World war 2
Air Force B-24s like the Tulsamerican fly through flak and over the destruction created by preceding waves of bombers. Jerry J. Jostwick/Public Domain

Humans remains have just be recovered in the depths of the Adriatic Sea off the coasts of Croatia, at the 1944 crash site of a Second World War bomber.

This bomber, known as the Tulsamerican, was the last B-24 Liberator Bomber produced in Tulsa, and very important to the factory workers who built it.

The aircraft participated in missions across Europe until it plunged to its dramatic end in the Adriatic Sea, on 17 December 1944.

On that date, the aircraft had been sent to bomb German-occupied Poland. It got into a dogfight with German Luftwaffe fighters but managed to drop its bomb load. However, it was very badly damaged and struggled on the way back to its base in Italy.

It almost made it, but went down after circling an island emergency airstrip. Three crew members out of 10 were lost, their bodies remaining trapped under water with the wreckage.

In recent years, thanks in part to more advanced underwater technologies, archaeologists began surveying the site to map the wreckage in 3D and explore it in greater depths.

The recent discovery of human remains came as a team led by Zadar University archaeologist Mate Parica went diving around the site. The bones were found not far from the crash site, which is located 40 metres underwater.

"The remains of human bones have been found, but we can't say anything without further analysis," Parica said in a statement.

The remains of around 200 Americans who were killed in Croatia during the Second World War are still missing and Croatia's ministry for war veterans has pledged its support to retrieve some of them.