DAIFUKU (TAIFUKU) MARU No. 1 was renamed ARGONNE during construction and completed on 28 December 1916 by Kawasaki Shipyard Co., Ltd. of Kobe and sold to States Marine & Commercial Co. of the USA under an iron exchange agreement with the United States signed in April 1918. Seventy-five such vessels were built based on a British WWI standard ship design for Japanese and foreign customers in 1916-1920. The hull adopted a hurricane deck type of structure that shortened the construction period. Kawasaki established a world record of 30 days from groundbreaking to completion. The ships were known as Kawasaki stock boats or standard steamers.Among Kawasaki's stock boats, the following are known to have transported Allied POWs: BRAZIL, CELEBES, ENGLAND, FRANCE, HOFUKU, NAGATO, PACIFIC, SINGAPORE, THAMES, TOFUKU, UBE and WASHING MARUs.
|Kawasaki Shipbuilding Kobe|
|Dimensions:||385' (LPP) x 51' x 11'|
|Propulsion:||Steam triple expansion engine, 440 n.h.p., single screw.|
|Speed:||12.5 knots cruising, 14 knots max.|