Possible relics of lost US bomber from WWII, crew found in Italy
An archaeological excavation in Sicily has uncovered traces of a lost American WWII heavy bomber shot down in 1943, and possible human remains that could lead to the identification of five airmen whose bodies never recovered. been found.
The six-week searches that ended this week were carried out by a team from the Pentagon’s Defense POW / MIA Accounting Agency, which is locating and identifying missing US military personnel around the world.
The site near Sciacca was identified in 2017 by investigators using historical records and metal detectors.
This year’s excavation uncovered a wreckage “compatible only with a B-25 aircraft,” said archaeologist Clive Vella, scientific director of the expedition, helping to hope that all remains confirmed are linked to the missing crew.
“We owe (their) families precise answers,” Vella told The Associated Press Thursday.
The North American B-25 Mitchell heavy bomber with a crew of six was one of 52 air casualties with missing personnel in the region during World War II, primarily in 1943 as the Allies moved into the southeast. from Sicily.
He was shot down while aiming at a camouflaged German airstrip in the midst of olive groves and pastures on July 10, 1943. A German military report documented the crash of an American plane about two kilometers (a little over one mile) from Sciacca Airport, Vella said.
A crew member was located immediately and buried in the town cemetery. The body was claimed in 1944 by US military officials, but the other five airmen are still missing.
In the decades that followed, the crash site “like most others in the Mediterranean region, was salvaged for metal, the land restored to its original use,” Vella said. “Most of the scars from an accident were gone.”
The evidence, which includes possible human bones as well as potential remains from the plane, has been taken to a lab in the United States for examination.
Globally, more than 81,600 US military personnel are missing, including 72,350 from World War II, 7,550 from the Korean War and 1,584 from the Vietnam War. More than 41,000 of the total are presumed lost at sea.
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Possible relics of a lost American bomber from WWII, crew found in Italy (2021, December 24)
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