dive site type: wreck
depth range: 37-52 m
distance from the diving center: 5.5 nm
short characteristic: a wreck of a B-24 bomber which crashed in 1944 and its hull with wings lies at the depth of 40 m, while the tail is accessible by technical divers only, lying at the depth of 52 m in a distance of about 100 m from the hull
Vis is the furthest off the mainland among inhabited Croatian islands. It is 45 km from the coast and 50 km from Split. On the other hand it is only 150 km to Italy. The location, combined with the fact that – as unique on the Dalmatian coast – Vis has its own sources of drinking water, have caused the island’s attractiveness to various rulers. Looking at the island’s 19th century history, it can be seen to how it was ruled by Austrians, Frenchs and Brits, and the Italians also fought for it. No less turbulent was the story of the island during World War II. In 1943, the Croatian and Serbian partisans were supported by the Allies in the fight against the Germans, which was dedicated to the maintenance of the Dalmatian islands. They lost Brač, Hvar and Korcula, but managed to keep Vis, Biševo and Sveti Andrija. Allied forces continued to support the guerrillas. In 1944, about 1000 British soldiers were stationed on Vis. In the same year the hospital and the airport were built. The airport were used by the American Army stationed in Italy (15th Air Force) and British Army and partisans.
On December 17, 1944, a bomber B-24 Liberator and others set off from base in Torretta towards the town of Odertal, near the Polish-German border. The plane was the last piece produced in the Douglas Factory in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and its built was paid by the factory workers and local residents, who gave it a nickname Tulsamerican. Over the Czech Republic, the formation was attacked by German division. As a result, the B-24 bomber got damaged one engine and hydraulic system. It was also often hit in the wings and hull. After all there was no chance of returning to the base in Italy. It soon became apparent that the only emergency was landing at the Allied airfield on the island of Vis.