In 1968 prior to PNG independence
I went up in May to prepare the handover of the Australian Post Office
Branch. I had been corresponding with a Barry Flood of the Commonwealth
Bank who relieved all over the Territory where he was able to inspect
and photograph a lot of wrecks.
I left the territory in December and lost contact
with all but Barry Flood who died of cancer in 1982.
Another trip was to a small rain forest
near Bomana Prison where the tail of a B-17
41-2627 that was wedged in
a tree. There
was a lot of .30 and 50 cal ammo near the tail and a prison guard
who was with us said he fired them sucessfully in his official
I guess this wreck is gone today.
A-20 Havoc Wreck
43-9625 Went in below the crest
a hill. the Nose dug in but the wings, engines
and tail careered
for over one hundred yards over the hill. When one of the wings was
lifted the olive drab paint had turned pinky purple. This wreck is
P-47 "Sweetwater Swatter"
42-8066 came down in the Waigaini swamp about 20 miles north of Port
Moresby. The plane landed wheels up and the pilot was never found,
probably lost in the swamp or taken by crocodiles. There was a bit
of damage to the canopy from duck hunters and around 1966 an attempt
was made to recover the plane during the short dry season. It was
raised onto a trailer but the rains came and it had to be left behind.
Next dry season someone lit a fire and the kunai grass burnt under
the wings setting off the .50 cal ammo which ruptured the wing top
covers but no other damage.
this damaged the paintwork also I cannot say. In 1968 during a
posting to Port Moresby I went out to see the site where a more
determined attempt was being made .This time the aircraft was cut
up behind the engine, the tail and the wings. A causeway was bulldozed
across a small creek and the pieces towed across and brought back
to Port Moresby. I never saw it again but I understand it
was pieced together and maybe even re-skinned.
Catalina at Jacksons
There used to be a PBV
Catalina 68045 fuselage at the airport which I think used to belong
to Taa or Ansett. It was meant to be used for fire practice but I
dont know if it was recovered before this happened.
I visited this recce lightning that
I visited in another swamp. This aircraft, P-38F
42-12647 was also recovered
a few years later, and could now be in a War Museum in Port Moresby.
I visited it on the ground and also flew over in a helicopter once.
Recovered Zero and Val
Wrecks of the Zero and Vals collected by Canadian
on the Port Moresby for a month until collected by a
RCAF Hercules. I believe the zero was restored and powered
with an engine from a B-25 which would given it a mind boggling
performance The other wreck on its gear is D3A2
Val 3178 and a portion of a A6M2
Zero 5451. The Diemert stuff was
dumped on Jacksons strip. I used to go there on Sundays at noon to
watch the RAAF Caribous touch and go.
I met Bill
Chapman who began holding regular meetings of aircraft enthusiasts
including Bobby Gibbes. I was and still am a keen model builder and
Bill had aquired from Airfix and others a lot of plastic aircraft
kits. I wound up building them all for his Air Museum of Papua New Guinea and went
on several trips out bush to see various wrecks. There was a rubbish
dump which had lots of P-47 flat belly drop tanks but nobody was
game to move them because of snakes and spiders.