Fujikawa Maru

Length 435ft. Beam 59ft. 6938tons

Single Diesel Engine driving a Single Prop.

The Fujikawa Maru was built in 1938 as a passenger cargo ship. In 1940 she was requisitioned by the Japanese Navy for use as an armed aircraft transport ferry.

Being one of 10 merchant ships used for aircraft transportation. Fujikawa Mara was part of air flotilla 22 under the command of the 11th Air Fleet. Her transportation duty  including the delivery of planes and aircraft parts to Island bases. She participated in the midway operation and others. In Sept 1943 she nearly sank when she was torpedoed by USS Permit after leaving Truk, but managed to limp back to Truk and returned to service in January 1944.

In Operation Hailstone  she was struck with a torpedo by an aircraft from USS Bunker Hill. She was still afloat the next day. Dive bombers from USS Essex scored a direct hit with a 1000lb bomb on her port quarter and  three near misses. Planes from USS Monterey reported hits with torpedoes.

She now rests on an even keel on the seabed at 33m, deck at 18m, top of her superstructure at 9m. Fujikawa Maru is noted as one of the best dives in the lagoon and she has been called the ‘Showcase wreck’.

She has two 6in guns bow and stern that were “cannibalized” from an old decommissioned cruiser. The breech plate on the forward  shows the British manufacturer as Elswick Ordnance Company Serial No 12469 and the date of manufacture 1899. The Superstructure is accessible with pilothouse,  baths staterooms and gallery.

There are Zero fighter planes in the forward hold, belly tanks, propeller blades, wheels, also large artillery shells. There is good access to the engine room, storage areas and work areas. The whole ship has an abundance of rich multi coloured corals on her along with shoals of fish.

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