TRUK INFO 2016 AW.pdf


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OPERATION HAILSTONE
Some of the bloodiest battles of WWII were fought in
Micronesia. On February 17th and 18th 1944, the US
navy launched a devastating air attack on the
Japanese Imperial Fleet situated inside the sheltered
waters of Truk Lagoon. The assault was fifteen times
more powerful than the Japanese attack on Pearl
Harbour. Code-named "Operation Hailstone" the
initial strike was made up of 72 fighters launched from
five carriers.

When the smoke cleared, 15 Japanese naval ships, 6
tankers, 17 cargo ships, 25 American planes and 250
Japanese planes were lying on the bottom of the
Lagoon. Subsequent air raids in April, May and June
sunk more ships, and by the end of the war more than
60 destroyed vessels were on the Lagoon bed.

By early 1944, U.S. forces had amassed a huge
armada of top line carriers, battleships, cruisers,
destroyers and submarines for a major surprise
sweep against Truk on February 16th, 17th and 18th
1944. This attack, coded "Operation Hailstone",
caught the Japanese totally unaware, and led to one
of the most successful U.S. engagements of WWII.
 After a follow up attack in April, 1944, Truk was
reduced to rubble with over 70 shipwrecks, 400
aircraft destroyed or sunk, and the menace of this big
fortress removed forever.

U.S. forces declined engagement with the 40,000
troops at Truk, and after these attacks, starvation
consumed many of the defenders before the eventual
surrender of Japan late in 1945.

Water Temp: 30ºC
VIZ: 15-30m

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