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The Asahi Shinbun "Witness of the fierce war found in the bottom of ocean American fighter airplane found in Iriomote Jima" August 13, 1987

Day of the end of war is about to come again. With information that there is a American fighter plane from World War II in the bottom of water of the Iriomote Island in Yaeyama Islands about 420 km south of main island of Okinawa, a local diver, Shiro Ikema, 33 years old, and members of the photograph diving team of Asahi Shinbum conducted a search.

Locally, there were elders who saw an American military aircraft being shot down at the end of the war, and Mr. Ikema, who was born after the war, believed this story and was searching the airplane.

They dived to a depth of 20 meters deep at approximately 1 kilometer offshore of the northwestern part of the island. The seabed is sandy with a gentle slope. The transparency of the water is low for the sea of Okinawa. When five divers went in a group, a rock like shape appeared. As they approached, bent propeller about 2 meters and the left wing stabbed in the sand were seen. Only the engine is clearly in shape in the loose aircraft. More than a hundred machine guns are connected to rusty bullets.

Although the airframe did not retain its original shape, a human bone covered by a shell in a place considered to be the cockpit was found. From the form of the distinctive wing, it is revealed that the model was F4U Corsair from Vought Aircraft Industries, Inc. that the US military used as a carrier during the Battle of Okinawa.

Now, Okinawa is full of tourists who are attracted to the beautiful sea. But we saw there was a speechless scar of war at the bottom of the bright and glimmering ocean.
Credit: The Asahi Shinbun Date: August 13, 1987

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