PB2Y-3 Coronado

PB2Y-3 'Coronado' (Gunga Din) Featured

On September 14, 1944 a PB2Y-3 Coronado’ nicknamed 'Gunga Din' was practicing landings at Kwajalein Atoll, near the seaplane base at Ebeye Island, when the plane crashed and broke in half directly behind the wing. The two sections of the plane floated on the water for about 30 minutes before sinking. There were 13 people on board, and all survived except one.


Fred M. Matson, PhM1c, USN, was in the forward bunking compartment in the nose of the plane. The section Matson was trapped in was about 15 feet below the surface, and several attempts were made to dive down and extricate him before the front half of the plane sank. These efforts were to no avail.


The tail section of the plane was located in August 2015. Another piece of wreckage from the plane was discovered in July 2016. The team draws steadily closer to finding the front half of the plane, believed to contain the remains of Matson.