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... See MoreSee Less
A photo in an album recently donated to the museum by Judy Underwood. The album of photos taken on a 1938 tour on the ship 'Katoomba' from Sydney to Suva and other Fijian Islands; was passed down to her from a great aunt. ... See MoreSee Less