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
  Nippo Maru
Water Carrier & Cargo

3,764 Tons
353' / 50' / 23'

Click For Enlargement

Click For Enlargement
Peter Ording 2000
Ship History
Built by Kawasaki Zosensho K.K. at Kobe for for Okazaki Honten K.K. Launched September 16, 1936 and named Nippo Maru. Completed and registered in Kobe on November 10, 1936.

On December 24, 1936 chartered to Osaka Shosen K.K. (OSK) and departs Kobe bound for Kirun.


On February 17 , 1944 during "Operation Hailstone" anchored in the Natshushima Anchorage (east of Dublon Island) attacked by three TBF Avengers from USS Essex CV-9 and received a direct hit in the cargo hold and engine room. At 6:00pm ordered to return and at 11:00pm hit in the engine room.

Sinking History
On February 18, 1944 at 3:10am sunk in the Natshushima Anchorage at roughly Lat 7° 22N Long 151°  56E in Truk Lagoon. There were no casualties during the sinking.

In 1969, discovered by Jacques Cousteau's 1969 expedition resting upright with a 25 degree port list. Later, this shipwreck was identified as Nippo Maru.

Aboard is a tank, coastal defense guns, mines, munitions, and water tanks. At the bow are large wenches and a gun platform. A spare anchor is against the forecastle. Inside the forecastle are many personal effects of the crew in the silt. The forward hold contains mines, detonators, artillery shells, large containers, gas masks, oil drums.

Some of these containers contain caustic substances. No. 1 and 2 holds contain large bronze range finders and a Type 97 Tank, minus the turret gun which was how they were sometimes transported. There is a large galley and crew quarters below the bridge. In the bridge are three strong boxes. No riches inside here, in the past when ever strong boxes were recovered and opened, they contained only ordinance and small arms. Three howitzers are on the deck near the No. 4 hold. In the No. 4 hold are hundreds of beer bottles, radio equipment and a variety of items. In the aft most hold are barrels for 5" guns. Two AA guns have fallen off the ship and are on the floor nearby.

Combined Fleet IJN NIPPON MARU: Tabular Record of Movement
Lagoon of Lost Ships includes dive footage of this wreck in 1969
WWII Wrecks of the Truk Lagoon pages 6, 118, 127, 158, 163, 165, 265, 269, 306, 395-401, 478, 510 (index)

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
August 4, 2020



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