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MOSCOW, June 19. /TASS/. An expedition of the Russian Defense Ministry and the Russian Geographical Society (RGO) has discovered a sunken Japanese aircraft during exploration work off the coast of Dvoynaya Bay on Matua Island (Kuril Ridge), head of the press service of the Eastern Military District Colonel Alexander Gordeyev said.
The expedition comprising six vessels left Vladivostok on May 7 arriving at Matua Island on May 14. In addition to representatives of the Russian Defense Ministry and the RGO, it includes servicemen of the Eastern Military District and the Pacific Fleet.
"A fairly well preserved fuselage with wings makes it possible to suggest that it was a WWII lightweight fighter Mitsubishi Zero that was part of a squadron located on the island. Hieroglyphs are clearly seen on the chassis components. The aircraft was manufactured in 1942 and has a serial number 1733," Gordeyev said.
The participants in the expedition believe that this data makes it possible to trace the fate of the crew and the plane’s battle route. Preparations are currently underway for lifting the aircraft and its subsequent detailed examination.
Divers also explored the gulfs, bays adjacent to the island and underwater objects. Exploration work continues.
Military divers and engineers continue to prepare coastal areas for vessels arrival and the possible construction of mooring berths in the future.