Three Bronx-born sisters are preparing to embark on a South Pacific odyssey that's more pilgrimage than vacation: They're headed to the remote jungle crash site of what's believed to be their late uncle's World War II fighter plane.

Andrea Talbutt of New York, Susan Nishihira (nihsh-ee-HEER'-uh) of Washington state and Marcy Hanigan of California are traveling to the island of New Britain this month to pay tribute to 1st Lt. Moszek "Mike" Zanger, a Marine Corps pilot killed by his Japanese captors just weeks before the war ended.

The siblings knew very little about "Uncle Mike" and his wartime service. Only after their mother died in 2009 did they start learning more about him, thanks to a California author and the founder of a New York-based World War II website.