Seeing Coron again after more than a decade and this time, having the chance to dive two wrecks, I couldn’t help but wonder… how did the place look like during World War II?

It must have been barely touched. There must have been very few people. That first Coron trip at the turn of the century was far different from the Coron I saw last week. Thus, it must have been even more pristine in the 1940s.

Now imagine how it was with a World War raging on and Japanese battleships anchored on your shores. It must have been eerie. More eerie than how the wrecks look like now.

James at Lusong Gun Boat
James at Lusong Gun Boat

My dive buddy James said he hesitates to enter a wreck because he can imagine invisible beings grabbing him. I can imagine how he feels, but that isn’t how I feel. Mine’s more of an excitement and a lot of questions.

Like, who were the last ones who manned these ships? How did they feel as the bombs came dropping? How many died? Were their bodies ever found?

Just before penetrating the Sangat Sub Chaser.
Just before penetrating the Sangat Sub Chaser.

Coron has 11 shipwrecks that now serve as a major come-on to divers. These are the Sangat Sub Chaser, the Olympia Maru, the Morazan, the Kogyo Maru, the Lusong Gun Boat, the Irako Maru, the Akitsushima, the Okikawa Maru, the Kyokuzan Maru, and the Nanshin Maru. With our limited time to dive (just one afternoon), our dive master Nicole decided that we will check out the most shallow of the 11: Sangat Sub Chaser, and the Lusong Gun Boat.

Entering the wreck.
Entering the wreck.

The low visibility and dark silhouettes of the wrecks can make one’s imagination run wild. Mine was just spinning out questions upon questions, all unanswered, with just my breathing breaking the eerie quiet as I looked around and inside the wrecks that have been there since 1945…

The bridge of the Sangat Sub Chaser.
The bridge of the Sangat Sub Chaser.
The view from the inside the bridge of Sangat.
The view from the inside the bridge of Sangat.
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