Remains of crewmen of sunken World War II airplanes recovered

Divers recovered remains that could belong to long-lost American air crews of sunken World War II airplanes in Palau near Ngerekebesang Island.

Salvage basket during an underwater recovery operation (by Tyler Thompson & U.S. Navy Photo)

An intense two-month excavation done by a team of soldiers, sailors, airmen and civilians resulted in retrieving remains that could belong to long-lost American air crews of sunken World War II airplanes. The team worked from aboard the USNS Salvor near Ngerekebesang Island, which  was the site of a Japanese submarine base and seaplane ramp during World War II. It was the target of numerous B-24 bombing raids by the United States in 1944-45.

The team used 4-by-8-foot baskets for sifting sand in the hunt for remains. The baskets were dropped about 90 feet to the ocean floor and then filled with sediment that was spread over a large area around the wreckage. According to a Navy statement, the remains will be analysed by DPAA (Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency). If any positively match missing service members associated with the crash site, the nearest next of kin will be notified. The names will be released to the public after that point.

(after Stars and Stripes, Tyler Thompson & U.S. Navy Photo)

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