Dive Site: Dauntless Wreck, Rendova, Solomon Islands

Final shot of cockpit at Dauntless Wreck diving Munda in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

Site Overview

Site Type: Airplane Wreck
Depth: Median: 12MBottom: 13M
Location: Between the fringing reef to the north west of Munda, and the main island of, Rendova. Solomon Islands.

Description

The Dauntless wreck near Munda in the Solomons Western Province is visible and recognisable from the surface as it sits upright on a sandy bottom.

The Douglas SBD Dauntless was a World War II American naval scout plane and dive bomber that was manufactured by Douglas Aircraft from 1940 through 1944. The SBD (“Scout Bomber Douglas”) was the United States Navy’s main carrier-borne scout plane and dive bomber from mid-1940 through mid-1944. This example lies in just 13m of water on an undulating Solomons sandy bottom.

From the front at Dauntless Wreck diving Munda in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

The whole wreck is encrusted with corals, and

Back of the cockpit at Dauntless Wreck diving Munda in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

Shrouded by juveniles.

The cockpit at Dauntless Wreck diving Munda in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

I’m always impressed by the fact that the propellers have deformed backwards rather than snapped off completely on impact.

The nose with the propellers bent backwards at Dauntless Wreck diving Munda in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

Softer corals and anemones have taken over the engine cowling.

Anemone grows on the engine cowling at Dauntless Wreck diving Munda in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

And two Lionfish have taken up residence in the engine.

Two lionfish live in the engine at Dauntless Wreck diving Munda in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

Sponges have sprouted from the back of the wings.

Sponges growing on the back of the wing at Dauntless Wreck diving Munda in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

And shrimp have colonised the interior.

Inside is crawling with shrimp at Dauntless Wreck diving Munda in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

The tail has completely corroded away revealing its ‘skeleton’.

The tail has corroded away at Dauntless Wreck diving Munda in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

However, for all the sea’s attempts to claim it as its own, it still resembles that amazing war machine that it once was.

Along the fuselage into the cockpit at Dauntless Wreck diving Munda in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

Rather usefully, Dive Munda have models of the aircraft wrecks that they dive in their dive shop. Have a look before you go down.

Model of the Dauntless at Dive Munda Shop diving Munda in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit