Hokusen Maru (Hellship)
All American and European prisoners arrived on the Hokusen Maru, also
known as the Haro Maru or Benjo Maru. One of the longest hell
ship voyages of the war. First loaded 1 Oct 1944 and underway
from Manila on 3 Oct 1944. Anchored Hong Kong 11-21 October.
Carrier planes attacked on 13 Oct. Arrived Taiwan 24 Oct and
men debarked on 8 November. During the entire voyage, at least
36 men died en route. 294 selected
POWS arrived Toroku on 9 Nov 1944 along with two officers and
one doctor who remained less than one day.
Hokusen Maru (aka Benjo Maru or Haro Maru) - carried 1,100 prisoners from Manila to Hong Kong, beginning October 3, 1944, then from Hong Kong to Formosa, arriving October 24, 1944.
With U.S. forces about to retake the islands in late 1944, the Japanese began moving Torvald and thousands of other POWs to locations closer to Japan. To do so, Japanese troops herded them by the hundreds into the holds of merchant ships that also carried supplies and weapons.