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Amelia Earhart PNG Theory

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Old 6th Feb 2018, 03:58
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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Pacific Wrecks and Gillespie observations

I can show you an observation where Pacific Wrecks say B-17's are powered by P&W Wasps....

However, Pacific Wrecks, in this instance are correct. There is no documented case of an Electra aircraft being missing in or around PNG. The two Model 10A’s that were owned by Guinea Airways were in Australia during WWII and only one went up to New Guinea ferrying troops and supplies to the Dobodura strip when the battles at Buna, Gona and Sanananda were on. None of those Electra’s were lost in New Guinea.

In respect to the observation by Richard Gillespie, neither Gillespie or anyone else knows where the last known position of the Earhart Electra was and in clarification that should read: “The last known position in distance from LAE” to give the correct aspect on what we require to know. Gillespie “assumes” that because Earhart Tx’d “We must be on you but cannot see you” at 1912GMT, that she was on the sunline which went through Howland but that cannot be assumed. He goes into myriads of explanations of sunlines and flights on 157 True to get to Gardner Island but that is all a bunch of assumptions. If you study the works of Richard Gillespie, you will find that his assumptions are many and varied.

Obviously, they did not get to Howland so the navigation failed for whatever reasons, wind, cloud, mechanical problem, equipment failure and so on.

As to how the Electra would get back to ENB, that is contained in the Hypothesis side of the Project and explained on the website. I do go into a Hypothesis on the website, that when they encountered a 26 mph Easterly wind, there became a necessary change in the operation of the aircraft. I firmly believe, on what we do know of the timings and locations of the radio calls made that they ended up short of Howland. Fully written up in the website.

The Hypothesis is just that, a Hypothesis.

Many years ago, a TIGHAR member, Alan Caldwell an ex-USAF B-47 Pilot, said to me, "David, no-one knows where the aircraft got to or how far it went...".

That is correct for we just do not know and why we do not know is as follows:.

No-one knows what the actual wind value was and what the exact wind direction was on 2nd and 3rd July 1937...
No-one knows for sure what the exact route was and whether corners were cut or extended...
No-one knows for sure when the cloud cover started that would limit the Navigation...
No-one knows for sure, where on the track line between TABITEUEA Is. and HOWLAND Is. the Electra started the "Line of position" search...

What I do know from the Radio calls is that if they were at or overhead the S.S. Ontario at 1036 GMT, then they were late and that can be shown to be because of the Groundspeeds, which were low.

What I am simply trying to do is to locate that wreck which we now know is buried for it MUST be found to be able to say one way or the other, whether it is the Electra or not. I would rather concentrate on finding the wreck and then let the geniuses work out what went wrong and where they got to.

I believe, on the documentary evidence that it is the Electra. The fact that the USAAF "disowned" the wreck, the visual description of the wreck by the Vets that saw the engine and airframe fits with the Electra.

David Billings
www.earhartsearchpng.com

Last edited by David Billings; 25th Feb 2018 at 13:33.
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Old 6th Feb 2018, 12:46
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best of luck with the new research with the detectors
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Old 6th Feb 2018, 12:48
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I've read conflicting reports of what was seen by the digger during WW2.

One report was that an unpainted twin-engined plane wreckage was found, suggesting a basically complete airframe.

Another report was that only an engine was found, with the inference that this engine may have been from a B17 that came apart in flight.

Is your evidence that a complete airframe was found, or just an engine?
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Old 6th Feb 2018, 12:54
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Originally Posted by peterc005 View Post
I've read conflicting reports of what was seen by the digger during WW2.

One report was that an unpainted twin-engined plane wreckage was found, suggesting a basically complete airframe.

Another report was that only an engine was found, with the inference that this engine may have been from a B17 that came apart in flight.

Is your evidence that a complete airframe was found, or just an engine?
best read this

https://earhartsearchpng.com/ this is daves show and his hypothesis
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Old 6th Feb 2018, 18:18
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Engine seen and the Airframe

I joined the Project in early 1994 after reading about a "possibility" that Earhart's Electra was on East New Britain. I contacted the lead Vet, Don Angwin. From speaking to him I gathered that the Patrol of 20 had seen "an engine". There were four Vets still breathing, who were members of the patrol. They had had the occasional reunion over the years and the subject of the "engine" had always been raised and the question was always "whose was it ?"

Where there is an engine 'loose' on the ground, the airframe will not be far away, that stands to reason.

Don had been sent the WWII Map by the former Company Clerk in late 1993 and had looked at it and then put it away with his papers. When I contacted him he searched for something to show me and pulled out the map intending to have it copied to send to me. He undid the masking tape and unfolded the edges and surprise! The writing came into view and he faxed a reduced copy of the map to me which is when my hair stood on end. There are lots of "ifs" in this life and the very fact that the map was to be burnt in Rabaul along with other discarded stuff, raises a whole bunch of "ifs".

The Patrol Leader, Lieutenant Ken Backhouse had never been to the unit reunions. That is not unusual. Men who have been through war want to forget it. Ken was not pure "Infantry". He had been serving in Australia in a Searchlight Unit as a Sergeant and had been commissioned as a Lieutenant and posted to the 11th Battalion AIF as a Company Section Leader. Not being pure "Infantry" he wasn't all together looked on as being an "Infantry" man and there was some friction.

In August '94, I went to Perth on business and met up with three of the Vets, Don, Roy and Ken. The fourth surviving Vet, Keith, lived on the East Coast and I went to see him in 1995. I went to lunch with the three Vets at the Casino in Perth. It was only the second or third time that Don and Roy had seen Ken since the war. Ken had just recovered from a by-pass operation and was not particularly perky. We started discussing the event and naturally raised the engine in discussion. It soon became apparent that Roy had not seen the engine, he had been on rearguard and had remained behind with his section and later walked through the site without seeing a thing. Then, Ken quietly said, "The rest of it is there as well, yes, the body of it is there, the aircraft".

The other two, Don and Roy were flabbergasted, they had not heard that before. Ken had left Keith at the engine and had walked on for about 30 yards to a vine and tree debris covered mound and had seen the airframe. When I saw Keith in 1995 he said that Ken had walked off for few minutes and then had come back to the engine and then had ordered the Patrol to move on, leaving the rearguard to sit it out for a time and then catch up with the Patrol. As the website relates, Ken was in a bit of trouble when they got back and was sent out on another patrol immediately. We do think that it was Keith who wrote the patrol report but he could not remember who actually wrote it.

Ken later described what he had seen of the airframe which is as written in the website. Keith was the person who looked over the engine and who removed the small metal tag from the engine mount, which had the "string of letters and numbers on it."

David Billings
www.earhartsearchpng.com

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Old 7th Feb 2018, 09:42
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'removed", "retrieved" the data plate? exactly how was this done, considering the only tool would be a .303 smle bayonet to chop through rivets? and not much time and no noise? where is the data plate, how is it secured and what does one look like?

...And considering also, when i was taught patrolling you never, ever, mark a map? or was this marked afterwards? while i hope for a happy ending to this quest, i'm skeptical.

Last edited by Sunfish; 7th Feb 2018 at 09:55.
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Old 7th Feb 2018, 10:03
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Sunnyjim, your sense of observation astounds me... not much gets past you eh?

Except probably this: (luckily no bayonet required)

Before they left the site they retrieved a metal tag hanging by wire on an engine mount. The Australians reported their find and turned in the tag upon return to base. The tag has yet to be recovered from the maze of Australian and American archives, but the letters and numbers etched upon it were transcribed to a wartime map. The map, used by the same Australian unit, was rediscovered in the early 1990’s and revealed a notation “C/N 1055” and two other distinctive identifiers of Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra Model 10E.
If I'm not mistaken, the map was marked on the extremities. Hardly call for a military court-marshal :-)
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Old 7th Feb 2018, 10:45
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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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Old 8th Feb 2018, 04:00
  #109 (permalink)  
 
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I don't have a horse in this race but it would be a great thing if he is right.

To that end, good luck to you Mr Billings.

However I do question the tag/ dataplate.

Hanging by lockwire on a component in service?

That would be odd.
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Old 8th Feb 2018, 04:58
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Originally Posted by currawong View Post
I don't have a horse in this race but it would be a great thing if he is right.

To that end, good luck to you Mr Billings.

However I do question the tag/ dataplate.

Hanging by lockwire on a component in service?

That would be odd.
Clearly Currawong, like Sunfish, you haven't read the website either :-)

I read it perhaps 2-3 years ago on David's website and without referring back to it now, I believe that the plate was a service tag which is presumed to have been attached when the aircraft had an engine o/h / removal after the Hawaii groundloop... testing my memory now and I'm sure David will chime in if I'm horribly wrong :-)
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Old 8th Feb 2018, 06:28
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David Billings "Chiming in"

SWTT is perfectly correct in saying "service tag" which is what I am putting forward as a "Repair Tag" as the reason for the Metal Tag held on by wire to the engine mount tube.

Currawong is also correct in it being "odd" that it was on a supposedly serviceable component.

Pilots and other Aircrew (except for Flight Engineers) would not really comprehend that this tag would be a "Repair Tag". I have spent nearly all of my Aviation Engineering career caring about "Airworthiness" and I had the same thoughts as Curra as it being "odd" that a metal tag was held on by wire to the engine mount tubing carrying both Engine and Airframe details..... but then I remembered (the light bulb went on) that the No. 2 Engine mount had been completedly replaced with a new mount after the Groundloop at Ford Island in March '37 (see picture on website), but the No. 1 Engine Mount had been repaired as information came my way that this mount had been damaged but had been repairable.

The picture of the result of the groundloop at Ford Island, shows the No. 1 Engine to be only slightly out of line whereas the No. 2 is looking at the roof and has a large pool of oil underneath from the ruptured oil tank behind the engine.

Repairing a steel tube truss is by Oxy/Acetylene Gas Welding and it is standard practice in Aircraft Engineering to use a scrap of metal out of the Sheetmetal Shop to stamp or engrave details on it, if it is going for flame welding. Obviously you do not use a card tag where flame is around. Punch or drill a hole in the tag and tie it by lockwire to the steel that is to be welded.

Incidentally, a "Repair Tag" is one of the only Hangar or Line documents where details of the component come together with the Airframe details, in this case, Engine Details with Airframe details.

All that would be required by Lockheed to identify the Mount would be (because they used a few different engines on the Model 10), the Horsepower Rating, The Engine type and the owner of the Mount. I doubt very much that a repair shop for engine mounts was flooded with mounts for repair in 1937... so only basic data on the Metal Tag backed up by the purchase Order from Lockheed carrying more detail and the mount sent off.

Nowadays Repair Tags need to be filled out with much more information than a patient going for a by-pass but that's the modern way.

When it got back to Lockheed, they fitted it and some kind fella left the tag on there. That's another one of these "ifs" which abound in this project. If it hadn't been left on the Mount we wouldn't know Sweet Fanny Adams.....

Do Repair Tags get left on Components ? Not normally, and even if they do, the Aircraft Records Section notifies Line (or rather QA notify Line) to find the tag and send it to Records. In my time at Air Niugini, for instance maybe we had to send out Inspection Notices to retrieve tags maybe five times in the ten years I was there. We were "pretty good" at catching things there.... At other places, well very few. The last one at PX I remember very well because the hangar engineers left a Repair Tag in the poly envelope on a brake unit they had changed and it began to smoke when they towed the F28 to Line. So, the leaving of Repair Tags on components after fitment does happen.

David Billings
www.earhartsearchpng.com

Last edited by David Billings; 9th Feb 2018 at 03:21.
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Old 8th Feb 2018, 06:53
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Map Analysis and the AIF Unit

No, the map has not been subjected to forensic analysis. On advice i was told they would not be able to subject it to sufficient accuracy to delineate 1945....or a later year, if that was the reason for your question. It was only that they could give a broad brush span of some fifty years or so, which would be meaningless.

Don Angwin had it covered in that clear sticky stuff also...

The Map original resides in a bank, I only have a copy.

The writing is slightly purplish in colour indicating Indelible Pencil... the kind of pencil your Mother smacked you for if you licked it due to the Lead content. Indelible pencil was widely used in the 40's... I can remember it well. People licked the point to make a darker script. Something happened to your tongue as a result, I believe.

Their unit was the 11th Battalion AIF, "D" Company. I have been to the AWM twice and I have had a professional search also. No more then we have now.

David Billings
www.earhartsearchpng.com

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Old 8th Feb 2018, 06:54
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Good luck with your search.
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Old 8th Feb 2018, 10:49
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Stick - I know what a service tag is.

I now challenge you to find an operational aircraft with one hanging off it.

Airflow/vibration makes short work of them and then they become FOD.

Which is why they are removed prior to the aircraft returning to service.

Normally that is, unless some oversight has occurred on the part of several people.

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Old 8th Feb 2018, 10:55
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Perhaps they hadn't thought much about the longevity of service tags flapping in the breeze in 1936/37.
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Old 13th Feb 2018, 03:10
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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

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Old 13th Feb 2018, 04:33
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The Australian Army Patrol A1 commencing on the 15th April 1945 did find an all-metal unpainted twin-engined aircraft with Pratt & Whitney Wasp engines, that is the fact.
In that environment, in those circumstances, how the hell did they they find enough data to conclude that they had not discovered a quad instead of a twin in the known vicinity of a crashed B-17?
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Old 13th Feb 2018, 05:50
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How did they know it was a Twin and not a "Quad"...

...in the known vicinity of a crashed B-17... Cazalet33 asks....

On the website and on this thread, I have stated that the patrol Lieutenant, Ken Backhouse, saw the airframe and it had one engine on wing... the other engine being on the ground 30 yards away. That makes it a Twin.

I agree it is pretty thick in there, vision in some parts is five feet.... in fact it is the 2nd worst Jungle I have been into out of the Malay Jungle, the Borneo Jungle, and even a Moss forest does not compete... the Singapore one up the Bukit Mandai in 1966 being the worst I have been into, but that one has been fixed by applying a Housing Estate....

I saw what remains of the Captain Harl Pease B-17 in the year 2000 after it was re-discovered by the local Pomio people in the employ of the Open Bay Timber Co.. It has no engines fitted upon the two remaining inboard nacelle stubs on the Centre Wing section (No's 2 & 3 positions) The Port and Stbd. Intermediate wing sections are missing (which carried the No's 1 & 4 engines), as are the Port and Stbd Outer Wing panels. There are no Wright Cyclone engines in the vicinity of the main wreckage. One Cyclone was in the Mumus River (now gone) and one Outer Wing panel lies in the Mumus River Valley as does the complete empennage. There is no Cockpit section, it broke off at the production joint and it was found in 1947 but I do not know where.

So we are back to an unpainted, all-metal twin-engined aircraft without any military insignia with a Wasp engine off-wing and another engine on-wing.

Are there any suggestions that anyone can make as to what that aircraft could be ?

I myself have searched for a legitimate answer to this question of an aircraft with R-1340 S3H1's and the only one that comes close (besides an Electra 10E) is the Boeing 247 of which some civilian examples were seconded into Military service in WWII and these had a mix of S1H1 and AN-1 engines. None were sent to New Guinea and if they had been they would be camo painted with military insignia and even then unlikely to be sent anywhere near to Rabaul.

Last edited by David Billings; 18th Feb 2018 at 00:37.
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Old 13th Feb 2018, 09:40
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Originally Posted by David Billings View Post
Further Explanation...
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.

David Billings
Papua was an Australian Territory, New Guinea was a Mandated Territory. Different Rules and different capitals Port Moresby and Rabaul. The heavy aircraft on the Lae Bulolo route were German Junkers

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Old 13th Feb 2018, 10:32
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...most aircraft were British

Deaf... Good point... and correct about the Junkers G31's... which is why I said 'most aircraft were British'. As is known, Levien faced argument and opposition to bringing the "American" Electra 10A's into Guinea Airways, but won out in the end.

...and in respect to all the Electra 10A's and 10B's that did enter Australia....and of the single 10A that was based in LAE and then went out and back into New Guinea during WWII, all can be accounted for, none crashed in New Guinea. All those had P&W R-985's or Wright 975 radials.

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