Above & Beyond: Recovery: Bataan

Above & Beyond: Recovery: Bataan

A deformed machine gun from the Nakajima Ki-27 spoke volumes to the author (center). (Kevin Hamdorf)
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After the ridge dried, I got an e-mail from Nasmyth dated Feb. 12, 2009:

Ralph, we sent Gary and 6 Aeta tribesmen up the mountain Monday the 9th of Feb, the 67th anniversary of the dogfight. They have found the plane.... I think this has to be Earl Stone’s site, can’t have been too many other planes out there within 400 yards of the confirmed Nate site.

On March 17, the search team and I began a two-day climb and descent on the Mariveles slopes. Some 350 yards beneath and to the left of the Nate wreckage lay the impact crater and debris of the P-40 flown by Earl Stone. We made some test digs, gathered parts to confirm the find, and notified the Joint POW/Missing-in-Action Accounting Command in Hawaii to begin the recovery of his remains.

The author of two books on search expeditions, Ralph Wetterhahn has appeared in numerous documentaries on aircraft archeology.

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