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History
Japan
Name:
  • Hofuku Maru (1918–1937)
  • Hohuku Maru (1937–1944)
Builder: Kawasaki Dockyard Company, Kobe
Yard number: 423
Launched: 1918
Fate: Sunk on September 21, 1944
General characteristics
Displacement: 5,825 tons
Length: 385 feet (117.3 m)
Beam: 51 feet (15.5 m)
Draught: 36 feet (11.0 m)
Installed power: 436 NHP
Propulsion: Triple-expansion steam engines

The Hofuku Maru, also known as Hohuku Maru (豊福丸 (Kyūjitai: 豐福丸), Hōfuku Maru) was a Japanese Dai-ichi Taifuku Maru-class cargo ship, sunk on September 21, 1944 by American aircraft, while carrying 1,289 British and Dutch prisoners of war (POWs); 1,047 of them died.

The Hōfuku Maru was sailing from Singapore to Miri, Borneo as part of convoy SHIMI-05. The convoy consisted of 10 ships, 5 of which carried, in total, 5,000 POWs, all in appalling conditions.

At Borneo, the Hōfuku Maru left the convoy with engine problems, and sailed on to the Philippines, arriving on July 19. She remained in Manila until mid-September while the engines were repaired. The POWs remained on board, suffering terribly from disease, hunger, and thirst.

On September 20, 1944, the Hōfuku Maru and 10 other ships formed Convoy MATA-27, and sailed from Manila to Japan. The following morning, the convoy was attacked 80 miles north of Corregidor by more than 100 American carrier aircraft. All eleven ships in the convoy were sunk. Of those on the Hōfuku Maru, 1,047 of the 1,289 British and Dutch POWs on board died.

Sources

  • Wreck site
  • Jack Earnshaw
  • Roll of Honour