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
|The Very First Sub Ever|
The First Submarine Ever
There were many countries around the world developing submarines in the 17th and 18th century both for wartime use and for commercial purposes. In the United States, we say the Turtle, developed by a Yale University professor, David Bushnell, was our first submarine. Designed to deliver an underwater mine with a timed fuse, it's original purpose was to break the blockade of the British Navy in New York harbor in 1776, during the War of Independence. Almost a hundred later the Confederate States Ship Hunley with a crew of nine men braved the waters of Charleston, South Carolina harbor to attack and sink the Union Ship USS Housitanic. The weapon used was a mine mounted on a spar jutting from the bow of the submarine. Again, the purpose was to break the blockade of a harbor but within 40 years, the United States started the submarine explosion with the Simon Lake, SS-1, in 1900 , designed as a scouting ship for America's emerging battle fleets. In less than 20 years, the first world war would see the island nation of Great Brritain brought to her knees by German commerce raiding submarines and submarines , large and small being developed by many nations.