SS Rakuyō Maru

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Name: Rakuyo Maru
Owner: Nippon Yusen Kisen Kaisha
Port of registry: Tokyo
Builder: Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Company, Nagasaki
Fate: Torpedoed and sunk: 12 Sept 1944
General characteristics
Tonnage: 9,419 gross register tons (GRT)
Length: 460 feet (140 m)[1]
Beam: 60 feet (18 m)
Draught: 40.5 feet (12.3 m)
Installed power: 1153 nhp
Propulsion: Steam turbines, twin screw
Speed: 16.5 knots

SS Rakuyo Maru (楽洋丸?) was a passenger cargo ship built in 1921 by the Mitsubishi Shipbuilding & Engineering Company, Nagasaki for Nippon Yusen Kisen Kaisha.

Service history

The troopship was part of convoy HI-72 and transporting 1,317 Australian and British prisoners of war (POWs) from Singapore to Formosa (Taiwan). On the morning of 12 September 1944, the convoy was attacked in the Luzon Strait by a wolfpack consisting of three US submarines: Growler, Pampanito and USS Sealion. Rakuyo Maru was torpedoed by Sealion and sunk towards the evening. A total of 1,159 POWs died, whereof 350 in lifeboats which were bombarded by a Japanese navy vessel the next day when they were rowing towards land.[2] On 15 September, the three submarines returned to the area and rescued 63 surviving POWs who were on rafts. Four of them died before they could be landed at Tanapag Harbor, Saipan, in the Mariana Islands.[2][3]

See also


  1. "Lloyd's Register 1942-43" (PDF). plimsollshipdata. Retrieved 6 March 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Prisoners Of War Of Japanese 1942-45: Surviving the sinking of the Rakuyo Maru Linked 2015-02-20
  3. "Sealion". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History & Heritage Command. Retrieved 6 March 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links