In 1987 I was lucky enough to work in New Guinea for one month and of course hoped for some time off to look around for aircraft wrecks.........
When I arrived in PNG I had two special things with me, an AAF 1944 silk escape map of New Guinea/New Britain and an original photo taken from a B-24 bombing Cape Hoskins airstrip on New Britain in may 1944.
To my surprise I was told that I was to work for two weeks on the island of New Britain and the next day we actually landed at Cape Hoskins airport. At the airport I showed the map and photo to some MAF pilots and during a very interesting talk they told me that there were some japanese aircraft just off the runway where the control tower and revetments used to be!
Here's the original AAF photo with some aircraft arrowed.........
I went with one of them into a plantation next to the runway and found what was left of two Val dive bombers amongst the trees.
One was half sunk into the ground with the engine attached but the centre section missing, the other was on it's u/c minus wheels, half a wing, engine and centre section.
I cleared the jungle from it and had this photo taken, we had some metric tools with us and ............. well you know
That night I had a close look at the photo with a magnifying glass and found the wing shapes of Val dive bombers right where we found the two aircraft that afternoon.
Here's a close-up..........they look u/s to me as does the runway!
During my stay on the island we made a couple of trips into the jungle to hunt for rumoured aircraft but one turned out to be a drop-tank (now cut up and made into cooking pots) and another was a japanese army truck......... a great adventure to an interesting place though.
After I arrived back in Melbourne I visited a friend whose father was in the Australian Army fighting the japanese on New Britain, he asked me if the island still shook every afternoon, I said that it still did, he said that he and his fellow soldiers were more scared of the island blowing up than of the japanese!