22 Oct 2011

Navy ship captures image of Japanese fighter plane

6:26 am on 22 October 2011

A New Zealand Navy hydrographic ship has captured 3D sonar imagery of an apparently intact Japanese Zero fighter from World War II in Papua New Guinea's Simpson Harbour.

Images taken by HMNZS Resolution also show many other wrecked planes and ships, including two which were previously uncharted.

HMNZS Resolution has been in the harbour to help recover unexploded ordnance from wrecks.

Commanding officer Lieutenant Commander Matt Wray says Simpson Harbour was the scene of an intense allied bombing campaign against the Japanese and is littered with wrecks.

He says the images will help build historical knowledge of events.

HMNZS Wellington has now joined Australian and PNG army personnel to dispose of the identified stockpiles of ordnance.

Meanwhile, HMNZS Resolution is on its way to Solomon Islands where it will take part in World War II commemorations.