Researcher: Sea wreck must be plane of U.S. pilot missing since 1945
In this March 24, 2019 photo provided by Justin Taylan of PacificWrecks.com, a scuba diver swims near the left wing wreckage of an F4U-4 Corsair fighter aircraft off Sonai, Iriomote Jima, in Japan. (Justin Taylan via AP)
Chris Carola, The Associated Press
Published Friday, May 24, 2019 9:13PM EDT
ALBANY, N.Y. -- A researcher says wreckage on the ocean floor near a Japanese island must be from a fighter-bomber that crashed in 1945 with an American pilot who is still listed as missing in action.
Researcher Justin Taylan said this week that the aircraft lies on coral reef about 70 feet (21) meters down and is the same type of F4U-4 Corsair that 2nd Lt. John McGrath was flying when he crashed off Iriomote Jima in July 1945.
McGrath, of Troy, New York, is still officially listed by the U.S. military as one of nearly 73,000 American MIAs from WWII.
Taylan explored the wreckage during a scuba dive in March, along with a Japanese man who discovered the wreck in 1987.
Officials tasked with recovering the missing war dead said they couldn't immediately provide information on McGrath's case.