2014 BentProp Progress Report # 29

P-MAN XVI Update # 29 - It's winding down, but we're still squeezing secrets out of Police Hill.

12 April 2014

It's winding down. Only a few work days left. Everybody except me went up to Police Hill. I stayed behind to work on the Peleliu update. I knew if I spent the day in the field I wouldn't be able to get the update done, putting the story telling another day behind. You deserve better treatment than that. And then everyone gave me an errand to do for them. Go to the laundry, head back to the ship, pick up a package, make a phone call, and 'do everything else we haven't thought of'. Missions accomplished.

But during breakfast, in walked Robin. She supposedly left the night before. We all said our goodbyes and here she was, standing in front of us. Well, if you're going to make a travel error, a day early is better than a day late at the airport. So Robin got an extra 24 hours in Palau which she put to great use reflecting on all that has happened over the past week that she has been here. She'll go out tonight along with Dave Gianakos. Dave is a great addition to the team. His knowledge of aircraft and aviation history is going to be put to good use over the years. To both Sean Richardson who left a couple of weeks ago and Dave, welcome to alumni status!

The Texas Team joined the group in the morning up on Police Hill to see the area A and B sites that Bill and Jolie are working. Our A2 (archeologist and anthropologist) team is trying to piece together from what they see on and in the ground, what happened on this ground 70 years ago. Progress is measured in centimeters. But new info is developed almost every day they are up there. We will have one more working day up on Police Hill this year. Then we'll take suggestions from Mark Swank and A2 on how to interrogate the site next year.

The Texas Team came off the hill early as we had a plan to get them on the Corsair. Joe also came off the hill early and he guided them out to it along with the film crew. Once again, this is a protected site and we just can't give them the lat/longs.

By dinner time, we did not have any new targets on the water. Therefore the Texas Team will be going to Jelly Fish Lake tomorrow. You really shouldn't come all the way to Palau and not see this particular wonder of the world. I'm sure they'll get to the other cool sites as well. Good to know they are flexible in their planning.

We had dinner with Dave and Margie finally. Not at their place as we usually do for a Mexican feast, but at The Taj. They felt with the current rain patterns that there was no way we wouldn't get wet on their uncovered outdoor patio, and they do not have enough room on the inside of their apartment to host us there. So of course it didn't rain at all. A fun time was had by all.

On the way back to the hotel, we stopped by Scripps/UDel and did the SSS review. Now we have some targets. We will get one more day on the water. So the 13th is our last water day. That will really give my SCUBA gear a chance to dry out before going home. It's also the day Pat leaves for Australia. He has a presentation to make there, so off he goes.

As I said, we already have decided to put one more day up on Police Hill and that will be the 14th. Bill and Jolie got excited at the end of the day and want to do a little more poking around. So those of us left will help out. Jolie will leave right after we get off Police Hill on the 14th and Bill leaves the 15th.

For Dan, Derek Casey and me, the 15th is pack out day. Then Casey takes the 0130 flight to Guam and the rest of us take the 0400 flight to Tokyo and spread out for the flights back to our homes.

That will leave Jo Schumacher with one more day here. We have not found her uncle yet. But as she's seen, we haven't given up. She knows we are centimeters closer to putting the story together. One day, we will. Jo was a guest of The BentProp Project and she joined in wherever she could.

I did not get a single picture today. Sorry. Hopefully tomorrow and the next day will provide fodder for the lens.

- Flip

All photos © Flip Colmer2014

Return to the Progress Report Index