The wreck of the Black Jack B17 bomber sits serenely in 50m of clear blue water just off from the village of Boga Boga, on the tip of Cape Vogel on Collingwood Bay. Almost completely intact, the wreck is an amazing site to behold as you descend the steep slope from the fringing reef and the huge plane looks like it belongs on a Hollywood film set!
Little wonder that many who have dived it consider the Black Jack wreck to be of the best aircraft wrecks in Papua New Guinea.
Discovered in 1986 by Australians Rod Pearce, Bruce Johnson and David Pennefather during a dedicated expedition organized by Pennefather after being told by the villagers of Boga Boga that a plane had crashed near the reef during WWII.
They had no idea that the wreck was a huge B17 and believed the wreck was probably an Australian Beaufort A9 that had been reported crash landing in the area of Collingwood Bay.
The discovery of Black Jack is a great story in itself, but the subsequent one about how the original pilot Ralph De Loach was tracked down in Marina del Ray in California and then brought all the way back to Boga Boga village is an even better one!
Download the full X-Ray magazine article on the B17 Black Jack wreck