A Memorial Day Service honoring Lt. Thomas Kelly, a World War II bombardier, shortly after Project Recover announced locating his B-24, Heaven Can Wait.
The return and burials of WWII MIAs from seven decades past captures hearts, strengthens family bonds across generations, and rekindles community ties.
May 22, 2018 – A B-24 D-1 bomber, Heaven Can Wait, associated with 11 American servicemen missing in action from World War II was recently found and documented in Hansa Bay off Papua, New Guinea by Project Recover—a collaborative team of marine scientists, archaeologists, and volunteers who have combined efforts to locate aircraft associated with MIAs from WWII. The crew of “Heaven Can Wait” was part of the 320th squadron of the “Jolly Rogers” 90th Bombardment Group and was on a mission to bomb Japanese anti-aircraft batteries around Hansa Bay on March 11, 1944, when their B-24 was shot down by enemy fire causing it to crash into the ocean. The crew had arrived in Papua New Guinea just four …
AOM2c Sharninghouse, WWII ordnanceman, was buried 73 years later. His surviving sister and family, including 15 nieces and nephews, attended the funeral.
April 27, 2018 – MIA Lt. William Q. Punnell located by Project Recover will be buried May 2nd On May 2, 2018 Navy Reserve Lt. William Q. Punnell, 27, of Flandreau, South Dakota will be buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. On July 25, 1944 four divisions (16 aircraft) of F6F-3 Hellcat fighters led by Lt. Punnell, took off from the USS Wasp aircraft carrier on a fighter sweep against targets throughout the islands of the Republic of Palau. According to eyewitnesses, the tail of Lt. Punnell’s aircraft was shot off during a strafing run against the north Japanese seaplane base on Arakabesan Island. His plane, continuing to dive, crashed into the waters offshore and sunk without …
AOM2c Ora H. Sharninghouse, Jr., a former WWII MIA, will be buried with military honors in his hometown on April 7th, 2018.
Beaver County Remembers Walter “Bert” Mintus in Video The Beaver County Times remembers ARM3c Walter “Bert” Mintus in video. Mintus was a radioman on a TBM-1c Avenger. His plane crashed in 1944, and Mintus was declared Missing In Action (MIA). Project Recover located the Avenger in 2016. Mintus took off from the USS San Jacinto on July 27th, 1944. His crew was on a mission to bomb a Japanese base on Malakal, Palau. His aircraft was in the lead position of four Avengers. According to reports, Mintus’ plane was in the lead by 3-5 miles when it was shot down. ARM3c Walter Mintus and his two crew-mates were declared Missing In Action. The DPAA accounted for the gunner on the aircraft, Otis …
Project Recover members train on sonar equipment for this year’s busy mission schedule committed to using technology for search recovery of MIA.
The DPAA held a repatriation ceremony for WWII MIA Avenger and Hellcat Crew Remains Recovered based on discoveries by Project Recover in 2014 and 2016.
Project Recover team members attended the repatriation of Albert P. “Bud” Rybarczhk from Palau, MIA since September 8, 1944.