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Author Topic: Norwich City or Electra debris?  (Read 41102 times)

Bill Mangus

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Re: Norwich City or Electra debris?
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2019, 02:02:21 PM »

I do not see the tail section in these  photos I see a sheet of metal that could be portion of the hull and couple of objects poking out of the water nearby that may or may not be associated with the larger piece, but I do see that image of the front end of plane in the surf on the reef edge to the right of the NC, but to me it looks oddly out of place like it physically doesn't fit, you may be correct that more professional analysis might be necessary, I wonder if there was some transfer from another image on the roll of film taken by the PBY.

One question for anyone who has more complete knowledge of how the island colony worked would be whether the Norwich City was the usual mooring spot for incoming ships.  The NZ expedition moored to it upon arrival in December 1937 but the stern broke off in a storm in January 1938.  The landing channel used by current visitors was not blasted into the reef until the late 50's or early 60's I believe so how were supplies brought to shore in the 1940s and and 50s?  I have looked at the island diaries available for the early 1940s and they just mention ships arriving and labourers moving supplies from the ship to the beach and to the village, sometimes over a period of a couple of days but no details on how.  Did they have canoes that they could paddle out to the ships or did the ships still moor to the NC.  If they did moor to the NC then there would be traffic out on that part off reef on regular basis and any aircraft pieces would likely have been noticed.

Bushnell used ships launch and smaller skiff to transit the Tatiman Passage to the lagoon.  They remarked on how difficult that was, even at high tide.  Damaged a boat if I remember correctly.  landing channel was blasted-out in 1936 to aid in evacuating the colony due to severe drought.  Other visitors landed over the reef at high tide, I believe, although canoes were used for passenger and light cargo.


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Re: Norwich City or Electra debris? Tail "riddle"
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2019, 03:41:08 PM »

In this shot of the NC wreck from 1941 & what I identified as the tail section, I'm referring to the aircraft cut "in half" at some point in the intervening three-plus years, leaving just the nose section & wing stubs in lower right of the photo plus the fuselage remnant of the other half with the tail on the end in the upper left. Flipped over with the smaller rudder portions sticking up, that piece in the upper left does resemble what I'm saying it is per the diagram superimposed for reference. From the beginning of this thread, I thought I had identifed the center of the fuselage and a window therein in the background of the Bevington object further up and along the "reef/beach" from the wheel. My theory is that at this point the electra had broken into 3 pieces: The nose visible in the lower right of the 1941 NC wreck photo, the tail and part of the fuselage in that same photo to the upper left and the shiny, straight-edged appearing cylinder in the background of the Bevington photo. Put those three pieces "together" (in your mind) & you've got the entire fuselage from nose to tail sitting on the reef / beach at one time or another. I can see the cylindrical center section easily being carried by the waves and tide toward the NC even just 3 months post crash-landing. It's possible that the small debris to the right of this bright cylinder in the Bevington photo is the tail section but that's pure speculation. Still, the broken-off nose piece in the 1941 photo can't be dismissed so easily. It's not the whole plane, the wings that attach outside of the engine nacelles are gone as is the tail. I've found no wings but I've found the nose, a piece that resembles the tail section broken off behind the passenger door, and a center piece. Until a better quality photo can be found, I'll let you all ponder what I've come up with and leave it at that. Thank you.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2019, 04:55:56 PM by RGWealleans »
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