US WWII bombers, missing for 76 years, discovered in Pacific lagoon

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Three U.S. World War II aircraft have been discovered in a lagoon in Micronesia 76 years after they went missing. The planes, which were part of Operation Hailstone in February 1944, are associated with 7 U.S. servicemen listed as missing in action. Project Recover, which harnesses technology in an attempt to find and repatriate Americans missing in action (MIA) during World War II, discovered the aircraft in Truk Lagoon, now known as Chuuk Lagoon, part of the Federated States of Micronesia. The two SBD-5 Dauntless dive bombers and the TBM/F-1 Avenger torpedo bomber took part in Operation Hailstone against Japanese forces in the lagoon on Feb. 17 and Feb. 18, 1944. While Operation Hailstone resulted in a U.S. victory, the three aircraft, which flew from aircraft carriers USS Enterprise and USS Intrepid, were among approximately 30 American planes that were lost during the operation. Of these, 12 were lost within the lagoon.


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