Posted on August 28th, 2016 by:

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The wreck of a fighter plane shot down during World War II was discovered in the Oshima Strait off the coast of Setouchi, Kagoshima Prefecture. The area used to be home to Imperial Japanese forces defending the nation’s southwestern waters.

Windy Network Corp, a marine research firm located the wreck in 150 feet of water in a strait between Amami-Oshima island and Kakeromajima island in Kagoshima Prefecture during a joint survey with the Setouchi town government in early August.


Image of the fighter found in the Oshima Strait. (Picture from Windy Network Corp)

The wreck is upside down and is missing its tail. The airplane is discerned to have a wingspan of 12 to 13 meters and is believed to be American but what type of plane it is has not yet been identified. Military records show that dozens of U.S. fighters were shot down over the strait.

“The finding is important for verifying war records in the region and urging many people to think of the horrors of war,” Windy Network President Kenichi Sugimoto said.

The strait the plane was lost in held Japan’s most significant southwestern military bases during the war. An anti-aircraft unit was deployed to the nearby town of Setouchi to protect military facilities from aerial attack. The Setouchi town government is not considering recovering the airplane at the moment, but Vice Mayor Kozo Okuda said they may consider it in the future.

The town government, active in preserving its past has located more than 200 former military facilities from the war, such as ammunition depots and gun batteries.

“The latest discovery is a landmark finding because few surveys on war ruins in the sea have been carried out so far,” said Kenjiro Machi, a curator at the town’s library and museum.

The finding of the crashed plane is another reminder of the town’s past and another symbol of their efforts to preserve their history.

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