Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks    
  Missing In Action (MIA) Prisoners Of War (POW) Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)  
Chronology Locations Aircraft Ships Submit Info How You Can Help Donate
Letter to Malchus Hangiri from Wesley Dickenson Pilot of B-25C 41-12491
October 8, 1997

Click For EnlargementDear Malchus,

Your letter came as a complete surprise. Imagine being able to communicate with the son of Hangiri! I am indebted to someone in the church who passed on my letters to you. About ten years ago, I wrote my autobiography so my children would know my life.  One of the chapters and a significant one, was how I got shot down and what happened.  I am enclosing that chapter Bailing Out Over New Guinea.  I went to Gona mission, I stayed there for about 2 weeks and about a month after I left that mission the Japanese made a landing there.

About two years ago, I wondered if I could locate the sister of Mavis Parkinson.  I knew that she existed, but did not know if she was alive, what her name was, or where she lived!  I requested help on the internet in Australia and a day or so later received her name and address!  Since that time, we have been corresponding several times a year. Her sister's name is Betty and she still mourns the death of her sister.

One other man, Sgt Webb, parachuted from my airplane before I did.  He had read stories about Papuan head hunters and was fearful of the natives.  When he found a village, which he did, he hid out for a couple of days because of his fear, before he ventured in.  Like the people of Fufuda village, he was welcomed by the natives who took him to a mission farther down the coast.  I think the next mission after Gona towards Wedau.  When I left Gona on the mission boat, Father Benson, Miss Parkinson and Miss Hayman joined me on the boat and we all got off at the next mission where I was surprised and please to find Sgt. Webb.  When Webb and I continued in the boat to the south, the three missionaries walked back to Gona. (Webb died about 12 years ago).

In one month I will be 80 years old.  I don't travel much anymore and I cannot imagine coming to Papua.  There comes an age when you realize that you are not the man you used to be. (I was 24 when I was shot down).  I am still in good health.  My wife Muriel, and I are careful about what we eat and we both exercise every morning by going two miles.  We jog as much as possible, and walk the rest.  So we job a little more than a mile of that trip.  I cannot take hot weather very well anymore.  Without the help of your father and the others in the village I would not have been able to survive.  I have pleasant memories of my brief time in Fufuda.

One final note before I close this letter.  Before I was shot down we were flying in a loose formation, so that I was about 100 yards away from our flight leader.  If I had been merely a foot or two further away, I would have died from the shell that destroyed my co-pilot.

Best Wishes

Wes

  Discussion Forum Daily Updates Reviews Museums Interviews & Oral Histories  
 
Pacific Wrecks Inc. All rights reserved.
Donate Now Facebook Twitter YouTube Google Plus Instagram