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Pearl Harbor Plane: US Navy Aircraft Sunk in 1941 Surfaces in New Pics

Image: Pearl Harbor Plane: US Navy Aircraft Sunk in 1941 Surfaces in New Pics
(UH Marine Option Program)

By    |   Friday, 04 Dec 2015 02:45 PM

Rare photos of a Navy seaplane that sank during the Pearl Harbor bombing 74 years ago are intriguing online viewers, many of whom are reminiscing about that tragic part of American history.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration teamed up with University of Hawaii archaeologists to dive the waters on the east coast of Oahu, seeking airplanes that were sunk in the first few minutes after the Japanese Imperial Navy dropped bombs on Dec. 7, 1941.

Twenty-seven Catalina PBY "flying boats" that were moored there, and their destruction was significant because the long-range patrol bombers could have chased the Japanese planes back to their carriers, according to a National Marine Sanctuaries press release .

The release of the rare images of a U.S. Navy seaplane has entranced the Internet.

"This is such an amazing find," one woman posted on Facebook. "My adopted mother was born in in [sic] Jan, 1941 during WWII and she was present when Japan and United States of America were at war with one another. There are so many stories and facts through out the years that became part of History and theses planes were of course really part of them."

Another woman added her family stories to the post, saying, "Remember that my dad was in the Army, stationed at Hickam Field Airbase at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He was in church the morning that the bombs were dropped and had to rush back to the base as it exploded into flames. He survived, but it changed him forever."

A University of Hawaii dive team attempted to photograph the wreck in 1994, but murky waters kept them from success, the NOAA release said. In June of this year, better cameras and visibility aided the team of students in getting to the wreck to conduct a "detailed archeological survey."

The plane has not been identified, according to Hans Van Tilburg, a maritime archeologist with NOAA, who added that the aircraft could possibly have been trying to take off during the attack.

"This sunken flying boat is a window into the events of the attack, a moment in time that reshaped the Pacific region," June Cleghorn, senior archaeologist at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, said in the release. "Understanding this site sheds light on the mystery of the lost PBYs and honors the legacy of the Navy and Marine Corps Base in Hawaii."

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Rare photos of a Navy seaplane that sank during the Pearl Harbor bombing 74 years ago are intriguing online viewers, many of whom are reminiscing about that tragic part of American history.
pearl harbor, plane, us navy, pictures
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2015-45-04
Friday, 04 Dec 2015 02:45 PM
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