Olympia Maru Coron Philippines: WWII Wreck

The One With The Rice

February 2020

  • Length: 127m
  • Depth: 18-30m

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Army Auxiliary Supply Ship

While laden with 1,250 tons of rice and 500 cubic meters of supply materials for the Japanese occupation forces in the Philippines, she had suffered one direct bomb hit while in Manila Bay on September 21. When (Japanese) southern army command received air warnings on a second attack the vessel was ordered to relocate to Coron Bay.

 

She arrived on 23 September at 15:40 and dropped anchor just west of Tangat Island. On 24 September around 09:00 about 40 dive bombers took on Olympia Maru after she had weighed anchor already and tried to evade the attacking planes.

 

10 aircraft attacked from starboard, then from the port side. It was not until the third wave when the bombers scored direct hits to the engine room causing an explosion of the oil tank at the port side ( the vessel was diesel engined).

 

The fire spread over the engine room when another bomb went through again. The engine stopped, another series of bombs hit the galley and cargo holds.

At 13:30 fire spread all over the ship bending the mid-ship section. At 14:26 the shop sank from the stern. 14 crewmen, 3 gunners, and 2 passengers went down with the ship.

 

Information provided by Fun and Sun Coron

Wide-angle photos by Maxine Hiller

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Up and over the bow

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