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Old 13th Feb 2018, 02:10
  #116 (permalink)  
David Billings
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Australia
Age: 79
Posts: 198
Further Explanation...

I think the significance or the “uniqueness” of the cryptic reference on the map that we have is being missed. At the riskof being a BOS, one further explanation is therefore tendered…

On site, at the wreck in the Jungle and where the engine was situated, the Warrant Officer on the patrol removed a metal tag hanging by tied wire to the engine mount tubing behind the engine. He removed the metal tag. He looked at it and saw that it had a "string of letters and numbers on it" (his words). This code did not mean anything to him but he considered it may lead to the knowledge of who owned the aircraft engine. He therefore put the metal tag in his shirt pocket and later handed it in with the Patrol Report. The report of the find was sent by Army channels to the U.S. Army, because the members of the patrol that examined the engine had seen "Pratt & Whitney" and therefore considered that the engine was American and that it has been laying in the jungle for some time.

Five weeks later, a message that had come back from the U.S. Army, was read out to "D" Company men of the 11th Battalion AIF, that the engine did not belong to the U.S. Army. At that time the men of "D" Company were assembled at TOL Plantation and someone wrote down details that transpired, on to a map border which included references to SITREPS from the "A1" Patrol and also carried a "Ref:" written as "600H/P S3H1 C/N1055". The date 24/5/45 is also written.

I don't think that people are catching on to the significance of the writing on the map and perhaps I have not explained in entirety, so let us look at that again....

We have 600H/P S3H1 C/N1055 and this information is cryptic code which can be understood by an aviation person to be in reference to both an engine and to another number which maybe could be construed as the serial number of the engine. It maybe contains a mistake in that it should read S/N (Serial No.) 1055. That serial number would be a very early model of the Wasp so had this engine found in 1945, come from an aircraft made in the early 1930’s and was now somewhere crashed in this part of “New Guinea” ?

This is not likely, as the Australian Government rule at the time was that only “British” aircraft could be imported into Australia and most aircraft up until the advent of the purchase of two Lockheed Electra 10A Models by Guinea Airways had all been British in origin.

We then have to read the C/N as meaning something else and the only thing that fits, aviation wise, is “Construction Number”

We are seeing 600 H.P. which is a Horsepower rating.

Now, with the “S3H1”, we know we are looking at an identifier indicating a Pratt & Whitney R-1340 S3H1 Model, of the "Wasp" engine. However, when we look up the S3H1 Model we find that it is rated at 550 H.P. using 87 Octane gasoline, but the cryptic code says the rating is 600 H.P. how can that be ?

By 1994 as written in an earlier post, I knew that the aircraft wreckage itself was also on site… that there was not “just” an engine as previously thought, the airframe was there also and we had already considered the “possibility” that the wreckage could be that of the Lockheed Electra belonging to Amelia Earhart.

Earhart’s engines were S3H1 engines which is the same engine as the “Military” designated AN-1 Wasp, but the S3H1 is the “Civilian” or “Commercial” designation and her engines were 600 H.P. Rated for take-off because she used 100 Octane gasoline at take-off. Lockheed documentation written in 1936 for the ”Long Range” version of the Model 10E states that the S3H1 engines used are rated at 600 H.P.. Not until 1941 did Pratt & Whitney raise the 550 HP. Rating to 600 H.P. when 100 Octane become more freely available

At that time then, in 1937 when the Electra was lost, the combination of 600 Horsepower and S3H1 said in 1936 for the Earhart engines was correct and C/N 1055 is certainly the Lockheed number for Earhart’s aircraft as it was the 55th Model 10 built or “constructed”, hence “1055”

We know that after the disastrous ground loop at Ford Island, in March 1937, that Lockheed supplied one brand new engine mount for the No.2 engine. The mount for the No. 1 engine was repaired and “aviation sense and procedure”, says that a Metal Tag showing details of where the engine mount “came from and what it was for” would be used as identifiers on that Tag before the engine mount was sent out for repair together with the Repair Order paperwork. What was most probably seen then, on that day , the 17th April 1945, was that they were looking at the detached left hand or "No.1 Engine" lying on the jungle floor, the unpainted aircraft without any markings seen, lay 30 yards away...

We know Earhart left LAE at 10 a.m. (0000GMT) on the morning of 2nd July 1937. We do not know where her location was when she radioed, “Must be on you but cannot see you” at 1912 GMT nor do we know where she was at the supposed 2014 GMT “last” transmission when she said she was changing to the frequency 6210 Kcs.

We know that an Australian Army patrol in April 1945, came upon wreckage in the jungle in East New Britain. As described above, the evidence points to this wreckage being the Earhart Electra.

David Billings

Last edited by David Billings; 26th Feb 2018 at 23:07.
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