The amphibious vehicle sank in Lake Garda, killing 23 US soldiers just days before the end of the fighting in Europe. But the boat, and the remains of the soldiers, were lost until this week.
Amateur historians had been searching for months for the relic – a six-wheel, two-ton amphibious DUKW vehicle that sank during a storm on Lake Garda on the night of April 30, 1945 – but were only able to confirm their find on Monday.
The DUKW, pronounced “duck,” was carrying supplies and ammunition to an American military camp near the town of Torbole, at the northern tip of the lake, but sank as a result of gale force winds that were battering the area that night.
The truck was carrying 24 US soldiers aged between 18 and 25 from the 10th Mountain Division, only one of whom survived the accident. The men who died were from the division's 605th Field Artillery Battalion, as well as a driver from the Quartermaster Corps.