Task Force List
Thanks to Alaistar Martin for this link
USN War Damage Reports
Thanks to Edward Rogers for this link
Indian Army in WWII
Discount Diver
Thanks to Dave Davanzati for this link
PNGVR (PNG Volunteer Rifles)
Thanks to Alastair Martin

# # # End of Wreck News May 15, 2006 # # #

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