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By Bernadette H. Carreon

KOROR, Palau (Palau Horizon, Feb. 12) —An American World War II aircraft has been found in Palau’s waters last week.

The B-24 Bomber, which had been missing since 1944, was discovered by Dr. Patrick Scannon and his team with help from Palauans.

The plane was shot down by Japanese forces during the Battle of Peleliu.

President Tommy Remengesau said the plane was discovered in the waters between Koror and Aimeliik.

He said the plane carried a crew of 11 who were listed as missing in action in Sept. 1944.

The president said three of the 11 airmen were captured and executed in Ngatpang in 1944.

Eight of the crew were believed to be in the plane when it was shot down, Remengesau said.

According to the president, the U.S. military has been contacted regarding the recovery and identification of the remains.

Remengesau went scuba diving on Feb. 6 with the search team at the wreck site.

"The wreck site is believed to be the resting place (of) as many as eight crewmembers that went down with the plane. As such this site is protected by both Palauan and U.S. laws and is regarded as a sacred gravesite," Remengesau said.

Scannon, for his part, said: "We are honored by the president’s interest in visiting and protecting what is in essence a memorial to these brave airmen."

February 12, 2004

Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com


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