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          The Peleliu SB2C         

[This is an interesting look into the long, slow process of discovery and identification. Read the next paragraph, which was written in 2000, before following the link in the last paragraph.]

Starting at the southernmost end of Walt's Ridge on Peleliu (which has been used as a gravel pit) and moving about 150 yards north along the west side, wreckage of an American plane lies scattered up the hillside in dense jungle. Much of it lies buried, and one has to go to the top of the ridge to see the largest fragments. This wreck was most recently (re-?) discovered in ~1992 by Bob Kelly, a historian from Brisbane, Australia. He took Dan Bailey and me to the site in 1994. Impacted into the hillside, I found a wheel of a type that suggested that it might have belonged to a Corsair (Picture 11). More recently, a group has more extensively studied the wreckage and concluded that it was an SB2C. This is compatible with the historical records, since SB2Cs were reported shot down over that area during the three separate carrier strikes between March and September of 1944; conversely, no Corsair was reported shot down over Peleliu itself during the entire campaign.

[Okay, got it? At the time this was written, most agreed that this site was an SB2C. But then, during P-MAN V in March 2003, the site was re-re-visited. More clues were uncovered, some of which pretty conclusively indicate that this site is NOT an SB2C. Turns out it's a ... well, why not click here to go to the P-MAN V Final Report and pick up the saga there? Don't forget to come back here and finish The BentProp Story when you've satisfied your curiosity...]

Bridge Avenger                             '058 B-24