Tsushima Maru

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Japanese Navy EnsignJapan
Builder: Russell & Company, Scotland
In service: December 1914
Out of service: August 22, 1944
Fate: Sunk August 22, 1944 by USS Bowfin
General characteristics
Class & type: Private cargo ship (Nippon Yusen) [1]
Displacement: 6754 tons (6127 t)
Length: 136 m

Tsushima Maru (対馬丸) was a Japanese passenger/cargo ship that was sunk by the submarine USS Bowfin during World War II, while carrying hundreds of schoolchildren from Okinawa to Kagoshima.


On August 22, 1944, at between 10:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. local time, the USS Bowfin attacked the convoy in which the Tsushima Maru was sailing and sank her, close to the island of Akusekijima.[2][3] Tsushima-muru Commemoration Association Survey Data (As of August 27, 2005), reported a total of 1,661 civilian evacuees, including 834 schoolchildren (of which 775 were killed and approximately 59 survived the sinking).[4] Shortly after the sinking a "Gag Order" was enforced and families and survivors rarely spoke about the incident. The number of victims that have been identified by name, based on notifications from bereaved families (As of August 22, 2012), include 780 schoolchildren.[5]

The ship was part of Convoy Namo 103, which consisted of the following ships:[3]

  • Tsushima Maru (passenger / cargo vessel)
  • Kazuura Maru (listed as Waura Maru in some sources, assumed to be a cargo vessel)
  • Gyōkū Maru (cargo vessel)
  • Destroyer Hasu (Momi class)
  • Gunboat Uji

The crew of the USS Bowfin would not discover until 20 years later that the passenger-cargo vessel was transporting children.[3]

Its wreck was located and identified in December 1997.

See also


  1. "Tsushima maru". Rosebury Yard – Gallery of the Japanese Wartime Merchantships. Retrieved 30 May 2007.
  2. "USS Bowfin (SS-287) - Patrol 6". USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Tsushima Maru Sinking". USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park. Retrieved 30 May 2007.
  4. "Tsushima-muru Commemoration Association Survey Data", Tsushima-muru Memorial Museum. Visited 2 November 2014
  5. Tsushima-muru Memorial Museum. Visited 2 November 2014

External links