The '603 Wing                

Dixon wing, South Koror. Photo Courtesy P. Scannon, 1993.The '603 Wing lies on the southeastern shore of Ngetkuml and along northern shore of Koror. The 65-foot wing, lying upside down along the shore of a small island south of Koror, is the right wing of a 13th AAF B-24, airplane # '603. Captain Dixon and a crew of nine had flown '603 from Wakde Island on 28 August 44 and, while preparing to release the bomb load, AA fire hit the wing.

Dixon fuselage in flames across Koror.  Courtesy J. Kendall, 309th BG(H) historian
As the bombardier salvoed the bombs, the wing separated from the fuselage, impacting on the south side of Koror while the fuselage streaked across Koror in flames and crashed on the north side of the island. The entire crew perished.
Nose of Dixon fuselage, with P. Scannon, 1993All that remains of the fuselage is part of the nose; I found the bomb release handle inside, still in the open position. Figuring out that two piles of rubble, lying miles apart on opposite sides of Koror were related, turned out to be a story unto itself: interviews with local Palauans finally solved the riddle of the missing fuselage. In 1999, during a more recent trip, another Palauan took us to a 20 foot outer piece of what probably was the left wing of '603. Lying in shallow water along the mangroves of southern Koror, fishermen pass by this wreckage every day; no one knew what it was.

The Present                                       Hamilton Standard Prop