Project Recover discovered its sixth WWII bomber plane since 2012.
World War II American bomber plane the US Navy TBM-1C Avenger, missing since July 1944, was found in waters surrounding the Pacific Island nation of Palau, according to multiple news reports.
It was discovered 85 feet under water within a lagoon. The plane was the sixth aircraft since 2012 founded by Project Recover, a collaborative effort to find the final underwater resting places of American bomber planes.
“The plane had a number of Japanese targets that it was focused on in WWII, and was hit by anti-aircraft fire,” Eric Terrill, an oceanographer at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and co-founder of Project Recover, told Fox News. “This is more than reconnecting with history; it’s about locating the missing to enable the US government to bring them home for a proper burial.”
The discovery is part of a several-year search effort through old military photographs, comprehensive research at the National Archives, and interviews with WWII veterans. Through the analysis, the team determined a ballpark area where the plane went down, but not enough to establish an exact location.
The group then incorporated a side scanner sonar, a machine that is used to detect objects on the seafloor. “We put that on an underwater robot that is like a torpedo, and it continuously goes back and forth over the area,” explained Terrill. “We essentially mow the lawn with this device.” After two months of tedious work, the robot came across what the group sought-after, US Navy TBM-1C.
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