In 1946 numerous World War 2 aircraft were dumped into 200 metres of water off the Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane. Scores of Voight-Sikorsky F4U-1D Corsairs, F6F Hellcats, a Fairy Barracuda, at least 12 Seafires, several TBM Avenger torpedo bombers, AT6 Harvards and Supermarine Otter seaplanes were dumped.

They were dumped on the orders of the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm from the decks of HMS Pioneer, HMS Perseus and HMS Slinger. Apparently about 9 shiploads of aircraft were dumped with about 70 to 100 in each shipload. Thus there is potentially about 700 to 800 aircraft on the seabed in that area off the Sunshine Coast.

In 1996, Australian company International Warbird Salvage Pty. Ltd. was planning to recover some more of these aircraft. A computer controlled remote underwater vehicle equipped with a television camera was used to inspect the dumped aircraft. A robot arm on the underwater vehicle attached lines to a Corsair in readiness for recovery. They had recovered 3 aircraft back in 1990.


corsair01.jpg (70149 bytes) Royal Navy Corsair pulled out of water off Noosa in 1992. Photograph taken at an auction in July 1993 at Lake Weyba Drive, Noosaville
corsair02.jpg (54505 bytes) Royal Navy Corsair
corsair03.jpg (58053 bytes) Royal Navy Corsair
corsair04.jpg (82605 bytes) Royal Navy Corsair
corsair05.jpg (101847 bytes) Royal Navy Corsair
corsair06.jpg.jpg (43199 bytes) Auction in July 1993 at Lake Weyba Drive, Noosaville


NOTE:- I had originally been told that these aircraft were Royal New Zealand Air Force RNZAF aircraft.


Can anyone tell me more about these dumped aircraft

and give me an update on the salvage operation



I'd like to thank Mark Clayton for his assistance with this web page.


Can anyone help me with more information?


"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products

I need your help


 Peter Dunn OAM 2020


Please e-mail me
any information or photographs

"Australia @ War"
8GB USB Memory Stick

This page first produced 16 September 2000

This page last updated 08 May 2023