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No human remains in the wreckage of a Japanese WWII bomber

In the wreckage of a Japanese World War II bomber, researchers found no human remains. Among the objects excavated, specialists unearthed only isolated artefacts representing personal belongings of the crew. Members of the team that excavated most of the wreckage of the Japanese bom ber from a depth of about 20 metres reported that it
Published: July 2, 2021 - 09:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 22:52
No human remains in the wreckage of a Japanese WWII bomber

In the wreckage of a Japanese World War II bomber, researchers found no human remains. Among the objects excavated, specialists unearthed only isolated artefacts representing personal belongings of the crew.

Members of the team that excavated most of the wreckage of the Japanese bom ber from a depth of about 20 metres reported that it was probably a Type 97 attack bomber. These were the machines used by the Nippon Kaigun – the navy of the Empire of Japan. The 3-seat planes took part in the attack on Pearl Harbor, among other things. Although at the end of the Pacific War they were also used for suicide missions.

Archival photograph of a Japanese Type 97 bomber The first to the wreck of a Japanese bomber from the Second World War reached 74-year-old Tetsuro Hayashi, owner of a local dive shop. Remains of a plane lie at a depth of about 20 metres, less than 300 metres off Cape Kishigasaki on the northern tip of Tanegashima Island. The plane wreck measures 8.8 metres long and 7.3 metres wide.

recovered objects from the aircraft wreckage The case was immediately taken over by a special team from Japan Association for Recovery and Repatriation of War Casualties. The organisation searches for, identifies and transfers human remains to families for dignified burial and commemoration.

remnants of an aircraft on the seabed Work aimed at raising the wreck started on 15 June, but the weather was a problem. Therefore, they were only completed on 23-24 June. Most of the excavated material was brought to the surface remnants of aeroplane type 97. Unfortunately, the researchers regretfully reported that no human remains were found at the site.

bomber wreck found at the bottom of the sea The excavated wreckage of the plane will be displayed in Peace Museum in Usa, in the prefecture of Ōita. During the Second World War it was a centre for the training of pilot crews attack bombers Type 97.

This is the first time human remains from World War II have been searched for in a plane wreck. The whole operation was something of a novelty, as until now such work had only been carried out on the wrecks of Imperial Japanese Navy ships. According to the ministry, there are still one million Japanese soldiers waiting to be found.

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About author

Marcin Pawełczyk
Marcin’s journey with diving has been an adventure. Starting as a recreational diver, he soon found himself drawn to the fascinating stories and mysteries of Baltic wrecks. After gaining experience, Marcin decided to go beyond just leisurely exploration and took his training up a notch by completing the TMX course, allowing him to explore even deeper and uncover the secrets of inaccessible places. His next challenge has been cave diving, where he is honing his skills to become a certified diver. Not content to simply take in the breathtaking beauty of underwater life, Marcin has also embraced underwater photography since 2018, capturing stunning shots that bring these worlds alive for those who are unable to experience them first-hand. Marcin’s passion for the underwater has taken him far and is sure to continue doing so as he dives into new depths and captures breathtaking images.
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