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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Rampage of the Roarin' 20's

Rampage of the Roarin's 20's
The Illustrated History of the
312th Bombardment Group during World War II
Lawrence J. Hickey
Michael H. Levy
with Michael J. Claringbould

Published by International Historical Research Associates
Boulder, Colorado, USA

Rampage of the Roarin' 20's covers the history of the 312th Bomb Group's contribution to the war in the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA) during WWII.

The 312th Bomb Group started its war effort in December 1943 with the Fifth Air Force using P-40 Warhawk dive bombers. It was not long before they converted to A-20 light attack bombers. They were involved in action in New Guinea, the Netherlands East Indies, the Philippines and Formosa and over Japan.

Many of these missions were flown in the low-level strafer attack mode, resulting in some of the most outstanding combat photos of the war. Near the end of the war, the 312th BG converted to the B-32 Dominator Very Heavy bomber. They flew their last few missions over mainland Japan.

Meticulous research in the U.S. archives woven together with information from interviews with hundreds of unit veterans has produced a definitive 416-page text that includes maps depicting the location of every mission flown and aircraft lost.

- Hardcover (large format 220mm x 285mm)
- 416 pages, 19 Chapters, 5 Appendices, and 12 maps
- Comprehensive 16 pages of Index
- Over 700 photographs including a 24 page colour section
- 32 detailed nose art reproductions
- 5 colour paintings by world-renowned aviation artist Jack Fellows
- 36 Colour Aircraft Profiles
- 312th BG Insignia and colour Patches


Visit the IHRA Web Page
to order your copy of this excellent book

ISBN: 978-0-913511-03-9
Library of Congress Control Number: 2009924370

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Photographing and Filming of the Wreck of AHS Centaur

The "Seahorse Spirit" left Brisbane again on Friday 8 January 2010. David Mearns and his team carried out three hours of commissioning testing of the submersible ROV Remora 3 by taking high definition footage of the wreck of the SS Kyogle at approximate position 26° 59.32’ South 153°38.58’ East at a depth of 178 metres before moving out to the site of the Centaur. This footage again confirmed that it was not the Centaur.

The "Seahorse Spirit" arrived over the Centaur at about 4:45pm on Saturday 9 January 2010. Remora 3 will make about four visits down to the Centaur. The first was a reconnaissance visit which started at 8:15pm on Saturday night, 9 January 2010. It was then intended to make three further visits to the site over the following two days.

The first photos of the hospital ship Centaur were taken at about 2:50am on the morning of Sunday 10 January 2010. The pictures confirm that Centaur is sitting on a sandy bottom at a depth of about 2059 metres and listing about 25 degrees to the port side. The Red Crosses indicating that it was a hospital ship are clearly visible in one of the first photos released. A distinctive star could also be seen on the bow along with the corroded identification number 47. It took almost 2 hours to lower Remora 3 down into position.

(AAP: Bruce Long)

The Centaur's red cross can be seen in the first
footage taken of the ship since it sank in WWII.

The pictures and footage have clearly shown the mast, anchor, guard rails and the paravane mounted on the starboard bow which was used for cutting cables on moored mines. The bow of Centaur is almost completely severed from the rest of the ship.

A problem with one of the "Seahorse Spirit's" main engines meant they had to limit the time of the first recce ROV dive. The strong seabed currents also created issues with "dust storms" created by disturbed sediment limiting camera vision on some occasions.

Visit my web page on 2/3 Hospital Ship AHS Centaur