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This photobook was purposely created for those who are interested in diving at Chuuk, Chuuk first-time divers, underwater photobook collectors, and essentially those who had been to Truk lagoon but did not have underwater camera with them. Despite of the fact that Truk/Chuuk is considered a paradise for wreck diving, I found it quite surprising that as of 2010, there were only two books about Truk Lagoon that I could find and gather up to educate myself prior to my first trip there. This book features all of my wreck drawings from the trip with rough wreck statistics. I ultimately hope that this book, my first ever underwater photobook, will become one of your favorite coffee table books of all time.
During World War II, Truk was a major Japanese logistical base as well as the operating “home” base for the Imperial Japanese Navy’s Combined Fleet operations against the Allied forces in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Some considered it the Japanese equivalent of the U.S. Navy’s Pearl Harbor. The atoll was the only major Japanese airbase within range of the Marshall Islands and was a significant source of support for Japanese garrisons located on islands and atolls throughout the central and south Pacific.
Operation Hailstone (Japanese: Torakku-tō Kūshū, “the airstrike on Truk Island”) was a massive naval air and surface attack launched on February 17-19, 1944, during World War II by the U.S. Navy against the Japanese naval and airbase at Truk in the Caroline Islands, a pre-war Japanese territory. The U.S. attack involved a combination of airstrikes, surface ship actions, and submarine attacks over two days and appeared to take the Japanese completely by surprise.
Twelve Japanese warships, 32 merchant ships and 249 aircraft were destroyed, although the larger warships had received advance warning and were already at sea. In total the attack sank three Japanese light cruisers (Agano, Katori, and Naka), four destroyers (Oite, Fumizuki, Maikaze, and Tachikaze), three auxiliary cruisers (Akagi Maru, Aikoku Maru, Kiyosumi Maru), two submarine tenders (Heian Maru, Rio de Janeiro Maru), three other smaller warships (including submarine chasers Ch-24 and Shonan Maru 15), aircraft
transport Fujikawa Maru, and 32 merchant ships. The shipwrecks and remains are sometimes referred to as the “Ghost Fleet of Truk Lagoon.”