B17 BOMBER, CORSICA
Corsica has many dive sites around its rocky shores, but the most-famous is undoubtedly the remains of a B17 bomber lying off Calvi. In World War Two, the Mediterranean was one of the front lines as both sides fought for supremacy of the strategically important region, and Corsica was right in the thick of it. The B17 had taken off from Foggia in Italy on Valentine’s Day in 1944, bound for a mission to Verona, but it was intercepted by enemy fighters just before it could begin its run. A fierce battle erupted, and several of the crew were killed before friendly P47 Thunderbolts turned up to save the day. The captain realised how badly damaged his aircraft was, and he nursed the stricken bomber towards Corsica, eventually ditching the huge plane into the sea. A total of seven crew survived the ordeal. The B17’s final resting place is in around 30m of water, less than a fiveminute boat ride from the harbour. It lies upright and mainly intact (with the exception of the nose and tail sections) on sand and rubble at the base of a rocky slope. The entire aircraft can be explored in one dive. The intact cockpit is the focal point of the dive, and the pilot’s seat and the controls can still be seen. The four engines are also quite well preserved, with the impressive propellers still in place. The visibility around Calvi is generally quite good, affording divers good overall views of the bomber, which makes for a very photogenic and dynamic subject for underwater photographers.