Saturday, 17 September 2016

Bougainville trip

Last month I had the opportunity to visit Bougainville island. This island opened to the public last year, after a long " civil war". I spent a full week there and had all the luck of the world to visit the famous Yamamoto crash site. This place is a hard one to visit because of issues with the landowner that have been going on for a long time now. In fact I was the first foreign visitor this year. The one before me was a television crew from New Zealand in 2015. 
The owner was with me to the site and explained the problems ( with all the other landowners) they face when they have a visitor. The sad thing is, last year the propeller blades were stolen, just taken of by a grinder or saw. 
I had a fair bit of time to wander around the remains of the plane and started up to open up a pile of scrap parts. In this pile I found parts of the window frames, even with some bit of glass in it. Another find was a regulator valve with some sort of cover around it which hadn't dissolved after all this time. It was made of some jute material. Also noticeable was the blue paint, still very well visible on the aluminum parts.
 I also visited a site with a Zero near Kieta, it was on some poles and looked very unstable. On the north part of the island I visit the wreck of an other plane in a park ( the " red" one)..

After Bougainville I visited also Rabaul and the surrounding area. The Kokopo museum was great to visit with lots of Japanese tanks and all sort of vehicles. Lots of aircraft parts and even a Zero were over there.
Eric Vogel
Thank you very much Eric for the photos and the report from your most exciting visit. I'm sure there are many readers here that are extremely jealous, myself included. If you have time we'd like to see photos from your visit to Rabaul, too.


D. Chouinard said...

Absolutely amazing! Being able to explore such places is a real treat! It's just a shame that some don't have any respect for such things, and hack off bits to take away.
Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Awesome, thanks for sharing. C. Parkhill, Grapevine Texas

Anonymous said...

It looks like the last photo is a "Pete" F1M2 recon floatplane fuselage. Very rare I would think.
Interesting post-Thanks!
Pat D