Seisho Maru

BuilderSouthwestern Shipbuilding, San Pedro, California, United States
Launched31 Dec 1918
Sunk18 Nov 1944
Displacement5,632 tons standard
Length410 feet
Beam54 feet
MachineryOne triple-expansion steam engine
Speed10 knots


ww2dbaseIn 1918, the merchant ship West Caruth was the second ship built by the Southwestern Shipbuilding firm in San Pedro, California, United States for the United States Shipping Board that oversaw American shipping efforts in WW1. In 1923, she was sold to the North Devon Steamship Company, a British company, and operated as tramp steamer Exmoor. In 1924, she was sold to the Tripcovich Shipping Company of Trieste, Italy, which renamed her Antonio Tripcovich. In 1928, Oguma Shoten Gomei Kaisha of Tsurumi purchased her and renamed her Seisho Maru. In the early 1930s, she was purchased by Mitsui Bussan Kaisho, which kept her name. She sailed between Japan and the west coast of the United States during the 1930s, carrying cargo. In early May 1939, she ran aground in Tokyo Bay, but she was refloated within days. When WW2 began, she served as a troop transport. On 15 Nov 1944, she departed Moji, Kyushu, Japan as a part of convoy MI-27 bound for Miri, Borneo. The convoy was escorted by a converted minesweeper and three smaller vessels. During the night of 17-18 Nov 1944, the convoy was detected by the American submarine wolfpack consisted of USS Peto, USS Spadefish, and USS Sunfish. Sunfish sank Edogawa Maru and damaged Seisho Maru shortly after 2200 hours, while Peto sank Osakasan Maru at 2340 hours. At 0130 hours, Seisho Maru exchanged gunfire with a surfaced submarine. At 0317 hours, Sunfish fired a spread of torpedoes, sinking her in the East China Sea.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jul 2010

Seisho Maru Operational Timeline

31 Dec 1918 American transport West Caruth was launched at 0800 hours, sponsored by Betty Howard, daughter of the company vice president of Southwestern Shipbuilding, William Howard.
15 Nov 1944 Seisho Maru departed from Moji, Japan with convoy MI-27 for Miri, Borneo.
17 Nov 1944 Seisho Maru was damaged by a torpedo from USS Sunfish in the East China Sea.
18 Nov 1944 USS Sunfish sank Japanese transport Seisho Maru in the East China Sea at 0317 hours.

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