Lost WWII Duck

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Photo:  Three DUKW wrecks sit beneath Lake Garda Photo: Wiki/PD-USGov

Experts are hoping to recover the remains of a lost WWII amphibious vehicle along with any human remains from the bottom of Lake Garda in Italy later this year.

The vehicle know as a DUKW, but more commonly known as a Duck, was one of three amphibious vehicles attached to the 605th Field Artillery Unit of the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division during World War II.

It stalled and sank in the middle of the lake on 29 April 1945 while undertaking a night time mission, killing 24 of its 25 passengers.

The first attempt at locating the wreck was led by Connecticut archaeology group ProMare in 2004. In 2011, the Voluntary Association of Lake Garda launched a series of high tech expeditions to locate the Duck using sonar and unmanned submersibles.

In 2012 they found a wreck matching the lost Duck’s description 600 feet below the lake’s surface. But they’re still unsure if this is the missing Duck or one of two others lost during the war – both of which suffered no casualties.

Ducks provided crucial support to the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy and during the Normandy landings on D-Day – more than 20,000 saw service during the war.