76 years after going missing over the Federated States of Micronesia, three U.S. World War II planes have been found in Chuuk Lagoon by a team from Project Recover, an organization focused on using technology to find, retrieve, and repatriate missing servicemen.
According to a FOX NEWS report, the planes were part of Operation Hailstone, a massive air and surface attack launched against Japanese Forces in the lagoon in February 1944. Onboard the planes were 7 U.S. servicemen who were listed as missing in action following the attack.
Four expeditions were made to the lagoon between April 2018 and December 2019. After searching nearly 70 square miles of the seabed with side-scan sonar, researchers used underwater drones to spot debris from the three planes, at depths ranging from 100 to 215 feet, according to the Fox News Report.
“After completing archaeological surveys of the crash sites in December 2019, the team is now assembling reports for review by the U.S. government to potentially set into motion a process for recovering and identifying the remains of up to seven crew members associated with these aircraft,” Andrew Pietruszka, Project Recover’s lead archaeologist, told Fox News.
Project Recover partnered with the University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment and Scripps Institution of Oceanography for the project.