TRONDHEIM HARBOR: WW2 AIRCRAFT GRAVEYARD (2004)
In September 2004, ProMare carried out a survey in Norway in cooperation with the Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU) and the Norwegian Geological Survey (NGS). The objective was to locate World War II aircraft wrecks in Trondheim Harbor based upon anomalies detected by a high-resolution bathymetry survey by the NGS.
Previous research indicated that this area would yield an abundance of material, particularly from the Second World War. Acoustic data collected by the NGS indicated that there were dozens of anomalies that might signal the location of aircraft wrecks. The team, consisting of specialists from ProMare, NTNU, and NGS, reviewed the data to determine the most promising targets to be investigated using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
The primary survey tool was a Sperre ROV provided by NTNU. 16 targets were investigated during the survey. Six of the anomalies were determined to be geological features. Five of the targets were modern debris, while two of the anomalies were known airplane wrecks from World War II–one Bristol, and one Sunderland. The most significant discovery was two previously unknown shipwrecks in Trondheim Harbor.
The first shipwreck discovered was a wooden boat with a metal railing around its upper deck/gunwale. Tires, used as fenders, were scattered around the wreck. The second wreck was a double-ended, wooden boat with no engine. The site is at 38 meters depth. The overall length of the vessel is about 15 meters, and the frames inside the hull are clearly visible from above.
The third major discovery of this short survey was the identification of a previously unknown coral reef within the harbor area. ProMare plans to return to document additional World War II aircraft near Trondheim.