The "Mystery Maru" is a Japanese submarine chaser with a metal covered wooden hull. It was discovered in 1983. It's bow was destroyed in the attack on Kwajalein, and the rest of the boat has collapsed over the years. The rubble rises only a few feet above the smooth floor of the lagoon.
Most of the wreck is littered with spent machine gun ammo, attesting to the fact that it's crew went down fighting.
Two Crewmen of the Mystery Maru
More than a dozen skulls and hundreds of other human bones were found here.
Click here for The Final Seconds
My Poem Inspired by the Crewmen of the Mystery Maru
This is me visiting one of my undersea friends!
Some might think I was desecrating a grave, but I don't see it that way. There was no disrespect here, in fact it was quite the opposite. If our places were reversed and it was me who had been lost to the depths for decades I think I'd like to know someone cared enough to drop by to take my photo.
I was told that several years after I left Kwajalein a group of Japanese divers visited this site to collect these bones and burn them in a traditional Japanese funeral pyre. I hope it's true.
Text and Photos © 1999 by Bob Hampton All Rights Reserved