Built in 1939
Sunk at Kwajalein Lagoon Dec. 4 1943 by U.S. bombers

Photos by Bob Hampton

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.

Bow Gun on the Choko Maru

The only gun on the Choko Maru was this 3" deck cannon.

Inside the Engine Room of the Choko Maru

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.

Propeller blades on the Choko Maru

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

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