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25th Air Flotilla
or Yokohama Kōkūtai
Built by Kawanishi Kokuki K. K. at Naruo. This flying boat was either model H6K-4 or H6K5. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as Type 97 Large Flying Boat / H6K Mavis manufacture number unknown.
Assigned to either Yokosuka Kōkūtai or Yokohama Kōkūtai (more likely) and based at Tulagi Seaplane Base (Gavutu / Tanambogo).
On August 7, 1942 this flying boat was attached to mooring "M6" to the west of Palm Island (Gaomi) and northeast of Tanambogo Island. That morning, it was hit by U. S. Navy (USN) carrier aircraft and was set on fire and sank still attached to its mooring.
During 1999, the wreckage was first found by ArchaeHistoria SCUBA divers including Ewan Stevenson and Kevin Denlay. This Mavis jack-knifed in half when it sank, with the tail now pointing in almost the same direction as the bow (which is still attached by cable to its mooring), with both wings folded over so they rest upside down on the opposite sides of the fuselage to their correct location. Otherwise a very ‘complete’ wreck. Sometimes referred to as the "Phallic Mavis"‚ because if how its bow stands erect off the seabed.
Kevin Denlay adds:
"M6 was still actually attached to it's nearby mooring block by a wire cable when we first located the wreck in 1999."
Thanks to Ewan Stevenson and Kevin Denlay for additional information
J-Aircraft Message Board "Mavis's off Tanambogo / Gavutu"
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