Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks    
  Missing In Action (MIA) Prisoners Of War (POW) Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)  
Chronology Locations Aircraft Ships Submit Info How You Can Help Donate
 
    Truk Islands (Chuuk Islands) Chuuk State (Truk) Federated States of Micronesia
Click For Enlargement
USN February 17, 1944
Location
The Truk Islands (Chuuk Islands) are located in Truk Lagoon in Chuuk State (Truk) in the Federated States of Micronesia. Truk consist of eleven major islands and many smaller islets within a forty mile wide lagoon surrounded by a protective reef. Entrances into the lagoon including North Pass, North East Pass, Salat Pass, Wilger Pass, Otta Pass, Aualap Pass, Ulifauro Pass, Piaanu Pass, Taualap Pass. Truk Harbor (Eten Anchorage)  is the inner anchorage bordering Dublon Island (Tonoas, Tonowas) to the north, Eten Island (Takeshima) to the east, Uman Island to the south and Fefan Island to the west. To the southeast is Kuop Atoll (Neoch Atoll).

Wartime History
On November 15, 1939, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) Fourth Fleet (4th Fleet) under the command of Admiral Katagiri Eikichi established their base at Truk. Chitose was assigned as flagship with tenders Kamoi and Kinugasa Maru of the 17th Sentai to support the new fleet. In December 1939 twenty-four H6K Mavis flying boats from the Yokohama Kokutai were based at Truk Lagoon.

During the Pacific War, Truk Lagoon was an important anchorage and staging base. It was also used as a ferry point for aircraft flying Japan or aircraft carriers. From Truk, aircraft could proceed southward to Rabaul and onward to New Guinea or the Solomons. A total of five airfields and seaplane bases were built in Truk Lagoon.

Japanese airfields and seaplane bases in Truk Lagoon
Moen No. 1 Airfield (Moen 1, Harushma, Chuuk Airport)  located at the northwestern tip of Moen Island.
Moen No. 2 Airfield (Moen 2)  located at the southwestern corner of Moen Island.
Moen Seaplane Base  located at the southwestern corner of Moen Island.
Param Airfield  located on Param Island in Truk Lagoon.
Eten Airfield  located on Eten Island in Truk Lagoon.
Megeson Airfield (Megeson)  under construction during 1944 never completed.
Dublon Seaplane Base  located on Dublon Island using Truk Lagoon as an operating area.

The area was heavily defended with anti-aircraft guns, coastal guns and later in the war defenses were bolstered with additional submarine nets placed in the water along with more mines and even rocket launchers. There were over eighty 25mm anti-aircraft guns and 12cm guns in emplacements along with many smaller guns. Later in the war, manned torpedo bases were established on the outer islands and Daihatsu landing craft were converted into torpedo boats. Other defenses included sea mines in lagoon entrances and land mines on the outer islands.

Allied missions against Truk
January 15, 1941 - June 30, 1945

On January 15, 1941 Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Catalina flying boats flying from Rabaul via Kavieng bombed Truk. After the Japanese occupation of Rabaul, no Allied aircraft had the range to reach Truk. Beyond the reach of Allied aircraft and heavily defended, Truk was dubbed the "Gibraltar of the Pacific". It was not until early February 1944 when the first long range reconnaissance mission reached Truk.

During February 16-18, 1944 during "Operation Hailstone" U. S. Navy (USN) 500+ carrier aircraft from Task Force 58 (TF 58) under the command of Vice Admiral R. A. Spruance including USS Enterprise, USS Yorktown, USS Intrepid CV-11, USS Essex CV-9, USS Bunker Hill CV-17, USS Belleau Wood CVL-24, USS Cabot CVL-28, USS Monterey CVL-26 and USS Cowpens CVL-25 supported by seven battleships, heavy cruisers, light cruisers, destroyers and submarines. The raid began on February 16, 1944 with a fighter sweep over Truk with strikes on February 17-18, 1944. During the raids, 400 tons of bombs and torpedoes were dropped. In total, forty ships were sunk and thousands of Japanese died. Ten weeks later, a second raid sank more ships.

The Allies bypassed Truk and instead bombed the anchorage and bases to neutralize them from the air. During 1944, attacked by B-24 Liberators from the 7th Air Force and later Far East Air Force (FEAF). During 1945, Truk was within range of B-25 Mitchells from the Central Pacific and escorting fighters including P-38 Lightnings and P-47 Thunderbolts and B-29 Superfortress flew bombing familiarization missions until the end of June 1945. On the ground, the Japanese garrison was cut off from resupply but continued to defend Truk until the official surrender of Japan in September 1945. Until the late 1940s, oil from the sunken ships and war debris covered the beaches and coral reefs.

Truk Atoll
Truk Lagoon (Chuuk Lagoon)  large anchorage forty mile wide surrounded by coral reef used by the Japanese.
Truk Harbor  inner anchorage bordering Dublon Island, Eten Island, Uman Island and Fefan Island.
Reef Islands  located at the center of Truk Lagoon.
Faichuk Islands (Shichiyo)
Tol Island  large island in western Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Pata Island (Paata)  northwest portion of Tol Island inside Truk Lagoon
Polle Island  southwest portion of Tol Island inside Truk Lagoon
Ulalu Island  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses and RDF station.
Ollan Island (Onnang)  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Onamuel Island  located in Truk Lagoon to the west of Tol.
South Pass (South Passage)  located at the southern entrance to Truk Lagoon.
Nomwisofo Islands
Eot Island  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Eiol Island  located between Udot Island and west of Param Island.
Fala-Beguets Island (Fanapanges, Fal-Beguets, Fala)  located to the east of Tol Island.
Romanum Island  located in Truk
Udot Island  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Northern Nomoneas Islands (North Shiki)
Moen Island (Weno)  located near the center of Truk Lagoon with two airfields and seaplane base.
Moen No. 1 Airfield (Moen 1, Harushma, Chuuk Airport)  located at the northwestern tip of Moen Island.
Moen No. 2 Airfield (Moen 2)  located at the southwestern corner of Moen Island.
Moen Seaplane Base  located at the southwestern corner of Moen Island.
Fono Island (Fano)  located in Truk Lagoon
Pis-Paneu Island  located in Truk Lagoon
Nomoneas Islands (Shiki)
Dublon Island (Tonoas, Tonowas)  large island in Truk Lagoon with seaplane base and defenses.
Dublon Seaplane Base  located on Dublon Island using Truk Lagoon as an operating area.
Fefan Island  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Eten Island (Etan, Etten)  located in Truk Lagoon includes Eten Airfield.
Eten Airfield  located on Eten Island in Truk Lagoon.
Uman Island  large island in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Param Island (Parem)  located in Truk Lagoon with Param Airfield.
Param Airfield  located on Param Island in Truk Lagoon.
Tarik Island (Totiw)  located to the south of Param in Truk Lagoon.
Eniganimu Island (Eni Kanibu)  located on the northeast side of Truk Lagoon with gun emplacements.
Mesegon Island (Megeson)  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Megeson Airfield (Megeson)  under construction during 1944, never completed.
Otta Island (Ocha)  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Faleu Island  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Northeast Island (North East Island)  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Eot Island  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Eiol Island  located in Truk Lagoon
Yawata Island (Yawata Shima)  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defense.
Mor Island (Moch)  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Salat Island (Sanat)  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Tonelik Island (Pisemew Ne Shima, Ko Shima)  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Southern Nomoneas Islands (South Shiki)
Fefan Island  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Param Island (Parem)  located in Truk Lagoon with Param Airfield.
Tarik Island (Totiw)  located to the south of Param in Truk Lagoon.
Dublon Island (Tonoas, Tonowas)  large island in Truk Lagoon with seaplane base and defenses.
Tsis Island  small island to the south of Fefan Island.
Eten Island (Etan, Etten)  located in Truk Lagoon includes Eten Airfield.
Uman Island  large island in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Inner lagoon Islands
Aga Island
Falas Island 
Fonamer Island
Fanuet Island
Schetan Island
Falo Island (Fano)  located in the center of Truk Lagoon north of Moen Island.
Fanuela Island
Buet Island
Sand Island
Northern Reef Islands
North Pass (Northern Pass)  located at the northern edge of Truk Lagoon
Pis Island (Piis)  located at the northern edge of Truk Lagoon
Tonelik Island  located at the northern edge of Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Northeast Island  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Eastern Reef Islands
North East Pass (Northeastern Pass)
Mor Island (Moch)  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Eniganimu Island (Eni Kanibu)  located on the northeast side of Truk Lagoon with gun emplacements.
Southern Reef Islands
Otta Island (Ocha)  located at the southern edge of Truk Lagoon.
Mesegon Island (Megeson)  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses, Megeson Airfield never completed.
Faleu Island  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Salat Island  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Western Reef Islands
Taualap Passage
Piaanu Pass (Pianu Pass)
  located at the western end of Truk Lagoon
Yawata Island (Yawata Shima)  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defense.

Contribute Information
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
September 1, 2018

 

Map
Map
Feb 4, 1944

Map
Map 2016

Map
Map Fallingrain

Map
Photo Archive
  Discussion Forum Daily Updates Reviews Museums Interviews & Oral Histories  
 
Pacific Wrecks Inc. All rights reserved.
Donate Now Facebook Twitter YouTube Google Plus Instagram