SCUBA Travel

Truk Lagoon

About the Author: Dan E Bailey

Diving the World War II wrecks of Truk Lagoon

World War II Wrecks of the Truk Lagoon

World War II Wrecks of the Truk Lagoon is a magnificent book, and the definitive guide to to diving Truk (or Chuuk). With over 500 pages, 250 photographs and 173 maps and illustrations, in addition to crucial diving notes it tells you everything you want to know about the Japanese occupation, the US air campaign and the aircraft and ship wrecks. We asked the author, Dan E Bailey, about his background and incentive to create this epic.

"In 1969 I went to work for GTE Sylvania as a radar systems engineer on Roi-Namur Island in the Kwajalein Atoll (Marshall Islands). Kwajalein is the receiving end of the ICBM test missiles fired from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Many instrumentation radars are located at Kwajalein. These are used to accumulate information on warhead accuracy and to build a database on characteristics of warheads entering the atmosphere that can be used to destroy enemy ICBM weapon systems. Kwajalein had been a Japanese World War II island naval base and many ships and aircraft had been sunk in the surrounding lagoon waters. There was an active diving community on Kwajalein and Roi-Namur and I soon became very involved in diving the wrecks. Shortly after this diving services opened up at the Truk Lagoon (another Japanese island naval base) and it was a natural progression in my love of wreck diving to begin travelling there.

I began accumulating underwater photos of both Kwajalein and Truk, and documenting the wrecks for a proposed book. In 1982 I published the first edition of World War II Wrecks of the Kwajalein and Truk Lagoons. Three revised and updated editions and three other printings of the book resulted; some 29500 copies of the book were sold. Meanwhile, my interest in wreck diving resulted in trips to Palau in the Western Caroline Islands. In 1991, the book World War II Wrecks of Palau was published.

World War II Wrecks of Truk Lagoon, finally published in February 2001, is the result of eight years of concentrated research, writing, the drawing of 173 maps and illustrations and the assembling of information and photos gathered from some 41 (or 42?) diving trips to the Truk Lagoon since 1971.

Following two tours at Kwajalein, I worked in Europe for nine years on classified projects and then retired as an engineer in 1986. My time is now spent between managing real estate investments and North Valley Diver Publications business (promoting and selling diving books and maps). I am living and working in Redding, California."

Read our review of World War II Wrecks of the Truk Lagoon. To buy the book visit North Valley Diver Publications or Amazon.com.