Caution raised over vintage bombs found in the Philippines

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The Philippine Army Central Command has refused requests from members of the public to preserve some unexploded ordnance found in Kawit Island, citing safety reasons. I’m noting a record here because it might be useful for the future studies in the archaeology of World War II!

The unwillingness of the military to display the bombs, as well as their preference to destroy them for safety reasons is interesting, contrasted with the display of similar UXO at the My Son Sanctuary that I saw last month.

Preserving bombs ‘dangerous’
Sun Star Cebu, 31 January 2012

Vintage bombs probably used as ‘booby trap’: archaeologist
Sun Star Cebu, 1 February 2012
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Archaeologists dig up wartime battle site in Singapore

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Archaeologists in Singapore are excavating a World War II battlefield site which was once the headquarters of a British army regiment. Singapore fell to invading Japanese forces in 1942.

Excavation at Adam Park, Straits Times 20110216

Digging up Adam Park’s war secrets
Straits Times, 15 Feb 2011
(subscription required for full article)

Tigers in the Park: A New Project in Singapore
University of Glasgow Centre for Battlefield Archaeology site
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Query: Stolen Gold from Burma in World War II

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Can anyone help with this question? In 1944, the Australian paper The Argus published a short note about the theft of a gold disc 25′ in diameter from a temple in Burma by the Japanese Occupation army (“Japanese Steal Huge Gold Disc From Temple in Burma”, The Argus, February 10, 1944, page 12). FOK (name withheld on request), a German journalist is looking for information about the name of the temple and the current whereabouts of the gold disc.

Shwedagon Pagoda
photo credit: col.hou

If you have any information about the matter, kindly contact FOK here.

Military relics reveals life and death of the Sandakan Death Marches

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Archaeology doesn’t necessarily have to go way back thousands of years to understand the lives and times of people who lived before – sometimes it’s as recent as World War II, as revealed by a cache of Australian military relics unearthed in Sabah. They are the grim remnants of the infamous Sandakan Death Marches, which led to the death of some 6,000 military personnel and civilians.

Unearthed: a final message from Sandakan’s doomed soldiers
Sydney Morning Herald, 22 September 2008
Photo gallery
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Cave restriction to fend off hunters of Yamashita's treasure?


I posted the story about Philippines move to regulate treasure hunting in caves earlier, but a smaller detail in this Inquirer story was a little interesting – besides archaeological and cultural finds, is the Philippines trying to deter hunters for Yamashita’s treasure as well?

Philippines to regulate treasure-hunting
Philippine Inquirer, 27 Dec 2007
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U.S. Navy halts planned dive of sunken ship near Indonesia

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13 Aug 2006 (Jakarta Post) – A group of volunteers have been prevented from photogaphing the remains of the sunken USS Houston off the waters of Indonesia.

U.S. Navy halts planned dive of sunken ship near Indonesia

The U.S. Navy has scuttled the plans of a sheriff to photograph the inside of the sunken USS Houston near Indonesia because of worries the wreck might be disturbed.

The association of sailors who survived the World War II sinking had commissioned the photos. A team led by Jerry Ranger, a lieutenant with the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office in Florida and the son of a USS Houston surviving prisoner of war, had gone to the site in the Sunda Straits off Java.

The team included Dave Phillips of St. Louis County, Minnesota, who has experience using a remotely operated vehicle camera during his duties with the sheriff’s office and its volunteer rescue squad. He had planned to photograph the inside of the ship from Thursday through Wednesday.

Chariot salvage attempt scotched

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21 June 2006 (Phuket Gazette) – British Government stops plan to salvage WWII submersibles off Phuket.

Chariot salvage attempt scotched

The British government has scotched, at least for the time being, a planned attempt by local salvage company East Marine SBS Co to raise two British World War II Chariots from the waters off Phuket.
The Governor said after the meeting, “I told East Marine SBS that if they received approval from the British Admiralty, I would allow the salvage project. But today I received a letter [from the British government] stating that it regards them as assets of Britain and pointing out that it is British military tradition to leave in place any vessels lost during war.

Two WWII ‘human torpedoes’ believed to be lying off Phuket

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6 May 2006 (The Nation) – Possible WWII British manned torpedoes to be investigated in Phuket.

Two WWII ‘human torpedoes’ believed to be lying off Phuket

A Phuket marine-supply company is seeking permission to salvage what it believes are two British “human torpedoes” that have been lying in the sea near Phuket since World War II, the governor of Phuket said yesterday.

Manned torpedoes were secret naval weapons commissioned during World War II.

The British versions were electrically propelled mini-submarines with two crewmen equipped with diving suits riding astride.