Images show seaplane that sank in Pearl Harbor attack
Images show seaplane that sank in Pearl Harbor attack This photo provided by the University of Hawaii Marine Option program shows the wreck of a seaplane downed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. (Jeff Kuwabara, University of Hawaii Marine Option Program via AP)
Images show seaplane that sank in Pearl Harbor attack
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Images of a large Navy seaplane that sank in Hawaii waters during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor show a coral-encrusted engine. Reef fish swim in and out of a hull.
 
The video and photos are the clearest images taken of the Catalina PBY-5 wreckage to date. That is according to Hans Van Tilburg. He is a maritime archaeologist with the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.
 
The site isn't publicly accessible, so the images allow scientists to share the wreckage with others. They also help with documenting a historically significant wreck over time.
 
The seaplane had a wing span of 100 feet. That's about comparable to a modern-era Boeing 727 commercial jet. It now sits in pieces 30 feet below the surface in Kaneohe Bay. The bay is next to a Marine Corps base, about 20 miles east of Pearl Harbor on the other side of Oahu.
 
There were an estimated six of these planes. They were called "flying boats" and were in the bay at the time of the attack. Van Tilburg said nobody is sure what happened to the others.
 
The base was then a naval air station. It was among several Oahu military installations attacked by Japanese planes on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941.
 
Van Tilburg said a mooring cable is still attached to the plane. But there are signs someone started the port engine before the plane sank. This indicates a crew may have died while attempting to take off as the aerial assault began.
 
The Catalina PBY-5 could hold an eight-man crew. It could carry four 500-pound bombs.
 
Standard practice was to keep someone on the seaplanes at night to make sure the aircraft didn't drift off. There were aviator casualties in the water. It's not known which planes they were on or when they got off, Van Tilburg said.
 
"That's one of the mysteries of the story," he said.
 
The seaplanes would have been priority targets. That is because they could fly as far as 2,000 miles. They would have been able to follow Japanese planes back to their aircraft carriers, Van Tilburg said.
 
Van Tilburg said the plane is a battlefield casualty, just like better-known counterparts like the battleship Arizona and other vessels bombed in Pearl Harbor. Van Tilburg said he imagines commanders rightfully assumed the plane was a total loss and not worth salvaging.
 
There's been no "dedicated discussion" to retrieving the plane. It is currently in three large pieces, he said. It would cost a great deal to stabilize it and bring it ashore.
 
The aluminum and other metals may leech over time. But that fact must be balanced with the habitat the plane provides for fish and other marine life, Van Tilburg said. The site has become a living reef, he said.
 
The wreck helps tell the story of what happened at Kaneohe Bay. It is where 18 sailors and two civilians were killed. Sixty-nine others at the base were injured.
 
More than 2,400 sailors, Marines, soldiers and civilians were killed across Oahu in the Japanese attack.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/new-images-show-seaplane-sank-pearl-harbor-attack/

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What makes the new images of this seaplane so significant?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (198)
  • ethang-1-bar
    12/10/2015 - 07:16 p.m.

    What makes these new images of the seaplanes are significant because it shows how many other objects of WWII are still deep down in the depths of the sea."That's the mysteries of the story"the airplane specialist said which means that these artifacts are pieces to something greater.My opinion on this article is that it makes us wonder what else is hidden from us humans deep away in the farthest reaches of the world.

    • antonioo-hyl
      12/16/2015 - 10:13 a.m.

      Was japan on our side during wwII?

      • scottk-hyl
        12/17/2015 - 11:30 a.m.

        NO! We dropped the atomic bomb on them, 2 times

      • alexah-hyl
        12/17/2015 - 11:31 a.m.

        No Antonio they weren't

        • scottk-hyl
          12/18/2015 - 11:30 a.m.

          Why do we think - know that there was 6 planes ?

  • karliw-1-bar
    12/10/2015 - 07:44 p.m.

    The new images of the Catalina PBY-5 , a large Navy seaplane that went down during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor are significant because the seaplane wreckage has a lot of historical evidence. Though the former engine of the plane is the only physically part photographed, it doesn't mean that the plane doesn't mean something. The wreck (especially since the anniversary of Pearl Harbor was on Monday of this week) helps tell the tragic story of Kaneohe Bay, where 18 sailors and two civilians were killed. Sixty-nine others at the base were injured. And on top of that, more than 2,400 sailors, Marines, soldiers and civilians were killed across Oahu in the Japanese attack. Hans Van Tilburg, a maritime archaeologist with the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries,said that the Catalina PBY-5 is a battlefield casualty. Nothing more, nothing less. Like better-known counterparts like the battleship Arizona and other vessels bombed in Pearl Harbor, the seaplane will always be a memorial to those who fought for the sake of our safety. And that, if anything, is the true significance.

  • Eric0221-YYCA
    12/10/2015 - 09:06 p.m.

    I think that it might have been cool that the flying boat might have been found off the island of Hawaii since the Pearl Harbor attack in Hawaii. I think that the attack plane that crashed off the shore of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, it might have made the scientists to think about the Pearl Harbor attack. The flying boat images might have been so significant to scientists because it might have made people remember the Pearl Harbor attack.

  • alaynam-har
    12/10/2015 - 09:51 p.m.

    The images of the seaplane look so significant because the fish are swimming in and out of the seaplane and the bacteria, barnicles, and coral that is growing on the seaplane, and the seaplane's engine is rusty,dirty, and full of bacteria on the seaplane's engine.

  • markm-3-bar
    12/11/2015 - 12:18 a.m.

    These images are important because these planes were a very important part of our history and the story will be tol

  • markm-3-bar
    12/11/2015 - 12:20 a.m.

    These pictures make the plane so significant because they planes were a big part of our history and our generations should live on to tell the story of Oahu. We should also always remember the more than 2400 people that died in this incident. These pictures could reveal a lot about all of this and maybe give us clues to some of the unsolved mysteries of that day

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