WW2 Aircraft Graveyard Found on Sea Bed

#2
Did a quick search but couldn't see if posted before so apologies if it has. Photo's of aircraft dumped over the side during WW2:

Diver Uncovers 70-Year-Old Underwater Secret In The Pacific

Seems it would be a great dive site.

When I learnt to dive abroad, there was meant to be bomber wreck of shore. Tried to find it and the few in the dive club that knew about it kept quiet, the b*st*rds. Grrrrr.
Rumour is that a few miles off Roi-Namur, Marshall Islands, Lat 9° 23' 49N Long 167° 28' 15E, northern end of Kwajalein Atoll, there are 150 dumped Douglas Dauntless a/c. etc, on the ocean bed. Not really a secret but it doesn't come up very often: the U.S. military dumped assets worth millions of dollars off a South Pacific Pacific island beach (Vanuatu archipelago), ostensibly to spite the French who'd been offered the assets dirt cheap, but preferred to pay nothing.

Million Dollar Point, Luganville:
Imagine a gigantic military junkyard full of every type of vehicle and piece of equipment you can imagine… under the water. That’s what awaits you at Million Dollar Point and it’s another of those amazing destinations that’ll be right on the doorstep of the new South Pacific World War II Museum.
Million Dollar Point . Wreck diving vids are on Youtube. More large, stripped aircraft were dumped around Mellu Island; F4F Wildcat fighters and a few others.
 
#3
As Jack Prior states, I have also read that at the end of the war the US had loads of kit around the world, especially in the Pacific, that they didn't have the man-power, time, money, ships or need (you chose) to bring them back to the good old USA. They therefore thought that they would offer it to their "victorious" Allies (and the French), for a relatively small price. Some was purchased, but in other cases, the said Allies assumed incorrectly that the Yanks would just get into their planes and ships and leave the kit abandoned, and then they could just take possession of it. What they didn't count on was the fact that the US knew this was going to happen, so made sure that the kit was beyond use, which in the case of the Pacific Islands, meant bulldozing it into the sea. There are pictures of US trucks and jeeps stacked 20 or 30 high of the end of the island, gently rusting away.
 
#4
When I learnt to dive abroad, there was meant to be bomber wreck of shore. Tried to find it and the few in the dive club that knew about it kept quiet, the b*st*rds. Grrrrr.
If it were an operational bomber which had force-landed, then it may have contained dead airmen.
In which case it is effectively a war grave, and best left well alone.
 
#5
"the planes were in amazingly pristine condition"

well, er, apart from one or two blemishes from having sat at the bottom of the sea for 70 years....
 
#6
If it were an operational bomber which had force-landed, then it may have contained dead airmen.
In which case it is effectively a war grave, and best left well alone.
That's a good point. It does get used as a dive site so this may be the case though with it being in The Bahamas not sure how well they observe the rules. It's the B25 in the link:

The New Providence Shipwreck Directory  Bahamas Shipwrecks

At the time I could have paid for a dive operation to take me out there but I was being tight fisted and as our club had its own boat thought we'd try and find it ourselves. But taking on board what you've posted and it's described as a crash in the link, probably good we didn't (we didn't have t'internet in those days to find these things out).
 
#7
Rumour is that a few miles off Roi-Namur, Marshall Islands, Lat 9° 23' 49N Long 167° 28' 15E, northern end of Kwajalein Atoll, there are 150 dumped Douglas Dauntless a/c. etc, on the ocean bed. Not really a secret but it doesn't come up very often: the U.S. military dumped assets worth millions of dollars off a South Pacific Pacific island beach (Vanuatu archipelago), ostensibly to spite the French who'd been offered the assets dirt cheap, but preferred to pay nothing.

Million Dollar Point, Luganville: Million Dollar Point . Wreck diving vids are on Youtube. More large, stripped aircraft were dumped around Mellu Island; F4F Wildcat fighters and a few others.
Thanks for the links. I knew of equipment being dumped into the sea but never really looked into it before though I understand the reason was that, apart from being no longer needed, it was just too expensive to transport back.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
As to us, when the war ended, Lend Lease also came to an abrupt end. The Fleet Air Arm had many US planes but were only allowed to keep what we paid for. The rest, including unused spare engines still in their crates, were catapulted into the oggin. That's why when Korea started HMS Triumph, hurriedly despatched from Hong Kong, opened the bowling with Seafires.

A part of this was IMHO not to wreck the market for Grumman, Northrop etc by flooding the world with cheap 2nd hand aircraft in vgc. What terms we got for the surplus RN ships that went to Greece, France, Norway* and who all else, I don't know.

* surplus Light Fleet carriers, perhaps the most popular carriers ever built, went to Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Australia, France, Netherlands and I may have missed someone. They had been 'too late' for the Pacific War - the first squadron was still en route when the Bomb dropped - so were not worn-out wrecks like their larger sisters.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#11
There was talk that the big motor firms in the USA only agreed to ramp up war production provided the material didn't flood the domestic market post war!
 
#12
There was talk that the big motor firms in the USA only agreed to ramp up war production provided the material didn't flood the domestic market post war!
Arsenal of Democracy.
The Ford plant which made B-24s's had a dogleg. Willow Run.
Because if they'd had it straight, another county would have been able to collect taxes, and that county was a different party.
Oh, in terms if Affirmative Actions... Ford employed midgets to work on the B-24s.
 
#13
Arsenal of Democracy.
The Ford plant which made B-24s's had a dogleg. Willow Run.
Because if they'd had it straight, another county would have been able to collect taxes, and that county was a different party.
Oh, in terms if Affirmative Actions... Ford employed midgets to work on the B-24s.
Consolidated did employ midgets and B24 production in numerous variants was far higher than any other US aircraft. The 'Flying Coffin' was also flown by British Coastal Command, and while sub hunting over the western channel, especially on D-Day 1944, entire crews, up to eleven, were lost, shot down by flak or crashed on bombing runs. Some of them carried two navigators.

Post war, a lot of these monsters, about 4500 heavy bombers, were stripped and their parts: aluminium, fuel and oil all recovered and other parts distributed, then the hulks were smelted and scrapped in Arizona boneyards over about four years. They actually generated a lot of income, much better than ditching them in the sea.
 
#14
Consolidated did employ midgets and B24 production in numerous variants was far higher than any other US aircraft. The 'Flying Coffin' was also flown by British Coastal Command, and while sub hunting over the western channel, especially on D-Day 1944, entire crews, up to eleven, were lost, shot down by flak or crashed on bombing runs. Some of them carried two navigators.

Post war, a lot of these monsters, about 4500 heavy bombers, were stripped and their parts: aluminium, fuel and oil all recovered and other parts distributed, then the hulks were smelted and scrapped in Arizona boneyards over about four years. They actually generated a lot of income, much better than ditching them in the sea.
A friend of mine's father ran ex-RAF Halifaxes as an airline/airfreight company in South Africa in the early 50s.
Bought them for 10 quid a pop, I believe.
Great business flying Cape Town to Joburg with fresh fish and fruit, apparently.
 
#15
There was talk that the big motor firms in the USA only agreed to ramp up war production provided the material didn't flood the domestic market post war!
They learned from the end of WWI,where thousands of surplus aircraft flooded the market at knock-down prices & bankrupted several manufacturers whilst stifling progress in design & development.
 
#16
Rumour is that a few miles off Roi-Namur, Marshall Islands, Lat 9° 23' 49N Long 167° 28' 15E, northern end of Kwajalein Atoll, there are 150 dumped Douglas Dauntless a/c. etc, on the ocean bed. Not really a secret but it doesn't come up very often: the U.S. military dumped assets worth millions of dollars off a South Pacific Pacific island beach (Vanuatu archipelago), ostensibly to spite the French who'd been offered the assets dirt cheap, but preferred to pay nothing.

Million Dollar Point, Luganville: Million Dollar Point . Wreck diving vids are on Youtube. More large, stripped aircraft were dumped around Mellu Island; F4F Wildcat fighters and a few others.
Very true, I haven't gone diving up there yet but it's there and mapped. They say it was cheaper to dump them than ship them back to the states. I'll upload a satellite thermal image map I have later, damned work computer won't let me do it.
 
#19
Consolidated did employ midgets and B24 production in numerous variants was far higher than any other US aircraft. The 'Flying Coffin' was also flown by British Coastal Command, and while sub hunting over the western channel, especially on D-Day 1944, entire crews, up to eleven, were lost, shot down by flak or crashed on bombing runs. Some of them carried two navigators.

Post war, a lot of these monsters, about 4500 heavy bombers, were stripped and their parts: aluminium, fuel and oil all recovered and other parts distributed, then the hulks were smelted and scrapped in Arizona boneyards over about four years. They actually generated a lot of income, much better than ditching them in the sea.

One of the original "private" scrap metal dealers who bought a load of aircraft had his scrap yard in Arizona . The USAAF crews who flew the aircraft there did not want to waste any time so on every leg made sure the aircraft was fully fuelled.

The scrappy made back all his money in recovered fuel from the aircraft once landed before smelting even started.
 
#20
Fascinating stuff, what litters the seabed. Found a bomber and a truck in my time (or, at least, been on the boat when they were found!), lost "doorin' th' woar."

Bomber1.jpg

Truck.jpg



By the by, you lot are losing your touch, considering the author...
 

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