SHINKOKU MARU                                                                                                                                                             UNDERWATER IMAGES                                           

The Shinkoku Maru was built in 1939 by the Kawasaki Dockyard for the Kobe Sanbashi K.K. Line as a tanker. Her construction was subsidized by the fuel starved Japanese Navy and her first voyages where to carry oil from the United States to Japan, prior to the embargo. The Imperial Japanese Navy then converted her to a fleet oiler and Shinkoku Maruís most noteworthy mission was her participation in the Pearl Harbor attack as part of Admiral Nagumoís strike force. Later she participated in the attack on Ceylon and then for general resupply duties. In August 1942, she was torpedoed by an American submarine. She was at anchor in Truk at the time of the "Hailstone" attack. She survived two days of attacks and two aerial torpedo hits until she was finally sunk.

The ship is one of the most interesting in the lagoon and presents a fantastic night dive. The soft corals and hydroids that emerge after dark turn Shinkoku Maru into a hanging garden and her operating room is the only one in the lagoon.   She now rests at a maximum depth of 125 fsw at her stern.

Shinkoku Maru: Displacement: 10,020 tons; Length: 500 feet; Beam: 65 feet; Engine: 1 MAN diesel; Max Speed: 19.8 kts. Launched: 13 DEC 1939.


                                                                        Courtesy-Capt. Lance Higgs S.S. Thorfinn

                                                                                MORE TRUK LAGOON  "GHOST FLEET"