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Joined: 17 Jan 2024 2150


Post by konedobu2067 » 17 Jan 2024 2240

Greetings All
My name is Bruce Hoy, I was Curator of the Department of Modern History at the National Museum of Papua New Guinea between 1978 and 1988. Between 1988 and 1993 I was a contractor to the United States Army's Central Identification Laboratory that continued the work that I had already been doing with this Unit that continued the postwar American Graves Registration Service duties, as well as obtaining information throughout PNG from WW2 enthusiasts that resulted in many, many more crash-sites being identified, surveyed and when identified as a wreck still containing the remains of the crew, participate in their recovery. I was very much involved with the original 90th Bomb Group Reunion Association, and especially Wiley O Woods, Jr who lived in Chattanooga, TN. My wife and I visited Jo and Wiley in 1981 who made these two Australians extremely welcome. I worked in closely with Wiley and other former members of the Association on Wiley's history of the Group, LEGACY OF THE 90TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP - THE JOLLY ROGERS.

One of my important roles was to provide authorisation for American recovery teams to enter Papua New Guinea and provide advice both in communication and on-site assistance during the recovery operations for the crew members and the approval for the remains to be transported back to Hawaii for identification and ultimate burial at the cemetery of the kin's request.

The images below are of the tail section of a B-24D that was located at the aircraft's crash-site in the Owen Stanley Range north of Port Moresby. (In fact, at night one could see the lights of Port Moresby twinkling in the distance!) The second image shows this valuable historical item on display in a temporary gallery in Port Moresby, together with a small collection of personal items in the display cases in the foreground, that also includes a Model of a B-24D.

This aircraft was being used by the transport command as a passenger aircraft, but still fully armed with weapons although every gun had had their barrels removed. The aircraft's pilot was with the 19th Bomb Squadron of the 22nd Bomb Group. There were no members of the 90th on board at that time. As far as I am aware this skull and crossed bombs artwork is the only surviving original artwork from the 90th Bomb Group in WW2. How I got the item down from its resting place and into Port Moresby was quite a considerable task! This aircraft had 21 manifested passengers and crew with another person thought to have climbed on board prior to departure. All 21 manifested and the 22nd unmanifested individual were recovered which achieved considerable publicity throughout the United States followed by a book A MISSING PLANE written by Susan Sheehan.

While with the 90BG the aircraft's name was "WEEZIE" and several photos will be attached later.
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