Airplane Junkyard Part II & III (Pt Loma — 175-230 fsw)

This is an update to a post back in September 2021 about a “WW II Airplane Junkyard” off of Point Loma.

As we have been looking for new targets in the south Point Loma area, we are “plagued” by finding and diving more dumped airplanes. They show up on the sonar similar to real airplanes and, without a ROV, we need to dive them to rule them out. This post details five more of the dumped airplanes that we have found.

The most significant update is that we found a “dumped” plane way further south than we expected or that we have seen in the past (this is detailed below in the “Plane #1” section).

We don’t know if there are others in that same area or whether there is a long line of airplanes and we haven’t found the “connecting dots” to the grouping to the north of that find.

We are pretty sure they were airplanes that were beyond repair and were dumped off aircraft carriers or other ships as they made their way into the Navy base in San Diego during World War II. We have searched for articles or information about these planes but have been unable to locate anything official.

Update #2 – May / June 2022 Dives

The three new wrecks are indicated in the map below with red markers. The “original” planes we documented in September 2021 are in blue.

Plane #1: SBD Dauntless

This target was dove on 4 May 2022 with Tyler.

The location is at 32 33.988 N, 117 15.277 W at a depth of 172 feet.

The visibility was very, very poor with a lot of particulate matter in the water so the pictures aren’t great. It was a pretty large section of the airplane but it still had all the signs that it had been dumped (no cockpit instrumentation, no engine, clipped wings, etc.).

As stated above, this one was a bit of a surprise given how far south and far away it is from the other dumped airplanes we have located in the past.

Plane #2: TBM Avenger

This target was dove on 10 June 2022 (solo).

The location is at 32 36.531 N, 117 16.155 W at a depth of 200 feet.

We believe that this airplane is a TBM Avenger. Visibility was very good at depth that day and I was able to get a reasonably good photo of the entire wreck (see picture below in the top left).

Plane #3 : Corsair

This target was dove on 12 June 2022 (solo).

The location is 32 36.675 N, 117 16.176 W and is at a depth of 198 feet.

This is the target that Lora randomly found while looking for other targets. It was a very small section of the airplane. Most of the wings and most of the fuselage were removed before ditching it and we believe it is a Corsair.

Update #3 – August 2022 Dives

We recently dove two additional targets in the area and found two more “dumped” airplanes. This is starting to get annoying! This time, they were both what appeared to be SBD Dauntless aircraft but, interestingly enough, both of them were upside down as evidenced by the wheel wells inside the wing being visible.

Below is a map of the two new wrecks with orange markers. The planes from Update #2 are in red and the original post airplanes are in blue.

Plane #4 – SBD Dauntless (Upside Down)

This target was dove on 23 Aug 2022 (solo).

The location is 32 37.826 N, 117 16.842 W and a depth of 227′.

Plane #5 – SBD Dauntless (Upside Down)

This target was dove on 23 Aug 2022 (solo).

The location is 32 36.725 N, 117 15.643 W at a depth of 174′.

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