Rod Pearce has dedicated his time and efforts finding underwater aircraft wrecks and seeking closure to the families of hundreds -if not thousands- of Missing in Action (MIA) airmen from all nations that fought during World War Two.
Rod Pearce has been diving in Papua New Guinea for 40 years and is credited with discovering most of its best underwater wrecks, including B-17F “Black Jack” 41-24521 and co-finding s’Jacob, along with many other WW2 shipwrecks and aircraft.
“I have been working with the American nonprofit organization called Pacific Wrecks for the past ten years or so “Rod says and adds:
“While Justin Taylan -founder and director of Pacific Wrecks– and the rest of his team has mainly been focused on our overland-work, and for the last two years has had a US government contract to investigate MIAs in Papua New Guinea, my interest and focus has always been the underwater side.
According to Pacific Wrecks, Lindenhafen Seaplane Base was located on on the southern coast of New Britain to the west of Lindenhafen with seaplanes operating in Linden Harbor.
During early 1942, Lindenhafen was occupied by the Japanese. Used as a forward naval anchorage and a seaplane base with limited shore facilities. Used by the Japanese until early 1943 and abandoned by March 1943.
Rod Pearce, who is credited with the identification of this Japanese floatplane back in 1985, says:
“There are several aircraft wrecks in the harbour – a Jake floatplane, bits of an Oscar, a Pete biplane and another blown apart. The Jake is terrific and an easy dive in just 18m of water.
The wreck is upside down and one of the floats has dislodged, but the bomb bays can be opened and reveal two bombs still inside. This aircraft wreck has yet to be identified.”