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Underwater Airplane Wreckage

There's much to be found underwater around the Hawaiian Islands

Just outside Maalaea Harbor a team of scuba divers who are dedicated to uncovering and documenting Hawaii's underwater wreckage discovered a long lost airplane that has been underwater for over 70 years. The coral encrusted wreckage is almost completely intact.

The plane crash-landed during a training session gone wrong back in 1944. The research team is able to pinpoint the incident and confirm both the pilot and radio operator aboard made it out safely.

This research team of divers affiliated with the University of Hawaii and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researches World War 2 era Navy records and newspaper clippings to predict where they might find these types of wreckages.

They count 404 confirmed wreckage sites of planes, ships or major mechanical parts throughout the state. In 1945, when Hawaii was a major military base and Puunene Naval air station was a bustling training center there is documentation of upward of 540 aircraft lost in Hawaiian waters.


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