Found missing pilot with bomber nearly 80 years ago

The mystery of the US Air Force B-17 bomber’s disappearance after being shot down 74 years ago has finally been solved.

The person helping to solve this mystery is photographer Steve Jones, who found the wreckage of the plane with the remains of pilot Ernest Vinneau at a depth of 70m under the Adriatic Sea .

The British photographer submitted photos of the bomber to a photo contest and received a lot of compliments from photography experts.

But what makes the British photographer feel most meaningful is that his discovery helped solve the fate of the pilot who disappeared with the B-17 nearly 80 years ago.

Found missing pilot with bomber nearly 80 years ago
The wreckage of the plane was found on the bottom of the Adriatic Sea. (Photo: Steve Jones/Caters News).

“I was stunned when the contest organizers emailed me Lieutenant Ernest’s nephew, who tried to contact me after the pictures of the wreckage were published in the magazine. I Been in contact with Second Lieutenant Ernest’s family since then,” said 47-year-old photographer from Aberdare, South Wales.

“The images mean a lot to them because for almost 80 years they didn’t know the final resting place of Second Lieutenant Ernest,” Jones added.

Recalling the moment he found the B-17 flying fortress off the coast of the Croatian island of Vis while traveling with a Croatian diving guide in September 2016, Jones said the plane looked as if it had just landed.

Found missing pilot with bomber nearly 80 years ago
Second Lieutenant Ernest Vienneau. (Photo: Robert Vienneau/Caters News).

Second Lieutenant Ernest is said to have tried to land the plane at Vis airport after the plane was shot down over Yugoslavia during World War II and plunged into the sea.

“Ernest was stuck on the plane because the crew didn’t have time to get him out before the plane sank,” Jones said.

Second Lieutenant Ernest, who died at the age of 25, was born and raised in the town of Papinill, Penobscot County, Main, and began serving in the US Air Force’s 340th Bombardment Squadron after joining the army.

After Ernest’s disappearance, the family tried unsuccessfully to find his body and were informed that the American Second Lieutenant had died at sea.

The family is discussing removing his remains from the wreckage of the plane and plans to have Ernest buried in the cemetery in his hometown.