Tsushima Maru Sinking
Off the coast of Akusekijima
Not until more than twenty years after the end of the war did the crew of Bowfin learn that the unmarked, unlighted passenger-cargo vessel, Tsushima Maru, which Bowfin sank off the coast of Akusekijima on 22 August 1944, was loaded with 826 children. They, along with some of their school teachers and a few of their parents, were being transported from Okinawa to the mainland of Japan to escape the anticipated invasion of the Ryukyu Islands. Of those children, 767 were lost; only 59 were saved.
Gyoukuu (source is unsure of transliteration) Maru. (Further information presently unavailable, although the ship may possibly be the 6,854 ton cargo vessel Gyoku Maru, which was sunk by USS Thresher (SS-200), at 35-05N, 124-24E on 18 September 1944.)
IJNS Uji (gunboat); Survived the war; surrendered August 1945 and transferred to China as Chang Chi; taken over by Communists in 1949 and re-armed by 1955. (from: Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945, pp. 118-119.)
After the War
Following is a translation of a Waka Poem by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, for his Year-end Presentation in 1997 (Ninth Year of Heisei):
Hoyt, Edwin P., Bowfin, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York, 1983 (pages 144-150)
Shinzato Seitoku, Ah, Gakudo Sokai Sen Tsushima Maru (Ah, School Child Evacuation Ship Tsushima Maru), Tsushima Maru Victim Bereaved Family Association, Naha, Okinawa, 1978 (in Japanese).
From Sea Technology: Tsuchiya, Toshio, "Acoustic Instruments in Deep Water Search for a Sunken Ship," Japan Marine Science & Technology Center (JAMSTEC), Tokyo, Japan
Secrets of the Sub
|Victory At Cost|
Victory at a cost
During World War II, The United States Submarine Force, encompassing less than 2% of the U.S. Navy's fleet, inflicted destruction on Japanese maritime power. U.S. submarines were responsible for sinking over 30% of the Japanese Navy including eight aircraft carriers, one battleship and eleven cruisers. More importantly, the Submarine Force sank 2,400 Japanese merchant ships totaling 4.9 million tons.
However, this success did not come without risk. Out of a total of 14,000 submariners who fought in peril under the sea took losses of over 3,500 officers and men. Approximately one in four submariners never returned.
The USS Bonefish submarine plaque is one of fifty-two memorials at the Waterfront Memorial at Bowfin Park.