Rio de Janeiro Maru Wreck in Truk Lagoon

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Before WWII the Rio de Janeiro Maru was an eight-deck passenger luxury liner that carried people and cargo from Japan to many areas of the world including South America, South Africa, the USA. Built in 1940 and converted into a submarine tender in 1940 for the Japanese Navy she serviced six submarines. After Japan lost most of its submarines she was reclassified as a transport ship. Sunk by at least one bomb from an Essex aircraft she now rests on her starboard side at 40m (130ft).

Rio de Janeiro Maru

Another of my favorites, this 137m (450ft) wreck has an easily accessed large engine room with many knobs, gauges and pipes. There is also a hold referred to as the ‘bottle room’ with stacked boxes of beer bottles. The ship also has very large, photogenic, propellers. One needs several dives to fully explore this large, mostly shallow wreck.

The Rio de Janeiro Maru-class submarine tender was bombed and damaged in the Pacific Ocean east of Umon Island, Truk by United States Navy aircraft. She sank the next day.

View from inside the Rio de Janeiro Maru. (Credits: Brandi Mueller)

View from inside the Rio de Janeiro Maru. (Credits: Argunners)

Bottle Room of the Rio de Janeiro Maru. (Credits: Brandi Mueller)

Bottle Room of the Rio de Janeiro Maru. (Credits: Argunners)

Engine Room of the Rio de Janeiro. (Credits: Brandi Mueller)

Engine Room of the Rio de Janeiro. (Credits: Argunners)

Engine Room of the Rio de Janeiro. (Credits: Brandi Mueller)

Engine Room of the Rio de Janeiro. (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.
  • Airplane wrecks in Truk Lagoon, next to dozens of Japanese vessels also Japanese airplane wrecks can be found in Chuuk Lagoon.
  • 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.
  • 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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