by Dan Farnham
(click photos to enlarge)
|These pictures are of a Zero that was shot down off Roi, in
Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands. The date of the downing of this
Zero is likely January 30th, 1944. This was prior to the landings on
Roi, as no Japanese aircraft were flying by the time D-Day took place.
This Zero was one of three that came up to challenge American aircraft. The crash sites of the other two remain a mystery.
Gun camera footage shows this Zero in a spin when it hit the water, about a mile east of Roi.
The Zero lies in about 55 feet of water, give or take a few feet depending on the tides.
The difference in hues in the various pictures, has to do with the fact that I had to adjust the color on each one. Much of it has to do with the angle of the light coming down through the water, versus the angle I was taking a particular picture at. On some of the close-ups, there's more color as the area was lit up by my flash strobe. I took these pictures using a digital SeaLife Reefmaster DC310.
Update as of 6/15/2007 from Dan:
Four of the new pictures are shots looking into the cockpit area, various angles. The space in there was tight, and I didn't have a lot of room to manuever. I had to poke an arm and my head into the hole where the fuselage is split open, to get those shots. There's also one shot of the inside of the rear fuselage. Don't be concerned- my dive buddies and I briefed on this before the dive, and one of them was standing by next to me, to make sure I didn't get anything like an air line hung up on any wreckage as I was wiggling around getting those interior shots.
The remaining shots are a better view of the wreck from the back, a close-up of the ammo magazine for the left wing gun, and a shot of one of the landing gears that lies a short distance away. I haven't found the other one yet.