Friday, 12 January 2018

#30. UPDATE 2018 (Vale Dr Barry Wilson)

Original transparencies and some published pictures were lodged with our original team leader Dr. Barry Wilson of Perth, Western Australia for security, in 2017 who passed away six months later.

I am often in contact with Dr. Richard M. Ibara who alternates his time between Massachusetts and Maui, Hawaii.

Ken DaVico has passed away while engaged in what he loved most, triathlon athletics.

John H. Harding (myself, and the photographer of all material here) is retired and living on the mid north coast of New South Wales, Australia. Has been studying the culture of Taiwan since 2002.  After annual dive trips to remote sections of the Great Barrier Reef (with film maker Ben Cropp AM) has ceased diving temporarily to concentrate on cataloging a library of still transparencies and digital pictures.

The 16mm film library remains in limbo, including the footage taken during the compilation of this blog.

Vale Barry Wilson

Article | Updated 5 months ago
It was with great sadness that we received news of the recent death of Dr Barry Wilson on 12 June.
I wish to pay tribute to him and his immense contribution to science, conservation and museums: I am particularly grateful to Diana Jones, who knew him well, for providing much of the information presented here.
Barry is widely recognised for his enormous contribution to museums and the natural sciences, notably in the discipline of Malacology.
He studied at UWA and was awarded a PhD in 1965, based on his research on marine molluscs.  This was followed by post-doctoral studies in molluscan systematics at Harvard University. He then returned to Australia and was appointed Curator of Molluscs at the WA Museum, later becoming Head of Science in 1967. 
Barry arrived at a period of great expansion of the WAM. Under the leadership of Dr David Ride.
Barry began to develop the nascent mollusc collection and was responsible for organising important WAM expeditions around the coasts of WA such as the Crown of Thorns Survey in the Dampier Archipelago in the 1970’s. 
He was accompanied by WAM colleagues such as Shirley Slack-Smith, Loisette Marsh, Barry Hutchings, Ray George, Ron Johnstone, Ann Brearley and Fred Wells.
Mollusc specimens were not only collected on these expeditions but Barry also made sure that the specimens were properly curated. In order to do this, Barry also attracted enthusiastic volunteers to work on the shell collection, including Glad Hanson, who still works in the Mollusc collection 52 years later! 
After working at the WA Museum, Barry held positions as Director of the Museum of Victoria (now Museums Victoria)  (1979-1984) and Director of Nature Conservation in the Department of Conservation and Land Management in WA (1985-1999). He was a Research Associate of the WAM and an Honorary Life Fellow of Museums Victoria, an honorary life member of the Australian Malacological Society, an Honorary Research Fellow at UWA, a Trustee of the Worldwide Fund for Nature, and a member of the IUCN Commission on National Parks and Protected Areas.
Barry produced a series of widely acclaimed books on shells and, in a wider sense, applied his knowledge to marine conservation and nature conservation. 
Barry was well respected by all who worked with him. His contribution and support to the disciplines of malacology and nature conservation, both nationally and internationally are truly impressive. 
Barry will be sorely missed. Our sympathies go to his friends and family. (Courtesy THE WEST AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM).

So where do we go from here?

Our team leader has passed away.

Barry Wilson was writing a book which was to include pictures featured on this blog.  The first chapter was detailing how he began with his interest in the sea from his teenage era. He sent me a draft copy.  It was excellent - of course as we'd come to expect from Barry.

I have a ten minute 16mm film of the expedition highlights. It needs converting to 4K digital quality, and then what next.

One thought would be a book that made use of the film to promote it.

To be continued .....

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Thursday, 13 November 2014

POST #28. TEST SCANS in HQ (repeated pictures)

HU-16 seaplane. Stranded on coral bommie  (pre take-off). Repairs required.

HU-16 seaplane

Sunday, 20 April 2014


Text displayed at Ketagalan aboriginal museum, Xinbietou (Taipei) - additional photography not permitted - which I feel is an out-of-date error. At worst, 'no flash photography' could be allowed.  The premises are dimly lit making exhibits very difficult to study.There is a good display of mannequins both male and female dressed in the traditional costumes of the dozen or so tribes of Taiwan.
Taiwanese aboriginal fishing equipment of the past.

 Fishing net basket

"Sailing Micronesia"  Super8 home movie selected from YouTube.
(Features - possibly, Pohnpei, Nukuoro and Kapinga about 2007)

Friday, 22 November 2013


 Bareana today living in USA - found via Facebook

Seaplane about to make a water landing at Nukuoro.  From a 16mm film frame   © John Harding 1969

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

25. HU-16 SEAPLANE MEMOIRS (with Larry Swinney)

I was an Aviation Ordnance man Stationed at NAS  Agana, Guam as Small Arms Petty Officer for the Naval Air Station.  I was also on a 3 section rotation for flight crew on HU-16 “Albatross” seaplanes.

My job on the aircraft was to supply the pyrotechnics (smoke, flairs, etc) that may be needed for the flight and to deploy them, which meant just pulling the pin and throwing them out the open door.

More importantly I also supplied and deployed the JATO rocket boosters, notoriously unreliable and sensitive to damage from mechanical shock, like dropping or bumping and the igniters did not always fire exactly when they were supposed to.

The hot, humid climate could also cause the rocket propellant to “weep” a sticky volatile material. As a matter of self preservation, I was always very careful in selecting and inspecting the JATO components.

I was on several missions to a number of Islands including Kapingamarangi, Nukuoro but here is what I remember about the Kapingamarangi trip.

The first aircraft that took you to Kapingamarangi was the one I would normally be on, but since there were three of us in rotation, it was not my turn to fly.

I can not remember the reason, but the second plane had to come from Midway to Guam where they picked up the JATO  and mounting racks and the Ordanceman (me) that they needed to handle the JATO.  There was some difficulty with the racks as I recall and we were somewhat delayed leaving Guam.  Since you mentioned it, I do remember it was on the takeoff run that the first plane hit the coral.  When we got to Kapinga the pilot was concerned about our landing, but we did not have any problem and we found the first plane beached, with the gear down in a nice shady spot.

I think your party was involved in research on the Crown of Thorns starfish and the concern that it was killing all the coral.  Why it was important to go to Kapingamarangi and Nukuoro, I never understood, but the US government thought it was important enough to provide transportation.

We anchored the plane and transportation to the island was by outrigger dugout.  We overnighted at Kapinga and slept in a native long house.  I remember talking with a group of young people who spoke pretty good English until it was pretty late.

The next morning I got into a little trouble with our pilot because one of the natives insisted I follow him to a spot where he climbed a tree, pulled down a coconut and opened it for my breakfast.  I was a few minutes late getting back to the plane.

The pilot also thought it took too long to arm and load the JATO, but those things can explode if they have any cracks in the propellant and I was not going to skip any inspection steps.

Takeoff was exciting. This is how I remember it.  We were heavy and there was no help from the wind.  The pilot asked several of us to get as far back in the plane as possible, then on his signal come forward to help get the plane on “the step”, then when up to speed he would fire the JATO.

I was in the back and when I  got all the way forward, standing next to the pilot, I could see he was hitting the mic button on the left side of the control yoke and thought he had it confused with the JATO button on the right side. I reached to point to the JATO button but he must have hit it because the JATO went off and we got airborne without much room to spare.

I had several other JATO takeoffs.

It seems we always flew too heavy.  One other interesting one was on leaving Pohnepei with a plane load of VIP’s in the Micronesian government.  We were heavy, as usual, but the JATO worked fine and the takeoff was no problem.

The normal procedure after takeoff, and when we had some altitude, was for me to get on the intercom with the pilot and on signal he would “skid” the plane to the right whereupon I would release the port side JATO bottles, then we would do a similar maneuver to the release the starboard side.

The port side released ok, but when we did the starboard side, one bottle did not release no matter what I did with the release handle.  You can not land like that because the bottle would probably come off and hit the plane.

So I had to open the door and lean outside to see if I could manually get the thing to release.

This was all discussed with the pilot and he knew what I was doing.  It took a few minutes for me to put on the safety harness and open the door. Then I was able to release the spent bottle with a large screwdriver.
(Larry Swinney)

Footnote: JATO rocket boosters produce 1000 pounds of thrust (each) and burn for 15 seconds.


JATO at an air show. (May take time to display video).

A different seaplane - the PBY is interesting.

Friday, 7 December 2012

24. HU-16 Albatross Seaplane pictures

HQ scan - Nov. 2014
Arrival at Kapingamarangi

HU-16 cockpit

From 16mm.  Cosmos fisheye attachment.

Koisimy Rudolph John...check out my Website and read the blog about the plane that lands in the Nukuoro Laoon.

274 in trouble, stuck on a coral bommie.

 Grumman HU-16 (Wikipedia)