27 May 2008

US officials search for remains of American pilots in PNG

9:31 am on 27 May 2008

Pentagon researchers are searching for the remains of more than 2,000 American pilots and crewmembers lost over Papua New Guinea during World War II.

The Boston Globe reports says recovery teams - made up of some 30 active-duty soldiers, forensic anthropologists, bomb experts and locals - are scouring PNG's rugged terrain.

Researchers have already spotted airplane wrecks and are trying to match up remains found in the area to names of missing service members lost in battle.

The Globe says the teams are armed with high-tech tools, they are capable of extracting DNA from shards of tooth or bone.

The expedition is part of a new initiative to find MIA's or missing in action from past wars and conflicts lost for decades.

The Pentagon told the Globe that nearly 21 thousand service members are missing from the South Pacific alone.