Pacific Wrecks Pacific Wrecks - preserving the legacy of World War II and Korean War Non-profit 501c3 charity devoted to sharing Pacific history and news

501c3 non-profit charity
All donations are
100% tax deductible
  Search Forum Areas Aircraft Ships MIAs People Reviews Help  

Papua New Guinea National Museum (PNG War Museum)
"Assisting to preserve and protect PNG's unique cultural, national & contemporary heritage"
Acting Director - Simon Piratouk (2005 - present)
Past Director - Soroi Marepo Eoe (1988 - 2005)
Science Director - Senea Greh

PNG War Museum (Modern History Department)
Ahuia Street, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Curator: Senea Greh (2010–present)
Past Curators: Mark Katakumb (2003—2010?), Senea Greh (2000–2002), Francesca Drapuluvik (1997–2000), Charlie Wintawa (1993–1999), Maclaren Hiari (1988-1993), Agion Aiako (1988–19??) and Bruce Hoy (1978 - 1988)
Senior Technical Officer: John Lelai (1996–2010)

The National Museum's "War Museum" is part of the Department of Modern History Museum, located in Port Moresby. Also there is a branch at Rabaul, the Kokopo War Museum. This museum is known by several different names: "PNG War Museum", "Papua New Guinea National Museum's War Museum", "Aviation, Maritime and War Branch" and "Department of Modern History". The collection is divided into three areas: outside display area, indoors display area, and a back room storage area (normally not open to visitors).

Formed by the Board of Trustees of the National Museum in April 1978, with the Museum beginning in September 1978. The museum's collection include items that were once part of the earlier (pre-PNG independence) Territory War Memorial Trust, Air Museum of Papua New Guinea and private collections. Bruce Hoy was its first curator, from 1978-1988 who acquired most of the museum's collection and created most of their displays.

The museum manages all wartime relics in PNG, and works in conjunction with US Army CILHI / JPAC and Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare regarding missing in action and recovery of human remains. In the past, the museum has also collaborated with the RAAF and several private restoration facilities to restore aircraft in their collection. The museum also investigates scrapping and illegal export of war relics.

Indoor Gallery
The museum's main gallery are two rooms with many wartime artifacts, photographs and relics related to the war in Papua New Guinea.

Door from G4M1 Betty 2656 Tail Number T1-323
Fuselage door displayed at the museum. Seat and outer wing on permanent loan to Yamamoto Memorial Hall

C-47A "Flying Dutchmen" 41-18564 Door Diary (Replica)
Door diary (replica) and nose art fragment. The original is on permanent loan to USAF Museum

Tail from B-24D "Weezie" 42-41081
Recovered from the crash site in 1982 and displayed at the museum.

 

Aircraft Collection
The museum has a collection of World War II aircraft recovered from the local area. Some have disappeared, been sent overseas for restoration, and others are being restored for eventual return.

Ford Tri-Motor 5-AT A45-1
Recovered from Lake Myola displayed unrestored at the museum

CA-1 Wirraway A20-13
Donated to the PNG Museum, static display in storage in back room

P-38F "Dottie From Brooklyn" 42-12647
Center section only, parts removed for restoration by Robert Greinert / HARS

Cessna 140
Owned by Catholic Mission, the first C140 to operate in PNG. Recovered from a pre-school in Korobosea.

 

Aircraft Wreckage
The museum has a collection of World War II aircraft wreckage including

Ford Tri-Motor 5-AT A45-2
Undercarriage in storage

G4M1 Betty Wing Wreckage
Recovered 1980, stored outdoors

 

Vehicle Collection
The museum has a collection of trucks, a tank and jeeps on display outdoors.

Dodge Weapons Carrier
This weapons carrier is in storage inside the museum's back room.

Willys Jeeps
Two US Army jeeps recovered from the Port Moresby area. One was restored to static display by John Douglas, the other awaits restoration.

Willys Jeep
1942 Willys Jeep, rebuilt by M. H. Farley in Port Moresby and acquired by Bill Chapman, who donated it to the museum.

GMC CCKW Truck
Built 1945 used by the US Army at Port Moresby and donated to the museum

Stuart M3A1 Tank Hull Number 2300
Destroyed by mine near Buna on December 18, 1942. Recovered for the PNG Museum 1973.


Weapons Collection
The museum has a collection of many large weapons from WWII

Radio Compartment 50 Caliber Machine Gun
Recovered from B-17E 41-2446 (aka 'The Swamp Ghost') illegally removed from museum by Alfred Hagen April 2006.

Japanese "Long Lance" Torpedo
Recovered from Lae by the 'Sanders Salvage'  based in in Port Moresby. Used by submarines or as an aerial torpedo. It is weighs more than 600lbs.

37mm Anti-Tank Gun Type 94
On display in the museum yard, formally Roy Worcester Historical Centre

70mm Battalion Gun Type 92
On display in the museum yard, formally Roy Worcester Historical Centre

20mm Anti-Tank Gun Type 97
Displayed in the indoor gallery.

 

Former Aircraft Collection
During 2000-2001, most of museum's aircraft were removed by two groups: Robert Greinert / HARS and '75 Squadron' to Melbourne Australia. Reportedly, these airframes were containered with other legal exports and slipped out of the country without detection.

F-5A Lightning 42-13084
Salvaged in 1978 by Bruce Hoy to PNG War Museum, disposed in 2001 parts to Robert Greinert / HARS

P-39F Airacobra 41-7191
Wreckage salvaged to museum, removed between late 2000 to early 2001 by '75 Squadron'

P-39 Airacobra Serial Number ?
Removed from the PNG Museum between late 2000 to early 2001 by '75 Squadron'

P-39 Airacobra Serial Number ?
Removed from the PNG Museum between late 2000 to early 2001 by '75 Squadron'

Ki-43 Oscar
Removed from the PNG Museum between late 2000 to early 2001 by '75 Squadron'

Around 2000-2001, a number of the museum's aircraft were removed by Australian restorer and collector, Robert Greinert / HARS.  Some are slated to be restored and returned and others have been sold or traded to other collectors.

Ki-61 Tony Manufacture Number 640
Removed in 2004 by Robert Greinert / HARS to Precision Aerospace for restoration

P-40E Warhawk Serial Number 41-36166
Removed in 2001 by Robert Greinert / HARS wing set in South Australia

P-39D Warhawk Serial Number 41-38351
Pilot Culton, crashed April 12, 1943 removed in 2001 by Robert Greinert / HARS to Sydney, Australia

P-47D "Frankie" Serial Number 42-8130
Given to Robert Greinert / HARS, sold to PIMA Aviation Museum

References
Thanks to Simon Piratouk, Soroi Marepo Eoe, Mark Katakumb, John Lelai, Senea Greh, Charlie Wintawa, Bruce Hoy and William Chapman for additional information.

Last Updated
January 25, 2014

 

Pacific Wreck Database
Pacific Wrecks Incorporated is a non-profit charity 501(c)(3)  Donate Now

All rights reserved