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Just bought a book by Australian underwater diver Ben Crop and there is a picture of Liberty ship Francis Preston Blair aground on Saumarez reef??? Anyone tell me anything about how long ship there and were is reef. Doesnt say when picture taken but ship still mostly intact except for a few holes in hull and usual wear and tear from the elements.
 

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Francis Preston Blair

Dave,

Extract from http://oceans1.customer.netspace.net.au/coralsea-wrecks.html

"Francis Preston Blair. American Liberty ship, 7181 tons. Built 1943 by the Marinship Corporation Yard at Sausalito, on the north west side of San Francisco Bay, which built a total of fifteen Liberty ships. Lbd 422.8 x 57 x 34.8 ft. Wrecked on the eastern edge of the Saumarez Reef in the Coral Sea, 15 July 1945. She was attempting to outrun a Japanese submarine. She was used on occasions as a target by the RAAF, which dropped dummy bombs."

A location map can by found at this url - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coral_Sea_Islands (Thumb)
 

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I passed the Saumarez Reef many times in "Forum Papua New Guinea" and others but did not realise there was a WW2 Sam Boat there- when I read this thread first I thought it might have been the gentleman of Asian extraction who failed to acknowedge my VHF warning that he was heading straight for the said reef- perhaps he is still there as well?
 
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