The remains of an Australian World War II bomber were found 80 years after it disappeared

The remains of an Australian World War II bomber were found 80 years after it disappeared

After more than 80 years since his disappearance in action during the Second World Warthe remains of an Australian bomber Beaufort and two members of his crew were found in the deep waters off the coast of Papua New Guinea.

This finding It marked the end of an exhaustive search undertaken in an area full of “saltwater, low-visibility crocodiles,” as the expedition leader described, Steve Burnell. The rescue operation was motivated by Andrew Forrestan Australian mining billionaire, in an attempt to find his uncle, the Flight Officer David Forrestwhich had been missing since 1943.

In accordance with CBS News, the aircraft, identified as the Beaufort A9-186, was immersed 43 meters under water and its discovery was possible thanks to an identification plate that had been preserved from deterioration due to having been buried in mud. “It's pretty challenging after 80 years in salt water to get a positive identification,” said Burnell, whose efforts were focused on unraveling one of the many mysteries left behind by the South Pacific theater of World War II.

The Flight Officer David Forrestwhom Andrew Forrest I was looking for, he had flown another bomber Beaufortmarked as A9-188which was also lost along with its entire crew in a night attack in May 1943. He A9-186 He was shot down four months later in September during a morning attack. Both planes belonged to 100th Squadron located at the airfield of Gurneyin the bay of Milneon the main island of New Guinea.

Through testing DNA performed on bone fragments, it was possible to identify Warrant Officer Clement Batstone Wiggins and Warrant Officer Russell Henry Griggwhose remains provided the long-awaited closure to their families. Andrew Forrest He expressed his gratitude and renewed his commitment to continuing the search for his uncle and the other missing crew members, saying: “I am grateful that they now have some degree of closure. We will never give up until we find them”.

A memorial service for the families of the crew will be held at the base of the RAAF in Amberleyin the Australian state of queensland, April 26. Additionally, funerals are planned for crew members in Papua New Guinea in September, where the corresponding honors will be paid to them.

The plane's identity plate, along with a cockpit lever, was returned to Australia with the permission of the Papua New Guinea government, while the rest of the wreck will remain at the crash site as a site of historical memory.

The search for these aircraft has not been an isolated case in the region. Burnell highlighted that there are only two RAAF Beaufort bombers left unaccounted for in the New Britain region and that the team is currently examining remains that could belong to one of them.

Additionally, Air Force Chief Air Marshal Robert Chipman reiterated the military's continued commitment to locating, recovering and identifying missing service personnel as part of the duty to honor their service and sacrifice for the nation.

This discovery occurred shortly after a search was launched to find the wreckage of the American World War II hero's plane, Richard Bongin the south of Peacefulversus Papua New Guinea. Likewise, in January, an underwater exploration team searching for the missing plane of Amelia Earhart in the south of Peaceful claimed to have captured a sonar image that “appears to be Earhart's Lockheed 10-E Electra”.