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Downed American World War II Bomber Newly Discovered In Pacific 72 Years Later

May 26, 2016

In July 1944, in the midst of World War II an American TBM-1C Avenger torpedo bomber went down in the Pacific along with the three service members on board.


After 72 years have passed, now, scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego announced that the plane was found near Palau.

With the efforts made from Project RECOVER, the remains of the plane were found 85 feet deep into a lagoon. Project RECOVER uses sonar technology and research to find wreckage of American aircraft and the remains of servicemen that went missing in action in the past. Project RECOVER used a side scanner sonar to scour the sea floor and detect any objects, and after two months of searching, the remains of the plane were discovered.

Eric Terrill, an oceanographer at Scripps and co-founder of Project RECOVER told FoxNews, “The plane had a number of Japanese targets that it was focused on in World War II, and was hit by anti-aircraft fire, and then crashed within the lagoon a few miles overshore from the target that it was going after.” Terrell added that he hopes the remains of all three crew members will be found even though it is reported that one parachuted out before the plane crashed.

“This is more than reconnecting with history; it’s about locating the missing to enable the U.S. government to bring them home for a proper burial,” Terrill told CNN.

The team at Project RECOVER gave a report to the U.S government so that they can recover the remains of the crew members.

Scripps says that there are many future recovery missions ahead of them in the Pacific. “We have identified 100 cases worldwide that are suitable for recovery and over 200 families have reached out asking for help with MIA’s,” Terrill told CNN. There are dozens more downed ships in the Pacific that Scripps hopes to recover.