P-MAN VII expedition has concluded. It was conducted
15 February - 15 March 2005.
The formal final report for P-MAN VII was submitted to a variety of US and Palauan government agencies. The version of the report here on the Web site is a slightly modified version of that report. All references to specific identities of deceased individuals, human remains, maps and GPS readings have been intentionally deleted from the report presented here.
At the top of every page of the report, you'll find a drop-down menu that you can use to navigate through the report. Instead of being presented in a linear fashion as we've done with previous reports, any page of the report can be reached directly from the drop-down menu. Happy reading!
In late May 2005, JPAC's Recovery Team 2 (RT-2) wrapped up (but did not finish) their work on the B-24. They plan to return next year, with a solution that will help them stabilize portions of the B-24 wreckage that are presently deemed too unstable to allow safe continuation of the underwater recovery operation. A few weeks prior to that, RT-1, which had spent time at the Avenger site on Peleliu and the Corsair site in Ngeremlengui, returned to Hickam. RT-1 found remains at the Avenger site but not at the Corsair site. RT-2 found remains at the B-24 site, but it's likely that they'll find more during next year's mission.
Pat Scannon was invited by JPAC to come to Palau for a "repatriation ceremony" that was held on 23 May 2005, as the remains from the B-24 were loaded onto the C-17 aircraft that would return RT-2 and these remains, after more than 60 years to American soil. Pat was also given the great honor of flying back to Hickam with them.
We've been in touch with family members of all of the men lost on the Avenger, and some of the men lost on the B-24. Naturally, they're vitally interested in the results of the recovery and subsequent identification tasks. But here's the problem: in the words of JPAC's Bill Belcher, "We will probably start doing some of the work and we are desalinating the remains and artifacts - this may take several months to stabilize the remains. We'll do some preliminary work on these items, but the full-blown identification work won't be conducted until the site is closed and completely excavated."
It's hard for all of us to wait, now that some remains have been found and returned to JPAC's lab, but this is a long, careful, painstaking process, and we have confidence the pros will do it right.
To help share the repatriation experience so far with family members (and you, too, dear reader), Pat has prepared a super, illustrated report that covers his experience attending the ceremony in Koror and flying back to Hickam with RT-2. Here's the Repatriation Report.
In June 2005, there was another repatriation ceremony, this one held at Hickam AFB in Honolulu. The ceremony described above was held in Palau, and marked the DEPARTURE of remains from Palau. The June ceremony at Hickam was held to honor the RETURN to American soil of remains from Palau, Laos, China, and North Korea. Here's a brief report about the June ceremony at Hickam.
(Almost) Daily Progress Reports (See Below)
As with the past three P-MAN expeditions, we posted regular progress reports (daily when possible) here on the BentProp Web site, as the expedition proceeded. Reid Joyce, the BentProp Webmaster, was the progress-report author for this expedition. Flip Colmer, who likes to present his own take on happenings before, during, and after our expeditions, has created a blog for his BentProp adventures. You can read Flip's blog here.
by Reid Joyce