February 28, 1944 – This Day During World War ll – USS Balao (SS-285) sinks army cargo ship Akiura Maru and transport Shoho Maru

February 28, 1944 – Submarine Balao (SS-285), in attack on Japanese convoy, sinks army cargo ship Akiura Maru and transport Shoho Maru about 90 miles northwest of Manokwari, New Guinea
INJ Akiura Maru a 6,804-ton passenger cargo ship for Mitsubishi Shoji, K. K., Tokyo.
27 February 1944: Akiura Maru departs Halmahera in a convoy also consisting of Shoho Maru and Toyo Maru
LtCdr Cyrus C. Cole’s SS Balao (SS–285) sights smoke on the horizon and commences tracking the three ships and escort.
28 February 1944: 90 miles NW of Manokwarki, New Guinea. At about 2315, LtCdr (later Captain) Cyrus C. Cole’s (USNA ’35) USS Balao (SS-285) attacks the convoy. Cole fires ten torpedoes at Akiura, Shoho and Toyo Marus. Akiura Maru evades four torpedoes, but is hit by four more. She catches fires and explodes. Akiura Maru sinks. 497 troops, 55 crewmen and 10 gunners are KIA.
INJ Shoho Maru a 2,723 ton cargo ship.
28 February 1944: About 90 miles NW of Manokawari, New Guinea. Shortly after midnight, Balao goes to battle stations and closes for attack. After firing her six bow tubes at the lead ship, she swings her stern toward the wing ships in the formation and fires her stern tubes. Balao hears several explosions at the expected times, as torpedo after torpedo strikes home. Cole Had fires four torpedoes at Shoho Maru and gets two hits that sink her. 34 men are KIA.
One of the ships trains a 3 in (76 mm) gun on Balao, but a heavy internal explosion silences the gun before Balao can be hit.
29 February 1944: Toyo Maru picks up survivors and carries them to Manokawari.

INJ Akiura Maru

INJ Shoho Maru

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