The Air Force said on Monday morning that debris and the remains of five missing crew members had been discovered by a search team looking into the tragic crash of a US military aircraft in the waters near Japan last week.
A Japanese and American diving team discovered “remains” and wreckage, according to a statement released by the Air Force Special Operations Command on Monday. According to the statement, divers located the craft’s fuselage along with five corpses and recovered two of the dead, while also attempting to recover the remaining members of the crew.
Eight crew members were on board the Osprey CV-22B “tiltrotor” when it crashed on November 29 close to the island of Yakushima.
“Today (Monday), the combined Japanese and United States teams… had a breakthrough when their surface ships and dive teams were able to locate remains along with the main fuselage of the aircraft wreckage,” the US Air Force said in a statement.
“The dive teams were able to confirm five additional crew members from the original team of eight that were involved with the crash,” it said. “Currently two crew members of the five located today have been successfully recovered by the attending teams. There is an ongoing combined effort to recover the remaining crew members from the wreckage.”
The Osprey, a fixed-wing turboprop plane with helicopter-like capabilities, has been involved in several catastrophic crashes.
Three US Marines lost their lives in a mishap in northern Australia in August, while four more lost their lives in another disaster in Norway during NATO training operations 2021. Nineteen Marines perished in 2000 when an Osprey crashed during training in Arizona, and three more Marines lost their lives in 2017 when another Osprey crashed off the north coast of Australia.
So far, none of the bodies discovered on Monday have been identified.