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HTMS Mataphon (before USS LCT-1260)

 

HTMS Phetra before  the sinking

On October 20th 2012, thanks to the efforts of Dive Tribe and the DMCR, Pattaya strengthened her name as the Wreck Capital of Thailand, with the sinking of the HTMS Mataphon. She has been sunk just outside of Koh Larn on the South East side, at the dive site Hat Nuan.

The HTMS Mataphon was an former American landing ship (USS LCT-1089) of the LCT-Mk6 class. And was renamed by the Royal Thai Navy to HTMS Mataphon, named after an island in the Andaman Sea.

The 35-meter-long Mataphon sits in about 20 m. of water expected to be in the upright “sailing” position. The top is estimated at about 15 m. The ship was well prepared by navy as a dive site and is free of armaments, oil and most hazards to divers.
As a landing vessel the bottom of the vessel is quit flat, as also the deck of the ship.

The Mataphon has been in service for more then 60 years.
Her last known activity was to participate in the removal and re-sinking of the Pak One, more commonly know as the “Vertical Wreck” in Thailand.

As it has just been sunk there is no coral growth yet, and we do not know what kind of Aquatic life it will attract. We are hoping that it will become a shelter for more mature Bamboo- or Nursesharks that quit often have been sighted in the area.

The main area of interest are:
to be completed when dived on

le htms mataphon

le htms mataphon

le htms mataphon

HTMS Mataphon Facts and Specifications

  • Laid down: 10 May 1944 at Quincy Barge Builders, Quincy, IL.
  • Launched: 20 June 1944
  • Commissioned:
  • During World War II LCT-1089 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater LCT Flotilla 27, Group 81 (LT. W.B. Hazeltine) and participated in the: Luzon operation Lingayen Gulf landings , 9 to 18 January 1945
  • Decommissioned: November 9th 1948
  • Struck From the Naval Register: Date unknown
  • Transferred: September 5th 1948 to Thailand and renamed HTMS Pethra (LST-761)
  • Final Disposition: unknow
  • Decoration: LCT-1089 earned one battle star for World War II service

Specifications

  • Displacement: 160t.(landing), 309 – 320 t.(fully loaded)
  • Length: 36.3 m oa
  • Width: 9.96
  • Beam: 32 m
  • Draft: light Normal is 0.45 m at 1.11 m., fully loaded: 1.09 fore, 1.22 aft , fully loaded ??
  • Speed: 8kts, (max.), (309tons displacement)
  • Complement: one officers, 12 enlisted
  • Armament: 2 20mm
  • Vehicle/Boat Capacity: Military load 4 medium or 3 heavy tanks or 150 t of cargo
  • Troop Accommodations 8
  • Armor: ?
  • Propulsion:3 Gray 225 hp diesels; triple screws (675hp)
  • Endurance: nm (kts) 700 (7)

le htms mataphon debarquement

LCT-1260 was awarded a Navy Commendation for service in a rescue unit, the fight against the fire and rescue March 3 to June 6, 1945. Meanwhile, she also participated in the invasion of the Philippines - in particular, the operations to recapture the island of Luzon. His involvement lasted from March 19 to April 1, 1945 - when she got her battle star. The Battle of Luzon initially involved 175,000 men - amounting to more than 200,000 - including Filipinos, Americans, Australians and Mexicans. All major strategic areas of the island were taken in March 1945, but the battle has not been said in until 15 August, when the Japanese surrendered, ending World War II. Even then, some recalcitrant persisted and started fighting for more than a decade.

Craft of this type were armed with two single mounting 20mm anti-aircraft guns and up to four .50 caliber machine guns. This class of ship is sometimes called landing craft (LCU) due to the fact that the loading capacity is 150 tons was often used to transport equipment to the ground instead of armored vehicles.

There were 960 LCT Mk.6 ships built between 1943 and 1944. Six of them were bought by Thailand after World War II, where they became the Mataphon class. LCT-1260 was decommissioned U.S. Navy in October 1946 and arrived in Thailand (via the Philippines), Sept. 2, 1947, entry into service as HTMS Mataphon (hull number 761) in October of the same year . She served in the Royal Thai Navy, but was not involved in future campaigns. It was finally withdrawn from active service in 2008 and sunk as an artificial reef and dive site on the morning of October 20, 2012 in a ceremony that cost more than THB 16mil, dedicated to the 60th anniversary of Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.

le Htms mataphon homage  le Htms mataphon homage

le Htms mataphon homage

Due to some confusion in the community of divers on the ship was actually sunk the wreck of Mataphon (sometimes spelled as "Mattaphon" or "Mattapon") may also be referred to as HTMS Phetra (or "Petra "or" Tra Phe "). Although both the same class of ship, Phetra had hull number 764 and was formerly the USS LCT-1089.

Some reports show Mataphon as having been formerly the USS LCT-800, but the ship became HTMS Rawi (hull number 762). The names and Mataphon Rawi have been re-used by the Royal Thai Navy, given the two new ships built Thai LCU.

le Htms mataphon mise a l'eau

 le Htms mataphon mise a l'eau

le Htms mataphon mise a l'eau

 le Htms mataphon mise a l'eau

Being freshly poured, it will take some time for corals adorn the tower 10.3 m high, although the sea life can be much quicker to settle in this new shelter. Its small size and its open structure makes it an ideal site to dive CMAS 1 *, 2 * CMAS or PADI Advanced Open and practice wreck diving in Pattaya that the passages are wide and open.

le htms mataphon en 3d

le htms mataphon en 3d

le htms mataphon en 3d

le htms mataphon en 3d

le htms mataphon en 3d

le htms mataphon plan

le htms mataphon plan

le htms mataphon plan