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We take you back to one of our very early posts which we noticed have generated a lot of interest from our viewers – the discovery of an American military aircraft in Naivucini, Naitasiri.

WWII MIA Found in 2004 in Naivucini, Fiji - excavated and taken back to US in 2006.

In mid-2004, a team from the Fiji Museum went to investigate the hills close to Naivucini village of a Bell P39 - Airacobra aircraft, found by a pig hunter whilst hunting...the climb took the team about 3 and 1/2 hrs to get to the site and roughly 3 hrs to get back. Video footage of the wreckage was taken. The US Embassy had made several trips to the wreckage at around the time we were there. Soon after in 2006, after a request from the US Embassy to Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Hawaii had a team heading out to Suva.

Taken from Honolulu Star Bulletin 14th July 2006.
SUVA, Fiji. The remains of a U.S. fighter pilot have begun a long journey home from a deep jungle ravine in Fiji, 64 years after his airplane disappeared during a World War II sortie.
A 12-member team from the Oahu-based Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command accepted the remains of the man -- whose identity the U.S. Air Force has yet to reveal -- Wednesday from the residents of remote Naivucini village, on Fiji's main island, Viti Levu.
"There is a family back in the United States that's been missing a family member for the last 60 years," Ambassador Larry Dinger, U.S. envoy in Fiji, told the villagers during an emotional ceremony that left villagers teary-eyed.
"Thanks to your effort, this family will now be able to close a sad chapter of their lives, and that's very important," Dinger said.
When the pilot and his single-seat P-39 fighter disappeared during a mission on April 22, 1942, no traces were found despite an aerial search that lasted four days, U.S. officials said.
Some 62 years later, on Aug. 28, 2004, Sailosi Delana and his cousin Paula Cagidomo stumbled upon the wreckage while hunting for wild boar.
Team commanding officer Maj. Albert Tabarez and anthropologist Joan Baker agreed after viewing the site that the pilot could not have survived the crash. His dog tag was not recovered, but personal effects including a ring and a wallet containing a washed-out photo were found, according to locals.
U.S. officials believe they know the pilot's identity, but are not releasing his name or other details until the remains are identified through DNA tests and the family is informed.
Tabarez said the pilot's identity will be confirmed at a laboratory at Hickam Air Force Base.
The Fiji Museum believe the pilot to be:
1/Lt James W Blose (0-427506) of the 70th FS, 347th FG .
Read more: www.facebook.com/pg/fijimuseum/photos/?tab=album&album_id=180694245324100
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4 days ago

We take you back to one of our very early posts which we noticed have generated a lot of interest from our viewers – the discovery of an American military aircraft in Naivucini, Naitasiri.

WWII MIA Found in 2004 in Naivucini, Fiji - excavated and taken back to US in 2006.

In mid-2004, a team from the Fiji Museum went to investigate the hills close to Naivucini village of a Bell P39 - Airacobra aircraft, found by a pig hunter whilst hunting...the climb took the team about 3 and 1/2 hrs to get to the site and roughly 3 hrs to get back. Video footage of the wreckage was taken. The US Embassy had made several trips to the wreckage at around the time we were there. Soon after in 2006, after a request from the US Embassy to Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Hawaii had a team heading out to Suva.

Taken from Honolulu Star Bulletin 14th July 2006.
SUVA, Fiji. The remains of a U.S. fighter pilot have begun a long journey home from a deep jungle ravine in Fiji, 64 years after his airplane disappeared during a World War II sortie.
A 12-member team from the Oahu-based Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command accepted the remains of the man -- whose identity the U.S. Air Force has yet to reveal -- Wednesday from the residents of remote Naivucini village, on Fijis main island, Viti Levu.
There is a family back in the United States thats been missing a family member for the last 60 years, Ambassador Larry Dinger, U.S. envoy in Fiji, told the villagers during an emotional ceremony that left villagers teary-eyed.
Thanks to your effort, this family will now be able to close a sad chapter of their lives, and thats very important, Dinger said.
When the pilot and his single-seat P-39 fighter disappeared during a mission on April 22, 1942, no traces were found despite an aerial search that lasted four days, U.S. officials said.
Some 62 years later, on Aug. 28, 2004, Sailosi Delana and his cousin Paula Cagidomo stumbled upon the wreckage while hunting for wild boar.
Team commanding officer Maj. Albert Tabarez and anthropologist Joan Baker agreed after viewing the site that the pilot could not have survived the crash. His dog tag was not recovered, but personal effects including a ring and a wallet containing a washed-out photo were found, according to locals.
U.S. officials believe they know the pilots identity, but are not releasing his name or other details until the remains are identified through DNA tests and the family is informed.
Tabarez said the pilots identity will be confirmed at a laboratory at Hickam Air Force Base.
The Fiji Museum believe the pilot to be:
1/Lt James W Blose (0-427506) of the 70th FS, 347th FG .
Read more: https://www.facebook.com/pg/fijimuseum/photos/?tab=album&album_id=180694245324100

Weni Latianara Kasibulu, Bruce Tizard-Varcoe and 23 others like this

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Mela ValemeiSue Lawe

4 days ago

1 Reply

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Laufili TeeFFwd 10 years... any developments in the identity of the pilot?

4 days ago   ·  3
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GG deBloisThis Pilot can finally be removed from the MIA list once the DNA establishes his identity.

4 days ago   ·  1
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Nai QuruBeen there

3 days ago
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Ashika Vandhan PrasadB tuh

3 days ago
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Fiji Museum updated their cover photo.

A fishing party at the chiefly island of Bau, Tailevu. Circa 1900.
*Notice the huge shaped stone walls used as barricades on the banks of the waterway.

Postcard from Elsie Stephenson’s Collection.
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2 weeks ago

A fishing party at the chiefly island of Bau, Tailevu. Circa 1900.
*Notice the huge shaped stone walls used as barricades on the banks of the waterway.

Postcard from Elsie Stephenson’s Collection.

Deborah Albert, Roselyn Nunn and 23 others like this

Vernon V YenA pictorial record of the land of our birth.

2 weeks ago
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Jerry VakaceguRatu Epenisa Seru Cakobau. Dua saka tikoga na vakatataro me baleta na yasani yanuyanu cava se yasani koro cava e tabaki toka oqo. Vosota niu sa taro tiko yani enai volamata (facebook)

2 weeks ago   ·  1
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Vishuar ReddyGreat engineering of that time.

2 weeks ago   ·  1

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Bula! Welcome to the Fiji Museum

Located in the heart of Suva’s Thurston Gardens, the Fiji Museum holds a remarkable collection, which includes archaeological material dating back 3,700 years and cultural objects representing both Fiji’s indigenous inhabitants and the other communities that have settled in the island group over the past 200 years.

Visit our virtual museum to browse through thousands of images and articles on Fijian history.

Reference Library

The Fiji Museum maintains a Reference Library and Archive containing over 12,000 books, 11,000 photographs and other documents. The Reference Library and Archive has items not held in any other library in the world, including maps, cassettes and more.

Venue Hire

The Fiji Museum hires out its large verandah for functions and events. Overlooking Thurston Gardens and with ample nearby parking, it is the ideal location for The verandah is available for hire during the day and in the evenings and can support a range of uses.

Acquisitions

The Acquisitions Committee’s task is to ensure that the Museum is the right place for object(s) in question. The Fiji Museum’s internal process is a carefully considered one and can take more time than most people expect – anywhere from two to twelve months…