Intact WWII Corsair Found In Palau Waters
Local fishermen found an intact U.S. Corsair plane from World War II while spear fishing in Koror waters Wednesday.
Spear fishing were Ngatibuchel Uchel and Aikman Megreos, Ililau Bausoch, Skilang Ililau, Dairon Rediall and Sabadong Ngirbedul. They then called Neco Marine owner Shallum Etpison to find out if this was a known wreck site. Shallum has worked in the past with local fishermen to locate WWII planes, like the Japanese Jake floatplane located close to PPR found in 1994, a Corsair plane in the Ngesaol mangroves, and the more recent B-24 Bomber found in Aimeliik.
Neco Marine and Joe Maldangesang have worked with the U.S.-based Bent Prop Project since 1993. Dr. Pat Scannon and his team have done great work in Palau by locating and piecing together the stories of WWII wrecks, and have brought closure to many families of WWII veterans who fought in Palau. Another Corsair plane Bent Prop was looking for with the son of the pilot was accidentally found by a Neco Marine employee in 2003 when retrieving an anchor from the Malakal harbor.
Shallum’s wife Mandy also discovered Japanese zero plane wreck at Double Reef east of Koror in 1985. The Etpison couple went out on Wednesday (March 21) to explore the reported new plane site, and found a beautifully intact U.S. Corsair plane sitting upright in 45 feet of water. Shallum said it is amazing that after all these years of research, tourism and exploring, Palau still holds many secrets and discoveries. He also said it is great timing, because the Bent Prop team is here in Palau at the moment, so they can share this discovery, and will hopefully be able to identify the plane further, and find out the story behind it.
According to Dr. Scannon, there were three squadrons of Corsair planes based on Peleliu between September 1944 and the end of the war in 1945. This plane, tentatively identified as a marine F4U-1D model, must have taken off from Peleliu before being shot down west of Koror. Since the cockpit cover was open, the pilot probably survived the crash.
Dr. Scannon also stated this is one of the best preserved Corsair planes he knows off…http://www.warhistoryonline.com/feature ... aters.html