(AP) — The skull found in Pearl Harbor believed to be from a Japanese pilot in the Dec. 7, 1941 attack could belong to one of three airmen who were aboard a torpedo plane that was shot down where the surprising discovery was recently made.
Daniel Martinez, the National Park Service’s chief historian for Pearl Harbor, said Friday he and historian Mike Wenger planned to spend the weekend researching the names of the three Japanese men on a Nakajima B5N2 bomber that went down in the area where the skull was discovered during dredging in April.
Forensic scientists with the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command on Oahu are conducting tests to confirm that the skull belongs to one of 55 Japanese airmen killed in the attack. Martinez said the Nakajima B5N2, also known as a Kate bomber, was shot down in the southeast loch of the harbor. That’s where an excavation crew in April found the skull during overnight dredging in water between 35 and 40 feet deep. The destroyer USS Bagley was credited with shooting down the aircraft.
“If JPAC determines this is Asian and it has been determined that it fits into the 1941 scenario, JPAC will then have to consider the names we’ll submit to them as possible casualties,” Martinez said. “We’ve got it whittled down to three possible crews.” Read more.
HONOLULU — The Navy says an archaeologist is monitoring Pearl Harbor land it plans to develop to see if any Native Hawaiian remains and artifacts might be buried there.
Naval Facilities Engineering Command Hawaii said Thursday its first staff archaeologist, Jeff Pantaleo, is leading the monitoring which began earlier this week.
The State Historic Preservation Office has designated site at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam as critical for Native Hawaiian remains and artifacts. This means the Navy needs to sample soil to determine that new construction won’t disturb anything buried at the location.
Pantaleo says there’s a delicate balance between preserving Native Hawaiian culture and fulfilling the Navy’s mission. He says it’s manageable if you have the right information and can communicate well with both parties. (source)