U.S. B-26 bomber at center of legal battle in Canada

Two Canadian brothers are in a legal battle over who has the rights to an American bomber plane found in a lake in the Yukon Territory.

The brothers salvaged the nose piece of the B-26 Marauder found in Watson Lake in Calgary without obtaining a permit under the Yukon Territory’s Historic Resources Act. Authorities say the plane belongs to the Yukon, but the brothers, John and Brian Jasman, Alberta, say the plane was owned and abandoned by the U.S. and should be available to salvage.

The WWII bomber went down 67 years ago enroute to defend Alaska.

"That airplane has been there for 67 years on the bottom of the lake, all the steel parts have disintegrated and all that’s left is the aluminum," John Jasman told The Calgary Herald. "Another 30 to 40 years, there is going to be nothing there to salvage. It doesn’t make any sense to leave it there."

The case against the Jasman brothers for illegal excavation was expected to go to court July 14.

In the meantime, the brothers have filed a suit in federal court for salvage rights. No court date has been set for that hearing. The case could decide if wrecks fall under federal shipping laws, or territorial heritage laws.

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