Finding a Japanese Type 96 25 mm anti aircraft cannon in the jungle of Babeldaob island, Pacific Ocean, by Konstantin G. Mantzouranis

WW2, WW2 Pacific Treasures

Research and photos by Konstantin G. Mantzouranis, IMAS EOD Level 3 Operator, UXO Tech. I

Submitted to and used by permission

A cellular communication crew was installing an antenna on top of a chopped-up cliff, by the country’s (only) Compact Road, when one of their crew fell-face-in in a deep trench that was completely covered by jungle-growth.


Upon climbing that mosquito-infested nightmare, we found a bunch of trenchlines and at the top a bunch of AA 25mm shells, next to an unbelievably heavy cannon-mount.

Well…. It was in the state of Natpang, in a line between the heavily-defended Natpang bay, and the Japanese air force base in Airai state in the island of Babelthuap (as Babeldaob used to be called back in the day).


The AA cannon was nowhere to be found, but we all knew out history.

Due to the heavily defended main island, the invading Americans knew to avoid it and attack the much smaller islands in Angaur and Peleliu, rebuild the airstrips and conduct aerial attacks and naval bombardments, to the blocked island while starving everyone to death.


After seeing the state of sudden abandonment of all defensive positions, would the defeated Japanese troops properly remove the cannon? Nahhh!


It was certainly dumped somewhere.


We finally found it buried in a very shallow pit that made our pulse induction, Vallon VMC-4 mine detectors and GA-72Cd Schonstedt magnetometers squeal with glee!