(BOUKADRA, later AOKI MARU)
Freighter AOKI MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement
© 2011 Bob Hackett
West Hartlepool, England. Laid down by by William Gray & Co.
Ltd., as a 3,772-ton cargo ship for La Tunisienne Steam Navigation Co. (F. C.
Strick & Co. Ltd.) of Swansea.
10 June 1910:
Launched and named BOUKADRA.
Sold to the Dale Steamship Co. Ltd. of Glasgow, Scotland.
Sold to the San Peh S. N. Co., Ltd. of Shanghai, China. Renamed
Sold to the China Trade Development Navigation Co. Ltd. of
Trieste, Italy. Renamed AMBA ALAGI (after the highest mountain in Italian East
Ownership transfers to Società Italiana di Navigazione –
Shanghai (Chinese Italian Navigation Co. Ltd.) of Shanghai, China.
25 September 1940:
Chartered to the Japanese who transliterate her
name as ANBARAGI.
Purchased by the Japanese Government and operated by
Teikoku Sempaku K. K. Renamed AOKI MARU. Assigned call
1 February 1944:
At 1150, convoy MO-106 departs Shanghai consisting
of AOKI, NARUO, UGA, MALAY, MUNETAKA MARUs and WAKAMATSU MARU No. 6 escorted by
minesweeper W-15. During the night, strong winds scatter the convoy.
3 February 1944:
At 1715, the convoy anchors near Mokpo, SW Korea.
E 5 February 1944:
Sailing independently, AOKI MARU arrives at
10 October 1944:
At 0600, convoy MOMA-05 departs Moji for Manila
consisting of AOKI, TAIHAKU, KOMEI, TENSHO, TAISHO, TATSUURA, TAIYO, ESAHI,
DORYU, PACIFIC and SUGIYAMA MARUs and an unidentified ship escorted by kaibokan
KASADO and subchasers CH-18, CH-17, CH-23 and CH-28. The convoy is carrying
about 10,000 reinforcement troops for the Philippines.
16 October 1944:
At 1820 convoy MOMA-05 departs Imari Bay.
21 October 1944:
At 1600, arrives at Takao, Formosa. KASADO is
23 October 1944:
At 0900, departs Takao. Shelters in a bay on S
Formosa. Departs at 2300.
24 October 1944:
At 1830, arrives Sabtang Island anchorage.
25 October 1944:
At 0400, departs Sabtang.
26 October 1944:
At 0403, the convoy is attacked by LtCdr (later Rear
Admiral) Maurice Rindskopf's (USNA '38) USS DRUM (SS-228) at 19-30N, 120-44E.
Rindskopf fires three torpedoes by radar bearings at TAISHO MARU. He gets two
hits that break her in two and sink her. She takes down 1,557 Imperial Army
troops, mostly from the 57th Independent Brigade and 10th Maritime Advance
Battalion, and 45 crewmen.
At 0655, Rindskopf torpedoes and damages TAIHAKU MARU at 19-07N, 120-42E.
The forepart sinks, but the aft part remains afloat. She is carrying 3,150 IJA troops of the 57th Independent Mixed Brigade, IJA 14th Sea Raiding Battalion and replacements en route to Luzon’s recently arrived 8th Railroad Regiment. She is also carrying150 horses, 35 boats and 60 military dogs. 1,557 soldiers and three crewmen are KIA. Most of troops on the stern part of the ship transfer to other ships in the convoy. Later, the aft part drifts away with 77 passengers and 33 crewmen still aboard.
DRUM also attacks TATSUURA and TAIYO MARUs with uncertain results. DRUM
sustains DC damage during the day's attacks. 
At about 0710, LtCdr Richard W. Peterson's (USNA '31) USS ICEFISH
(SS-367) torpedoes TAIYO MARU. A cargo of gasoline she is carrying for "kaiten" human-torpedoes
ignites and sends flames hundreds of feet into the air. At 0730, TAIYO MARU
sinks. 2,200 IJA troops and 33 crewmen are KIA.
28 October 1944:
At 1230, convoy MOMA-05 anchors in Lapoc Bay.
The aft part of TAIHAKU MARU is successfully towed by her own Daihatsu
barges and beached in Lapoc Bay, Luzon where, on 9 Nov '44, it is wrecked by a
Typhoon and abandoned.
29 October 1944:
At 0700, departs Lapoc Bay. At 1600, arrives at N
San Fernando, Philippines.
30 October 1944:
At 0700, departs N San Fernando. At 1600, arrives at
31 October 1944:
At 0500, departs Santa Cruz. At 0950, LtCdr (later Captain) Enrique D. Haskins' (USNA '33) USS GUITARRO (SS-363) torpedoes KOMEI MARU. Hit in No. 3 hold, she sinks at 15-18N, 119-50E. 346 IJA troops, 10 crewmen and three gunners are KIA.
At 1010, Haskins also torpedoes PACIFIC MARU. She lowers her boats, but 24 troops and 50 crewmen are KIA. At about 1050, she sinks at at 15-15N,
1 November 1944:
At 0400, arrives at Manila.
14 November 1944:
Manila Bay. Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Frederick C. Sherman's (USNA '10) Task Force 38 carrier-based aircraft bomb and sink AOKI MARU at 14-35N, 120-55E.
 One report claimed AOKI MARU was lightly damaged in the
26 Oct '44 action, but this was probably in error.
Thanks go to Luca “Luke” Ruffato of Italy.
Ex-Axis Merchant Ships in Japanese Service