Truk (or Chuuk, as it is now known) was the site of a major Japanese naval base during World War II. In early 1944 the US Navy sent a large task force there (Operation Hailstone) and sunk 60 to 70 ships in the lagoon, mainly with carrier-based dive bombers and torpedo bombers. Most of the ships in the lagoon were merchant vessels carrying war supplies. Although they were merchant ships most of them were fitted with guns on the bow and stern for for wartime service.

All photos were taken with a Nikon N90 film camera in a Nexus housing, 20mm and 105mm lenses and 2 Sea & Sea YS-120 strobes.

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Map of Truk Gun barrel on the Fujikawa Maru Bow gun on the Fujikawa Maru Hot tub on the Aggressor Anenmome shrimp on the Fujikawa Maru
Artillery shells, Heian Maru Soft coral and diver on the Hoki Maru Soft coral on the Hoki Maru 1930's truck on the Hoki Maru More trucks on the Hoki Maru
Truk Lagoon in the late afternoon Wrenches in the engine room, Kinsho Maru Engine controls (in English), Kinsho Maru Artifacts, Kinsho Maru Native skiff by the island of Dublon
Two-man tank on the deck of the Nippo Maru Bridge and engine controls of the Nippo Maru Artillery piece on the deck of the Nippo Maru Sun deck on the Aggressor Soft coral on the Sankisan Maru
Puffer fish on the Sankisan Maru Soft coral at night Soft coral at night Cup corals at night Divers next to the Unkai Maru
Art Koch and some 14 inch shells, Yamagiri Maru Truk Aggressor after a great dive Yours truly after a great dive

One of the more unusual wrecks in the lagoon is a Mitsubishi G4M twin-engine bomber, called a "Betty" by the US Navy. The pilot's hatch at the front of the plane still works. There is no US Navy record that this plane was shot down during the American attack and there are no bullet or cannon holes in its fuselage or wings. It appears that the aircraft crashed accidentally while on final approach to the airfield on Eten Island sometime before the 1944 attack. The engines were running when the aircraft hit the water; they tore themselves from their nacelles and are in the sand about 70 or 80 yards in front of the wreckage.

Exterior of the bomber Interior of the bomber

The Kiyozumi Maru participated in the Battle of Midway, June 1942. At that time she was used as a troop transport to carry the invasion force to the island.

Bicycle, Kiyozumi Maru Artifacts on the Kiyozumi Maru Soft corals, Kiyozumi Maru

The Shinkoku Maru was a fleet oiler, a tanker that carried fuel for naval vessels. She was a member of the task force that attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941

Soft corals on the Shinkoku Maru Sake bottles and a medical kit, Shinkoku Maru Anemone fish at home, Shinkoku Maru Art Koch photographing engine contols on the bridge of the Shinkoku Maru

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