The War in the Pacific

Chuuk Historic Preservation Office

Chuuk Geography

World War II in Chuuk

World War II Time line


Sapuk Lighthouse

Truk Lagoon shipwrecks and aircraft

Contacts, web address and acknowledgments

War in Paradise
World War II sites in Truk Lagoon, Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia

Truk Lagoon shipwrecks and aircraft


The Truk Lagoon shipwrecks are known as some of the best shipwreck sites to dive in the world. It would be difficult to find anywhere else in the world, 50-60 shipwrecks located in such ideal conditions, and exhibiting the historic and scenic values that these sites contain.

What can be found in this booklet is a list of the 52 ships known to have been sunk inside the lagoon, during World War II, as well as one sunk off Kuop Atoll. Many ships were sunk outside of the lagoon, but have not been listed here.

A small 'gun boat' with turrets that may have contained machine guns, was another recent 'find', although known for several years by some of the people of Tonoas (photograph top right).

The shipwrecks have been dived now for over 30 years and show several signs of wear and tear. Numerous artefacts are removed from dark cabins and placed on the decks to obtain better photographs. Divers exhaust bubbles are often seen rising out of the shipwrecks but many bubbles are trapped which can accelerate the corrosion of the shipwrecks and effect their longevity and stability.

The shipwrecks also contain many munitions, of which some are used to make bombs for 'dynamite fishing' sometimes on the shipwrecks. This leads to damage to the associated flora and fauna and to the shipwrecks themselves, as has been found from the recent corrosion survey.

Also contained here is a list of the known World War II aircraft. The shipwrecks and aircraft are also the final resting place of many Japanese sailors and army personnel. Together with the remaining aircraft located in the lagoon, the shipwrecks are protected under Chuuk law and it is illegal to interfere with them, including recovering any material.


Site Name Ship type during war Tonnage Length
Depth of water
Aikoku MaruArmed transport1043815240 to 73
Amagisan MaruArmed transport762013743 to 61
CHA 29No. 28 class Submarine chaser42049
CHA 46No. 1 class Submarine chaser13026
CHA 66No. 1 class Submarine chaser13026
Ei-sen No. 761Tug3003411 to 18
Fujikawa MaruArmed transport693813312 to 35
Fujisan MaruTanker952415035 to 61
FunaitzukiFast transport destroyer15909834 to 40
FutagamiOcean tug6254012 to 28
Gosei MaruTransport1931836 to 37
Hanakawa MaruArmed special transport473911215 to 34
Heian MaruSubmarine Tender1161415514 to 37
Hino Maru No. 2Gunboat998612 to 15
Hoki MaruTransport71121378 to 50
Hokuyo MaruTransport421710946 to 61
Hoyo MaruTanker86911453 to 34
I-169Submarine B (1) type178510337 to 46
Katsurigisan MaruTransport24278761 to 70
Kensho MaruTransport486211718 to 40
Kikukawa MaruAmmunition supply383310832 to 37
Kiyosumi MaruArmed transport861413821 to 37
Kotohira MaruPicket boat?30

MinseiConverted minelayer37841
Momokawawa MaruTransport382910824 to 44
Nagano MaruTransport382410549 to 64
Nippo MaruTransport376410827 to 50
OiteDestroyer (Kamikaze Class)152310055 to 62
OjimaSalvage tug8124946 to 50
Reiyo MaruTransport544612252 to 67
Rio de Janeiro MaruSubmarine Tender962614115 to 34
San Fransisco MaruTransport583111750 to 64
Sapporo MaruProvision/storeship3614419 to 33
Seiko MaruArmed transport538512037 to 47
Shinkoku MaruArmed Oil tanker1002015211 to 37
Shotan MaruArmed transport28299327 to 44
SusukiPatrol Boat No. 34935843 to 17
Tachi MaruTransport18918230 to 33
TachikazeDestroyer (Minekaze class)1345103
Thiho MaruArmed transport28279850
Traijun MaruTransport1278

Tonan Maru No. 3Oil Tanker19209163
Unkai Maru No. 6Armed transport322010130 to 40
UnknownFour landing craft

UnknownGun boat/landing craft??30185 to 8

UnknownLighter/water transport350?4025 to 30
UnknownPicket boat/Submarine chaser
UnknownTransport/Inter-Island Supply903025 to 30
Yamagiri MaruArmed Transport643813423 to 37
Yamakisan MaruSpecial Transport47761123 to 46
Yubae MaruTransport32179324 to 35

Type USA
No. of
Depth of water
Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" fighterZekeOne119
Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" fighterZekeOne111.5
Yokosuka D4Y dive bomberJudyOne11.55
Nakajima B6N torpedo bomberJillOne1538
Mitsubishi G4M bomberBettyTwo2515
Kawanishi H8K flying boatEmilyFour3815
Nakajima C6N reconnaissanceMyrtOne
On land
Nakajima B6N torpedo bomberJillOne178 to 10
Douglass SBD-5 Dauntless*

1 to 2
Martin PBM-5 Mariner*

On western Weno shoreline

*denotes USA aircraft