SALVAGE TEAM TO RECOVER RARE US BOMBER FROM MARSHALLS

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Pilots ditched torpedo bombers in Jaluit lagoon

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, June 14, 2009) – An American salvage team is preparing to recover a rare World War II US naval torpedo bomber on the Marshall Islands.

The craft has lain submerged in a Marshall Islands lagoon since 1942.

The bomber is one of two TDB Devastator planes ditched in Jaluit Atoll during an attack on Japanese forces in early 1942.

The two Devastators are an important part of American naval history, because none of the planes survive anywhere else.

Archaeologists

The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery has flown in engineering and marine archaeology experts to assess options for safely recovering one of the two bombers.

Both planes are relatively undisturbed and intact because they were deliberately ditched by their pilots.

The crews did not have the fuel to return to the aircraft carrier Yorktown.

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