Kawanishi flying boats near Korovou in Shortland Islands

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dfboy
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Kawanishi flying boats near Korovou in Shortland Islands

Post by dfboy » Wed Nov 22, 2006 5:52 am

In a Flightpath magazine article 'Rust in Peace' from 1992 (V4 N4) by underwater photorapher Peter Stone there is a reference to the wrecks of 3 Kawanishi flying boats in the channel near Korovou, Shortland Islands (Solomans).
Does anyone have any info on these wrecks, the type of Kawanishi - Mavis or Emily and any operational details including the story of their demise. Photos of course would be worth a mint!
Seriously, any help in the identification of these aircraft or the contact for or location of Peter Stone would be invaluable.

whitesharkseeker
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Post by whitesharkseeker » Wed Nov 22, 2006 8:02 pm

They are Mavis flying boats. I've seen pics; one is in remarkable condition! Have to find the referance where I found the photo.

-Eric

Justin Taylan
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Details on those Mavis

Post by Justin Taylan » Thu Nov 23, 2006 12:49 pm

Hi all,

I visited these wrecks in 2003 and 2005. I became interested to ID those wrecks. Probably, they are MAVIS of the 851st Kokutai based in the area from September 1942 - March 43. They flew long range recon in Solomons. Recently, I met one of their veterans and he shared memories of the base and ops there.

Mavis #1
http://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/h ... lands.html
Pictured in "Rust In Peace". In 2003 it looked pretty much the same in 03. Sadly, the cockpit collaposed in 05. Not sure if natural process caused it or 'human' disturbance. The rear is crushed and damaged. The wing is in good shape, support wires, etc, but has fallen forward. More recently, a Nature "Wrecks of the Coral Sea" (a great docu) has amazing underwater footage of this wreck. Its home to many electric eels! Its snorkel depth.
http://www.pacificwrecks.com/reviews/coral_sea.html

Mavis #2
http://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/h ... ands2.html
Appears to have burned, not much left of it, other than remains of massive wing & debris field. Its too deep to snorkel to.

Mavis #3
http://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/h ... ands3.html
Worst condition, only wreckage, too deep to snorkel. Part of the wing is upside down in good condition the rest is wreckage.

In my opinion, the best MAVIS wrecks is off Gavutu (Florida Islands), sunk August 7, 1942 during the USMC pre-invasion airstrikes. I dove it but have not had a chance to process the footage:
http://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/h6k/gavutu.html
- Justin Taylan
Founder & Director
http://www.PacificWrecks.com

dfboy
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Re: Those mavis

Post by dfboy » Sun Nov 26, 2006 1:01 am

Thanks for that info, Justin.
State Library (Brisbane) re-opened yesterday so did some research on the history of Solomon's campaign.
On the morning of October 5th 1942, 2 F4F Wildcats from TF-17 CV Hornet escorting SBD's & TBD's bombing Tonlei harbour, Bougainville, flew 20 miles south to Faisi (Korovou) in the Shortlands. Piloted by Lt. Cdr. H. G. Sanchez and Lt. (jg) W. V. Roberts Jr they straffed 2 lines of Type 97 (Mavis) flying boats moored in the channel. Sanchez estimated there were 10 aircraft and they probably destroyed 4. He noted they didn't burn so hadn't been refuelled.
The main strike of Avengers arrived less than an hour later and destroyed or damaged a number of ships in the harbour. This later strike was attacked by up to 11 Type 2 floatplanes (Rufe) but either due to very bad weather (squalls) or good fortune very few of these seaplane fighters were able to engage the carrier bombers so no losses were reported by US forces.
Japanese reports put JNAF losses at 3 Type 97 (Mavis) flying boats badly damaged and 1 Type 0 (Jake) floatplane destroyed.
Of interest, a number of Zero fighters on a ferry flight from Rabaul to Buin the day before turned back due to bad weather.
Info from L. G. Lundstrom, "The First Team & the Guadalcanal Campaign"
Darryl

Justin Taylan
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October 5, 1942 Raid

Post by Justin Taylan » Sun Nov 26, 2006 7:05 pm

Darryl,

Thanks for that mission reference. I have not looked into that mission in detail. Does anyone else have any details on that event, or pilots?
You could be right - maybe that is when they were sunk!

Sadly, for those early raids, especially USN there seem to be few photos. In that case, since two Wildcats probably they were not even equipped to take photos.

For those who have not read it, the reference 'The First Team'
http://www.pacificwrecks.com/reviews/th ... canal.html
This book is an essential read

There was another interesting raid on that seaplane base by P-38 and F4U when seaplanes were reportedly hit there at moorings, again, I have not found any wartime photos of that strike either (although recon photos were taken a day before of the base):

March 29, 1943 (USN & 13th AF) A joint-service fighter sweep by led by Captain Tom Lanphier with eight Lockheed P-38 Lightnings of the 70th Fighter Squadron, USAAF and eight Marine Chance-Vought F-4U-1 Corsairs of VMF-124, USMC. Due to poor weather and difficulty in rendevouing, only five P-38s (Lanphier, Barber, Petit, Topoll and Moore) and one Corsair (Dale) reeach the target. They strafe the seaplane bases at Shortland at dawn.

James Lansdale did an excellent writeup of that raid:
http://www.pacificwrecks.com/airfields/ ... 29-43.html

If any USN researchers out there have more details of that strike or any aerial photos of that seaplane landing area, let me know - i have located very few!
- Justin Taylan
Founder & Director
http://www.PacificWrecks.com

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