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  Sanuki Maru
Merchant Ship
(1930 - 1941)
Seaplane Tender

8,360 Tons
2 x 150mm guns
2 x 13mm MG

6 x F1M2 Pete
2 x E13A Jake
2 x E8N2 Dave

Ship History
Built by Mitsubishi shipbuilding in Nagasaki. Laid down at on August 29, 1938. Launched on February 8, 1939. Completed on May 1, 1939. Used as a cargo ship owned by merchant cargo liner for Nippon Yusen K. K.

On May 8, 1939 departs for her first trip from Nagasaki to Dairen.


On April 9, 1942, four F1M2 Petes from Sanuki Maru locate PT-34 bombing and strafing it and forcing it to beach on Cauit Island (Kauit) near Cebu City, then set it on fire and exploded the boat, destoying it.

Also a F1M2 from Sanuki Maru engages a P-40E Warhawk of the 3rd Pursuit Squadron operating from Del Monte, Mindanao, but both planes escape. Also, covers the landing of the Kawaguchi Detachment's 35th Infantry Brigade HQ and the 124th Infantry Regiment along with Kuma, destroyers Samidare, Kiji and Murasame and gun Busho Maru plus two sub chasers.


On March 7, 1943 departs Yokosuka. On March 21, 1943 north of Sorol Island at 11:00am, Sanuki Mau is attacked by USS Finback (SS-230) that fires three torpedoes submerged and claims two hits at roughly Lat 7° 43N Long 139° 54E but only causes light damage. Afterwards on March 27, 1943 arrives at Sasebo.


6 January 1945:
Off Majuro, Cdr Gordon W. Underwood's USS SPADEFISH (SS-411) departs on her third war patrol for the Yellow Sea area leading a wolfpack consisting of USS Pompon (SS-267), LtCdr (later Rear Admiral/ComSubPac) John H. Mauer's ATULE (SS-403) and LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Joseph B. Icenhower's JALLAO.

26 January 1945:
At 0800, departs Moji via Sasebo and Takao for Singapore in fast convoy HI-91 consisting of transport/cargo liners SANUKI and KITSURIN MARUs and tankers TOJO and EIYO MARUs escorted destroyers NOKAZE and KAMIKAZE and kaibokan SHONAN, KUME, CD-25 and CD-53.

On January 28, 1945 in the Yellow Sea, northeast of Shanghai, off Kokuzan USS SPADEFISH and USS POMPON make contact with a three ship convoy with four escorts. POMPON makes two night submerged approaches, but the escorts drive her off each time. At about 0200, while two escorts pin down POMPON astern of the convoy, Underwood's submerged SPADEFISH slips in on the disengaged side of convoy and attacks.

At 0313, USS Spadefish fires three torpedoes that all hit Sanuki Maru, sinking at 33-55N, 122-55E. Underwood also torpedoes and sinks the escorting frigate KUME. Destroyers KAMIKAZE and Nokaze, probably laden with survivors, are detached from the convoy to Mako, Pescadores.


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Last Updated
December 2, 2018


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