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Ensign Warnke's photo provided courtesy NAS Barbers Pt Museum from his sister Myrtle Tice
Click here for a HAPS Photo Gallery of Recovery Effort
HARRY WARNKE, Finally Laid to Rest at Home
(click above for Chicago Post-Tribune Article)
These links and documents cover the saga of the recovery and its history, of Ensign Harry Warnke who died in the service of his country in the Ko'olau mountains on June 15th, 1944 in his F6F-3 Hellcat fighter.
July 20, 2007 Final Update
Sixty two years after Ensign Warnke disappeared, and seven years and six months after a survey visit to the Warnke F6F crash site by the Joint Task Force Full Accounting Command, its successor command, Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command finally recovered Ensign Warnke's remains.
Congratulations to the hard working JPAC recovery team that spent many hours under often harsh conditions to effect this recovery. While these recoveries are JPAC stated mission, it was heartening to actually see these recovery team members go the extra mile to accomplish it.
On July 21st 2006 a recovery team began preparation of the crash site for a search for Ensign Warnke's remains. Initially, the Hawaii National Guard provided a CH-47D heavy lift helicopter for soil removal and subsequent screening at the East Range of Schofield Barracks. The CH-47D was lost to JPAC after 57 sling loads of dirt, when it was deployed to the U.S./Mexican border for military duty there.
Pacific Helicopters provided all lift after the second week of August for both the recovery team and for moving equipment and recovery items to and from the site. Cloudy site conditions during the third week of August caused most of those scheduled work days to be scrubbed. The last week of August allowed significant progress. Most of the soil that had slid down from above was removed and grids were set up for excavation around and below the actual wreckage.
The JPAC team responsible for the recovery has concluded their work. According to the JPAC anthropologist in charge of identifying remains on this site, the recovery was a success. Apparently enough large bones and teeth were found to test with mitochondrial DNA techniques and dental records for absolute certainty.
Restoration of the excavation site has been completed. The aircraft parts uncovered have been reburied to make the site as close to the original condition as possible
CLICK Here For the Honolulu Advertiser Story on the WARNKE RECOVERY
The JPAC Public Affairs Office provided airlift for a number of journalists to the site and now that the work is completed, detailed press coverage has started to appear.
Ensign Warnke would have been wearing similar flight gear
The Warnke Memorial Plaque below is to be on display at the old Barbers Pt. Tower lobby. The Hawaii Airports Division has provided a display case and has approved it to be on exhibit in the lobby of the Kalaeloa Airport Tower building which is occupied by the Hawaii Air National Guard.
HAPS will be soliciting volunteers to help paint and restore the lobby starting September 17th, 2006. Large framed photographs of historic Navy aircraft will be permanently on display. HAPS will supply the photos and the Airports Division will supply the frames.
For the last newspaper article: Honolulu Advertiser article, click here
The Providence Journal out of Rhode Island does a Warnke article on Memorial Day featuring Ted Darcy, ex marine, former wreck chaser, now a full time researcher of US MIAs
(Adobe Acrobat required)
The plaque below on a piece of the propeller from the F6F Harry was flying was presented to Mrs. Myrtle Tice, Harry's 86 year old sister of Green Valley, Arizona in mid-December 2005 by HAPS.
1944 to 1951 1951-1999 Honolulu Star Bulletin Coverage Postponement 12-8-05 Plaque Newspaper Article
6/18/06 Star Bulletin Article
Acrobat Reader Required
3-14-06 Chicago Tribune Article
Big File. Acrobat Reader Required
3-19-06 Post-Tribune Article (Warnke's Hometown of Gary, Indiana)
Acrobat Reader Required
What it Looks Like Now Not Far From Here