Following the end of World War Two, Subic Bay was utilized by the US Navy as a base and training area. US Marines regularly practiced amphibious assault techniques here and, occasionally, the landing craft used for that training became accidental casualties. The largest of these sunken assault craft is the Landing Ship Tank.
The Landing Ship Tank (LST) was created during World War Two for the purpose of supporting amphibious operations, by carrying large amounts of vehicles, cargo and personnel directly onto the shore. More than a thousand vessels of this type were commissioned by the US Navy. The basic design for the LST required a vessel capable of ocean travel, yet with a shallow draft for beaching operations.
The ultimate design incorporated a variable ballast system, a length of 100m (328ft), a 15m (50ft) beam and a minimum draft of 1.2m (3.8ft). With an unloaded weight of just 1780 tones, this scheme served to distribute the ship’s weight over a large area, allowing it to float higher in the water for landing. They could accommodate all types of Allied military vehicles and later production designs could also house and deploy a landing craft utility (LCU) or landing craft tank (LCT) from its main hold. She could transport over 2200 tonnes of cargo, men or machines. Her crew complement was 8-110 officers and 100-115 sailors.
This 100-meter long vessel was deliberately scuttled in 1946 and now sits upright in the center of the bay with a maximum depth of 36m. Her giant bow doors have dropped away to the seafloor, although her main loading ramp remains raised. Along with her bow and mid-section, the wreck is intact and contains a football pitch sized vehicle loading deck, which is easy to penetrate at each end.
Her forward gun platforms (for 1x 3″ gun and 2x twin 20mm guns) remain in place. The top decks of her stern (rear) section have collapsed structurally, although the tangled wreckage attracts a wealth of marine life and schools of large barracuda, jacks, and fusilier are common here. One of the best dive sites for reliably good visibility. With luck, visiting divers may be treated to a swim-past by the bull shark that inhabits the deep sections of the bay.