By Rod Macdonald
Recounted along with his ordinary point of meticulous ancient learn, Rod weaves an simply readable account of the build-up to and implementation of Operation Desecrate 1 – the raid undertaken to spoil jap ships and plane within the lagoons of Palau. He makes use of his intimate wisdom of shipwrecks to bare in excellent element all of the 20 significant jap WWII shipwrecks mendacity on the backside of the Palauan lagoons at the present time.
On thirtieth March, 1944 Grumman F6F Hellcat combatants made an preliminary fighter sweep of the lagoon to spoil eastern air conceal. concurrently Grumman Avenger torpedo-bombers dropped mines and successive workforce moves of torpedo bombers and dive-bombers sank the transport and destroyed the airfields. Palau used to be neutralised as a eastern naval and air base in a repeat of a similar activity strength fifty eight raid, Operation Hailstone, on Truk Lagoon 1,000 miles to the east simply six weeks earlier.
A variety of long-lost wrecks have lately been relocated together with a jap freighter choked with intensity fees and armed forces helmets. This used to be present in 1989 yet remained unidentified earlier – after painstaking learn Rod finds her determine for the 1st time within the ebook. each one destroy is roofed intimately and is supported via underwater images and through magnificent illustrations through popular artist Rob Ward. The shipwrecks of Palau at the moment are revealed.
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Extra info for Dive Palau: the shipwrecks
They made an unchallenged circular run around nearly the whole lagoon before encountering any enemy fighters. Once alerted, however, Japanese fighters scrambled and made to rise into the air, striving to quickly gain enough altitude to attack the successive groups of Hellcats that were now arriving over Truk. As well as dealing with enemy fighters, the Hellcats had been tasked to strafe Japanese airfields to destroy enemy aircraft before they could get into the air, and render the airstrips unserviceable; Japanese air strength had to be sufficiently degraded to allow the slower more vulnerable dive-bombers and torpedo-bombers that would soon follow on to do their job.
In the early days of the war, the Japanese Zero fighter had been untouchable by most other aircraft and superior to the early US fighters, being more manoeuvrable with a rate of climb three times more rapid than any US plane in theatre at the time. The Zero (Allied reporting name Zeke) was by now however simply outclassed by the Grumman F6F Hellcat. The 12 battle-hardened Hellcats from the Enterprise, covering the lowest altitude layer at 8,000 feet where it was expected the heaviest enemy opposition would be, encountered about 47 enemy aircraft rising to intercept them from Moen and Param airfields and the Dublon seaplane base.
Accordingly, on 10 February 1944 he ordered Admiral Kurita’s 2nd Fleet to move west to the naval stronghold of Palau. Admiral Ozawa’s valuable carrier fleet was sent to the great harbour of Singapore, seized from the British in February 1942 – and much further to the west. Two of the Japanese carriers in the southerly 6th Fleet anchorage upped anchor and headed south across Truk Lagoon to the South Pass through the barrier reef. Three other carriers anchored in the westerly Combined Fleet anchorage also weighed anchor and proceeded to leave the lagoon through South Pass.