P-MAN XVII (2015)

The 2015 expedition began on 13 March
and ran through 14 April

Click here to read the regular progress reports that were posted during this year's expedition.

Mission Proposal for P-MAN XVII

The proposed P-MAN XVII mission dates were 13 March to 15 April 2015. Because of the partnerships working together on this mission, we prepared a proposal that was intended as a joint mission outline concerning the activities of the BentProp Project, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), University of Delaware (UDEL), San Diego State University, Stockbridge High School and Pursuit Productions.

The P-MAN XVII mission is primarily centered around the continuation and expansion of the BentProp partnership with SIO and UDEL in our ongoing searches for Americans Missing In Action (MIAs) and missing Prisoners of War (POWs), lost during WWII on or within the barrier reef of the Republic of Palau. In total, at least nine separate air campaigns and one major land campaign were conducted over or on Palau by the US Navy, US Army Air Corps (so-called before the 1947 creation of the US Air Force), US Marine Corps and US Army. From March 1944 to September 1945, the Palauan people were trapped in between these two warring nations and so, to the Palauan people, especially the elders, WWII lasted nineteen brutal months. During the war, only Peleliu and Angaur were captured from the Imperial Japanese military by US forces. Therefore, locations of all Americans, primarily but not limited to airmen, lost beyond these two islands remain dependent on after-action reports of fellow surviving air crews (who were busy saving their own lives), Japanese records (most of which have never been located and many of which were intentionally destroyed by war’s end), sightings and recollections by Palauan elders, American and Japanese veterans (many who have now passed away) and Palauan hunters and fishermen who may accidently come across crash sites.

The BentProp Project searches in all these categories for evidence of our Missing Military and utilizes our gathered knowledge in field searches for these MIAs and missing POWs.

As always, the members of the BentProp Project recognize that permission for our searches in Palau is granted by the Palauan government as a privilege. We will continue to respect the Palauan people, their rules, and customs. On behalf of the P-MAN XVI team, we look forward to our return to Palau.

As we have for many years, we have submitted a mission proposal to the various groups and agencies, both Palauan and American, upon which we depend for permission to conduct our annual field expeditions.

Here's where you can download and read a non-confidential version of this year's Mission Proposal.


Progress Reports from P-MAN XVII (2015)

While the 2015 expedition was under way, we posted regular progress reports (see below). Over the past several years many of you have become regular, eager, enthusiastic readers of the progress reports. Thanks for your interest and support! And thanks for being understanding on those occasions when we got behind by a day or so - there are times when there just aren't enough hours in the day, and we fall asleep before we can finish documenting the day's efforts.

This year's reports included contributions by more than one field team member. Each report indicated who wrote what.

2015 Expedition Progress Reports


    Report # - Date - Topic

Upon completion of the 2015 expedition, we received the following message and attached report from Josh Nichols, 5th-grade teacher at Heritage Elementary (part of the Stockbridge Community School system). Josh accompanied the Stockbridge team this year in Palau.

"Hope you had safe travels. Here is a small report I did on the ROV education in Palau. Feel free to share it with those who might be interested. BentProp is amazing and I learned a lot about life and how to value it every day. Hope to see you soon! I should have had someone edit this, so please excuse any grammar or spelling errors."

Here is Josh's report:

  • 16 - 14 April - This is a *BIG* reason why the work that BentProp does is so satisfying....