Dive to the B-17 plane wreck
A dive north of the walls of Calvi (Corsica) in search of a bomber...
This B-17G-1-BO bomber, bearing the serial number 42-31044, but better known by the name‘Her Did’, was downed on the 14thFebruary 1944 during the Second World War whilst on a mission to attack the marshalling yard in Verona (Italy).
According to the account by Second Lieutenant Frank G. Chaplick, the pilot of this flying fortress:
Before arriving at its target, the 97thBomber Group was attacked by enemy aircraft and a B-17 of the group was badly hit by enemy shots.
During the attack, the 97thBomber Group was saved by P-47 ally aircraft. The B-17 was escorted by one of them towards a landing strip on Corsica.
According to the control tower, the landing strip was not long enough for an aircraft of this size which had lost two engines and had another that was not working properly.
A little while after and without any warning the 3rdengine stopped working. As a result, Second Lieutenant Frank G. Chaplick decided to ditch not far from the citadel. Seven out of the ten members of crew on board were able to get out of the plane before it sank to the bottom of the sea. However, three gunners killed during the attack sank with the plane.
Summary of the attack: 2 engines on fire and a third which stops working. Three members of crew perish during the flight.
Today, the wreck of the B-17 lies at around 28 metres below the waves, to the north of the walls of the Citadel of Calvi, and is surrounded by Mediterranean tapeweed (a type of seagrass).
The journey by boat to the site takes around 5 minutes. Depending on the weather and/or the level of the diving group, divers can get into the water directly above the wreck.
In any case, we position our boat at around thirty metres from the bomber to allow our divers to explore Corsica’s underwater flora and fauna during the dive.
The wreck, with its almost intact cockpit, cabin and wings, as well as propeller blades and engines, will take you back in time to relive this fateful mission.
Scuba-diving in Corsica
Corsica boasts almost 1000km of coastline and is a unique gem in the Mediterranean, making it a very popular destination for scuba-divers from France and beyond. An intricate underwater relief made up of faults, fallen rocks, peaks, needles, canyons and rocky massifs, as well as a diverse underwater flora, exceptional underwater visibility, excellent land and underwater temperatures, and outstanding natural parks, make scuba-diving off Corsica a unique experience.
Add to this magnificent wrecks and there are dozens of diving locations off the island. Each natural feature provides many opportunities for exploration.
Corsica also offers heritage, traditions, mountains and hikes, to name just a few things. It is a truly magical spot in the Mediterranean which is perfect for discovering with the whole family.
The Bay of Calvi is home to one of the most popular sites in Corsica, the wreck of the American B-17 bomber, which has been resting here since 1944. 27m under the waves, its imposing silhouette with a wingspan of almost 30m emerges in the crystal blue sea to offer an unforgettable sight.
This dive offers a unique and historical experience. Another interesting siteis the Revellata, which has rocky valleys, fallen rocks, mini walls, canyons and faults at different depths. In this spectacular underwater world, teeming with sponges, soft corals and sea anemones, we find grouper, white seabream, brown meagre, dentex and leerfish, as well as many types of crustaceans.