Isle team prepares for
new search for MIAs

A Hickam crew will look for 9 men
killed in Papua New Guinea

By Jaymes Song
Associated Press

A U.S. military team from Hawaii will deploy next week to Papua New Guinea for a two-month excavation and recovery mission in a rain forest where a B-24 bomber crashed during World War II, officials said yesterday.

The crew from U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii, based at Hickam Air Force Base, will attempt to recover the remains of nine servicemen who were on the aircraft that was reporting missing in October 1944, the Army said.

A local person came across the crash site in the mountains of the Lae Morobe province while hunting.

Investigators from the Army lab visited the site in November and discovered human remains and personal effects, including identification tags, spokeswoman Ginger Couden said.

The four-engine bomber was also identified through its tail number, she said.

The bomber is believed to be of the Army Air Corps' 360th Service Group that left Nabzab, New Guinea -- about 15 miles from the crash site -- on a training mission when it was reported missing.

On board were a pilot, co-pilot, navigator, bombardier, aerial engineer, radio operator and three gunners.

The names of the crew members were not released by the military.

The remains will be returned to the Army lab at Hickam, where they will be examined by forensic experts for a positive identification.

Since 1973 the laboratory has identified more than 1,089 American service members formerly listed as unaccounted for.

About 100 are were lost in Papua New Guinea.

Couden estimated there are about 200 additional crash sites in Papua New Guinea from World War II.

On the Net: Central Identification Lab, Hawaii:

E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2003 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --