Pearl Harbor skull could date to World War II

Last Updated: Thursday, July 21, 2011 - 11:33

Honolulu: Military scientists are trying to determine if a skull found in Pearl Harbor among debris dating to the 1940s belonged to a World War II Japanese fighter pilot, officials said on Wednesday.

The skull was discovered during a dredging operation in April under 40 feet of water, US Navy officials said.

Scientists with the military`s Joint Prisoners of War, Missing in Action Accounting Command were conducting a forensic analysis of the skull to determine whether it belonged to a Japanese pilot, said Don Rochon, spokesman for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific in Hawaii.

It was found intact, along with forks, metal scraps and a soda bottle from the 1940s, said Denise Emsley, spokeswoman for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command in Hawaii.

But she cautioned that the skull may not come from a Japanese fighter pilot.

"Hawaii has a very large Asian population now and it had a large Asian population in the 1940s," Emsley said. "It could have been from someone who worked on the piers."

About 2,400 lives were lost due to Japan`s December 07, 1941, surprise attack on the US Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, and another 1,178 people were wounded.

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First Published: Thursday, July 21, 2011 - 11:33

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