Wrexpedition Palau 2023
Join us for the 12th ANNUAL WREXPEDITION PALAU from June 04 - June 11, 2023 Explore 14 of the most exciting WWII wrecks Palau has to offer during 15 dives - 3 dives per day Learn during our evening events about Palau's WWII history and the ships you will diving while enjoying drinks and great food at Barracuda Restaurant.
History of Palau's Wrecks
In early 1944, during World War II, American sea power was beginning to make inroads on the southern flank of Japan's Pacific frontier territories. The islands of the Pacific were of key strategic importance since they helped to facilitate the protection of the occupied regions of the Philippines, Indo-China, Malaya, Borneo, and the Dutch East Indies. Protecting the islands had become an air battle the Japanese air force could not win against the superior might of the U.S.
Once the Japanese airforce was eliminated and the US established air superiority over the islands of Palau, the large contingent of Japanese warships and merchant ships in the islands were in peril, vulnerable to strikes from above. Operation 'Desecrate One' was the name given to the series of airstrikes on the Japanese fleet who were bombarded with torpedoes, bombs, rockets, and strafing attacks. Planes also dropped floating mines into key channels to prevent escape. Subsequent operations named 'Snapshot' and 'Stalemate II' followed, further decimating the fleet, prior to the amphibious landings in Peleliu, southern Palau in September 1944.
The air strikes were responsible for the destruction and sinking of more than 60 Japanese ships in Palau. Many Japanese planes met the same watery fate alongside a few US planes lost in aerial combat.
Not all of these wrecks remain today. In the years following the war, the Japanese government was given permission to conduct salvage operations as a way to raise money to pay war claims. At least 27 wrecks were partially or completely salvaged, much of the parts being sold for scrap metal. No one, it seems, considered the alternative of leaving them intact to add to Palau's underwater attractions. Those that remained have become bedecked in hard and soft corals and encrusting sponges, acting as artificial reefs supporting the profusion of life that characterizes Palau's rich marine environment.
With the growth of recreational scuba diving in Palau in the 1970s, the potential of Palau's wrecks became more apparent, and with it the need to locate and identify as many sunken planes and boats, as possible. Led by the local pioneer dive company Fish 'n' Fins and local brothers Tewid and Tiakl Boisek, who had worked with the salvage teams, several more were located during the 1980s and 90s.
JOIN US FOR THE 12TH ANNUAL WREXPEDITION PALAUStep 1 - Select your preferred Hotel > Step 2 - Select > Book Diving & Activities > Activity Category > Package Deals > Activity Name > WREXPEDITION without Hotel > #Pax - enter the number of participants > #Days - enter 1 (for 1 package)
JOIN US FOR THE 12TH ANNUAL WREXPEDITION PALAU
Today, Palau, renowned for its beautiful lagoons and thrilling marine action is also the resting place for the "JAPANESE LOST FLEET OF THE ROCK ISLANDS". Covered by lush marine growth and protected by law from salvers, divers recently discovered the beauty and diversity of Palau's wrecks.
The Wrecks you will dive from June 4-11, 2023
Explore together with our team of experienced wreck divers the following wrecks during your 7 Nights & 15 Dives.
- The wreck of the Iro
- Helmet Wreck
- Jake Sea Plane
- Wreck of the Chuyu
- Wreck of the Sata Maru
- Wreck of the Hafa Day
- Bouy 6
- Wreck of the Amatzu Maru
- Wreck of the Ryuko Maru
- Wreck of the Gozan Maru
- Wreck of the Teshio Maru
- Wreck of the Zero Plane
- Wreck of the Nagisan Maru
- T1 Wreck
The program will be tentative as it depends on winds and visibility.