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The Atsutasan Maru


The Atsutasan Maru was a 8662-ton Japanese Army-controlled miscellaneous auxiliary vessel, which was being used as an air defense ship. On 16 December 1941 the submarine USS Swordfish (SS-193) attacked the Atsutasan Maru off Hainan Island, at 18-06N, 109-44E. One of three torpedoes fired by the Swordfish struck the Japanese ship in the engine room, leaving it adrift and sinking slowly. Twenty-five gunners and three crew members were killed. The remaining personnel abandoned the ship. The next day they re-boarded the ship and a motor-sail boat attempted to tow it, but it sank suddenly bow first. The Swordfish thus became the first United States Navy submarine to sink a Japanese ship during World War II.

USS Swordfish

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