Monday, January 12, 2009

US embassy aware of potential crash sites

The US Embassy in Port Moresby is aware of the potential crash sites related to American losses from World War II in the East Pomio area of East New Britain province, The National reports.

In a statement issued in light of the various findings of crash sites, including one in East Pomio recently, the US Embassy said that considering the sheer size of the Pacific theatre of operations and the activity in this theatre during World War II, finding a site or sites associated with missing American servicemen was not particularly unusual.

However, until further investigations confirm the site as being associated with an American loss, the embassy was not able to comment on the recovery process, the statement said.

It said recovery operations would require a great deal of resources – personnel, equipment, money and time.

“Before the resources are committed, the US government must confirm that the site is associated with missing Americans and assess how long a recovery will possibly take.

“In general, we welcome help locating sites but ask that (locals) not disturb the sites.

“We also ask that (locals) help us protect potential sites until we can get there, which often means not advertising its location,” the embassy statement said.

The mission of the Joint Prisoners Of War and Missing In Action Accounting Command (JPAC) is to account for all unaccounted Americans from past wars.

JPAC’s mission is strictly humanitarian and team members are held to the highest standard of conduct and respect for the laws and cultural differences of their host countries.

JPAC encourages anyone with information relating to an American loss to contact them directly or through the US Embassy.

Meanwhile, a letter writer to The National, Capt Keith Hopper, said in an email that the aircraft found in the Ip River in East Pomio recently could be that of a B-17 Flying Fortress flown by Brig Gen Kenneth N. Walker, commanding officer of the US Army’s Fifth Bomber Command.

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