P-MAN XII Progress
Report #02 - Side-scan sonar training
On 19 and 20 January four BentProp team members (Paul Schwimmer, Rick Smith, Katie Rasdorf, and Reid Joyce) traveled to the facilities of Marine Sonic Technology, Ltd. in Virginia. They're manufacturers (and the inventors, in fact) of high-end PC-controlled side-scan sonar equipment. Our reason for visiting was to spend a day in their classroom and a half day on the water, to learn how to use their Sea Scan® PC SSS unit.
Turns out that someone had written to Marine Sonic a couple of months ago inquiring about whether they'd be willing to let the BentProp team use some of their SSS gear in Palau to support some of our underwater searches, which to date have been hampered by our lack of efficient, high-resolution technical search capability.
The letter writer wasn't exactly just "someone." He was USMC Captain Casey Doyle, grandson of AAF Staff Sergeant Jimmie Doyle, who was nose gunner on a B-24 (42-73453) that was shot down in Palau on 1 September 1944, and whose crash site we located and identified in 2004. Jimmie's remains were recovered and identified by JPAC - and some of us attended his funeral last spring.
Anyway, the Marine Sonic people were so moved by Casey's pitch that they decided to DONATE one of their older demo units to the team for our use in Palau. They refurbished the gear and have given us a tool kit, control computer, two brand-new tow cables, and two towfish. Wow.