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Interviews with people involved with recovery and restoration

Disclaimer: Since 1995, Pacific Wrecks has been interviewing people involved with aircraft salvage and restorations to learn about their activities. The opinions expressed by the interviewees are solely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Pacific Wrecks.

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Robert Diemert
Japanese Aircraft Recovery & Restoration
One of the first 'warbird' restorers, early fame was restoring a Hurricane for "Battle of Britain" movie.  With those funds he recovered several Japanese aircraft and restored two Zeros and a the Val himself.

Dennis Dogget

Dennis Doggett
RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre
Restoration A-20G "Hell'N Pelican II" 42-86786 recovered and restored by the RAAF and PNG Museum

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Bruce Fenstermaker
Irian Jaya Recoveries
Fenstermaker began recovering wrecks recovering a Zero, Betty, Judy and Tony to the United States.  He found American MIA cases during his travels and his focus switched MIAs.

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Stan Gajda
Japanese Tankette Restoration
Salvager and restorer involved with various recoveries, co-recoveries and export of items from the PNG Museum.

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Robert Greinert
Historic Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) / Historic Aircraft Restorations Pty (HAR)
Salvager involved with recoveries, co-recoveries and exports from the PNG Museum.

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Nobua Harada
Kawaguchiko Museum / Harada Collection

Tokyo based restorer and museum owner. Restored A6M5 Zero over 20 years, and the tail section of G4M2 Betty.

Click For Story Daniel Hunt
Wings Museum

Recovered a A6M2 Zero, Kate and serveral Ki-43 Oscars, and a B-25 from the Kurile Islands
Click For Story Gary Larkins
Air Pirates

American aircraft salvager who has salvaged over 60 aircraft from 1973-1996. He has recovered portions of a B-17 from Alaska and P-38 in New Guinea.
Click For Story Robert Jarrett
Classic Jets Fighter Museum (CJFM)
Restoration of P-38H 42-66841 and several other aircraft from New Guinea and F4U Corsair from Vanuatu
Click For Story Edward Maloney
Planes of Fame Museum (POF)

Founder of Planes of Fame Museum, restoration of A6M5 Zero 5357 in the 1970s and involved with numberous other aircraft and project.
Click For Enlargement Taizou Nakamura
Restorer of Zero instrument panels and aircraft gauges
Learn about Nakamura's work with the Harada collection Zeros, restoring meticulous instrument panels and gauges for aircraft. Also, his involvement with the crash sit of the crash site of Ki-45 4057 in Japan.
Click For Enlargement John Sterling
Recovery of Four Zeros from Taroa
Recovered in 1991, all used as a source of parts for the restoration of one A6M3. One of the Zeros was later sold to the Imperial War Museum, the others were later sold to the Evergreen Air Museum where the one is still under restoration.
Click For Story Gene Strine
Mid-Atlantic Air Museum (MAAM)
Himself a WWII veteran, he recovered one of the world's last "Black Widows" from a mountain on Irian Jaya, and has been restoring it ever since.  When completed it will be the only flying P-61 in the world, and only 2 others displayed in the world.
Click For Story David Tallichet
Yesterday's Air Force (YAF) / Military Aircraft Restoration Corporation (MARC)

A veteran, an early warbird collector and restorer. Funder of one of the largest salvage operations in the world recovering dozens of aircraft from Tadji in 1973-75. Gerald Yagen
Fighter Factory / Military Aviation Museum / Tidewater Tech
Salvage and restoration of warbirds from around the world, his collection includes former Pacific aircraft and ongoing salvage activities.

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