The E14Y1 'Glen' wrecks of the Akibansan Maru
by Dan Farnham
(click photos to enlarge)
Lying just off Kwajalein island, on the lagoon side, is the wreck of the Akibasan Maru, a 4,000-ton Japanese cargo ship that was sunk on January 30th, 1944. The ship took three bomb hits from American carrier planes of TG 58.1 and 58.2, and sank within five minutes after being hit.
In mid-March 2008, I was told by Gordon Jones and Hal Parker that there are aircraft components in cargo holds 1 and 2. I was later told by Al Christ that there are aircraft wings in cargo hold 6 as well.
Over the following six weeks, starting on March 28th, I made a total of thirteen dives on the Akibasan Maru to photograph the aircraft remains on this shipwreck. I posted pictures on J-aircraft.com after each dive, and by April 26th it was established that there are two ‘Glen’ wrecks on this shipwreck, AND these are the only two E14Y1’s known to exist anywhere in the world!
The summary of the aircraft remains on this shipwreck is as follows-
Cargo hold 1, level 1- two ‘Glen’ wings leaning against the starboard side bulkhead
There are no other ‘Glen’ remains on this shipwreck, that we have found.
The following pictures are a selection of the 57 images I shot of the various ‘Glen’ remains on this shipwreck. All pictures here were taken using a digital SeaLife Reefmaster DC600, with optional wide-angle lens, and external SL961 Digital Pro flash strobe.
(However, as of November 2008, I have been working on a project to re-photograph the remains with my new underwater photography system, which is built around the Nikon D300 digital SLR camera.)
A special thanks to the following Kwajalein divers who assisted me with information on the location of the aircraft parts, and dived with me so I could photograph them- Gordon Jones, Hal Parker, Al Christ, Mike Woundy, Marty Bazar, Chris LeBlanc, Jeff Timmerman, John Hadley, Melissa Oliver, Misty Fischer, Ryan Vahle, Stewart Bell, Keith Huston, and Nicki Hickmon.
A special thanks also to the following people, who provided diagrams, photographs, and other information that led to the positive identification of these E14Y wrecks- Jim Lansdale, Jim Long, David Aiken, Ryusuke Ishiguro, William McCash, Brenda Jacques, Hub Plott, Jesse Belding, Chris Miller, and Isamu Maruhashi.
**Additional images, a detailed description of the remains, and the story of how the ‘Glen’ remains were identified, will be in the upcoming book Kugisho E14Y Glen, due for publication in 2009 by Mushroom Model Publications.