From June 25 to July 5, 2018, the group of Mediterranean Minesweeping Divers (GPD MED) conducted research operations on the wreckage of an American P47 fighter aircraft that crashed at sea south of Bastia in 1944.
This operation was aimed at recovering human remains or objects allowing the identification of the American soldiers reported missing during the Second World War.
Coordinated by the French underwater and underwater research department ( DRASSM ), these research operations were carried out from the Pluto Basin Divers (BBPD) building deployed off Bastia. In total, in addition to the 18 crewmembers of Pluto, twenty French and American demining divers, a forensic photographer, a researcher and two archaeologists took part in this mission.
After embossing the Pluto (an operation to fix the boat on two concrete blocks and anchor to limit movement ), US divers squared the search area around the wreckage. The Franco-American teams then proceeded to excavate the sediments covering the wreck lying 18 meters deep. With the help of “sucking pumps”, the divers were able to sift and extract remnants subsequently raised to the surface.
This mission has enhanced cooperation and interoperability between our two navies. It has also and above all allowed, more than 75 years after it crashed at sea, to make official the identity of the pilot. Many personal effects such as the military plaque and bones have been found and will be repatriated to the United States and returned to the family.