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  H6K Mavis (M5)   
IJN
25th Air Flotilla
Yokusuka Kōkūtai
or Yokohama Kōkūtai

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Kevin Denlay 2002

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Laurence Murphy 2000

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Howard Sawyer 2006

Aircraft History
Built by Kawanishi Kokuki K. K. at Naruo. This flying boat was either model H6K-4 or H6K5.

Wartime History
Assigned to either that Yokusuka Kōkūtai or Yokohama Kōkūtai (more likely), operating from Tulagi Seaplane Base (Gavutu / Tanambogo).

On August 7, 1942 this flying boat was believed to be moored to mooring "M5" to the north of Tanambogo Island. That morning, it was hit by US Navy aircraft, causing it to burn and sink.

Wreckage
Discovered in either 2000 or 2001 by Franck Boulay, a SCBUA operator based at Tulagi. This wreck is likely the best underwater H6K Mavis wreck in the world.

Rests on a sandy, silt covered bottom at 34m. Silt in the area reduces dive visibility, facing southwest and has the mooring cable still attached to the nose ring. The nose is bent upward, likely from the initial impact with the bottom when it sank.

The cockpit is in excellent condition, with the controls and instruments intact. Some portions of the outer skin were burned or are corroded away and allow divers to see inside the fuselage. All the machine guns were present at the wreck until shortly after its discovery, when they were removed by an unknown diver, much to the disappointment and anger of locals and the dive community.

The port wing is well preserved. The starboard wing is broken off an missing beyond the no. 3 engine, which hangs from its mount pointed downward and the float is missing.

Kevin Denlay adds:
"M5 may be near its mooring block, I cant recall."

Justin Taylan adds:
"I dove this Mavis on February 11, 2006 with Tulagi Dive. There was moderate silt, and visibility was average. Still, this massive aircraft was a breath taking site."

References
Thanks to Ewan Stevenson, Kevin Denlay, Neil Yates (Tulagi Dive) and Howard Sawyer for additional information
Kawanishi H6K "Mavis" by Michael Mcfadyen
Kanawishi H6K "Mavis" flying boat (YouTube Video)
J-Aircraft Message Board "Mavis's off Tanambogo / Gavutu"

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
January 9, 2018

 

Tech Info
Mavis

SCUBA
27-34m

Photos
Photo Archive

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