Specialized recovery team searches for World War II losses in Canada
LONGUE POINTE DE MINGAN, Quebec (July 24, 2012) – A specially trained underwater archaeological recovery team from the U.S. Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) arrived in Canada July 6 to search for Americans that remain unaccounted-for from World War II.
A 50-person recovery team comprised of specialists from JPAC, civilian mariners from the USNS Grapple (T-ARS 53), and divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit Two, will conduct underwater excavations searching for five Americans lost when their PBY-5A aircraft crashed in November 1942.
“This recovery effort is a solemn and significant undertaking,” said U.S. Consul General Peter O'Donohue. “For the United States, this is a sacred mission to honor those who served their country to the last.”
During the month-long excavation, team members will search about a kilometer off the coast in the Mingan Channel off Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, Quebec.
The amphibious PBY-5A aircraft, commonly referred to as a Catalina, operated from land and sea and was was used to ferry men and equipment to the airfield at Longue-Pointe- de-Mingan, Quebec, where surveying and ground clearing had recently commenced.
The site was initially discovered in May 2009 during a Parks Canada Underwater Archaeology Service survey in the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve. In August 2009, JPAC deployed an investigation team to the site, positively correlating the wreckage to a known U.S. aircraft crash site and unresolved World War II losses.
In a 2009 Parks Canada News Release, The Honourable Christian Paradis, Regional Minister for Quebec, said “This plane is a testament to the collaboration between Canada and the U.S. during the Second World War.”
“Nearly 84,000 U.S. service members and civilians from past conflicts remain unaccounted-for, and their recovery and repatriation remains a high priority for the U.S. government,” said O'Donohue. “For the people of Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, it is a poignant reminder of a cold day in November 1942, when this community stood witness to a deeply tragic event.”
The recovery team will conduct underwater recovery operations and wet screening activities during the nearly 30-day mission. Team personnel will search for human remains, life support items, and other material evidence (personal and military issued items) that may further potential identifications.
Falling directly under the U.S. Pacific Command and employing more than 400 joint military and civilian personnel, JPAC continues its search for the more than 83,000 Americans still missing from past conflicts.
The ultimate goal of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, and of the agencies involved in returning America’s heroes home, is to conduct global search, recovery and laboratory operations in order to support the Department of Defense’s personnel accounting efforts.
"Until They Are Home"
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This work, JPAC Recovery Mission in Canada--Surface Supplied, by PO2 Martin Carey, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.