Search for Sunken Aircraft Continues in Chesapeake Bay

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Search for Sunken Aircraft Continues in Chesapeake Bay

November 07, 2016 - 23:10
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A search for U.S. Navy aircraft lost in training exercises more than a half century ago off the coast of Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland resulted in more 200 sonar targets being registered.

An underwater archaeology team with the Naval History and Heritage Command’s Underwater Archaeology Branch is following up on the survey, conducted from July 25 through Aug. 3

An FJ-1 Fury lost in 1947—the year the fighter entered service, becoming the Navy’s first operational jet—was among the aircraft on the search list. This year the archeologists returned still searching for the Fury, and added an HOK-1 Huskie helicopter lost in 1956, Naval Aviation News reports.

The search has also been extended further south in the Chesapeake Bay, where an XF8F-1 Bearcat was downed in 1945. Possible aircraft marked on previous surveys include a SNC-1 Falcon lost in 1943, plus an F9F Panther and TV-2 Shooting Star.

A team of three volunteer divers have been checking out the objects picked up by the sonar scans. “None of [the finds] were completely intact airplanes, but several of the fragments down there are definitely structural, metal fragments, so I think the survey was very successful,” one of the divers reported.

According to the post on Naval Aviation News the divers may also have come across the remains of Cato, a Revolutionary War vessel sunk in January 1781 after a British flotilla intercepted it and three companion ships off of Cedar Point—now the northeastern tip of the air station.

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