U.S. military officials say they have found name tags and human remains that may be those of the nine-member crew of a B-24 bomber that crashed in eastern France during World War II.

The 15 U.S. officials from bases in Germany, accompanied by French experts, have sifted through clay and soil for six weeks in the Zinswiller forest, not far from the border with Germany. The search ends Sunday."We've done the maximum possible for this B-24 Liberator, which disappeared in December 1944," said Will Bissaindhe, a U.S. official.

"We have found 1,500 fragments of bones, as well as hair, teeth and four name tags," he said.

He said they also found an identity card with a photograph, and a pair of shoes. Officials said it is likely that the remains belong to nine people.

If positively identified, the items will be returned to relatives, Bissaindhe said.