FUJIKAWA MARU                                                                                                                                              UNDERWATER IMAGES

The Fujikawa Maru was built in 1938 by the Mitsubishi Company as passenger/cargo carrier for the Toyo Kaiun Line. Her peacetime duties consisted of carrying raw silk and cotton between South America and India.

The Japanese Navy took control of her in December 1940 and converted her to an aircraft ferry. As part of her conversion she was fitted out with six inch guns on her bow and stern. These guns were from the Russo-Japanese War and had been "cannibalized" from decommissioned cruisers. The breech plate on the forward guns displays an 1899 manufacture date.

Just prior to the "Hailstone" attack, Fujikawa Maru arrived in Truk and off loaded thirty "Jill" B5N2 bombers onto Eten Airfield. Since these aircraft had been disassembled for shipment, they were unable to help defend Truk and were destroyed on the ground. The Fujikawa Maru was sunk by a single aerial torpedo that struck amidship. Although the torpedo failed to run properly, its momentum carried it into the ship and allowed it to detonate.

                                              

                                      Fujikawa Maru (lower left)  sinks by the stern off Eten Airfield (National Archives)  

The Fujikawa Maru is by far the best wreck in the Truk "Ghost Fleet". Her magnificent guns, Japanese bathtub and the Zero aircraft still in her hold, make her the "must see" wreck. She now lies in 110 fsw.

                                                              

                                                                          Mitsubishi A6M "Zeke" Zero fighter.

Fujikawa Maru: Displacement: 6,938 tons; Length: 435 feet; Beam: 58.5 feet; Engine: 1 diesel; Max Speed: 16 kts. Launched: 15 APR 1938. Crew: 48.

                             

                                                                  Courtesy-Capt. Lance Higgs S.S. Thorfinn

 

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