Propeller of the Fumitsuki. (Credits: Brandi Mueller)

Fumitsuki Destroyer Shipwreck in Truk Lagoon

Fumitsuki Destroyer

The Fumitsuki is a dedicated warship built for the Japanese Navy, and has no “maru” following its name. One of only two made-for-war ships sunk in Chuuk, it is a 97m (320ft) Mutuki Class destroyer built in 1926 and was in Truk for repairs from an attack by US planes near Rabaul on January 4th, 1944.

Prior to the Rabaul damages, the Fumizuki helped relieve Japanese forces in the battle of Guadalcanal as part of the “Tokyo Express.” Damaged by bombing during Operation Hailstone, her crew abandoned her when she lost power. They attempted to tow her to a new anchorage, but had not noticed the ship had its anchor dropped to avoid drifting on the reef.

Sitting between 24 and 36m (80-120ft) this warship still has intact bow and stern guns and a torpedo launcher. Being built as a warship and not a more comfortable passenger ship, we could immediately tell how much more compact the spaces are on the ship. We swam through companionways and looking into crew spaces are noticeably smaller and reduced in size compared to the passenger ships.

Propeller of the Fumitsuki. (Credits: Brandi Mueller)
Propeller of the Fumitsuki. (Credits: Argunners)

Read also:

  • Shipwrecks of Truk Lagoon, list with all known shipwrecks in Chuuk.
  • Ship graveyard in Truk Lagoon, stunning pictures and informative article on the Ghost Fleet of Chuuk.
  • Airplane wrecks in Truk Lagoon, next to dozens of Japanese vessels also Japanese airplane wrecks can be found in Chuuk Lagoon.
  • Nippo Maru, (aka Nichiho Maru) was torpedoed and sunk in the Balabac Strait west of the Palawan Passage.
  • San Fransico Maru, sunk on the 18th of February, 1944 taking 5 crewmen with her.
  • Rio de Janeiro Maru, bombed and damaged in the Pacific Ocean east of Umon Island, Truk by United States Navy aircraft. She sank the next day.
  • Heian Maru, ocean liner converted into a submarine tender, sunk in February 1944.
  • Kiyosumi Maru, auxiliary cruiser which was sunk in the Pacific Ocean off Fefan Island, Truk by United States Navy aircraft.
  • Yamagiri Maru, sank by dive bombers from the Yorktown and Bunker Hill.
  • Fujikawa Maru, she was sunk on February 18, 1944 by diver bombers.
  • Shinkoku Maru, naval tanker that was sunk in February, 1944.
  • Hoki Maru, a British/New Zealand cargo and passenger ship launched in 1921 and seized by the Japanese in 1942. Sunk.


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