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    Bavo Island Central Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)

Location
Lat 9°25'0" S Long 146°55'59" E  Bavo Island is located at the southern edge of Caution Bay, south of Redscar and east of Boera off the southern coast of New Guinea. To the west is Idiha Island.

Wartime History
During World War II, Idiha Island and Bavo Island were used as a bombing range by Allied aircraft. Bavo Island was nicknamed "Battleship Island" or "Battleship Isla" due to its shape.

On July 29, 1943 launch from RAAF Marine Section Air-Sea Rescue returned to the crash site of B-25D 41-30496 and recovered the bodies of the two remaining crew. Departing, the launch exploded and caught fire and sank to the waterline with the two bodies aboard. The rescue crew were dropped a life raft by a B-17 Flying Fortresses and swam to nearby Bavo Island to await rescue. Unaware the rescuers were on the island, B-17 Flying Fortresses commenced a three hours of bombing runs against the island from 30,000'. The rescuers took cover among the rocks, wounding four of the Americans. Meanwhile, another rescue launch from 45 OBU Marine Section arrived with Ft. Lt. John Shelton aboard and spotted them on Bavo Island and proceeded between bombing runs to treat the men. Spotted by an orbiting B-25, a life raft was dropped and the bombing practice runs aborted. Afterwards, Shelton earned the Medal of Freedom from the U. S. Army and Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for this and other rescues he performed.

B-25D Mitchell Serial Number 41-30496
Pilot Ducci crashed July 27, 1943 crew killed in crash

A-20G Havoc Serial Number 43-9122
Pilot Rimer MIA February 4, 1944

References
Wrecks & Reefs pages 26, 126-127

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Last Updated
August 25, 2018

 

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