Light Japanese tank Ha-Go
Truk Lagoon is considered as the "Holy Grail" of wreck diving worldwide, due to the wide variety of wrecks, many of them in nearly intact condition.
|Aleksei Kondratuk in Chuuk (formerly known as Truk)|
Aleksei Kondratuk, a scuba diver and underwater photographer from Vladivostok, Russia, shares his stunning photos from the destroyed fleet of the Japanese, that remind us of the fierce battles that took place at this remote area of the Pacific Ocean back in 1944.
During WW2 Truk Lagoon provided Japan an excellent harbor that could accommodate the Imperial fleet.
The military facilities in the area included five airstrips, a seaplane base, a torpedo boat station, a radar station, a submarine repair station, and a communication center.
Thousands of troops and a wide variety of heavy guns well hidden in caves, secured that the lagoon remained an impenetrable fortress.
Gas mask in the cockpit of a “Zero”
The “Gibraltar of the Pacific“ was a threat to any Allied operation in the Pacific.
And so it was the mission of the U.S. Navy Force 58 to neutralise this threat.
A torpedo that got inside the engine room, but didn’t explode
«Operation Hailstone», the code name for the assault on Truk Lagoon, culminated on February 17th and 18th, 1944.
Inside Heian Maru
The American armada included 5 Fleet Carriers and 4 Light Carriers.
Supporting the carriers were a fleet of 7 battleships, cruisers, destroyers, submarines, a variety of support ships, and more than 500 aircraft.
Ammunition in the cargo hold
Japanese losses resulting from the U.S. Navy attack totaled over 250 aircraft and 45 ships.
|A military vehicle encrusted in corals|
Among the ships sunk were cruisers, destroyers, sub-chasers, tankers, and cargo carrying supply ships.
Divers from all over the world visit Truk Lagoon to see one of the best preserved underwater museums of WW2.
Operation table with human remains
Kensho Maru is beautiful wreck. A lot of soft corals covering a huge bow gun on the deck, interesting engine room, telegraph still in the wheelhouse, a lot of artifacts on the upper deck.
Huge bow gun on the deck covered in corals
Artillery gun on the deck
|The Ha-Go light tank on the deck|
|The frame of a military vehicle is hanging from the deck|
|The Ha-Go tank|
A scuba diver exploring a wreck in Truk Lagoon