Recent travels in New Caledonia in the year 2002.

     Nicolas Duprey New Caledonia

  SBD Dauntless "Graveyard"


Dump site of several Dauntless wrecks. We continue to dive on the old dump area, and find in all five SBD's, Three are resting on their left side , but all of them are in good state. In the wreckage, the cockpit, rear turret and the tail hook are visible. The last is in fact parts of a crashed sbd which were throw here after the crash.

The 6th was picked up and is on a WWII memorial at Poindimié by Mr JP Paturel, but it had no electrical treatment so it it eaten by the rust more than those in the disharge. We wish to thank JP Mugnier, who showed me this submarine treasure off New Caledonia.

 

SBD's in New Caledonia
I tell you about our researsh to find a SBD-III which crashed in the sea from the USS Copahee, at anchor, next Noumea harbour the 29, Sept, 1942 (its pilot still missing). I find the log book of the Copahee, and it was at berth 1944, a friend found an old US map with the berth marking on it, and we dove there, it is muding and the water is very dirty, so we found nothing, even after several dive. We try to locate the wreck with magnetometer, but the only object which detect was a tank and truck wheel.

Few days ago I receive the answer to a request that I send few week ago the the USN historical center to have another copy of the log of the copahee of march 1943, and I found that she lost a F-4U Corsair in the same conditions, after to try the first launch from a carrier, but luckily the pilot escape safely.

For the SBD there was 11 fathom of water, and for the corsair, 12. I really want to know what happen after that? Does the plane searched and rescued?were they declared lost? It's important for our research, could you help me? Or do you know who can do it?

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