Ebeye 'Jake'
by Dan Farnham
(click photos to enlarge)

These pictures are of a E13A1 ‘Jake’ that lies just off the south end of Ebeye island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands. Ebeye is just under three miles north of Kwajalein island, on the east reef, and was the site of a Japanese seaplane base during World War II.

Little is known of this ‘Jake’, or of the circumstances that put it on the lagoon floor. I didn’t even know this wreck was there- prior to my dive on this wreck, the only Japanese planes I knew of that are off Ebeye are three H6K’s, and a ‘Rufe’.

I dived on this wreck on June 3rd, 2007, with Hal Parker and Lou Weaver. When we were leaving the small boat marina on Kwajalein, Hal mentioned that we were going to dive the wreck of a Japanese single-engine float plane off Ebeye. I assumed that he was talking about the ‘Rufe’. (In the pictures below, Hal is wearing a black wetsuit, and Lou is wearing a yellow t-shirt.)

However, once we entered the water at the dive site, and descended toward the wreck, one thing immediately became clear- this was NOT the ‘Rufe’, this was some other type of plane. I had no idea though what it was. It was also quickly apparent that, like many other WWII wrecks out here at Kwajalein Atoll, this plane is still armed and dangerous! A single float lies about 20 feet from the left wing.

This wreck is deep- 130 feet, which is right at the very limit for recreational diving here at Kwajalein Atoll. Because of that, bottom time on this wreck was limited, so I had to work fast with my camera.

After getting back to Kwajalein later that afternoon, I posted a few of the dive pictures on the Japanese Navy Aircraft discussion forum of this website. Thanks to Jim Long, Jim Lansdale, Mike Driskill, and Glenn Levick, this wreck was quickly identified as a standard E13A1 Model 11, due to the bracing wires for the floats seen in a few of these pictures, the lack of a spinner on the propeller, and the lack of radar antennas at the front of the wings or on the fuselage.

I took these pictures using a digital SeaLife Reefmaster DC310. The difference in hues in the various pictures, has to do with the angle of the sunlight coming down through the water, versus the angle I was taking a particular picture at.