MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Researchers studying artificial reefs off Miami-Dade County made an amazing discovery off Miami Beach, a mostly intact wreck of a U.S. Navy World War II fighter plane lying upside down 240 feet deep off Miami Beach.
Researchers aboard the Antipodes were using three-dimensional sonar gear to investigate a blip on the sea floor last June when they found the 28-foot-long Grumman F6F Hellcat encrusted with marine growth and dotted with exotic lionfish. The researchers shot high-definition photos and video of the plane and sent them to the U.S. Navy and Smithsonian Institution.
Officials of the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington, D.C., identified it as a Hellcat which was rolled out starting in 1943 to counter the Japanese Zero.
According to the Naval History and Heritage Command, 79 Hellcats were lost off Florida’s east coast between 1943 and 1952. But many of the crews survived by bailing out or ditching...
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