Finding a new wreck… that is easily one of the top dreams of any serious diver. Well, now a very lucky die center in Hawaii (Brad Varney), it seems his dream is now a reality. Brad Varney from B&B Scuba Maui, claimes that he found a wreck of a World War II-era U.S. Navy dive bomber in waters off Maui.
Brad Varney of B&B Scuba Maui said the aircraft appears to be a nearly intact Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless. The only detached part is the top tail rudder, resting on the sand not far away.
Varney said he’s “an old military history buff, and it’s in very good shape for 70 years old.”
NOAA maritime archaeologist and historian Hans Van Tilburg said naval records indicate only six Dauntlesses were lost in waters near Maui.
He said based on a photo by Varney, it appeared the coral-encrusted wreck had the distinctive cockpit shape of a Dauntless.
Van Tilburg planned to check crash records maintained by the Naval History and Heritage Command to learn more of the aircraft’s history.