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274.5' x 41.5' x 22.8'
3rd BG January 20, 1945
Built by Yokohama Dock Company in Yokohama. Laid down 1924. Commissioned as Hokurei Maru owned by Toa Kaiun K. K. registered in Tokyo.
On September 1, 1944 part of "Convoy MI-17" bound for Manila includes minesweepers W-41 and W-20 with minelayer Aotaka, tankers Nittetsu Maru and Shimotsu Maru, cargo ships Baikal Maru, Amahi Maru, Daiten Maru, Norway Maru, Araosan Maru, Nichizui Maru, Shinyo Maru No. 8, this vessel plus three unidentified ships escorted by destroyers Shiokaze and Kuretake, Kaibokan CD-18, minelayer Yurishima and W-17.
On October 3, 1944 departs Manila as part of convoy MATA-28 including Kamoi, Tachibana Maru, Yamamizu No. 2 Maru and Omine Maru, escorted by CD-8, CD-32 and CD-25, sub chasers CH-28, CH-30, CH-33 and CH-41 and minesweeper W-20, W-21 and CH-41. On October 4, 1944 arrives Santa Cruz and the next day departs reaching San Fernando where W-41 is detached.
On October 6, 1944 at 6:18am departed San Fernando bound for Takao. Off Luzon, the convoy was spotted by a wolf pack of three U. S. submarines including USS Aspro SS-309, USS Hoe SS-258 and USS Cabrilla SS-288. At 8:00am, USS Aspro SS-309 attacked the convoy, firing three torpedoes from periscope depth at a tanker and claimed one hit, but actually achieves no result. At 3:30pm, USS Cabrilla SS-288 under the command of LtCdr William C. Thompson fires a torpedo that hits and badly damages Hokurei Maru and Cabrilla claims it as sunk. Another torpedo hits Yamamizu No. 2, which sinks. In fact, Hokurei Maru was badly damaged but managed to beach north of Vigan at approximately Lat 17° 46' N, Long 120° 25' E.
The shipwreck was upright north of Vigan. Officially reported as sunk on October 18, 1944 by U. S. Navy (USN) aircraft. Afterwards, the shipwreck was repeatedly strafed by American aircraft striking the area. On January 20, 1945 attacked by A-20G Havocs from the 3rd Bombardment Group at low level.
Lloyd's of London 1930 - No. 73456 Hokurei Maru 2085 Tons
Lloyd's of London 1945 - No. 76718 Hokurei Maru 2408 Tons
IJN Minesweeper W-41 Tabular Record of Movement - 1 September 1944
Low Level Attack: The Pacific (1997) by John W. Lambert page 34
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