06/05/2014 02:47 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

This Secret Warplane Graveyard Has A Great American Story Behind It (PHOTOS)

In 1947, Walter Soplata could already see the American WWII war bird going extinct.

The scrapyard worker -- who'd been disqualified from military service due to a stutter -- saw thousands of warplane engines dismantled and scrapped after they were declared surplus. So instead of watching the end of awesome WWII planes, Soplata bought a big chunk of land in Ohio and began to collect.

Soon he was racking up classic aircraft fuselages and engines for less than $1,000 apiece. His barren property quickly transformed into a homemade aircraft graveyard. His collection was completed in the 80s, and includes a B-25, a Vultee BT-15 Trainer, a Goodyear FG-1D Corsair with an experimental engine, and even a clubhouse that his kids used to use, made out of a Fairchild c-82 Boxcar fuselage.

Soplata died a few years ago, and his family has kept the graveyard's exact location a relative secret to keep scrappers at bay. They've also refused to sell his pieces away to museums.

Luckily for us, our resident abandoned structure photographer Johnny Joo gained access to Soplata's collection, and captured its gorgeous, eerie splendor in the photos below. And if you enjoy Joo's work, check out his Facebook page or pre-order a copy of his book.

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Airplane Graveyard