Israeli Fighter Pilot’s Remains Found in Lake Kinneret 56 Years After Crash

Lt. Yakir Naveh went down in the north in 1962 while training a fellow pilot

Yaniv Kubovich
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Lt. Yakir Naveh
Lt. Yakir NavehCredit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit
Yaniv Kubovich

The remains of an air force pilot presumed dead for 56 years have been found in Lake Kinneret, the military’s manpower chief, Moti Almoz, said Tuesday.

In 1962, Lt. Yakir Naveh disappeared when his plane crashed into the Kinneret, also known as the Sea of Galilee. Debris from the aircraft was found at the site in northern Israel last month along with some of Naveh’s remains, which were sent for forensic identification.

On May 6, 1962, the plane crashed when Naveh was training a student, Sgt. Oded Kotton. The latter's remains were found a year later, but searches for Naveh went on for 12 years. A decade ago more debris was found, but not remains of Naveh.

The Israel Defense Forces said the air force kept in touch with Naveh’s family over the years and updated them on its findings.

Naveh is already commemorated by a gravestone at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem in the section for soldiers whose burial places are unknown.