Chuuk Lagoon 2019
Staying and diving with Blue Lagoon Resort
Chuuk is one of the states of the Federation of Micronesia with Chuuk Lagoon itself being the major part of the state. The islands had been known as Truk as a German territory prior to World War I; it became under Japanese control after that war.
During World War II Japanese forces heavily fortified the lagoon and used it as a naval base. Intelligence warned them of an impending attack and many of their ships were withdrawn. On 17th February 1944 Operation Hailstone commenced with US carrier based aircraft attack which lasted 3 days. The result was that 12 small warships and 32 merchant ships were sunk and 275 aircraft destroyed ... mainly on the ground.
The attack played a key role in destroying Japanese supply lines and allowing the US to advance closer to the Japanese mainland with little naval resistance.
The Kensho Maru was a 116 metre, 4862 ton passenger cargo ship built in Kobe in 1938. The wreck now lies upright in 40 metres of water.
We dived the Kensho twice - our first and last dives.
Heian Maru is the largest wreck in the lagoon. It was 11615 tonnes and 163 metres long.
Built as an ocean liner in 1930 the Heian rang regular services between Yokohama and Seatle.
In August 1941 after returning from Seatle the Heian was converted to work as a submarine tender.
The Heian now lies on its port side in 33 metres. We did 2 dives on the Heian.
The Hoki Maru was originally the Hauraki a cargo ship with accommodation for 12 passengers launched in 1921. It was owned by the Union Steamship Corporation of New Zealand. Whilst on a run from Fremantle to Colombo she was ambushed and taken over by Japanese Naval ships.
Returned to work as a transporter the renamed Hoki Maru carried coal, trucks and other machinery when sunk in Truk Lagoon. It lies in 49 m with the deck at about 30 m
The Gosei Maru was a 1931 tonne coastal freighter that was sunk by dive bombers on 17th February 1944. She sank on the northern side of Uman Island. Currently rests on the port side with the stern in just 4 metres and the bow in 38 metres.
The Nippo Maru was a medium sized freighter converted for use as a water transporter. It was 108 metres long with a 15 metre beam. The Nippo sits upright with a list to port in 48 metres of water.
The wreck is notable in tht it has a tank (Mitsubishi Type 95 Ha-Go, 4 field mortars and compass and ship's telegraph still intact in the bridge.
The Sankisan Maru was build in 1942 as a transport ship and in 1943 was taken over by the Japanese Navy and converted to military cargo. It was 112 metres long and 4776 tonnes.
The Sankisan sits upright in 46 metres of water. Much of the stern section was destroyed in an explosion.
Code named "Betty Bomber" by US Navy pilots the Mitsubitshi G4M was the main land-based long range bomber used by the Japanese Imperial Navy. The plane sacrificed all armour protection for the crew to ensure light weight and long range - it got the nickname "Flaming Coffin" crew had no parachutes and vowed to crash to cause enemy damage starting the kamikaze idea. This bomber is sitting in 18 metres.
San Francisco Maru
The San Francisco Maru was a 117 m, 5,831 ton Passenger/Cargo ship built in 1919. She lies in 64 metres with the deck at 50 metres.
The San Fran was loaded with war materials including 3 tanks and a truck, holds contain mines and other warfare supplies.
One of the highlights of any trip to Truk!
The Shinkoko Maru was built in 1939 as a modern tanker. She went to the Imperial Navy as fleet oiler. The Shinkoko was 10020 tons and 152 metres long.
She was sunk by torpedoes during Operation Hailstone.
The top of the superstructure is just 12 metres deep, the deck at 20 metres and sitting in 40 metres.
The Yamagiri Maru was built in 1938 as a passenger/cargo ship but was converted by the navy in 1941 as a military transport ship. 133 metres long and 6439 tons the Yamagiri leans towards its port side.
One of the features of the wreck is 3000 pound 18 inch shells found in one of the holds - the largest shells ever made.
Chuuk - Blue Lagoon Resort - sun and sunsets
Chuuk Lagoon is beautiful ... lots of islands, the sea and Blue lagoon has a bar that overlooks it all.