On December 4, 1943 this vessel was attacked by US Navy aircraft from Task Force 50 (TF 50) and heavily damaged. Left floating low in the water the ship was towed to Kwajalein. The damaged vessel was docked off Roi-Namur until late January 1944 awaiting a tow to Truk or Japan for repair.
29, 1944 while USS North Carolina was bombarding shore installations
on Roi-Namur, Eiko Maru opened fire on the battleship's spotting plane. Spotted, sixteen rounds were fired at the ship, scoring a direct hit causing the vessel to burn furiously and sink quickly off Kwajalein Atoll Northern Atoll, in shallow water leaving her mast above water.
During the American occupation of Kwajalein, the
masts and funnel were blown off to clear the channel of obstetrical, and came to rest along side the shipwreck.
This shipwreck is located close to shore and known for varied fish life,
including sharks barracuda, groupers, rays and turtles. A 1" deck gun is on
the bow at 50'. The anchor chain is extending off the bow.
The forecastle is a storage area for tools, hoses, ropes and cables.
A spare anchor is mounted by the starboard entrance.
Contains 55 gal. drums, most crushed due to the pressure.
A large towing barge lies on the opposite side of the wreck, with several
motorized barges that were apparently tied to the ship now lie across
the No. 2 hold.
Gutted by gunfire. Bullet holes are everywhere. The radio
room is full of scattered remains of equipment. The main deck can be
entered from two doors on the aft side of the superstructure. The pharmacy,
latrine and storage space are in this area, their partitions have since
fallen down. A foot of muck is on the floor. In it are bottles, medicine,
instruments, and cases of china.
No. 3 Hold
Can be entered aft of the mid-ship superstructure. A skeleton
of one of the crew is here. The skull has a bullet hole in it, and the
rifle he used to commit suicide is to his side. Coal and two spare propellers
are also in this hold. More 55 gal drums and other equipment are in
this hold. At one time a mortar and shells were recovered from this
hold. The engine room can be entered through a bomb hole. There is little
room to move among the catwalks, gauges and controls and it is very
dark here. The port side of the extended cabin was the crew's mess.
Dishes, bottles plates are here. Down the hall are oven and sinks and
a beer and saki locker.
No. 4 Hold
Contains more 55 gal drums. The poop deck has two levels of crew's
quarters. The lower has skeletal remains of several of the crew.
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August 10, 2019