Chuuk Lagoon’s Ghost Fleet – Chuuk, Micronesia
The Greatest Underwater Museum in the World
On February 17, 1944, American Task Force 58 engaged in Operation Hailstorm, dropping over 500 tons of bombs on the Japanese Imperial Navy’s Fourth Fleet in a surprise attack second only to Pearl Harbor in size and significance.
Today Chuuk Lagoon (a.k.a. Truk Lagoon, its older and still commonly used name) holds the wrecks of sixty Japanese ships, the largest concentration of sunken ships in the world and the standard by which all other wreck dives are measured. A combination of unusually warm tropical water, prolific marine life, and lagoon currents has acted as a natural incubator, transforming the lifeless WWII hulks into magnificent artificial reefs with brilliant coral displays.
These remarkable war ruins, left undisturbed with their guns, trucks, silverware, and sake bottles were brought to light by a fledgling dive industry in the 1970s. The 437-foot Fujikawa Maru is the most famous relic, a Japanese aircraft carrier that sits upright in 40 to 90 feet of water, a gaping torpedo hole in her starboard side.