Many of the wrecks are "Maru" or merchant vessels that had been left at anchor. Some had been fortified with anti-aircraft weapons and many carried important army supplies including Zero Fighter aircraft parts, tanks, torpedo shells, trucks and road supplies. Bottles, cooking utensils, items from everyday life and personal artefacts can be found in several of the wrecks, serving as a reminder to the visiting divers of those who lost their lives during the battle. The more gruesome reminders of the conflict, such as human skulls, have since been removed and may now only be seldom seen in the deeper reaches of the wrecks.
Experience the Wreck Diving Capital of the World and delve deeper into history!! The majority of the 61 sunken ships and aircraft from the Japanese fleet lie well within recreational limits and experienced divers will find plenty of sites to choose from during the course of your liveaboard safari. Our 7-night or 10-night itineraries allow divers to explore not only many of the famous wrecks but to experience some superb reef diving also. There are numerous channels that cut through the reef which serve as hunting grounds for reef sharks and schooling pelagic animals which all add to the wonder of diving Truk.
Truk (Chuuk) Lagoon, the Federated States of Micronesia. To the south-east isKuop Atoll and Kuop Lagoon. Truk Lagoon is a 40 mile wide lagoon surrounded by a fringing coral reef.
On November 15, 1939, Admiral KatagiriEikichi's Fourth Fleet is established at Truk. Chitose is assigned as flagship with tenders Kamoi and Kinugasa Maru of the 17th Sentai for the new fleet. During December, 24 H6K Mavis flying boats of the Yokohama Kokutai are also stationed at Truk Lagoon. On the morning of February 17, 1944 US Navy carrier aircraft from USS Intrepid CV-11 and USS Essex conductd a surprise attack against Japanese ships anchored in Truk Lagoon, dropping 400 tons of bombs and torpedo. Attacks continued February 18, 1944. In total, forty ships were sunk and thousands of Japanese died. Ten weeks later, a second raid sank more ships.
For more than two years after the war, oil from the sunken ships covered the beaches and reefs. Truk is best wreck diving in the world overall because of the numerous wrecks and their preservation and beauty. Depths vary from the surface in excess of 200 feet. You can penetrate into the wrecks but you can't remove any artifacts. Caustic substances like high octane aviation fuel, oils, gasoline and acid exist on many of the wrecks. Explosives, mines, munitions, detonators, torpedoes and shells are still "live". The wrecks of Truk Lagoon are war graves. Strict policies exist that prevent the removal of any artifacts or marine life from the wrecks. Fines and a possible jail sentence await those who disobey. The Trukese hope to preserve their lagoon as an underwater living monument and museum of the war.