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Old 7th Feb 2018, 09:45
  #108 (permalink)  
David Billings
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Australia
Age: 79
Posts: 198
Advisable to read the website

I am not really apologetic that the website is so comprehensive and therefore by the need to explain everything, "so long and time consuming" to read. People that are interested in the subject will spend the time to do that.

I didn't really know any other way to go about it, to encapsulate the project with all its' little bits and pieces into one whole piece that was easily readable and dealt with the find of the wreckage and the hypothesis of what could have happened. As I have said many times it is the find in 1945 and how it got missed because everyone was busy that intrigued me right from the start. What really amazes me is that we have the WWII Map with the writing, "at all". That is purely due to the many "ifs" in the story.

However, in saying that it got missed, I do believe that one intelligent man in the Australian Army did catch on to whose aircraft it might be and that was Captain John Wesley Mott who appears in the story as the 13 Brigade Staff Officer in charge of topography. Captain Mott had been in the First World War and had gained a Military Medal as a Sergeant and had been given a Field Commission and went on to become a Captain.

When WWII started Mott volunteered for service again but was refused enlistment because he was too valuable as a Surveyor. Mott surveyed most of North Queensland and the Northern territory and there is a "Mott Street" in Darwin. Mott pestered the Army until they finally took him on in his old rank of Captain and sent him up to Jaquinot Bay to 5th Division HQ. Mott angled his way up to the fighting zone at Wide Bay and he was there to meet Patrol A1 when it got back to base on the evening of 18th April '45.

Captain Mott wanted to know where they had been and what the topography was like and he also wanted to know "where" this aircraft wreckage was located but they could not specifically tell him, or at least The Patrol Lieutenant couldn't point to the map and say "There". That led to an argument between Mott and the C.O of "D" Company, an officer of equal rank, Captain Gieckie. Being a Staff Officer, Mott won.

As a result, Ken Backhouse was sent on another patrol almost straight away and was not at the "D" Company Base at KALAI when two U.S. Army Officers came to talk to him about the wreck they had seen.

David Billings
www.earhartsearchpng.com
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