CANBERRA, Australia – Jon O'Neill has flown from Florida to Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific in search of clues to the life of his war hero father, whom he can barely remember.
At times, it has been a painful journey of discovery among the rusted relics of a conflict that ended for his father, U.S. Army Air Forces ace John O'Neill, 75 years ago.
But it has also been an experience that has rewarded the 57-year-old editor and recreational pilot from DeLand, Florida, beyond his expectations.
With the guidance of World War II historian Justin Taylan, founder of the charity website PacificWrecks.com, the son has been able to retrace the wartime steps of his father in 1943. The son's two weeks in Papua New Guinea ends on Wednesday.