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Enoura Maru

Enoura Maru

Operator Nippon Yusen (NYK)
Classification Wartime Standard Cargo ship, Class 2A
Gross tonnage 6,968 tons
Speed 10 knots
Departure point San Fernando, Philippines
Departure date 24 December 1944
Destination Japan
No. of POWs Survivors of Oryoku Maru 1,235
Location of disaster Takao harbor, Taiwan
Date of disaster 9 January 1945
POW casualties Approx. 400
POW survivors Approx. 930

At around 11:00 on 9 January, again, the carrier-based planes attacked the ships in Takao harbor. One bomb exploded just outside No. 1 hold of Enoura Maru, and about. 330 POWs (292 in the forward hold, and about 40 in the after) were killed instantly. A hatch cover dropped in No. 2 hold, and several men were crushed to death, or seriously injured. At the outset, the corpses were to be cremated, however, due to air raids day after day; the victims were buried at Nakasu1) from 11 to 13 January.

On the early morning of 14 January, estimated 930 survivors of Oryoku and Enoura Maru were put aboard Brazil Maru, and left Takao with several other freighters and escorts. They steamed up to the north along the coast of the Chinese Mainland, crossed the Yellow Sea to Chosen Peninsula, and arrived at Moji on 29 January. However, only less than half (probably 425~450) of the POWs were alive, and more than 100 of these men were to die within a few weeks following.

Note 1: In May 1946, a US Army team (American Grave Registration Service Search & Recovery Team) uncovered a total of 311 remains in Nakasu, across from Takao City.

Note 2: In regard to the number of the POWs involved in each event, opinion is widely divided. Therefore, we have quoted their numbers from Father Found by Duane Heisinger which, we believe, is most reliable source of information regarding Oryoku Maru, Enoura Maru and Brazil Maru.