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D Letourneau
1999

Sinking History
Disabled and partially sunk in Tarawa Lagoon.

Shipwreck
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 the wreck to a smoking hulk.

Stan Gajda reports:
"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."

References
Note, this shipwreck is sometimes confused with the shipwreck of the RCS Nimanoa

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

SCUBA
0' - 15'

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