The Choko Maru is a 340 ft. Armed Merchant Freighter (Merchantman), very typical of the major shipwrecks in Kwajalein Lagoon. It settled on the bottom of the lagoon, 145 ft. deep, lying on it's port side.
The only gun on the Choko Maru was this 3" deck cannon.
The engine room is often the deepest, darkest, most dangerous place in a sunken ship. It was in the Choko Maru. Small, jagged holes in the rusted shut skylights cast a faint, ghostly glow into the area. Through the hatch in the floor gratings, still deeper into the bowels of the ship, the darkness is complete.
The Choko Maru had more cargo in it's holds than most of the other Japanese wrecks at Kwajalein. It's forward holds carried barrels and pipes. But it's most interesting cargo was the several sets of small gauge railroad wheels and axles in one of the aft holds.
These spare blades for the Choko Maru's propeller were safe against the bulkhead in the #4 cargo hold.
Text and Photos © 1999 by Bob Hampton All Rights Reserved