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    West Loch Oahu | Hawaii United States
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October 30, 1941

Location
West Loch is the western arm of Pearl Harbor to the west of Ford Island.

Wartime History
During the Pacific War, West Loch was used as a staging area for transport and cargo ships.

West Loch Disaster
On May 21, 1944 while loading ammunition for the upcoming assault on the Marianas, at 15:00 an explosion occurred on LST-353 exploded, showering other LSTs and ships with fragments, which set off further explosions. In total, six LSTs were sunk, and several others heavily damaged, along with 20 nearby buildings. 163 sailors and soldiers died and 396 were wounded, including many African American dock workers. Fires continued to burn into the next day. Afterwards, the wreckage of the shipwrecks were towed out to sea and dumped. The hull of LST-480 remains beached. The accident was kept secret until 1960. The precise cause of the disaster is unknown, but likely rushed loading and storage of ammunition and a detonation that set off a chain reaction explosion.

HA-21 Type A Midget Submarine No. 21 (Midget E)
Sunk December 7, 1941 located 1944 rediscovered 2009

LST-480
Sunk May 21, 1944. Hull remains visible to this day

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Last Updated
August 25, 2018

 

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