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Stunning Imagery Revealed of U.S. Navy Plane Downed During the Attack on Pearl Harbor

December 7, 2015

NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

NOAA and University of Hawaii archaeologists conducted a detailed archaeological survey of a U.S. Navy PBY-5 Catalina airplane sunk during the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

Coordinated by NOAA maritime archaeologist, Hans Van Tilburg, a team of students from the University of Hawaii Marine Option Program produced the first systematic photo and video documentation of the wreck site.

A view of the aircraft fuselage beginning at the bow, showing the open forward gunner’s turret, anchor well and cockpit.

The navigator’s window in the hull can be seen, covered with silt and marine growth.

The camera pans over the break in the fuselage, then left over the wing and engine nacelle (housing). An abundance of coral growth can be seen covering the wing, which is partially buried in sediment.

After reaching the wingtip, the camera turns around and heads back towards the fuselage down the trailing edge of the remaining wing, ending back at the bow.

Credit: NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries