For a lot of us, diving the waters of the South Pacific is definitely a bucket list goal.

If you can’t get there, though, there are plenty of video documentaries and books that serve as handy backups. One such book is “The Airplane Graveyard.”

The Airplane Graveyard” by acclaimed underwater photographer Brandi Mueller and historian Alan Axelrod takes you into the history of World War II by exploring the wrecks of 150 aircraft in Kwajalein Atoll.

At the end of WWII, with a surplus of combat aircraft, US forces in the Pacific dumped 150 aircraft in Kwajalein Atoll. The aircraft have lain undisturbed since then and are now encrusted with coral and teeming with marine life.

The new book is packed full of haunting images depicting machines of war teeming with marine life including turtles, scores of fish, and even sharks. Aircraft that were jettisoned overboard had all seen action in the Pacific theater and include:

  • Douglas SBD Dauntless.
  • Vought F4U Corsair.
  • Curtiss SB2C Helldiver.
  • Curtiss C-46
  • Grumman F4F Wildcats.
  • Grumman TBF Avengers.
  • PBJ-1 Mitchell Medium Bombers.

The book features great images from Mueller and as well as a historical account by both MuellerAxelrod. It’s available on Amazon here Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. .

The Airplane Graveyard: The Forgotten WWII Warbirds of Kwajalein Atoll
The Airplane Graveyard: The Forgotten WWII Warbirds of Kwajalein Atoll


  1. My uncle, William Lee Horter, died along with 25 others, in a Douglas C-54 Symaster crash off Kwajalein in September, 1950. If anyone has found pictures of this plane, I’d love to know it. One explanation is that the plane just exploded. The other is that it was shot down by a missile. I’d love to know which it was. Description of location: Approximately one minute after take off, the aircraft crashed. The aircraft exploded on impact and burned for approximately ten minutes then sank in about 1200 fathoms of water. The location of the crash was “approximately five miles of upwind and of takeoff w/w OYO”

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