Ocean plane wreckage a WW II Navy Helldiver
A maritime archaeologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says a Navy plane wreck at the bottom of the ocean off south Maui is that of a SBC-2 Helldiver from World War II.
After diving to the site Saturday, Hans Van Tilburg confirmed the identity of the plane.
According to Navy crash records, the plane went down when it experienced mechanical problems during a dive-bombing practice run in August 1944.
The records show the pilot, Lt. William Dill, was able to land the plane on the water and survived without injuries.
The Helldiver is one of 1,484 naval aircraft known to have gone down in waters off the Hawaiian Islands.
The plane was an aircraft-based dive bomber designed to carry 1,000-pound bombs.