SS San Francisco Maru
When to go diving
Origin and wrecking of the San Francisco Maru during the Hailstone operation
Built in March 1919 by the Kawasaki Shipyard in Kobe Japan for the Yamashita Kisen Kabushiki Kaisha Company, the 117 meters long cargo ship was destined for the transport of minerals such as coal, bauxite and phosphate. The word “Maru” means a merchant vessel. During the Second World War, this ship was requisitioned and used by the maritime transport department to deliver equipment and ammunition to the Japanese imperial troops. On May 4, 1943, the San Francisco Maru was damaged by an allied air raid on Wewak, New Guinea. The ship went to Truuk lagoon on 5 February 1944 to carry out a series of repairs. On 17 and 18 February 1944, Operation Hailstone begins and signs the end of the ship. On the first day, the San Francisco Maru was hit several times but only minor incidents were observed. On the second day, the ship was struck by six 500-kg bombs dropped by USS Essex aircraft. A huge fire will cause the final sinking of the sinking ship, stern first, causing in death, 5 crew members.
A fantastic wreck dive at Chuuk lagoon in Micronesia
Rediscovered in 1969 by Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the San Francisco Maru rests on the sand to a depth of 64 meters. The ship’s superstructure is 42 meters deep and the main bridge is at 50 meters. Diving is only allowed for 3 level diving divers or technical divers who will enjoy the 30 meters of visibility and water temperature between 27 ° and 30 ° Celsius. Arriving on the wreck we discover the two large coal-fired boilers powered by a single steam engine. The cargo, located on the main deck, includes both a truck and a type 95 Ha-Go tanks that are very well preserved. In the holds are two large trucks and numerous war materials such as ammunition boxes, mines, torpedoes, bombs, artillery pieces, anti-tank weapons, engines, aircraft parts and Barrels of gasoline. A wreck dive to be explored imperatively for all the enthusiasts of the second world war