P-38 Lightning Crash Site at Siar Island

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A few weeks ago, after a dive, Monty Armstrong (Swami Monty) and I went over to Siar Island  to have a look at a crashed P-38 Lighting on the beach at the west side of the island. If you saw these bits an pieces sticking up out of the ground you might not suspect that they were once part of a mighty warplane:You can read what is known about the wreck at PacificWrecks.com I’ll be sending the URL of this post to them so that they can have some better images of the site.

It was very fortunate to have Monty along. He is an aircraft expert and has actually worked on several P-38s and many other war birds. He explained to me that what we’re looking at here are parts of the fuel bladders which held the high-octane aviation gasoline which powered the P-38’s engines:When exploring, it’s always helpful to have along someone who actually knows what they are looking at.

Here you can see that a tree on the beach has grown around parts of the aircraft:I don’t think that anybody is going to be recovering that bit.

Here is Monty examining the underside of the wreck. According to local reports, the P-38 crashed just off-shore and was dragged up onto the beach by the Japanese soldiers:Monty is apparently digging for gold.

Here’s a wider shot of the wreckage:The holes that you see in the ground are land crab dwellings. Do NOT handle!

Here’s another shot with my manly, manly foot for scale:Isn’t it magnificent?

This is actually my favourite shot of the day:Real people, men and women at war, assembled this machine bolt-by-bolt and sent it off with a real man flying it into battle. So many people, so many, many people  died in the horror of WWII and the spasm of madness that gripped mankind at that time.

If you are a regular reader, you know that images are my thing. This one really grabs me.

I’m planning an expedition soon up to Nob Nob Mountain  to revisit the site of another P-38 crash which nobody seems to claim. Though I’ve reported it several times to several agencies, nobody admits to knowing anything about it. I have a propeller from it in my front yard. With the images that I’ll show you, I hope to establish that it is real and, hopefully, identify the aircraft and pilot.

Stay tuned.

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5 Responses to “P-38 Lightning Crash Site at Siar Island”

  1. Steve Goodheart Says:

    >>Real people, men and women at war, assembled this machine bolt-by-bolt and sent it off with a real man flying it into battle.

    Great images, but your comment helps us open our eyes to see past the images to what actually where this detritus of war came from and its immense cost.


  2. MadDog Says:

    I was feeling very subdued when we visited the site. I always get that way around places like that. I remember visiting the Củ Chi Tunnels. Bad trip, man.

  3. Steve Goodheart Says:

    Some places definitely have a “presence.” I’ve only read about the Củ Chi Tunnels…I can only imagine the grimness and horror, plus I’m really claustrophobic. Peace to all the sad and angry spirits of that place.

  4. Jonathan Ward Says:

    Very interesting web-site. I was a U.S. diplomat in Port Moresby 2006-2008, and visited Madang many times. We also had many visits from the Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), the U.S. military organization that searches for human remains. If you think you may have found an American plane, please send any identifying information (tail number, engine number, model number, dog tag information, etc.) to JPAC. Their web-site is http://www.jpac.pacom.mil – please go to the “Report a Site” tab.


  5. MadDog Says:

    Thanks, Jon, for that info. I think that that is about the only place that I haven’t reported it to. Maybe I’ll get some action from them.