11 December 2018
A suggested humanitarian gesture respecting the war time death of a combatant during World War II in the Solomon Islands
It was reported in the Solomon Star newspaper last week that the wreck of a wartime Japanese Zero fighter plane had been discovered by a diving team some 15 meters under the sea and about 250 meters away from Villa Airstrip at Kolobangara Island.
The aircraft was identified as an A6M2 Model 21 Zero fighter and had a manufacturer’s number and a presentation number visible on the wreckage.
There was no report to say whether the remains of the pilot had been found.
Solomon Islands being the custodian of the battle grounds of the Second World War’s bloody and costly campaign in the Solomon Islands and off its territorial waters when many Japanese and US soldiers and airmen lost their lives, it would be a fitting humanitarian gesture if the remaining family relatives of the pilot of that plane, given it might be possible from the serial numbers seen by the divers, to be found and informed of the finding of the fighter warplane.
It is known that the Japanese Imperial Forces constructed the Airstrip at Kolobangara Island during an early phase of the occupation of the Solomon Islands in WW11.