Disabled and partially sunk in Tarawa
On November 20, 1943 during the American amphibious invasion of Tarawa (Betio) this shipwreck was located just off landing beach "Red 2" where the United States Marine Corps landed.
During the Battle of Tarawa, Japanese defenders aboard
the shipwreck and used it as a machine gun
position to fire on Marines wading ashore. Their machine guns took such a toll that the
landings were suspended until aircraft and naval gunfire reduced
wreck to a smoking hulk.
"I have been to it many times and spent hours snorkeling around it. It really
is blown to bits, even the diesel engine. Only the stem of the boat is recognizable
and you can still see many .50 cal bullets holes in it. Also around it I have
found two unexploded 100lb GP bombs, no doubt relics from the bombing to put
it out of action. I have never found anything real interesting in it though except
Japanese bottles. I expected to find machine gun ammunition or cases or even a rusted machine gun or
two. Maybe it got cleaned out long ago. In August 1998, then there was a Kiribati
Shipping Company vessel aground on the same reef as the Nimanoa approximately where
the Japanese barge is. Also other junk has been allowed to drift in and run aground."
Note, this shipwreck is sometimes confused with the shipwreck of the RCS Nimanoa
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January 10, 2018