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Thread: Mustang Oude Tonge 41-6248 335th FS

  1. #11
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    Hi Snafu,

    You may wish to reconsider your statements about JPAC. Surely they react to information found by others, but that does not mean that JPAC is not searching itself too. Secondly, it is a matter of common sense to include the use of information found by others. We all do that, and we could hardly do without it. Furthermore, in this case, JPAC may be the key to solving the perennial money issue. And finally, that actions of others leave things to be desired, tells us nothing as it is always true, depending on the point of view taken. It is more productive to have an eye for the achievements of others, and join forces, if at all possible.

    Regards,

    Rob

  2. #12
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    Hi Rob,

    Let's just say I had some experiences with JPAC that weren't that good, besides that, I hear a lot of stories of people whose relative is still a MIA from WWII and they feel like they are forgotten. It are stories from first hand and I will not bother you all with that, but it's just my and many others' point of view.

    Regarding Merritt, I had a little setback. I contacted a man who, was told, knew more about the exact place but he told me he didn't know anything about it. So that leaves me with a large area to search through....

  3. #13
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    Hi Snafu,

    The Americans are missing about 80.000 serviceman, casualties from WW1, WW2 and the "armed conflicts" in which Americans were engaged later. JPAC estimates that about 40.000 of these are "recoverable". The others shall remain in their sea graves, the naval practice, or they perished under circumstances, such as huge explosions, that have destroyed hope of recovery. JPAC succeeds in bringing home about one hundred per year. That's two each week. Nobody else is doing that. At this rate, JPAC shall need 40.000/100 = 400 years to complete the mission. That's way beyond the scope of individuals. Still, the Americans are doing this. That alone speaks of the moral engagement that is involved here. Surely, any human effort can, especially with the benefit of hindsight, always have been done better. Surely international cooperation presents its own problems, it always has. Surely the families of the MIA's would wish that more would be done. But this should not distract from the fact that the Americans are pro-actively trying to fulfill the motto of JPAC. US families can know all this, especially as JPAC is seeking family DNA material so as to fill the reference database. If the US people would wish that the JPAC effort be doubled, or be expanded ten times, they know how it works in a democracy. That's true for the British as well.

    Re. the Merritt setback: what else is new? You learn as you go. If these things would be easy, we would possibly not be talking about it today. Perseverance is needed, a lot of cross-border cooperation, and luck. I wish you good luck.

    Your previous posts seem to indicate that you believe that the aircraft may have crashed on land, not at sea. That would call for WW2 aerial photography. Have you tried to follow that route?

    Regards,

    Rob

  4. #14
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    Default Oude Tonge

    Sorry for my bad behaviour that was certainly noy my intention.



    Leospitcon (Leo Bakker)

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by leospitcon View Post
    Sorry for my bad behaviour that was certainly noy my intention.



    Leospitcon (Leo Bakker)
    Well Leo, perhaps you could try a little bit harder to find out some things for yourself, instead of posting on quite a number of forums and try to find the information the easy way.... My two cents....

    Rob, I agree with you that the JPAC is doing a good job by identifying the remains of possible MIA's. However, on the contrary you are willing me to believe, the JPAC is NOT active in searching for WWII MIA's and that is what is bothering the remaining relatives. For them it looks like they are forgotten because JPAC IS active in the Asia area.
    I heard last week that they are planning to start a JPAC office somewhere in Germany, I think that would be the start of a new beginning. They now only do a 'tour of duty' a couple of times a year in the European area.

    Considering the Merritt case, a man told me that Merritt is on land, he also told me that antoher man knew the exact place. However after contacting this second person, he told me he knew nothing about this case. I will go back to the first person this week and interview him why he is so sure that Merritt is in this area.

    Do you mean with 'WWII aerial photography' going to Wageningen or Meppel (or was it Assen?)to see if they have pictures of that certain area during the time of crash? Well, they are cheaper than Keele, but I'm still not in the situation that I can pay 35 euro for a single picture (you'll need more than one) and that is excluding the time that you have to pay while they are searching for that picture.

    Thanks for your reply again!
    Last edited by SNAFU; 28th July 2008 at 20:06.

  6. #16
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    Hi Snafu,

    Please note the statements that seem to contradict in your post: JPAC not active in Europe & JPAC active in Asia. This is resolved by the local situations. Some countries in Europe, such as The Netherlands, have highly professional & experienced aircraft salvage services, as well as a very active aviation archaeology community. These operations basically have two main spheres of action & expertise: the historical casework and the work in the field. The last includes the work in the lab, if needed. Most of the last is, by law, reserved for the official services, whilst a lot of the first is done by private groups & individuals. None of this exists in Asia, meaning that JPAC cannot fall back on local capabilities & services. It stands to reason that JPAC makes good use of capabilities available locally; it would be stupid as well as impolite if they did not. This should not be confused with inactiveness. If you believe to have found a USAAF wreck, with a good likelyhood that remains of airmen are still at the site, you call JPAC & the BID, and your message will be considered most seriously. If a decision for action is taken, the matter shall be placed on an itinery, the "tour of duty" as you called it. Again a matter of common sense and available means, not of inactiveness. These actions need planning and are very expensive. JPAC was not given a quick reaction force, that can send in a 12 man crew from Hawaii to where-ever the next day. If you find a RAF wreck, in a country that does not have an official salvage service, and a law that controls these matters, then whom do you call?

    Re. Oude Tonge: The BID KL has recently operated there, with JPAC in attendance, and found a wreck that was not the Merritt aircraft. This means that the aerial pics, and much more, have already been raised from the archives. If I would be after this one, I would kindly ask the BID and/or JPAC if I could have a look at those pics. Offer assistance, rather than make noises that could paint an unjustified and even offending picture of official incompetence. If assistance is declined, you had better be prepared to invest in your own show. You already know where the pics are archived. An Euro 30 budget limit cannot be called serious, considering that these operations can easily run into costs of several 100k Euros. The historical casework section of the work need not be very expensive, but some investment is needed, if you want to get anywhere. You want those pics, even if you had multiple accounts from eywitnesses.

    Regards,

    Rob

  7. #17
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    Hi Snafu,

    Please note the statements that seem to contradict in your post: JPAC not active in Europe & JPAC active in Asia. This is resolved by the local situations. Some countries in Europe, such as The Netherlands, have highly professional & experienced aircraft salvage services, as well as a very active aviation archaeology community. These operations basically have two main spheres of action & expertise: the historical casework and the work in the field. The last includes the work in the lab, if needed. Most of the last is, by law, reserved for the official services, whilst a lot of the first is done by private groups & individuals. None of this exists in Asia, meaning that JPAC cannot fall back on local capabilities & services. It stands to reason that JPAC makes good use of capabilities available locally; it would be stupid as well as impolite if they did not. This should not be confused with inactiveness. If you believe to have found a USAAF wreck, with a good likelyhood that remains of airmen are still at the site, you call JPAC & the BID, and your message will be considered most seriously. If a decision for action is taken, the matter shall be placed on an itinery, the "tour of duty" as you called it. Again a matter of common sense and available means, not of inactiveness. These actions need planning and are very expensive. JPAC was not given a quick reaction force, that can send in a 12 man crew from Hawaii to where-ever the next day. If you find a RAF wreck, in a country that does not have an official salvage service, and a law that controls these matters, then whom do you call?

    Re. Oude Tonge: The BID KL has recently operated there, with JPAC in attendance, and found a wreck that was not the Merritt aircraft. This means that the aerial pics, and much more, have already been raised from the archives. If I would be after this one, I would kindly ask the BID and/or JPAC if I could have a look at those pics. Offer assistance, rather than make noises that could paint an unjustified and even offending picture of official incompetence. If assistance is declined, you had better be prepared to invest in your own show. You already know where the pics are archived. An Euro 30 budget limit cannot be called serious, considering that these operations can easily run into costs of several 100k Euros. The historical casework section of the work need not be very expensive, but some investment is needed, if you want to get anywhere. You want those pics, even if you had multiple accounts from eywitnesses.

    Regards,

    Rob

  8. #18
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    Hi Rob,

    I don't believe I've offended JPAC, I'm just giving the opion of thousands of US citizens... You're completely right about how JPAC works, but unfortunately it's not how it works in real life.

    Regarding the budget, I cannot look in your wallet, but I don't have the money to retrieve for example 10 pictures. Since the place which is to believed where Merritt's plane is, is not even close to Stover's crash site I doubt the JPAC or BID has already retrieved the pictures of that area. But it's worth a try to contact them, thanks.
    I already spent a lot of money in research, I think you know what the gas prices are these days? Doing surveys in a boat which we sail in to search for lost planes in the water is a highly expensive thing to do. We have some good spots where possible wrecks and MIA's could be, but neither the US goverment or the JPAC is willing to finance anything or help in any other way. I know it's all for the good cause, but a little more help from over the Ocean would be the least, don't you think? So instead of what you're saying that local historians must give some assistance to the US authorities/JPAC, I think this need to be the opposite.

    Take care.

  9. #19
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    Hi Snafu,

    Please do not fall victim to the old is-ought trap. What ought to be is not what is. Surely we do not live in a perfect world. Meanwhile, you do what you can. I did not say that private individuals SHOULD assist government agencies such as JPAC, nor the reverse. I suggested that cooperation is a good way to go, especially in developing fields. I could add that the willingness to cooperate with each other is an attitude and a method that needs development on the side of the officials too. So in that much we would agree.

    If the pics are taken at the usual altitudes for wartime aerial photography, you only need one or two. If you have a sufficiently developed idea about where to look, which you need in the first place.

    The historical casework section of these matters is quite involved. You know this, as your involvement in marine wreck searches makes you one of a rare breed. Often, at least in The Netherlands, the process is as follows. Very broadly speaking, mentioning only what I need for the argument. A city is responsible for wreck detection and wreck site clearance. The city gets substantial government funds to assist this, if safety is involved, meaning the possible presence of unexploded ordinance. That's the magic word when it comes to arranging finances; finding MIA's is a byproduct. The city contacts the Stafofficier Vliegtuigberging KLu, and a civil contractor, to do the magnetometry in the field and to excavate the site, if it comes to that. The Stafofficier, who shall have operational control once a city decides that the action can be carried out, contacts the BID KL, the EOC, and anybody else who is needed, who is designated by law to perform certain aspects of these jobs, or who can help in any way. Help from the aviation archaeology community is part of that, meaning in the historical casework section of matters. This last part is the only part that flows without considerations about money. Information submitted by the aviation archaeology community for free, is transformed into a site report by the BID for which the BID charges the city. That's a bill of say Euro 1.000,-. On the basis of that the city seeks quotations from specialized civil contractors. The field magnetometry done by these contractors may well produce a bill in the 50 to 100k area, especially if a marine search is involved. When this leads to a report calling the site "suspect/suspicious" (on the presence of unexploded ordinance), and if the city can get all finances for a full site excavation and clearance arranged, then we are looking at a bill of 500k or even twice that amount.

    These were the background elements. Now comes the argument:

    - considering the issues involved, and the finances needed to deal with these issues, and
    - considering the importance of good historical casework prior to field actions, and
    - considering the role that private individuals are in fact playing in the historical casework process, and
    - considering that this role is in fact recognized by the lawgiver, at least in The Netherlands,

    it would be reasonable if these private efforts were supported by the designated official parties, at least in the shape of a free flow of information, and possibly in the shape of some financial assistance too. Getting you aerial pics, for which the bill has already been paid, would be an expression of financial assistance, without the need for bookkeeping of a type for which the officials do not (yet?) have a system.

    As it stands, what is reasonable is not always and everywhere the same as what is actually being done. In any case, you have to be able to demonstrate merit, and/or professional qualifications, to be taken seriously by the official parties. That leads to the following idea:

    Why don't you act as a commercial company would, and submit an action plan to the designated authorities? A biz plan, of the "I shall do this and I need that to do it" -type. As it is, the official parties are not rigged to deal financially with initiatives from private individuals. Companies would make use of the assets & expertise they have. You have a boat, and you have scanned for submerged wrecks. Apart from the Royal Dutch Navy, you are in a field where hardly anybody else operates. That's an advantage that you could possibly exploit in a financially sound way, if the planning is good, and if those who control the real money can see it that way too. It would help if merit can be demonstrated via a job done succesfully, meaning a wreck discovered. That merit can only be acquired after privately investing in it.

    The problem shall be that cities shall not feel responsible for the major Dutch waterways, especially when the safety motive seems weak. Furthermore, being independent from third party finances has distinct advantages too. So, think about it.

    I have travelled an estimated 200k km all over Europe to find data, so I'm well aware of expedition costs. Even if having only a very modest budget available, I enjoy the fact that I'm now free to research what I want without the constant need to make a profit from my actions. I could most likely not have done what I did if I would have been controlled by some official party.

    Regards,

    Rob

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