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  Hokurei Maru

2,407 Tons

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January 20, 1945

Wartime History
On September 1, 1944 this vessel was part of "Convoy MI-17" bound for Manila including minesweepers W-41 and W-20 with minelayer AOTAKA, tankers NITTETSU and SHIMOTSU MARUs, cargo ships BAIKAL, AMAHI, DAITEN, NORWAY, ARAOSAN, NICHIZUI, SHINYO MARU No. 8, this vessel plus three unidentified ships escorted by destroyers SHIOKAZE and KURETAKE, kaibokan CD-18, minelayer YURISHIMA and W-17.

On October 6, 1944 departed San Fernando at 6:18am for Takao as part of convoy MATA-28 including Kamoi, Tachibana Maru, Yamamizu No. 2 Maru and Omine Maru, escorted by CD-8, CD-32 and CD-25, sub chasers CH-28, CH-30, CH-33 and CH-41 and minesweeper W-20.

The convoy was spotted by a wolf pack of three American submarines: USS Aspro SS-309, USS Hoe SS-258 and USS Cabrilla SS-288. At 0800, USS Aspro SS-309 attacked the convoy, firing three torpedoes by periscope at a tanker and claims one hit, but actually achieves no results.

At 15:30, LtCdr William C. Thompson's USS Cabrilla SS-288 fires a torpedo that hits this ship, badly damaging it (the submarine claims it as sunk). Another torpedo sinks Yamamizu No. 2, which sinks.

Sinking History
Although Hokurei Maru was badly damaged, she managed to beach north of Vigan at aproximately Lat 17° 46' N, Long 120° 25' E.

Beached near Vigan, this ship was repeatedly strafed by American aircraft striking the area. Officially reported as sunk on October 18, 1944 by U. S. Navy (USN) aircraft. The wreck was repeatedly attacked into January 1945, including a low level attack by A-20s from the 3rd Bombardment Group on January 20, 1945.

Low Level Attack: The Pacific page 34
IJN Minesweeper W-41 Tabular Record of Movement - 1 September 1944

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Last Updated
August 18, 2018


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