F4F Hellcat Fighter

by Ed Robinson

Maui held a very active roll in supporting the military during WWII. One of the most noteable facilities on Maui during this time was the air strip located in the central valley between Kahului and Kihei. During the war it was used to train piolits that were to fly from the deck of an aircraft carrier. One of the planes these pilots trained in was the single engine F4F Hellcat Fighter.

F4F Hellcat underwater

Little is known about the Hellcat that is sitting in thirty feet of water just a few hundred yards off the South Maui coastline except it didn't return home safely.

The main wreck sits upside down with the landing wheels still retracted. The tail is missing and the engine sits about 100' from the wings.

The plane is too small to offer as a primary dive, however we sometimes offer this as a novilty snorkel or dive for divers that still have 1000psi or so in their scuaba tank after a previous dive. Some marine life is found in and around the wreck. The most picturesq part is the engine and propeller. There are usually damselfish and butterflyfish as well as a few resident cleaner shrimp that make this part of the wreckage interesting.

..... Ed Robinson - 1/6/97