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US Navy Veteran Shares Stories of Missing WW2 Personnel

August 25, 2014 Cruise No Comments Email Email

Princess Cruises’ guests will learn about the many missing personnel of WW2 as US Navy veteran Bruce Petty delivers a series of lectures on Sea Princess’ current cruise to Singapore.

A noted author on the Pacific theatre, over the past four years Mr Petty has spoken to thousands of Australian cruise passengers during his guest lectures and inevitably finds there are people onboard with direct family connections to service personnel still listed as missing in the Pacific from WW2.Princess Cruises PR Manager Meg Koffel with Sea Princess guest speaker Bruce Petty

“When you think about it, there are tens of thousands who are missing from the war,” Mr Petty said.  “An Australian passenger I spoke to on Dawn Princess said he was a teenager during the war and he had a cousin who was on a Hudson bomber that went on a mission in New Britain in 1942 and never came back,” Mr Petty said.

“I thought that account sounded familiar because I was about to talk about RAAF Hudson bombers that had been shot down. I sent an email and was able to get a photograph of one of the downed aircraft and I was able to tell the Australian passenger that this was the plane his cousin had flown on. You can imagine how stunned he was to see it,” he said.

Now living in New Plymouth in New Zealand, Mr Petty said families continue to seek closure over the fate of service personnel still listed as missing.

“Sons listed as missing in action have never been forgotten by their families and have become part of family lore. Family members, siblings, grandchildren and cousins, keep the memories alive and will do so for generations to come,” said Mr Petty. “Years go by, but there is still the hope that something will be found.”

Following Mr Petty’s current engagement on Sea Princess, he will depart for Saipan in the Mariana Islands, the scene of bitter fighting in June and July 1944, to work with an organisation devoted to finding American and Japanese soldiers missing in action.

There are numerous Australasian links to Mr Petty’s research including the fate of a number of Qantas Empire Airways’ flying boats that are among 500-600 aircraft – American, Australian, New Zealand, Dutch and Japanese – still missing in Papua New Guinea, some in impenetrable jungle.

Bruce Petty http: //www.voicesfromthepacificwar.com/

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