Missing WW2 B-25 bombers fund off Papua New Guinea

Scientists discovered the debris of missing World War II-era B-25 bomber planes in Madang Harbor off the coast of Papua New Guinea. One of the planes was known and being documented when the discovery of the previously unknown second aircraft occurred.

Underwater photomosaic of the B-25 wreck (by Project Recover)

Historical records indicate that both planes were shot down amid fierce combat more than 70 years ago. One B-25 was carrying six crewmembers who have long been unaccounted for. The second bomber also had six crewmembers, five of whom survived and were taken prisoner by the Japanese, while one went down with the plane. The scientists used scanning sonars, thermal cameras and freely swimming underwater robots to pinpoint the location of the B-25 after narrowing their location to 10 square kilometres on the basis of information acquired from National Archives, old military photos and interviews with veterans.

Diver by the wreck of the bomber (by Project Recover)

Twin engine B-25 bombers were among the most versatile aircraft developed by the North American Aviation company during World War II. They quickly became standard equipment for all Allied forces, and the warbirds were used to conduct nearly 10000 missions, from bombing enemies to photo reconnaissance, submarine patrols and the historic raid over Tokyo. According to the researchers, there are still over 73000 U.S. service members unaccounted for from World War II, leaving families with unanswered questions.

Gun turret of the bomber (by Project Recover)

(after EurekAlert!, Heritage Daily, Popular Archaeology, Live Science & Project Recover)

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