Airplane Wrecks of Truk Lagoon

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Some of the more popular airplane wrecks dives in Truk Lagoon include the Kawanishi H8K1 “Emily” Flying Boat and the Mitsubishi G4M “Betty” Bomber. Bomber aircraft were often given female names and fighter aircraft were often nicknamed with men’s names.

The Emily Flying Boat was known for its long range and nicknamed the “Flying Porcupine” was very difficult to shoot down because it had self-sealing fuel tanks and internal fire extinguishers. It held a crew of 16, had a 37m (124ft) wingspan and was 28m (92ft) long. It had four 1850 horsepower Mitsubishi Kasei engines.

Airplane Wrecks in Truk Lagoon

List of airplane wrecks located in Truk Lagoon made by U.S. National Park Service (Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)

List of airplane wrecks located in Truk Lagoon made by U.S. National Park Service (Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Airplane Wrecks of Truk Lagoon: Emily Plane gauges (Credits: Brandi Mueller)

Emily Plane gauges (Credits: Argunners)

Airplane Wrecks of Truk Lagoon: Emily Plane (Credits: Brandi Mueller)

Emily Plane (Credits: Argunners)

Airplane Wrecks of Truk Lagoon: Emily Plane (Credits: Brandi Mueller)

Emily Plane (Credits: Argunners)

This particular wreck was bringing back the Commanding Officer of the Fourth Fleet, his Chief of Staff and other senior Japanese Naval Officers from a meeting in Palau. US fighters repeatedly attack and the pilot still managed to escape the fighters and return to Truk, although while trying to land the damaged aircraft the pilot lost control and it crashed and sank. The pilot, Admiral and Chief of Staff survived.

An easy wreck to dive at 15m (50ft), much of the plane is intact including several propellers. Near the plane sit several gauge panels and other airplane parts.

The Betty bomber was a small twin engine plane that sits in 15-18m (50-60ft) in the sand. Made to be as light as possible, the fuel tanks were unprotected and easily caught fire, making them very vulnerable. This wreck crashed on trying to land on Eten Island and it is unknown if it was shot down or crashed on its own. The engines are found about 90m (300ft) in front of the rest of the wreck closer to the island. This plane would hold a crew of seven, had a wingspan of 25m (85ft), was 20m (66ft) long and would have four 12.7mm machine guns, one 20mm cannon, and one 1750lb bomb.

Airplane Wrecks of Truk Lagoon: Betty Plane (Credits: Brandi Mueller)

Betty Plane (Credits: Argunners)

Airplane Wrecks of Truk Lagoon: View into the inside of the Betty Plane (Credits: Brandi Mueller)

View into the inside of the Betty Plane (Credits: Argunners)

Airplane Wreck of Betty Plane lying on the bottom of Truk Lagoon (Credits: Brandi Mueller)

Betty Plane lying on the bottom of Truk Lagoon (Credits: Argunners)

Read also:

  • Shipwrecks of Truk Lagoon, list with all known shipwrecks in Chuuk.
  • Ship graveyard in Truk Lagoon, stunning pictures and informative article on the Ghost Fleet of Chuuk.
  • Nippo Maru, (aka Nichiho Maru) was torpedoed and sunk in the Balabac Strait west of the Palawan Passage.
  • San Fransico Maru, sunk on the 18th of February, 1944 taking 5 crewmen with her.
  • Rio de Janeiro Maru, bombed and damaged in the Pacific Ocean east of Umon Island, Truk by United States Navy aircraft. She sank the next day.
  • Heian Maru, ocean liner converted into a submarine tender, sunk in February 1944.
  • Kiyosumi Maru, auxiliary cruiser which was sunk in the Pacific Ocean off Fefan Island, Truk by United States Navy aircraft.
  • Yamagiri Maru, sank by dive bombers from the Yorktown and Bunker Hill.
  • Fujikawa Maru, she was sunk on February 18, 1944 by diver bombers.
  • Fumitsuki Destroyer, one of only two made-for-war ships sunk in Chuuk.
  • Shinkoku Maru, naval tanker that was sunk in February, 1944.
  • Hoki Maru, a British/New Zealand cargo and passenger ship launched in 1921 and seized by the Japanese in 1942. Sunk.

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Argunners Magazine is an independent online historian and collector's magazine, dedicated to the militaria and history of both Axis and Allied powers during the World War 1 & 2. Argunners is a central resource offering the latest militaria and war history news, journals, articles and press releases related to these themes.

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