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Taifuku Maru No.1 class
117.3 x 15.5 x ?
Built by Kawasaki Dockyard Co. Ltd. at Kobe during 1919. Owned by Daiko Shosen K. K. During the Pacific War, used by the Japanese Navy as a cargo vessel.
On May 9, 1942, Kinugawa Maru was part of "Convoy 206" including Shinsei Maru, Tatsuwa Maru, Tatsuharu Maru, Senzan Maru, Nanyo Maru, Kinugawa Maru, Taisho Maru, Meiyu Maru, Wayo Maru and this ship. Escorted by Tsubame and destroyer Sanae.
On January 5, 1943 Keifuku Maru was anchored in Blanche Bay unloading supplies. By noon, most her cargo was unloaded but unloading was still underway when an enemy air raid by B-17s and B-24s commenced, targeting shipping in Blanche Bay.
With little warning to get underway, one of the B-17 Flying Fortresses from the 64th Bombardment Squadron (64th BS) bombed Japanese ships off Kokopo including this vessel identifying it as a "cargo vessel" and bombed from roughly 8,500'. Moments later, a pair of 500 pound bombs explode on both sides amidship, causing her plates to buckle. Aboard, one crew member was injured. Damaged by the near misses, the ship sank.
Note: This ship's exact tonnage is unclear, likely either 5,833 Tons or 5,333 Tons
Wreck Site - SS Keifuku Maru (+1943)
The Lae Convoy by Richard Dunn page 7
The Search for General Walker: New Insights page 12 [PDF] by Richard Dunn
Thanks to Richard Dunn for additional information
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