The plane crashed upon take-off when the engine failed on 4 September 1943. The aircraft made a slow turn and barrel-rolled into Gander Lake, Newfoundland. The four-crew members did not survive.
At the time of the crash in 1943, military hardhat divers found the aircraft “Liberator 589D” on a ledge in Gander Lake. They attempted to attach cables to the fuselage to salvage the plane. They were also recovering the body of Squadron Leader John G. MacKenzie.
The TriStar plane is a commercial airliner that has been out of service and parked at King Hussein International Airport for several years. The Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) recently purchased the plane with the intention of sinking it, and it was transferred to the main port to prepare it for is final role. The TriStar is the second aircraft to become an artificial reef off Jordan's coastline. In November 2017, a Hercules C130 was scuttled a bit farther down the coast.
The wreckage was first discovered 56km south of Cairns in 35m of water by Cairns diver Kevin Coombs in 2013, but weather and planning challenges delayed the final dives to complete the investigation.
The A24-25 was part of a task force flying long‑range missions against Japanese shipping and submarines during World War Two. On 28 February 1943, Catalina A24-25 and its 11 aircrew were on a 17-hour mission to provide anti-submarine cover to a convoy heading for Milne Bay in Papua New Guinea.
The Flying Fortress took part in a raid on Palermo on April 18 1943 when it was attacked by several German ME-110 fighters that knocked out one of its engines. The aircraft, part of the 353rd Bomber Squadron of the American air force, crashed into the sea, with the loss of all nine crew.
The WW2 bomber was found a few months ago by a group Italian divers who are part of a project called “Shadows of the Deep”, which aims to locate the wrecks of planes and boats off Sicily.
The Halifax bomber was struck by heavy flak and made a successful crash landing 600ft down a water inlet in northern Norway.
The sunken bomber will be protected as a war grave because of the likelihood of the remains of the two airman still being on board. Four of the six-man crew bailed out into a dingy but nothing was ever seen of navigator, Flight Sergeant Albert Columbine, or wireless operator, Arthur Evans. It is believed they drowned when the bomber went down.