POW Research Network Japan>Researches>Sunken Japanese Ships with the Allied POWs in transit>Hofuku Maru

Hofuku Maru

Hofuku Maru

Operator Osaka Shosen
Gross tonnage 5,824 tons
Departure point Manila
Departure date 20 September 1944
Destination Japan
No. of POWs 1,289 (1,076 Brit, 213 Dutch)
Location of disaster Off Masinloc, Luzon Island
Date of disaster 21 September 1944
POW casualties 1,047
POW survivors 242

After completion of the construction of Burma-Thailand Railroad, Hofuku Maru had left Singapore with Japan Party Tow aboard; however, she stayed in Manila for more than one month, during which time many POWs died. On the late afternoon of 20 September, as a member of MATA-27, she departed Manila with No. 1 Ogura Maru and other ships accompanied by four CDVs and the mine layer Enoshima. They anchored in Subic Bay for the night.

After their departure on the following morning of 21 September, approx. at 80 NM north of Corregidor Island, beginning at 1035, the convoy was attacked by approx. 100 carrier-based planes of the 2nd wave of the US Task Force 38, and Hofuku Maru was sunk. Approx. 100 British POWs and the same number of the Dutch POWs swam to the shore, or rescued by other ships, and sent to either Cabanatuan or Bilibid Camp. Forty-two POWs were rescued by the CDVs, and arrived at Takao on 25 September.

Of the POWs who had reached the shore, 165 were taken to Takao aboard Hokusen Maru along with 1,000 US POWs on 3 October 1944.