Parts from World War II scout plane found in Volusia County
ÉTATS-UNIS - Lu sur mynews13.com
Members of the DeLand Naval Air Station Museum are on a quest as they categorize thousands of recently found parts of a World War II plane that crashed in Osteen in 1944.
The parts were found by Rodney Thomas on his and his neighbor's land. Thomas has lived in Osteen for 11 years.
Three years ago, Thomas bought a metal detector, and that's when the parts started to turn up.
"An airplane — part of Dauntless," Thomas said.
A Douglas SBD Dauntless was a World War II American naval scout plane and dive bomber that was manufactured by Douglas Aircraft from 1940 to 1944.
Baffled by his find, Thomas went to museum members and showed them part of his find: a plate with SBD-5.
Members turned the information over to the U.S. Navy, which confirmed six Dauntless planes crashed in Volusia County.
But the Navy never recovered the one Thomas found. In fact, the Navy has no record of who was even flying the plane.
What the Navy has now is a mystery that was uncovered by Thomas with plenty of more plane parts yet to be found.
Scott Storz, with the DeLand Naval Air Station Museum, said the pieces tell the tale of a "young man in an airplane training to go to war and never came back."
No one knew the SBD-5 was even missing. The Navy only knew it went down during a practice run in 1944.
Thomas still hopes to find the one piece that will reveal what many want to know.
"I'd like to find a set of dog tags," Thomas said. "That's what I'd really like to find. I'd like to put a name to a pilot and give a family closure."