Incredible Images of Sunken U.S. Navy PBY-5 Catalina

U.S. Navy PBY-5 CatalinaAll images credited to UH Marine Option Program and used from Scientific American

Rare images and video of a U.S. Navy PBY-5 Catalina, sunk during the attack on Pearl Harbor have been released.

U.S. Navy PBY-5 Catalina

Cockpit detail showing portside wheel and throttle controls (left) extending downward (to the right) from the overhead.

For the first time in over 75 years, researchers from the University of Hawaii have been able to map and photograph the fleet of planes lost during the Pearl Harbor Attack on December 7, 1941.

In a joint project between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Hawaii (U.H.) some amazing images have been released of a sunken U.S. Navy PBY-5 Catalina.

In the opening minutes of the attack on U.S. naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the Empire of Japan first bombed the U.S. Naval Air Station on the east coast of Oahu. This bombing destroyed 27 and damaged an additional six Catalina PBY-5 Aircraft. The only long-range bombers capable of following the attackers.

Attempts have been made ever since 1994 but only recently did the efforts pay off. Because of increased equipment quality and better visibility students from U.H.’s Marine Option Program were able to map the entire site and take both photo’s and video documentation of the site.


The plane that has been documented in the photos and video released came to rest in three large pieces roughly nine

U.S. Navy PBY-5 Catalina

The starboard engine nacelle (housing) extending into the silt.

meters below the surface. The team haven’t yet been able to identify the exact aircraft but are hoping to continue to find more about this part of such an important day.

The team’s coordinator Hans Van Tilburg, a maritime archaeologist with NOAA said in a statement “The new images and site plan help tell the story of a largely forgotten casualty of the attack. The sunken PBY plane is a very important reminder of the ‘Day of Infamy,’ like the [battleships] USS Arizona and USS Utah. They are all direct casualties of December 7.”

To find out more view the original article on “Scientific American.”

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