Scuba anyone


Barge load of Japanese ammo being dumped into the sea off of Okinawa after the surrender. Japanese POWs did the work. Thousands of tons of weapons and ammo went this way.


How deep? I love Japanese ammunition :-)


Too deep and too long ago. All ruined by now. The lagoon at TRUK has a freighter full of the 18 inch shells for the Battleship Yamato. I have tried for years to get someone to bring up a bunch without luck. Now they are junk and it is a protected site.


That picture reminded me of a picture that was taken while snorkeling off Okinawa in 1962-63. While it obviously hadn’t been there since WWII or immediately after (it’s ON the coral not IN the coral), Okinawa was rift with unexploded ordnance at the time. Someone may have found it and dumped it about 10 feet of water. As far as I know it is still there, we didn’t bother it!!
Anybody know what is? Looks like a mortar round to me but I know very little about the bigger stuff.


Looks like a 60mm Ill. Rd. with the Fuze missing.Was this off "White Beach"
by any chance.I helped run a “SCUBA” course for the 1st Special Forces Gp Airborne (Okinawa) in 1959,and we found a lot of UXORD. off “Bolo Point”,plus off the isle of “Ishema”. A great place to dive,execept for “Sea Snakes”, Nuro toxic,and at the time no known anti venum.
Charles.J.Wells (Jack)


Phil, it looks much like a fired US 60mm illuminating mortar projectile.

oops, Jack was faster…


The ammo in the photo first above was being dumped off MYAKA Island , Okinawa. Familiar ?

More heading for the deep off MYAKA.


Dr. – Interesting pictures. I used to know a person from Miyako Island but I’m not familiar with Myaka Island. There is a whole bunch of islands in the Ryukyu Chain many of which we landed marines during amphibious training exercises during my Navy days.

Jack – The mortar round was found off the old Japanese Airbase at Yontan, parts of the air strip were still there but nothing else.


Could be the same. My term is what the pictures say from 1945 govt. photogs.
I doubt that conversion of the Japanese name to English would always be the same.


I’d just like thank Jack, Pbutler and all the others who served our Country. You guys rule and are true heros. THANKS!!!

I wonder if fisherman ever bring up this ordnance in nets? Hopefully they live if it happens.



Yes, that still happens all over the world.


One of the biggest problems is White Phosphorus from illuminating shells. It can lie on the bottom of the ocean for decades since it is insoluble in water. But as soon as it is brought yo the surface it bursts into flame.


Wow! I did not know that Ron! I would have never thought it would still be viable after being submerged and wet for so many years. How far back has White Phosphorous been used as an illuminating agent in shells?



Ron, WP is not contained in illuminating shells. WP is used in incendiary or smoke shells.


I remember hearing a news story recently where some fishermen pulled up some UXO off the coast of Florida.



This happens along most of our coast from time to time.


It seems so crazy to be dumping all that ordnance & ammo. Why not just hang onto it in a warehouse for potential future use? Or to at least use the components from it all? If we had hung onto all the WWII Japanese ordnance at our bases in Japan we could have given it to the South Koreans less than 10 years later, or to the South Vietnamese 20 years later (for example). Maybe they could have put some of it to good use… Then of course there’s the environmental issue of mercury in the ocean - geesh!



Follow the money. After WWII the US cut up, dumped, buried, or otherwise destroyed millions of dollars worth of arms, ammunition, and equipment. If even a small part of this stuff had found its way into the market it would have financially ruined businesses engaged in manufacturing and selling new products. Such practices continue to this day. I’m not knocking it in any way. It’s called capitalism.



Matt, storing ammunition one is not really in need of and in particular with expired shelf life is causing quite high expenses, requires storage facilities, work shops and also specialized personnel. Not to forget that you would need to keep the weapons for these munitions as well causing an own sting of costs.
If everything would be kept the whole country would be littered with old junk that would eat the money being required elsewhere.
So in fact it is easier to take the money you would spend on storage of old crap and buy sophisticated weapons instead.


Plenty of good and true comments here BUT keep in mind that the immediate problem was DISARMING THE ENEMY. THAT MEANT PUTTING THEIR WEAPONS WHERE THEY COULD NOT GET ACCESS TO THEM.

In mainland Japan, for instance, the Japanese military reported only about half of their weapons stocks to the inspectors. WHY ? Mistakes? ( possibly).

The Emperors own guards attempted to kidnap him so that he could not broadcast the surrender message to the people.



We look back at this time with the benefit of knowing what happened. Those at the time knew one thing clearly;

this fellow who just laid down his gun wanted to and would have killed me a moment ago. He changed his mind. What if he changes his mind AGAIN!

Basic POLICE training: get the weapon out of the way.

Lots of the Japanese and German ordnance was turned over to other countries to use and was used. The story of what happened in China and Southeast Asia is extremely complicated and many sides were fighting each other with Japanese weapons and sometime with Japanese soldiers who were left in place under arms to maintain order.

There are stories of Marines killed in China defending surrendered Japanese troops from the Chinese who had PLENTY of reason to want their heads.

PACIFICATION of Japan and Germany was a LOOOOOOOOONG process and hoards of weapons were and are still being found.

Recently a huge hoard was found in Okinawa under a restaurant. All this from WW2. Google it.