On April 29, 1945, three armored, amphibious vehicles attached to the 605th Field Artillery unit of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division set out on a nighttime mission under a cloud of rain in northern Italy in the waning days of World War II. Tasked with hunting down retreating German troops and capturing Italian dictator Benito Mussolini’s mountain stronghold, tragedy soon struck the convoy when one if its amphibious trucks—officially known as a DUKW but more popularly referred to as “ducks”— suddenly stalled and began taking on water. Within minutes, the duck had sunk beneath the lake’s surface, stranding 25 U.S. soldiers in its frigid waters. All but one of the men aboard the “duck” perished in the early morning hours of April 30, and for more than 68 years their remains have laid at the bottom of the lake. Now, however, marine archaeologist and World War II veterans have renewed hope that both the wreckage and the remains have been located and may soon return home.
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