Chuuk (Truk) 2023

Truk was one of the main Japanese Pacific naval bases during the Second World War, and the shipwrecks found here were sent to the bottom in 1944 during carrier raids conducted by the American Navy. The first major assault on the Truk naval base was Operation Hailstone, conducted over two days (February 16-17, 1944) by no less than 9 US aircraft carriers. The raid resulted in the sinking of 45 ships and another 26 damaged. A second carrier attack was conducted on April 29-30, 1944, this time with a force of 12 aircraft carriers. This attack concentrated on shore installations, and most shipping had been evacuated from the atoll.

Reference: Bailey, Dan E. "WWII Wrecks of the Kwajalein and Truk Lagoons," North Valley Diver Publications, 1992.

This was my fifth trip to this wreck-diving paradise, and it never disappoints! I had visited the island in 1999, 2004, 2015 and 2018. You can see that a number of the wrecks are beginning to deteriorate noticeably since I first started coming here, but this is still one of the best wreck diving destinations in the world. If you get the chance, it is not to be missed!

Japanese destroyer Oite

The destroyer Oite was sunk by Grumman TBF Avengers from the USS Bunker Hill during Operation Hailstone. The wreck lies in two pieces in 200 feet of water near the North Pass. These two panoramic views of the two sections of the wreck were taken in March 2023. To the left is the bow section while the stern section is to the right; the upper view was taken nearer to the bow section, while the lower one was taken nearer to the stern section.

Truk Image Gallery

All the above images were taken with a Sony A7RIV in a Nauticam housing with Inon strobes. Images were processed in Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop and Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.

"Old School" in 2023
Just-for-Fun I brought along a Nikonos V camera with a 15mm lens and a couple rolls of film (Ilford Delta 400 black and white film). The following images were shot with that 'old-school' rig in March 2023...
The wreck of the Hoki Maru's aft cargo hold contains a fleet of trucks and other heavy vehicles
Vehicle and equipment remains inside the forward cargo hold of the Shotan Maru
Joe Mazraani and prop of Hoki Maru (left); foredeck of Shotan Maru (right)

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All images, text and content Copyright © Bradley Sheard. All rights reserved.