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  Oryoku Maru
IJN
Passenger Vessel

7,000 Tons
size
armament

Wartime History
1,600 American POWs were loaded aboad the ship. During December 1944, spotted and attacked by American Navy fighters on December 14, 1944, she turned into Subic Bay and was run aground to prevent sinking. Hundreds of POWs were killed and wounded in an air attack. The Americans were unaware it was being used to transport prisoners.

The prisoners were then herded on deck by Japanese guards and forced to swim ashore. Aerial attacks against the ship continued over a two-day period, and the ship finally blew up and sank some 300 yards off the Olongapo seawall.

Fates of the Crew
Ashore, the prisoners were confined in a fenced tennis court in the ruins of Olongapo Naval Station. Later they were moved by foot, truck, and train to San Fernando and transported to Moji, Japan.

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Last Updated
January 10, 2018

 

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