John Douglas January 2005 Wreck Diary
The American military JPAC are back in Papua New Guinea continuing the recovery of a B-25 at Lake Myola that they begin several years ago and have returned to on regular occasions. They are also seeking out other wrecks in the Morobe (Lae) region reported previously to them.
I have also details about a dozen American plane wrecks containing human remains in my files to give them when I catch up with them. Most of these wrecks are P-39s lost in the early fighting around Port Moresby. I located these planes several years ago, but have not had a chance to pass on the discoveries to them as yet.
More recent wrecks include an A-20 near the Sepik River and a C47 in the foot hills behind Wewak. The C47 is not yet identified, but there are several missing on the flight path from Hollandia/Noemfoor to Nadzab that are candidates. Some of these C-47s had quite big passenger’s listings, over 20 in some cases.
Villagers from the Murik Lakes have sent me photos of their recovery of an Oscar engine they pulled out of the Lakes. The engine is well preserved and makes me feel that other similar wrecks in this area may also have survived the past 60 years quite well.
I’ve had one of my camera men exploring the (Japanese) Alexishafen Airstrips. There are several known wrecks there but we have turned up several more including Tonies and Japanese Army bombers, probably Helens and Sallies. These wrecks are within the nearby sago swamps, which were fairly dry on my visit. We covered half of one side of one strip and found another 5 wrecks that I had never seen before. A follow up report suggest that my crew located another 7 wrecks, but I have yet to see the photographs. This wreckage is fairly scattered and there is little to get excited about however.
I’ve got a local diver at Wewak who is following up on stories the local people have provided him about several wrecks in the sea, that are not known to the expert diving community. We earlier found a A6M2 Zero (strange in the middle of a JAAF Zone) and a P-40 Warhawk that may well have remains in it. We have got several stories to follow up.
John Douglas writes WWII wreck related new briefs for Pacific Wreck Database from his home in Port Moresby. Learn how to help Douglas' efforts and Wreck 'Tec network, donate your old 35mm camera, video equipment or financial help - support this effort!Return to John Douglas Main Page
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