More underwater wreck pictures from Kwajalein Atoll...

Discussion in 'Aircraft Pictures' started by corsairfreak, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. corsairfreak

    corsairfreak New Member

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    Hi all,

    Three days ago, I dove on the wreck of another H6K 'Mavis' that's just off Ebeye island, near the Ebeye pier. This is the second of two H6K's that are off Ebeye...the other is farther north, just off the old seaplane ramp. Ebeye was the site of a Japanese seaplane base prior to the invasion of Kwajalein Atoll by U.S. forces in late Jan. 1944.

    The research that I've done since diving the first 'Mavis' several months back, indicates that both of these H6K's were strafed and sunk on Feb. 1, 1942, by SBD's from the USS ENTERPRISE. That date is significant for two reasons- it was not only the date of the first American attack on Kwajalein Atoll, but it was also the first U.S. offensive action against the Japanese during WWII.

    This H6K wreck is pretty much a jumbled pile, but there's more to it than the 'Mavis' wreck farther north. For example, on this wreck all four engines are present. More of the fuselage is present as well, although a large section of what appears to be the aft fuselage lies about 100 feet away from the main wreckage area.

    This wreck is about 50 feet deep, which is a comfortable depth for scuba diving. I shot a total of 61 pictures of this wreck during my dive on it. I've sent the best 19 pictures in to J-aircraft.com for their Relics section. Of those 19, I'm posting 8 of them here today.

    I shot these pictures using a digital SeaLife Reefmaster DC600. The other diver seen in a couple of these pictures is Hal Parker, a friend of mine who is also a WWII history buff and wreck diving enthusiast.

    And now, on to the pictures. I hope you like them. Cheers all! :)

    Dan, from Kwajalein

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  2. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Holy sh!t...

    awesome!

    I wanna go!
     
  3. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Thanks for posting this!
     
  4. Aggie08

    Aggie08 Active Member

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    That would be incredible. Lucky. Any more aircraft around the area?
     
  5. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    Damn !! Words escape me !

    Charles
     
  6. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Corsairfreak,

    >And now, on to the pictures. I hope you like them. Cheers all! :)

    Very impressive! :)

    A spontaneous thought: Have you considered making stereoscopic pictures?

    It occurred to me because as I'm not a diver, I had difficulties "reading" the shots at first - and then I thought, "Hey, stereo pictures would be great!"

    (You'd have to mount two identical cameras side-by-side and trigger them simultaneously, and then find a way to display the pictures stereoscopically, for example with a suitable software and LCD shutter glasses, so it would be quite a project. Still, stereo pictures would give a fantastic sense of being there ... Probably more important for us than for you as you actually were there after all! :)

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  7. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    The Mavis was so huge.. it looks like a ship wreck.

    Human life aside.. what could be more fun then running across a Mavis or ME-323?

    Yes there were challenges but it's like demolishing a building!

    .
     
  8. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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  9. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

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  10. corsairfreak

    corsairfreak New Member

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    Glad you like the pictures!

    HoHun- to answer your question, the idea of stereoscopic pictures had never entered my mind. That would require an additional camera, and they're kinda pricey. :) Maybe a bit down the road I'll do something like that. For now, I'd have to settle for pasting a couple pictures together side-by-side, such as 2 pictures I took while panning, to create a wide shot. Thanks for the idea! If that would enhance the viewing pleasure for you and everyone else, I'll do what I can.

    Aggie08- to answer your question, there are indeed other aircraft wrecks in the area. For photos I've taken of the Japanese ones that I've dived on, check out this link, and look under my name (Dan Farnham) near the top of the page-

    Remaining Relic Photos

    Also, I've dived on several American planes off Roi-Namur, at the north end of the atoll. I've written a couple of articles on those dives, with more to come. Here's the links to the two articles that I've completed to date-

    Large Scale Planes

    Large Scale Planes

    I recently wrote another on diving three of the Japanese planes out here- the first 'Mavis' I dove, plus a 'Jake' and a 'Rufe'...those galleries appear at the link to J-aircraft.com above. The new one hasn't been published online yet, but I'll provide the link here when it is. I've got three more articles on diving plane wrecks out here in various stages of completion, with plans for 5 or 6 more. So, more to come!

    Cheers all! :)

    Dan
     
  11. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Very cool. Thanks for posting the pics. I would love to go and experience something like this.
     
  12. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Dan,

    >That would require an additional camera, and they're kinda pricey. :)

    I was afraid that would be the case when I saw the "naval" name of your camera :-/ Specialized equipment usually comes at a premium - but from the looks of your photographs, it's worth it :)

    (Thinking about it, a cheap and quick way would be to use two disposable underwater cameras for conventional film, taped into a side-by-side position. Then you could view the result with a simple stereo viewer. Hm, not sure these cameras are available for positive film, though ... and I don't know if there's enough light for these at wreck depths.)

    >Maybe a bit down the road I'll do something like that. For now, I'd have to settle for pasting a couple pictures together side-by-side, such as 2 pictures I took while panning, to create a wide shot. Thanks for the idea!

    Sounds promising! :) There is a great free tool for that:

    AutoStitch

    It just requires you to specify the path to the pictures and the desired output size, the rest is fully automatic, with close to perfect results. Try it, words can't describe how cool it is :)

    (While taking the pictures, you have to generate some overlap between the individual frames and try to keep the horizon in a defined position - not critical for underwater shots. The software doesn't do vertical panoramas, though it will stitch shots taken at an oblique angle up or down to a horizontal panorama.)

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  13. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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  14. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Excellent Pictures!
     
  15. Hot Space

    Hot Space Active Member

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    Those are amazing pictures m8 8)

    You're a very lucky man to be able to take time out to photograph all these 'War Relics'.

    Thanks for posting them and the 2 Links up - amazing read 8)
     
  16. Becca

    Becca Member

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    WOW! and thanks.
     
  17. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    Dan: O' Foo !! My company computer has a block on us and I can't see the
    pic's from work. Boo Hiss !! Have to wait til I get home. Which site has
    the pic of the Rufe ? I'm about to build a balsa/paper rubber powered model
    of the Rufe and would be interested in colors, if they are still visable.

    Cheers.....

    Charles
     
  18. Aggie08

    Aggie08 Active Member

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    Corsairfreak, great shots on the other website. You get to have all the fun!
     
  19. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    Very cool Corsairfreak, thanks for sharing.
     
  20. corsairfreak

    corsairfreak New Member

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    HoHun- thanks for the link to AutoStitch! I'll download it in a few minutes. :)

    ccheese- there's no website that I'm aware of that has pics of the 'Rufe'. The only pictures of it that I've seen is in a book I have, called "WWII Wrecks of the Kwajalein and Truk Lagoons", by Dan Bailey.

    The book says the location is just off the shore of Ebeye in shallow water, lagoon side, south of the pier. There is one photo in the book, and shows the Rufe wreck in poor condition with only the wings and forward fuselage present. To find this, either Hal Parker or I will have to go over to Ebeye and walk the shoreline on the lagoon side to see if we can find it.

    So, with the wreck in the state that it's in, it'll be useless as far as determining any colors. In my two dive articles above, I have pics of the Zero off Roi that's folded up on the lagoon floor. I've got several dives on that wreck, and no paint remains on that plane either.

    Wish I could help you, but I have nothing to help you with. :( I would suggest, however, paying a visit to J-aircraft.com, and asking your question on the Japanese Navy Aircraft section of the forum over there. Those guys are priceless!

    Good luck with your Rufe project...post some pics of it as you go so that we can ohh and ahh over it. :)

    Dan
     
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