Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Survey maps WWII planes, ships off Hawaii


Big News Network.com
December 28, 2004

U.S. researchers are creating an inventory of World War II-era aircraft and ships lying in a watery grave off the coast of Hawaii near Pearl Harbor.

Dive missions this month by a team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the University of Hawaii and the National Park Service have documented numerous sites, including that of the Navy's Marshall Mars, a giant flying boat with a 200-foot wingspan that in 1950 was forced by an engine fire to land at sea off Oahu, where it exploded.

Submerged historic wreck sites are like time capsules from our maritime past, said NOAA National Marine Sanctuary maritime archaeologist Hans Van Tilburg. In this case, naval aircraft sites shed light on our technological capabilities both before and during World War II.

The sea floor survey team used sonar to map the area and record images of the crash sites using digital video and still cameras. The results also will provide researchers with more information about loss events and site interaction with the marine environment.

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