HARTFORD, Conn. – A search for a U.S. military plane that disappeared near an island in the Pacific ocean during the second world War, is getting renewed attention ahead of the 75th anniversary of the disappearance.
The B-17, nicknamed the ” San Antonio Rose, was flying on a mission over New Britain on Jan. 5, 1943, when it was attacked by enemy fighters. All 11 members of the crew aboard the bomber was lost, including Brig. Gen. Kenneth Walker, the highest recipient of the Medal of Honor still listed as missing from world War ii.
Hi son, Douglas Walker, 84, of New Canaan, Connecticut, has been pushing for years to get the AMERICAN army to search for the crash site.
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday adopted a resolution, recognizing the lost crew, and the encouragement of the continued effort to recover their remains. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, of Connecticut, urged the Ministry of Defence for commitment to a research and recovery mission.
The Pentagon agency that accounts for the nation’s war dead killed on foreign soil said it plans to continue to work on the case in 2018.
“This case is particularly difficult because of the terrain,” said Chuck Prichard, a spokesman for the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. “The original thought was the plane had landed on the water. There is some evidence landed in the domestic. It is a mountainous area, very remote. Very few people live around there.”
Some searches are carried out in the eastern part of New Britain, a jungle-clad, mountainous island, part of Papua New Guinea. The plane went down in the area during a mission to bomb a Japanese shipping convoy.
In April, the DPAA together with the Australian unrecovered war casualties Office on the basis of the exploration. There was a wreck area where the San Antonio Rose would have disappeared, but a follow-up mission was not able to locate the crash site.
“The search efforts are still insufficient as long as the recovery of the San Antonio Rose remains an afterthought to other tasks and priorities,” Blumenthal wrote in a letter last week to the DPAA director with Sen. Steve Daines of Montana and Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico.
Walker said that he was grateful for the senator’s attention to the matter, he said, “has meant that the aeroplane has a role in American history was kept alive.”