Report to the Explorers Club
By: Patrick J. Scannon, MD, PhD, FN ‘96

Expedition members: Patrick Scannon, Chip Lambert, Pam Lambert, Dan Bailey

Executive Summary:

The purpose of the Project P-MAN was t o search for and document crash sites of US airplanes shot down by Japanese military forces over Palau during WWII. The team found, both on land and in the ocean, 4 planes (2 F4U Corsairs (US Marines), 1 TBF Avenger (US Navy) and 1 Japanese Jake seaplane). While scuba diving, we incidentally found two sunken Japanese boats from that era as well. To date one of the F4U Corsairs has been identified; the other two US aircraft are in progress of being identified. While the team was not successful in finding other wrecks that were included in the original plan, through a combination of physical exploration and interviewing of Palauan locals during this expedition, we are closer on finding those as well.

Brief Historical Background of Air War over Palau:

During 1944-45, US forces (Navy, Army Air Corps and Marines) made repeated air raids over the Palau Islands (approximately 500 miles north of the equator and 600 miles south and east of the Philippines). The first series of attacks occurred in the spring of 1944 in the form of aircraft carrier task force strikes (Operation DESECRATE ONE) to prevent the Japanese Army and Navy in Palau from providing flanking air support against MacArthur's invasion of Hollandia/northern New Guinea. During the summer of 1944, the second series occurred in the form of both carrier task force strikes (operation SNAPSHOT, in which former President George Bush participated) and Army Air Corps B-24 raids (13th AAF and 5th AAF). The purpose of these raids were twofold: a) to prevent Japanese aircraft from flanking MacArthur's invasions of northern New Guinea and the Philippines and b) to soften up Peleliu (an island with a large Japanese air field in southern Palau), scheduled for invasion by 1st Marine Division on September 15, 1944 (Operation STALEMATE). Although the rest of Palau was bypassed after the Peleliu invasion as the war proceeded toward the homeland of Japan, the requirement for ongoing US air coverage over Palau was essential to prevent further aggression from the remaining 25,000 Japanese troops stationed throughout the northern Palau islands. As a result, a third series of air actions occurred during and after the invasion of Peleliu, by both the US Marines Corsair fighters (VMF 114, 122, 121 from the captured Peleliu airfield) and the Army Air Corps B-24 bombers (7th AAF from a new airfield on nearby Angaur built to support the Philippines invasion). Each provided independent air support/suppression against Japanese ground forces throughout Palau until the war ended. In the face of the war moving elsewhere, the daily air battles fought over Palau were unaccountably fierce, on the part of both sides, turning into a struggle of attrition with both sides sustaining lethal casualties up to the last day of the war.

Palau, because of its strategic location (between the Mariana Islands and the Philippines) and because of its deep-water harbors, was the regional headquarters for the occupying Japanese military. Accordingly, it was heavily defended, both in numbers of troops (~35,000), airfields (3) and antiaircraft sites (many). In the face of some of the heaviest Japanese antiaircraft fire anywhere in the entire Pacific war and with the large number of US air strikes, it was inevitable that American planes would be shot down and they were. Because the Palaus have a barrier reef around the islands, many of the planes fell onto the islands or into waters approachable by conventional scuba diving techniques; however, a substantial portion of these planes and their crews, were never found, in spite of an intense efforts by US Army Graves Registration Units after the war ended.

Even though the invasion of Peleliu turned out to be the third bloodiest battle fought in the Pacific, the several naval, ground and air campaigns involving Palau are generally treated as a historical footnote of little interest, compared to more well-recognized Pacific battles such as Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima and Okinowa. But the numbers of Americans (with their planes) that were lost in the Palau area are not insignificant. At least two books have been published, describing the Japanese ships sunk by US Navy air actions in the Palaus. However, beyond the attempts by the American Graves Registration Service to locate remains of American military after end the of the war, no one has systematically looked for these missing aircraft, which were written off, with their crews, one year and one day after they were lost.

In 1993,following participation in a successful expedition in northern Palau to find the Japanese trawler sunk by Navy aviator Ensign George Bush in July 1944, I began investigating that air war after being shown a 65 foot wing, which at that time had been sitting, with identity unknown, in shallow waters just south of Koror in Palau for almost fifty years.

Project P-MAN Goals:

Prior to arriving in Palau, investigation of US Marine, Army Air Corps and Navy archival records, in combination with interviews with surviving pilots, airmen and Palauans, suggested that up to seven sites might be worth field searches for missing US aircraft during this trip. As has occurred on previous expeditions, the plan included updating such archival information with additional interviews with Palauans upon arrival there. Further, such interviews in the past have resulted in finding of new crash sites, which might merit investigation

Introduction to the Findings of Project P-MAN:

Recent wars offer many archeological advantages in attempting to understand the actual fighting. High on the list of such advantages are included the still decipherable fields of combat with remaining debris, the existence of often extensive archival records and, importantly, surviving combatants and witnesses. All of these factors have been important to gaining an insight into the air campaign fought over the islands of Palau from spring 1944 to the war’s end in August 1945.

In addition, over the past decade, the people of Palau have becoming increasingly vocal in their interest in the history of their recently independent country. Along with the stunning tropical beauty lies the history of Palauans who have lived on these islands for many centuries. However, for the past 300 years up until its independence in 1994, Palau has been sequentially under the influences of Spanish, German, Japanese (from 1914 through 1945) and finally American (from 1945 to 1994) governments. Scattered throughout Palau are the remains of wreckage of World War II. On land and in surrounding waters can be found many battle scars of the Palau campaign, still remembered by those who survived those bloody times. Later generation Palauans continue to uncover new or already forgotten sites, sometimes with warriors still in place where they died. The Palauan people remain a critical primary and interested source for finding and understanding these historical locations.

Surprisingly to some, archival records do not tell the whole story from the American side, either. While after-action reports of those times generally describe events in considerable detail, it is an understandable consequence of the heat of battle that all too often these reports provide few, if any, useful clues for finding the actual crash site locations. For example, one US mine sweeper, sunk near the end of the war near one of the southern islands in Palau, has yet to be found, despite intensive searches using what appear to be excellent documentation of the sinking ship’s final coordinates. In short, one must also look elsewhere and there is no substitute for speaking with someone who participated in or witnessed the action. For many of the surviving American WWII veterans, a bond, not often understood or appreciated by later generations, was created among those who fought together which manifests itself today through reunions. These reunions, which continue to reinforce the ties created more than fifty years ago, are also living and concentrated sources of that history.

If one is to understand what happened on and over Palau during an 18-month period starting in 1944, using available resources is essential. True, memories may not always remain accurate over a half-century - on the other hand, archival records written in close proximity to events may also be next to worthless. But sometimes one little piece of the puzzle is all one needs. Sometimes one gets much more.

Project P-MAN Findings:

From the time the team landed in Palau, everyone was aware that time was a critical factor. With only ten effective days for exploration, the wreck sites had been prioritized before arriving, leaving open the possibility for targets of opportunity. In the true spirit of adventure, despite a considerable effort, little of this expedition went the way things were planned. The success of this trip turned out to be in its targets of opportunity.

The primary prioritized focus of the trip was to attempt to find a particular B-24, shot down 1 September 1944 on a bombing mission over Koror, Palau, which was then the headquarters for Lt. General Inoue Sadae, commander of all Japanese forces in that region of the Pacific. This bomber’s course, after its left wing broke away from the fuselage as a result of two antiaircraft hits, was subsequently well-documented in after-action reports and eyewitness accounts, describing the impact site in the waters between the islands of Koror and Babelthuap. Up to three parachutes were seen (depending on which eye witness) and Japanese documents found after the war indicate that at least two of the 11 crew members were captured and placed on different Japanese vessels later that month – these immediate survivors were never heard of again. The remainder of the crew is presumed to have gone down with the plane. The B-24, aircraft (A/C) # 473453 (‘453), a member of the 307th Bomb Group (Heavy) of the 13th AAF, was one of 15bombers on the mission that day. Flying almost 700 miles from Wakde Island off the coast of northern New Guinea, the mission was a long one. The antiaircraft fire was reported to be both heavy and accurate, striking not only the wing root of ‘453, but also causing many shrapnel hits to the bombers that made it back home. Three planes reported circling around Babelthuap back to the crash site to determine the fate of the plane and its crew and reported seeing a small (Japanese) boat headed toward the site to pick up at least one survivor. A small map, attached to the after-action report filed for that day, marks a spot where the plane reportedly impacted. During a recent reunion of this bomb group, a surviving bombardier in an adjacent plane vividly recalled the event and could place on a photo just where at least two pieces of the plane hit the water.

The field search for ‘453 began in 1995 when I strapped myself into the open doorway of a rented Cessna and flew over the channel, called Toachel Mid, where the bomber is reported to have crashed, photographing the entire area. In 1996, I returned with several people including Chip and Pam Lambert, also members of this expedition. A preliminary survey, utilizing a depth finder and repeated scuba dives revealed the water was deeper (90-120 feet) than indicated on the charts. The bottom of the channel was mostly flat and sandy, interspersed with coral heads of varying sizes. Currents of at least two knots flowed through Toachel Mid most of the day with a midday tidal reversal associated with high flow of silt into the channel from nearby mangrove swamps; resultant visibility was estimated at 10-15 feet maximum. The effective search area was determined to be approximately one square mile. These factors made the search more difficult than expected and may explain why this bomber’s actual location has never been found. To add a little spice, one Palauan guide told us that this area is a known breeding ground for sharks, although we have never even seen a single shark in this channel.

Attempts to obtain access to a high-resolution side-scanning sonar for Project P-MAN, prior to leaving for Palau, proved unsuccessful. However, the team did obtain a low-resolution scanner and a drop underwater video camera for investigating potential targets of interest (to save on dive time).

To sum up the search for this missing B-24, the P-MAN team, using a dive boat with our assigned and highly talented guide, named Joe, from nearby Neco Marine, spent a total of six days on, and an estimated 45 hours under, Toachel Mid without finding one speck of evidence confirming the presence of ‘453 or its remaining crew. Key factors that became important in this search were that 1) our low resolution side scanning sonar had considerable sensitivity (ie, could detect small objects on the ocean floor) but, by definition, with little discrimination, 2) the drop video, as configured, was unstable in the channel’s current which made it worthless for investigating potential targets. The combination of 1) and 2) meant that the only solution, in spite of relatively low visibility and changing currents, was 3) conducting underwater grid searches with the team members spread out in a parallel line, as far as visibility permitted. Although a substantial portion of the estimated one square mile was covered using this method (as mapped by GPS from the boat), the team did agree upon completion that, even so, a considerable area remains to be searched. Further, relatively small debris fields could have been missed as a result of the poor visibility. We are currently reviewing the data in detail and attempting to come up with more effective strategies for the next trip.

The search for ‘453 was only one of several targets for the P-MAN expedition. Two other potential sites were eliminated early on, in between dives for ‘453. A quick sweep of Malakal Harbor, where a TBF Avenger, piloted by Lt. Richard Houle, was shot down 26 July 1944 (George Bush’s wing man) revealed the harbor to be too deep and the area too vast when combined with the vague after-action description of the actual impact site to undertake without more advanced surface search equipment. We also conducted an initial search for a second plane, a Corsair piloted by the squadron commander of VMF 122, Major Quintus Nelson, which crashed nearby the Houle site over Aurapushakaru on 16 April 1945. Although the after-action report states that the plane crashed on that island, our interviews with local Palauans revealed that no such plane had ever been found on Aurupushukaru. As this island is in the middle of Palau’s most highly populated area, independent searching on our part was discouraged. There was a suggestion made of a possible wreck in Malakal Harbor adjacent to the island, but a concerted scuba diving effort by the team failed to uncover a debris field.

Search for a fourth plane on our list initially looked more promising, as a result of encouraging interviews with local Palauans. This plane, also a Marine Corsair, was shot down over Battery Hill on Koror on 4 March 1945. Major "Cowboy" Stout, who was then the squadron commander of VMF 114, piloted this Corsair. Unlike any of the previous aircraft, the remains of Major Stout were recovered from a mangrove swamp after the war, when his plane was discovered by two Palauan women hunting for crabs on the northern edge of Koror. As Major Stout was the only "ace" (six Japanese planes to his credit) killed in Palau, his Corsair remains of considerable historical value, at least for documentation. However, the whereabouts in the swamp of his fighter, which was not salvaged, have been forgotten. With our guide, Joe, as a translator, we went to the village nearest to the presumed crash site. Since hunting for rock crab in the swamp is common, we wanted to interview members from the village who might have seen or heard of such wreckage. Joe introduced us to Basilius who instructed a village member to take us to a wreck site they knew about in the mangrove swamp. This villager took us deep into the swamp, sometimes chest high in black muck. Although we conducted sweeps in three areas of that mangrove swamp where he was certain the plane was, we were not able to find Stout’s Corsair. We were told later that the rumors of man-eating crocodiles in that area were really exaggerated (although a crocodile farm is no more than one mile from our search area).

At face value with the first four of four planes on our prospective list not found, one would begin to wonder about the value of this trip. The best we could say for locating these planes, so far, was where they were not. However, the expedition did find four additional aircraft (and two sunken Japanese boats). These were discovered under the heading of unplanned for "targets of opportunity" and once again revealed the importance of teaming up with the locals.

Three of them were discovered all on one day after one of the team members (Dan Bailey) recalled that a certain Palauan, named Abby, who ran a Koror restaurant, might know about some wreck sites. Since we needed to eat anyway, it made sense that we eat at Abby’s place. We arrived hungry for both food and information. Following a couple of beers, I was elected to discuss the matter with Abby. Abby and I hit it off, in spite of a somewhat rocky start, and, by evening’s end, Abby agreed to arrange for a special guide, named Lazarus (now that’s an appropriate name for the P-MAN project, on more than one count), to show us three possible crash sites, all on or around the big island of Babelthuap. Although Abby knew where these planes were, he knew nothing about them.

The next day, our regular guide Joe took us in a boat north up the western side of Babelthuap, a stunningly beautiful tropical boat ride, to Ngermetengel pier, where we picked up Lazarus. He took us to further north up the coast to an area about one mile from the shore and about 200 yards inside of the outer barrier reef, which encompasses the western side of Palau. There lying in less than 3 feet of water (at low tide) was the remains of an F4U Corsair. This aircraft was lying, wheels up, in a southerly direction. The tail section of the plane, from the rear of the cockpit back, was completely missing but the forward elements of the cockpit, e. g., the wings, engine and propeller, were present as a unit with the exception that the propeller, a three-bladed Hamilton Standard, had been ripped away from the engine, probably on contact. Both wings were intact and right over where each of the three 0.50 caliber machine guns should be, on each wing, grew bright orange corals (due to ingestion of iron oxide from the guns?). The canopy was missing and the cockpit area was heavily encrusted with coral. Attempts to find an identification plate were unsuccessful due to the dense coral. Amazingly, despite over fifty years of pounding surf, the control stick and the rudder pedals remained intact. The control stick was fixed in a rearward position, suggesting that the aviator may have flared just before landing to make a wheels-up landing. Because of the proximity of the Corsair to the outer barrier reef and its southerly heading (in the direction of the US airfield on Peleliu), the aviator appears have been hit by antiaircraft fire possibly with loss of hydraulics or power. However, the shape of the forward half of the plane suggests he have had sufficient time/altitude to get the plane out near the barrier reef for a relatively gentle wheels-up landing. On the outer edge of this reef, US Navy amphibian aircraft (called "Dumbos") could and did routinely land in the nearby deep water (even under continued enemy fire) to pick up aviators shot down over Babelthuap. We found out, once we got there that this Corsair had been photographed previously (by Dan Bailey, on an earlier trip, no less!) but it has not yet been identified. My review of all after-action reports of Corsairs shot down over the Palaus during World War II limits the number of possibilities to sevencandidates. I am currently interviewing surviving Marine aviators to determine if the list can be further narrowed. Chip Lambert at the crash site saw a white band around the forward edge of the cowling, which would identify the plane as belonging to VMF 114. Only two VMF114 Corsairs fit this profile. Work remains in progress. But Lazarus was eager to get us to the next crash site, which involved a trip yet, further north

We next pulled into an area next to Ucherael dock. This time the plane was under water. After donning our dive gear and jumping in, we found about 30 feet down a Japanese seaplane, known as a Jake (American designation). This single engine fighter was reasonably intact, although lying upside down with the pontoons broken off and on top of the fuselage. The plane appears to have been sunk in place as tie-down cables to nearby concrete blocks were still in place. Lazarus said that some years ago, this Jake had been lying upright on the ocean floor but a severe typhoon flipped it over and caused much of the present damage. After Chip and Dan took some photos of the Jake and we fixed the location by GPS, Lazarus took us to the third crash site.

For this one, we turned back south, to the mouth of KaramadooBay. This plane had crashed on land nearby, so at a small pier inside the Bay, Lazarus transferred us to a small fishing boat with a shallow draft. We headed north to the nearby mangrove swamps and proceeded up the creek until the boat could go no further. As we went further on foot through the swamp, we began to see evidence of a widely dispersed debris field, visually limited by the dense jungle vegetation. Near the base of the waterfall which fed into the mangroves, Lazarus pointed up a steep hill and said the wreck was up on top. Chip and I immediately assaulted the hill and pretty soon through the thick overgrowth, we could make out the faded blue color of the tail section of a Corsair. This nearly intact empennage lay precariously nestled between a giant tree root and the face of this steep hill. Rotated 90 degrees around the fuselage axis, the top of the vertical stabilizer faced outward (approximately west) from the hillside. As the tail section was one of the locations for aircraft identification numbers, I crawled out on the vertical stabilizer (now horizontal), swept away the jungle debris but did not see any numbers immediately, although "NAVY" remained visible (note: the Marine Corsairs were originally assigned from the US Navy). Disappointed, I took several pictures of all aspects of the empennage anyway. Further yet up the hill, Lazarus had brought Dan and Pam up an easier route and the debris field became more clear: all the debris seemed to lie in a 40 yard radius, facing up the hill (roughly eastward) from the base of the empennage. To the left and up the hill from this point lay 1) part of the cockpit firewall with a tube, with a valve on which was printed "Fresh Air", 2) the outward tip of the starboard elevator, and 3) the starboard wing heavily overgrown by jungle. To the right, Lazarus discovered the Pratt&Whitney R2800 engine, lying impacted in the hillside with one of the Hamiliton Standard propeller blades bent back around the engine. Just below the engine, we found small pieces of the plastic canopy and parts of both landing gear assemblies. There was no evidence of human remains found. We photographed the site until we ran out of film and then headed back.

Analysis of the debris field seems to indicate that the aviator was flying in a north to northeasterly direction and impacted into the hillside at high speed, not far from Sisngebang Mountain. If there was an explosion (and there must have been), it appears to have been snuffed out almost immediately as there was no evidence of fire damage anywhere. The fuselage (including the tail section) appears to have been thrown further to the north after initial impact up the hill with small pieces of debris being blown down the hill (south and west) for almost a hundred yards of impact. This would explain why we saw debris as we approached the base of the hill from the south.

After returning to the States and developing my slides, I discovered that there was in fact a Bureau Number of the vertical stabilizer that I had missed in the filtered jungle light. This Corsair’s number was "14241" and was flown by First Lieutenant Kenneth A. Wallace, USMCR of VMF 114 and Saginaw, Michigan. He died in action in this plane on 3 March 1945 (the day before Major Stout, his squadron commander was killed). Reviewing the official after-action report from that mission, Lt. Wallace had requested permission to strafe some camouflaged boats near the shore of Karamadoo Bay. His flight leader, Major Oelrich, after giving the go ahead, saw Lt. Wallace’s plane make a low strafing run and then "crash into the ground about 100 yards north of the target (note: this appears to be bout where Lazarus pulled up his small fishing boat for us to get out) and cut a path through the undergrowth".

According to a later report, on 20 April 1947, Mr. Ngiringas, who was then Captain of the Koror Police, reported this crash site to US military authorities occupying Peleliu. On 25 April, a Search and Recovery Team found at this site approximately 90 bones (sufficient for identification) which were then interred, after notifying the family in a military cemetery near Manila in the Philippines. Interestingly, the team did not find the Corsair’s Bureau Number as part of the identification process. In his recent book describing his experiences as a Marine aviator in VMF114 (Friends, Dear Friends, and Heroes, Freebooter Press, Springfield, MO, 1997), Bill Cantrell recounts that day, remembering Lt. Wallace as a "shy Scot with little to say, a ready smile and brave heart". Lt. Wallace had been noted on previous missions to return with tree leaves in his gun ports, "irrefutable evidence that he was flying too low." Concerned that Lt. Wallace might have a problem with "target fixation," several squadron members had cautioned him about this. Whether or not that problem took him to his grave will never be known, but Bill noted that "He wiped out the gun position in the process".

In between searching for some planes and finding others, we made a couple of minor nautical discoveries, as well. The first of these came at the recommendation of our guide, Joe. He felt that the B-24 (‘453) might have come down in a nearby lagoon on the other side of the hills on the northeast side of Koror. While we were searching a section the lagoon’s shoreline remote from any human habitation, Chip Lambert thought he saw some wreckage in the water. Once in the water, he rapidly identified it as a Daihatsu landing craft. These had been plentiful during the Japanese occupation but became targets for the skillful US Marine aviators who worked to deny the enemy any access to Peleliu by water. Any such wrecks which would have been known would have had any key parts salvaged years ago. The remains of this approximately 80 foot boat lay in about 10 to 25 feet of water on a steeply sloping shore line and still had its engine, ballast, admiralty-type anchor, brass propeller (highly prized by salvagers) and one intact rice bowl. The wood (and the rice bowl) were heavily charred, suggesting this boat had been sunk on fire. Palauans we later spoke to were not aware of this wreck. I found the second boat was discovered just off a coral head in Toachel Mid while snorkeling with Chip for ‘453. This all-metal boat was about 40 feet long, encrusted with coral and lying nose up on the coral head’s steep slope. Although this may be a post war wreck, there were a number of similarly-shaped holes dispersed along the top of the wreck, which suggests this boat was subjected to strafing fire from overflying fighters. Within a half mile of this wreck is the remains of a pier used by the occupying Japanese (from which, incidentally, a small Japanese boat was observed by a B-24 crew to leave and pick up ‘453’s immediate survivors). Although beyond the primary goal of this expedition, these boats are part of Palau’s history as well.

Since the last day we were in Palau was a mandatory "non-dive" day, prior to getting on the plane, the team decided to return to Peleliu. The local expert on Peleliu’s battle sites is Tangie Hesus, who has guided us around the island on several previous trips. When we got to Peleliu and told Tangie about our mission in the northern islands, he said that he knew of some mangrove fisherman who had found a plane in the mangroves in the mid-eastern part of Peleliu. After talking with the fishermen who were willing to take us there, Tangie stated that we were the first outsiders to see the wreck. The fishermen brought up an even smaller boat than Lazarus used for our trip. We traveled from the northern dock on Peleliu, south along the eastern coast for about 40 minutes along an open water way through the swamp and, with the eastern face of Bloody Nose Ridge (the site of one of the most devastating portions of the battle) nearby and to our right, we suddenly turned into the mangroves. Hopping out of the boat, we could see a relatively intact aircraft, lying with landing gear up in a northerly direction in about three feet of water. As we approached, it became immediately apparent it was a TBF Avenger, an American three-man torpedo bomber from World War II. There appeared to be shrapnel hits all over the plane and there was no canopy. The Hamilton Standard propeller, though bent, was present, along with all other major components of the plane, although the port wing was sheared off and to the rear of the plane. The cockpit was missing all its instruments and there was no evidence of human remains. The "star and bar" emblem on the starboard fuselage was still present. No machine guns were seen. The landing gear was in a wheels-up orientation and the starboard tire was in remarkably preserved condition. The vertical stabilizer did have an identifiable Bureau Number on it: 45___ on the port side and 4_966 was on the starboard side. Aircraft # 45966 has not yet been identified but an ongoing effort with the US Navy Historical Research Center is in progress.

Overall, this Avenger appears to have sustained antiaircraft hits and appears to have crashed at a relatively low speed, given the remarkably good shape in which this aircraft remains. The absence of the canopy suggests that the crew may have bailed out prior to the crash. The absence of any instruments might be the result of subsequent efforts by either Japanese (while they still controlled the island), the US military at some later time or locals. Alternatively, it is conceivable that this aircraft was an operational loss and not due to enemy fire: it is oriented in roughly the same direction as the north-south runway of the Peleliu airfield to the immediate south of this crash site. The exact cause of this aircraft’s demise should, hopefully, be determined soon.

On the 21 of June 1999, we took off from Palau early in the morning. It had been an exciting and successful expedition, if not due to good planning at least to good luck. There remain more undiscovered aircraft wrecks throughout Palau. Even more important than finding such wreck sites is recalling and honoring the histories of the warriors who died in these planes. Not all Americans died in the well-known battlefields of WWII but they died just as valiantly and for the same cause. This expedition will help to fill in a few small additions to the historical record of that time.

© Scannon, 1999