Culture and heritage

Heritage of NSW

Revealing the secrets of M24

Corrosion opening on starboard side

Corrosion opening on starboard side

Rear face of periscope standard

Rear face of periscope standard

Public access to the site will not be feasible until the sensitive issues of the human remains and the unexploded weapons have been resolved. There is still considerable research, archaeological and modelling work to complete. Access would also require the deployment of fixed mooring devices at the site, and detailed discussion with Australian and Japanese authorities, the next-of-kin, and controlled access permit conditions.

The discovery of the M24 wreck ignited considerable media interest in this little known, but nonetheless fascinating episode in Australia’s history. It has generated a renewed interest in the events of May 1942, the role of the Japanese midget submarines and the mystery surrounding this particular vessel’s escape from Sydney Harbour.

Instead of resolving the mystery, however, the discovery of the vessel has generated even more questions. The maritime archaeological detectives working on the wreck site are hoping that their painstaking effort might throw up some clues to the last hours of the M24, but they don’t expect it to happen soon. It took 64 years to find the vessel and it may take just as long to reveal its last few secrets.

View aft to propellers

View aft to propellers

Details of propellers

Details of propellers

Page last updated: 31 August 2012