The sinking of the Sanko Maru

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We dived on a Japanese war wreck yesterday and after the Dive Captain Greg told us the story and that he had found a photo of the actual sinking of the vessel as well as one of the tiny 2 man subs the Japanese Type C mini sub used to use during the war.

As you will see in the photo an American bomber had just torpedoed the Sanko Maru and is climbing up after the bombing. Apparently it was bombed on the 16th of February 1944 by one of the bombers from the 38th and 345th bomb groups.

The wreck of the Sanko Maru sits right there just off the end of the island and the sub lays upright with the access hatch open only 100 metres from the Sanko Maru.

From what I read on the history of the Sanko Maru, it was known as one of the ‘hell ships’ which used to transport prisoners of war in the Philippines under the most appalling conditions.

I often wonder what really happened when you dive on old wrecks like this and if they could only talk and I am so happy to have found this little snippet of history to share with you all.

The Sanko Maru was broken apart by the bombing and lays on its starboard side and is now home to a whole world of see life.

I hope you all enjoy this little insight into some PNG war history!

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2 Responses to The sinking of the Sanko Maru

  1. Fantastic photos Mark, really crisp and clear buddy. I was lucky enough to have dived Truk Lagoon in 2005 on heaps of Japanese shipwrecks.