SS Rakuyō Maru
|Owner:||Nippon Yusen Kisen Kaisha|
|Port of registry:||Tokyo|
|Builder:||Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Company, Nagasaki|
|Fate:||Torpedoed and sunk: 12 Sept 1944|
|Tonnage:||9,419 gross register tons (GRT)|
|Length:||460 feet (140 m)|
|Beam:||60 feet (18 m)|
|Draught:||40.5 feet (12.3 m)|
|Installed power:||1153 nhp|
|Propulsion:||Steam turbines, twin screw|
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. 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.
- Video of the rescue of POW Rakuyo Maru survivors
- Submarine rescue of POW survivors story
- Prisoners Of War Of Japanese 1942-45: Surviving the sinking of the Rakuyo Maru
- "Lloyd's Register 1942-43" (PDF). plimsollshipdata. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
- Prisoners Of War Of Japanese 1942-45: Surviving the sinking of the Rakuyo Maru Linked 2015-02-20
- "Sealion". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History & Heritage Command. Retrieved 6 March 2012.