Rare new images reveal details of seaplane lost in Pearl Harbor attack

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A Rare Look at This Sunken Seaplane Downed in Pearl Harbor

A U.S. Navy airplane that sank in the Pacific Ocean during the attack on Pearl Harbor has been captured in photographs just released by archaeologists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Hawaii on Thursday.

MORE ON PEARL HARBOR: Did FDR know about the Pearl Harbor attack before it happened?

The airplane, a Catalina PBY, was known as a flying boat and was destroyed when the Japanese attacked the U.S. naval air station on Oahu.

While the wreck wasn't unknown, this is the first in-depth documentation of the site.

No one is sure of the actual identity of the aircraft, but NOAA's Hans Van Tilburg thinks it's possible the crew attempted to take off during the attack.

The plane was a long-range patrol bomber and could have followed the Japanese planes back to their carriers, which made the strike a significant loss.

Van Tilburg hopes that "the new images and site plan help tell the story of a largely forgotten casualty of the attack."

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