Brandi Mueller, a Merchant Mariner licensed by the U.S. Coastguard, captured incredible photos of over 150 Allied WWII aircraft now lying 130 feet under the Pacific Ocean near the Marshall Islands, more specific Kwajalein Atoll, Roi-Namur. Kwajalein Atoll is an incredible diving site but also an restricted military base.
In a perfectly executed World War II mission that took place at the end of January 1944, U.S. forces defeated the Japanese at a little-known outpost in the Marshall Islands called Kwajalein Atoll. As part of the effort to win control of this crucial gateway to the Japanese empire, U.S. aircraft bombarded Japanese supply ships in the lagoon at Kwajalein for several weeks prior to the attack, sinking most of them, some still at anchor, and others as they attempted to escape.
Little is left of the battle of Kwajalein except these silent wrecks still lying at the bottom of the lagoon where they were defeated, out of sight and forgotten until now. After the war no one would’ve had interest in the aircraft and no scrap yards nearby, they were dumped here rather than shipping them back to the United States, as it was a cheaper solution.
They call it the “Airplane Graveyard” – they aren’t war graves or planes that crashed. They were planes that were taken out over the reef and pushed off intact after the war ended”, said Brandi Mueller, “They should have flown more, lived longer, but they were sunk in perfect condition.”
This plane graveyard include several Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bombers, F4U Corsairs, TBF/TBM Avengers, Helldivers, B-25 Mitchells, Curtiss C-46 Commandos and F4F Wildcats.
The North American B-25 Mitchell was an American twin-engined, medium bomber manufactured by North American Aviation. It was named in honor of Major General William “Billy” Mitchell, a pioneer of U.S. military aviation. Used by many Allied air forces, the B-25 served in every theater of World War II and after the war ended many remained in service, operating across four decades.
- Airplane graveyard – Page 1, over hundred of US aircraft wrecks lying on the bottom of Kwajalein Atoll, Pacific Ocean.
- Shipwrecks in Truk Lagoon, in 1944-45 dozens of Japanese vessels from the Imperial Japanese Navy were sunk by US forces.
- Airplane wrecks in Truk Lagoon, next to dozens of Japanese vessels also Japanese airplane wrecks can be found in Chuuk Lagoon.
- USS Saratoga (CV-3) Wreck, in Bikini Atoll
- Bailey, Dan E.,: WWII Wrecks of the Kwajalein and Truk Lagoons (Paperback). North Valley Diver Pubns.
- Marshall, S.L.A.: Island Victory: The Battle of Kwajalein Atoll (Paperback). Bison Books.
- Pope, John: Angel on my shoulder (Kindle Ed.). John Pope.
- Remick, Bill: Just Another Day in Paradise A History of Kwajalein, Marshall Islands (Hardcover). Bill Remick Publishing.
- Rottmann, Gordon; Gerrard Howard: The Marshall Islands 1944: Operation Flintlock, the Capture of Kwajalein and Eniwetok (Paperback). Osprey Publishing.