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 Muller 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 Muller and a historical account by Axelrod. It’s available on Amazon here.

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

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Sam Helmy is a TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer, and PADI Staff and Trimix Instructor. Diving for 28 years, a dive pro for 14, I have traveled extensively chasing my passion for diving. I am passionate about everything diving, with a keen interest in exploration, Sharks and big stuff, Photography and Decompression theory. Diving is definitely the one and only passion that has stayed with me my whole life!

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