(Sistter TAIZAN MARU, prewar)

YAKUMO MARU: Tabular Record of Movement

© 2014-2017 Bob Hackett

E 1918:
Tokyo. Laid down at Ishikawajima Shipyard as Yard No. 317, a 3, 175 ton cargo ship for the Imperial Steamship Co., Ltd., Kobe.

June 1919:

14 July 1919:
Completed and sold to Osaka Shosen Kaiha. K. K. (OSK Line) of Osaka. Named YAKUMO MARU.

July 1919:
Placed in OSK’s service and departs Yokohama on her maiden voyage to Marseilles, France.

Transferred to OSK’s Yokohama ~ Takao Formosa (Kaohsiung, Taiwan)service.

Transferred to OSK’s Kobe ~ Kirun, Formosa (Keelung, Taiwan) ~ Tainan, Formosa ~ Takao service.

Chartered to OSK’s affiliate Kita Nihon Kisen, K. K. (North Japan Steamship Co.).

28 January 1932: The "First Shanghai Incident":
The Shanghai Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) of about 2,500 troops is dispatched to evict two divisions of the Chinese 19th Route Army from Shanghai. The Japanese attack the forts of Wusong and Chapei (Zhabei). That night, tender NOTORO's seaplanes drop flares to frighten the opposition. The Chinese think they are being attacked and retaliate. There are many Japanese casualties.

29 January 1932:
Huangpu (Whangpoa) River, Shanghai. In foggy weather, NOTORO launches an aerial attack on Chinese military positions in the Shanghai. Her E1Y3 floatplanes make ten low-level attacks on Chinese positions that result in a heavy loss of civilian lives and property. The Chinese unify against the Japanese who are unable to capture Shanghai. Large-scale fighting breaks out.

10/11 February 1932:
Chartered by the Imperial Army (IJA) as an emergency troop transport.

10/11 February 1932:
YAKUMO MARU departs Ujina in a troop convoy also consisting of AMUR, FRANCE, IKOMA, IWATE, MAYA, MIKASA (Div HQ), TSUKUBA and URASIO MARUs. The convoy carries the IJA 9th division to China.

13 February 1932:
Arrives at Shanghai in the evening.

1 March 1932:
Departs Moji carrying an unidentified IJA unit of 700 troops to Shanghai. Soon after departure, YAKUMO MARU collides with KINRYU MARU. YAKUMO MARU takes on water and her captain runs her aground.

March 1932:
Refloated and repaired at an unknown location.

Released back to her owners.

13 October 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA). Converted to a troop transport and allotted Army No. 334.

YAKUMO MARU transports IJA troops from Ujina to St. Jacques and Saigon, Vichy French Indochina.

25 January 1944:
At 1800, YAKUMO MARU departs Saeki for Palau convoy O-510 consisting of HASSHU, HINODE, KIBI, KIZUGAWA, MACASSAR, MITO SANKO and TASMANIA MARUs and SHINTO MARU No. 1 escorted by destroyer HARUKAZE, minesweeper W-17 and auxiliary subchaser TAMA MARU No. 7. KIZUGAWA MARU is towing midget submarine HA-52.

E 26 January 1944:
TAMA MARU No. 7 is detached at 28N.

6 February 1944:
Arrives at Palau.

12 March 1944: At 0700, YAKUMO MARU departs Palau for Hollandia, New Guinea in convoy "Wewak No. 21" consisting of TAIEI MARUs, a sea truck and an unidentified ship escorted by CH-35 and auxiliary subchasers CHa-10, CHa-47 and CHa-49.

16 March 1944:
N of Hollandia. USN PBYs attack Japanese convoy "Wewak No. 21" damage YAKUMO, TAIEI and TESHIO MARUs and subchaser CH-35. Later, USAAF B-24 heavy bombers also attack the convoy. At 1600, it arrives at Hollandia.

17 March 1944:
At 1400, departs Hollandia.

18 March 1944:
Arrives at Wewak. Begins unloading that evening, but five destroyers of Captain (later Rear Admiral) Kenmore M. McManes' Task Group 74. 5 bombard Wewak. The unloading is halted and the convoy moves to nearby Mushu Island where USS DALY (DD-519) sinks auxiliary subchaser CHa-10 at 03-33S, 143-38E.

19 March 1944:
The convoy is ordered to return to Palau.

50 miles N of Wewak. The convoy is attacked several times by waves of USAAF 5th Air Force Consolidated B-24 "Liberator" heavy bombers, North American B-25 "Mitchell" medium bombers of the 345th Bomb Wing, Douglas A-20 "Havocs" of the 3rd Bomb Group and P-38 "Lightning" fighters. The planes bomb, strafe and sink YAKUMO at 03-08S, 142-21E. The planes also sink TAIEI MARU and auxiliary subchasers CHa-47 and CHa-49.
Several A-20's are shot down during the attacks. The American's strafe the Japanese in the water. 48 soldiers and 62 crewmen on YAKUMO MARU and 50 troops and 78 crewmen on TAIEI MARU are KIA.

20 March 1944:
Subchaser Ch-35, dispatched to rescue survivors, finds no trace of the four lost ships, but rescues YAKUMO MARU's 3rd Offiicer, the convyoy's sole survivor.

Author's Note:
[1] Some sources say the sinking location was 02-55S, 143-40E.

No data were found detailing YAKUMO MARU's movements during 1942-1943. Readers with access to such data are requested to post the information on the Discussion and Questions board or j-aircraft.org's IJN Ship Message Board

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

- Bob Hackett

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