WORLD WAR II PILOT’S REMAINS RECOVERED OFF IRIAN JAYA

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JAYAPURA, Irian Jaya (March 9, 1999 – Radio Australia)---The remains of an Australian pilot, lost in action off Irian Jaya, New Guinea Island, during World War II, have been positively identified.

The Royal Australian Air Force Kittyhawk fighter plane flown by Flying Officer Maurice Bellert was attacking a Japanese position when it was hit by enemy fire and crashed into the ocean on October 18, 1944.

The Kittyhawk was discovered by an Indonesian fisherman in 27 meters (89 feet) of water, several kilometers northwest of Manokwari.

It was later confirmed that the remains of the pilot were still in the cockpit.

An Australian Defense Force team was sent to the area and has recovered Flying Officer Bellert's remains.

His son, who was only two years old when his father died, hopes to attend the full military funeral at Lae War Cemetery next month.

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