Saving Philippine national treasure in WW2


Nov 1, 2022
I visited TreasureNet for the first time today during a search for the topic of this post.

When I was in the US Navy Harbor Patrol Unit in Nha Trang, Vietnam in 1968-69, there was an old harbor tug the locals used to transfer cargo. I can't remember the name of this tug, but it had a Union diesel. To put the tug in reverse, the engineer would stop the engine and start it running in the opposite direction. That eliminated the need for a reverse gear. Good old mechanical engineering.

The story was that this tug was in the Philippines when WW2 started. To save the national gold or treasure, the government put all of it on this tug and took the tug out to sea and sunk it. They raised it after the war and retrieved the treasure. The tug was restored to working order and became the property of the Vietnamese government.

I have never found any verification of this story. Does anyone know whether it is true? What was the name of that tug? I regret that I never took a picture of it. It had a blue hull and a white superstructure.


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Apr 17, 2011
Southeast Pennsylvania
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I've never heard of this story either but hopefully somebody chimes in with some more details. Good luck.

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