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Three American bombers shot during the Second World War and missing for 76 years are found in Micronesia

The last resting place of the heroes: three American bombers who were shot down during the Second World War and were found missing for 76 years with the help of high-tech sonar on the bottom of a lagoon in Micronesia

  • Project Recover, an organization dedicated to finding American MIAs, discovers remains of three war planes
  • Two SBD-5 Dauntless bombers and a TBM / F-1 Avenger torpedo bomber were found in the seabed of Truk Lagoon
  • The planes participated in Operation Hailstone, the February 1944 mission to remove Japan from the lagoon
  • An estimated 30 planes were lost and 40 American soldiers died during the operation in the Pacific

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The remains of three American fighter jets that flew missions over the Pacific during the Second World War and were subsequently missing were found at the bottom of a lagoon in Micronesia.

The mutilated pieces of the three aircraft were discovered by Project Recover, an organization that is funded privately and publicly to help find the remains of American GIs that were missing in action.

Two of the aircraft are SBD-5 Dauntless dive bombers and the third is a TBM / F-1 Avenger torpedo bomber.

With the help of remote-controlled submarines, Project Recover found the pieces of metal from the surfaces on the floor of Truk Lagoon, according to the Fox News Channel.

The aircraft participated in Operation Hailstone, a mission launched by the US Army in February 1944.

The image above shows a propeller of a TBM / F-1 Avenger torpedo bomber lying on the seabed in Truk Lagoon, Micronesia

The image above shows a propeller of a TBM / F-1 Avenger torpedo bomber lying on the seabed in Truk Lagoon, Micronesia

The image above shows split-panel dive brakes of an SBD-5 Dauntless dive bomber resting on the floor of the lagoon near the main rubble site

The image above shows split-panel dive brakes of an SBD-5 Dauntless dive bomber resting on the floor of the lagoon near the main rubble site

The image above shows split-panel dive brakes of an SBD-5 Dauntless dive bomber resting on the floor of the lagoon near the main rubble site

The photo shows a propeller of a US SBD-5 Dauntless dive bomber from Operation Hailstone standing above the sand in Truk Lagoon

The photo shows a propeller of a US SBD-5 Dauntless dive bomber from Operation Hailstone standing above the sand in Truk Lagoon

The photo shows a propeller of a US SBD-5 Dauntless dive bomber from Operation Hailstone standing above the sand in Truk Lagoon

The image above taken by a submersible boat shows a starboard rearview gate and access hatch of an American TPM / F-1 Avenger torpedo bomber in Truk Lagoon

The image above taken by a submersible boat shows a starboard rearview gate and access hatch of an American TPM / F-1 Avenger torpedo bomber in Truk Lagoon

The image above taken by a submersible boat shows a starboard rearview gate and access hatch of an American TPM / F-1 Avenger torpedo bomber in Truk Lagoon

The image above of a remotely steered vehicle sent by Project Recover shows a tail section of an Operation Hailstone SBD-5 Dauntless dive bomber resting on the floor of Truk Lagoon

The image above of a remotely steered vehicle sent by Project Recover shows a tail section of an Operation Hailstone SBD-5 Dauntless dive bomber resting on the floor of Truk Lagoon

The image above of a remotely steered vehicle sent by Project Recover shows a tail section of an Operation Hailstone SBD-5 Dauntless dive bomber resting on the floor of Truk Lagoon

American bombers hit the lagoon, which was then held by the troops of Imperial Japan.

At the time, Truk was considered a valuable forward basis for the Japanese navy.

The Americans conquered the lagoon after a day of fighting, although they lost 40 men and 30 planes were destroyed.

The three planes found by Project Recover are supposed to be linked to seven men who have been reported missing in action by the US military.

The three aircraft flew from the aircraft carriers USS Enterprise and the USS Intrepid.

The Project Recover team, which consists of researchers from the University of Delaware and the University of California at San Diego, used technology including scanning sonars and high-definition and thermal cameras.

The researchers made four expeditions to the lagoon between April 2018 and December 2019.

They scanned nearly 70 square miles of the seabed before finally seeing debris from the three planes.

“After completing archaeological investigations of the crash sites in December 2019, the team is now gathering US government assessment reports to potentially initiate a process for retrieving and identifying the remains of up to seven crew members associated with these aircraft , “Andrew Pietruszka, the most important archaeologist at Project Recover, said.

The above file photo from 1942 shows a squadron of US Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless dive bombers in flight while patrolling the coral reefs off Midway Island

The above file photo from 1942 shows a squadron of US Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless dive bombers in flight while patrolling the coral reefs off Midway Island

The above file photo from 1942 shows a squadron of US Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless dive bombers in flight while patrolling the coral reefs off Midway Island

The image above from February 1944 shows a torpedo exploding against a Japanese tanker in Truk Lagoon during an attack by American torpedo bombers

The image above from February 1944 shows a torpedo exploding against a Japanese tanker in Truk Lagoon during an attack by American torpedo bombers

The image above from February 1944 shows a torpedo exploding against a Japanese tanker in Truk Lagoon during an attack by American torpedo bombers

The search results were shared with the government of the Federated States of Micronesia and with the POW / MIA Accounting Agency of the Pentagon.

“Finding these three planes was only possible with the dedication and tireless efforts of our team members and the support of the host country,” said Project Recover co-founder Mark Moline.

“While the discovery of these sites is exciting and validating, these feelings are mixed with the humble emotions of the sacrifices these service members and their families have made to protect our liberties.”

The researchers say they plan to continue the search for more remains of planes and soldiers.

Derek Abbey, the CEO of Project Recover, believes that 28 planes from World War II linked to 103 MIAs are missing in Truk Lagoon.

“Project Recover is honored to play our part in delivering on our nation’s promise to bring our fallen servants home and we remain committed to finding more missing Americans in Chuuk and the rest of the world,” he said. a statement.

Last month, Project Recover revealed high-resolution images of a missing fighter plane that lay on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean for nearly 80 years near the Hawaiian coast.

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