Author of iconic shipwreck diving books such as Dive Scapa Flow and Dive Truk Lagoon – inspiring motivational speaker
Six weeks after the U.S. Task Force 58 fast carrier raid on Truk Lagoon, OPERATION HAILSTONE, the 12 carriers of Task Force 58 reformed for a surprise raid on the great naval shipping and air hub of Palau, 1100 nautical miles west of Truk.
The 2-day raid took place on 30/31 March 1944 and was codenamed OPERATION DESECRATE 1. An initial dawn sweep by 72 Hellcat fighters cleared the air of Japanese opposition allowing the TF58 dive- and torpedo-bombers to pound and sink all the shipping found in the Lagoon.
Today some 20 Japanese WWII wrecks are left in the lagoon – along with many aircraft. You can read the full story of the raid and its legacy in Dive Palau – the shipwrecks
Here are some videos of the wrecks to enjoy
The 15,450-ton IJN oiler IRO was bombed and sunk at Palau during the US Task Force 58 fast carrier raid designated Operation DESECRATE 1 on 30 & 31 March 1944. She was hit starboard aft by a 1,ooo-lb bomb from USS BUNKER HILL planes, the delayed fuze bomb punching in through the shell plating of her hull before exploding in her engine room. Today the wreck of IJN IRO sits upright and largely intact in just over 40 metres of water