Yamagiri Maru Wreck
The Yamagiri Maru was a 133m (437ft) passenger/cargo carrier launched in 1939 and converted to a military transport ship in 1941. This ship was damaged by two torpedoes in 1943 from the submarine USS Drum and repaired in Rabaul before sailing to Truk and then sank by dive bombers from the Yorktown and Bunker Hill.
Sitting at 36m (120ft) with its shallowest parts around 18m (60ft), this Yamagiri Maru’s most interesting feature is in hold #5. On their way to be delivered to the battleships Yamato and Mushashi were Armor piercing shells 45cm (18in) long, weighing over 3000 pounds each, that could be hurled 38 kilometers. These gun rounds were for the largest guns ever made for a battleship, the largest American battleships had only 40cm (16in) guns.
Being a lover of macro ocean life, I couldn’t help but be amazed at all the little creatures that could be found making their homes in these sunken ships. One second the dive guide would be pointing out 45cm ammunition and the next moment I would find a nudibranch crawling its way up across the bow of the WWII wreck. Anemones seem to have happily made their homes all over the wrecks and their respective anemone fish eagerly come up to look at you, looking back at them.
She went under taking 11 crew members down with her.
Photographs of the Yamagiri Maru Wreck:
- 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.
- Fujikawa Maru, she was sunk on February 18, 1944 by diver bombers.
- Fumitsuki Destroyer, one of only two made-for-war ships sunk in Chuuk.
- 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.
- Bailey, Dan E.,: WWII Wrecks of the Kwajalein and Truk Lagoons (Paperback). North Valley Diver Pubns.
- Bailey, Dan E.: World War II Wrecks of the Truk Lagoon (Hardcover). North Valley Diver Pubns.
- Lindemann, Klaus: Hailstorm Over Truk Lagoon: Operations Against Truk by Carrier Task Force 58, 17 and 18 February 1944, and the Shipwrecks of World War II (Hardcover). Wipf & Stock Pub.
- MacDonald, Rod: Dive Truk Lagoon: The Japanese WWII Pacific Shipwrecks (Hardcover). Whittles Publishing.
- Franko Maps Ltd: Chuuk (Truk) Lagoon Dive & Wreck Map & Operation Hailstone Franko Maps (Maps)
- Gerken, Mike: The Wrecks of Truk Lagoon – A Documentary Film (DVD). Evolution Underwater Imaging LLC.