By Pierre Kosmidis
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 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.
One aircraft wreck, a F6F-3 Hellcat, probably lost on January 29 1943 in the Solomon Islands was documented by Rod Pearce and photographer Christopher Hamilton, in a series of shots that showed that the aircraft is in pristine condition despite being over 70 years on the seabed.
No details have emerged so far as to the exact identity of this aircraft and the fate of the pilot, who probably ditched the aircraft in a controlled descent.