Originally a whale hunter. During June
1941 she was converted to a sub chaser, with a 8cm gun on the bow,
a 7.7mm machine gun atop the bridge and a depth charge thrower on the aft deck
On January 30, 1944 she was crossing
the lagoon loaded with 100 passengers and crew escaping to another
island, as the American invasion was underway. It was damaged by TF
58 planes and it was decided to beach the ship when it started to flood.
Some of the crew was killed in strafing attacks. At nightfall, the
stranded crew radioed for supplies and weapons.
On board the wreck
were 75 secret documents of hydrographic charts of the Marshall and
Caroline Islands, Bonun, Marianas and major ports in Japan. Also, code
books and signals and other secret papers. These materials were used
in Operation Catchpole, the invasion of Eniwetok ten days later. Some of these charts were first new data the US Hydrographic
Office had on the locations in over 100 years!
Easy to find, the boilers protrude above water. The bow section is
recognizable at 3', but the rest of the ship has collapsed.
The stern has twisted around to face the bow, and the propeller is present
on the bottom. Shelling and setting on fire by troops accounts for its
poor condition. There is little of interest for divers.
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May 26, 2019