Hong Kong - July 2022 Newsletter Current Situation - As nobody will need reminding, it has been a very long long time since the Branch has held any event whatsoever – be it an indoor meeting or an outdoor activity. We were able to conduct a visit to the Sai Wan Military Cemetery towards the end of 2021, which was well-supported, followed by our ever-popular Christmas Dinner at the USRC in December.
A planned talk by Les Bird on his time with the Marine Police was scheduled for early this year, but unfortunately we had to postpone that event. Hopefully we will be able to reschedule his presentation for later this year.
The pandemic situation has thus far precluded any further activities for 2022, but hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel. It is with this in mind that we have decided to schedule an event for later this month.
Future Event - Presentation by Craig Mitchell on “Project Avenger.”
In 2012 local resident and military historian Craig Mitchell, whilst hiking the hills on HK island, stumbled upon the wreckage of a wartime U.S. Navy plane. Upon investigation, the aircraft was found to be from a U.S. Navy Task Force consisting of no fewer than 10 aircraft carriers engaged in a bombing mission of Japanese- occupied HK on 16 January 1945.
This amazing discovery kick-started what became known as “Project Avenger.” Craig initiated a 10-year campaign for funding to research the crash site in Tai Tam; negotiating with the relevant authorities, (including the U.S. Navy’s Heritage Command), and obtaining the required local permits and licences.
Much of this activity had to be conducted whilst the city was experiencing both social
unrest and restrictions imposed by the Government due to the Covid pandemic. Craig’s team was finally assembled in 2018 and Project Avenger was underway. The team, comprising both local and overseas experts in the fields of archaeology, geographical surveying, orienteering and historical conservation, “broke ground” in 2021.
Their objectives were to: -
- map archaeological artefacts in the crash site locations;
- identify the aircraft involved and their associated human story;
- recover and conserve artefacts; and
- educate and promote interest in HK’s history during WW2.
The project became HK’s biggest professional WW2 archaeological study. It was conducted in collaboration with 4 HK universities employing the latest remote sensing technology, high-resolution light detecting and ranging, photogrammetry and cloud technology and ground penetrating radar.
About the Speaker
Craig Mitchell was born and educated in HK. After graduating from Coventry University in the U.K. with a degree in Engineering and Business, he returned to HK where he resumed his passion for military history. He then read for a Master’s degree in Education.
Craig is married and lives in Clearwater Bay. He is currently employed as a Physical Education teacher at an international school in HK.
Date Wednesday 20 July 2022
Time 18:30hrs (drinks at cash bar) talk begins at 19:00 hrs.
Place United Services Recreation Club, Gascoigne Road, Kowloon
Cost $100-HK (Branch members and guests).
I am sure this will prove to be a very interesting presentation. Please contact the undersigned soonest if you would like to attend -firstname.lastname@example.org
Martin Heyes Hon. Secretary OMRS HK Branch