Investigators searching a remote Pacific island off Russia's eastern coast have found the remains of a U.S. serviceman shot down during the Cold War, authorities said Wednesday.
The discovery was linked to a gold class ring given to U.S. investigators last December by a former Soviet sailor who told about finding the body of an American Air Force pilot more than 40 years ago.The U.S. Embassy planned to accept the remains from Russia on Thursday and transfer them to the United States.
The Soviet Union shot down dozens of American fliers on reconnaissance flights during the Cold War, the most famous being Francis Gary Powers in 1960.
Few artifacts, however, have been returned, and intensive searching for remains or survivors began only after the Soviet Union collapsed two years ago.
Investigators concluded there was no hope of finding any American POWs alive in the former Soviet Union and confined their mission to locating remains of servicemen and clarifying circumstances of their deaths.
Last December, a former Soviet sailor gave investigators the class ring of an Air Force pilot, Capt. John Robertson Dunham, shot down on a spy mission over the Soviet Far East on Oct. 7, 1952.
The Naval Academy ring had the letter "D" engraved in script on the top, and had Dunham's full name written inside.