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by Bruce Adams
Antipodean Publishers 1975
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|Rust In Peace
South Pacific Battlegrounds Revisited
This is one of the first books published specifically on the subject of World War II Pacific wreckage. With photos taken in the early in 1970's it is one of the earliest surveys of the legacy of the Pacific War in New Guinea, the Solomons, Australia and central Pacific.
The book also contains a poignant text written by Bruce Adams about the wartime legacy of each region titled "Yesterday and Tomorrow", and chapters related to Coastwatchers. Profiling some of the local stories related to the wrecks, and also the first visits by veterans and family members to former battlefields of the Pacific.
Adams traveled and photographed during the golden age of war wrecks and history, when many relics of the war existed nearly undisturbed. Chapters of the book cover: New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Gilbert Islands and Darwin.
Recorded in the book are impressive photographic documentation of many famous wrecks, including RAAF Turnbill's P-40E Kittyhawk and G4M1 Betty 2656 with Admiral Yamamoto aboard shot down on April 18, 1943. And, photographs of many wrecks that have otherwise disappeared today to scrappers, museums, or salvers.
What is most interesting to note today, of the wrecks profiled that still exist to this day, their condition has degraded very little to this day, providing further proof of the jungle's cocooning ability to preserve wreckage. And, that most damage and oxidation happened within the first years of being abandoned.
Although the history of some of the wrecks profiled have been better researched by new historical insights over the decades since publication, the book is still an important volume in the collection of any WWII Pacific wreck enthusiast.
Review by Justin Taylan
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