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    Wai Island Irian Jaya Indonesia

Lat 1° 4' 0N Long 128° 34' 60E

Seven P-47Ds Ditch off Wai
Seven P-47 of the 311th FS 'Tubby Flight' took off from Noemfoor from a strike mission to Ceram. In their eagerness to destroy the enemy departed their target low on fuel. On their return trip they encountered bad weather and while trying to orient themselves discovered that they were unable to reach their base. They all agreed to dive down through an opening in the clouds and ditch their planes in the sea near Wai on October 21, 1944. Three of the seven P-47s that ditched have been found by divers.  One is broken up in 2m of water, the other two are intact at 28 and 38 meters depth.

P-47D piloted by George E. Taylor
Piloted by George E. Taylor Ditched October 21, 1944

P-47D-21 "Santa Maria" Serial Number 43-25642
Piloted by Harry M. Odren. Ditched Batanta Island in the Dampier Strait.

P-47D-21 Thunderbolt Serial Number 42-25417
Pilot Stephen O. Benner

P-47D-15 "'Tot's Terror" Serial Number 42-23235
Pilot Jack T. Brown

P-47D-21 Thunderbolt Serial Number 43-25636
Pilot Robert W. Powell

P-47D-16 Thunderbolt Serial Number 42-75935
Pilot Kenneth J. Crepeau

P-47D-16 Thunderbolt Serial Number 42-75893
Pilot Donald L. Murrie

P-47D-23 Thunderbolt Serial Number 42-27631
Pilot Albert J Newman (MIA) near Morotai MACR 12184 December 1, 1944

P-47D Thunderbolt
One of three P-47s ditched on October 21, 1944

P-47D Thunderbolt
One of three P-47s ditched on October 21, 1944

P-47D Thunderbolt
One of three P-47s ditched on October 21, 1944

Max Ammer adds:
"We located three of the P-47's, however there are probably ten more aircraft still to be located on the reefs surrounding this island."

A6M Zero
Zero is reportedly ditched in this area at 14m depth

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Last Updated
June 15, 2019


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