(YAMAGATA MARU as NYK cargo ship )

YAMAGATA MARU: Tabular Record of Movement

© 2014-2017 Bob Hackett

30 August 1915:
Nagasaki. Laid down for Mitsubishi Zosensho as Yard No. 253, a 3,792-ton cargo ship for Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK Kine), Tokyo.

3 May 1916 :
Launched and named YAMAGATA MARU.

3 July 1916:

2 October 1918:
YAMAGATA MARU arrives at Ellis Island, New York from St. Lucia, Lesser Antilles.

1 February 1920:
YAMAGATA MARU departs Moji for Australia.

20 February 1920:
Arrives at Brisbane en route to Sydney and Melbourne.

10 June 1919:
Arrives at Ellis Island from Calcutta, India.

30 July 1921:
Arrives at Ellis Island from Kobe via the Suez Canal and Port Said, Eqypt.

27 May 1928:
YAMAGATA MARU departs Singapore for Calcutta via Penang, Malaya and Rangoon, Burma (Yangon, Myanmar)

20 October 1937:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA). Allotted Army No. 216.

15 December 1937:
Returned by the IJA back to her owners.

8 July 1941:
Re-requisitioned by the IJA.

7 June 1942:
YAMAGATA MARU departs Mako for Sasebo in convoy No. 220 also consisting of DAISHO, DELAGOA, RYUWA and SHINYO MARUs and seven unidentified merchant ships escorted by minesweeper W-1.

11 June 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

23 July 1942:
YAMAGATA MARU departs Mutsure in convoy No. 141 also consisting of DELAGOA MARU and KASUGA MARU No. 2 GO and one unidentified merchant ship escorted by destroyer WAKATAKE.

27 July 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

28 July 1942:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores.

23 October 1942:
YAMAGATA MARU departs Rangoon, Burma carrying about 1,000 Australians of the 2/26 Infantry Battalion, Dutch and American prisoners of war (POWs) from Singapore that were landed by MAEBASHI MARU.

24 October 1942:
Arrives at Moulmein, Burma. Disembarks POWs. One POW died en route.

19 May 1943:
At 0530, YAMAGATA MARU departs Saeki for Palau in convoy K-519 also consisting of transports CLYDE, KOCHI, KOYO, MOJI, NITTAI and SAIPAN MARU escorted by torpedo boat HATO, minesweeper W-18 and auxiliary minesweeper TAMA MARU No. 6.

27 May 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

4 June 1943:
At 1300, YAMAGATA departs Palau in convoy P-604 also consisting of transports CLYDE and NITTAI MARUs and one unidentified merchant escorted by subchaser CH-39.

29 June 1943:
At 0440, YAMAGATA MARU departs depart Rabaul in convoy O-908 also consisting of transports CLYDE, MADRAS, YAMAGATA, NITTAI, PACIFIC MARUs, tug HOZU MARU and two unidentified vessels escorted by subchasers CH-22 and CH-24.

E 6 July 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

14 July 1943:
YAMAGATA MARU departs Palau in convoy FU-406 also consisting of transports TAGA, OLYMPIA, RYUYO, UMEKAWA and YAMAFUKU MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-31.

E 21 July 1943:
Minelayer NUWAJIMA and Auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 3 join the escort.

23 July 1943:
Arrives at Saeki where the convoy is dissolved.

2 August 1943:
At 1300, YAMAGATA MARU departs St Jacques for Takao in convoy No. 415 also consisting of GYOTEN, KOKUEI, SEISHIN, SYDNEY, TAIAN, TSUYAMA and USSURI MARUs and six unidentified merchants without escort. The convoy splits into two parts.

E 5 August 1943:
OTORISAN MARU is detached.

21 August 1943:
YAMAGATA MARU departs Saeki for Palau in convoy O-104 also consisting of ALASKA, KUMAGAWA and TAITO MARUs escorted by minesweepers W-18 and W-33 and auxiliary minesweepers TAMA MARU No. 6 and TAMA MARU No. 7.

E 22 August 1943:
At 30-30N 134-05, TAMA MARU No. 6 and TAMA MARU No. 7 are detached.

E 23 August 1943:
At 29-N W-33 is detached.

24 September 1943:
YAMAGATA MARU departs Palau for Wewak in convoy "Wewak No. 10" also consisting of BENGAL and MAYA MARUs escorted by torpedo boat HATO, minelayer SHIRATAKA and subchaser CH-34. En route, the escorts are relieved by subchasers CH-26 and CH-32.

28 September 1943:
Arrives at Wewak, New Guinea.

29 September 1943:
Departs Wewak.

4 October 1943:
Convoy "Wewak No. 10"arrives at Palau.

7 October 1943:
YAMAGATA MARU departs Palau in convoy FU-705 consisting of ADEN, BENGAL, TAIAN and YAMAYURI MARUs.

E 16 October 1943:
At 30N, auxiliary minesweeper AOI, YACHIYO MARUs and TOKUHO MARU No. 10 join the convoy as escorts.

17 October 1943:
The convoy arrives at Ujina.

31 October 1943:
At 0600, YAMAGATA MARU departs Saeki for Palau in convoy O-112 also consisting of EHIME, CHIHAYA, DELAGOA HOZUGAWA, KANJO, MOJI, NICHIAI, TENCHO, UME, UMEKAWA, and YAWATA MARUs escorted by minesweepers W-18 and W-17, auxiliary minesweepers TAKUNAN MARU No. 3, TOKUHO MARU No. 10 and AOI MARU and auxiliary subchasers TAKUNAN MARU No. 8 and CHIYO MARU No. 8.

That night, the convoy is attacked by LtCdr (later Captain) Robert E. Dornin's (USNA ’35) USS TRIGGER (SS-237). Dornin claims two sinkings, but actually scores no hits. The escorts counterattack, but are also unsuccessful.

2 November 1943:
At 0048, LtCdr (later Captain) Slade D. Cutter's (USNA ’35) USS SEAHORSE (SS-304) torpedoes and sinks YAWATA MARU at 28-20N, 135-20E. Four gunners and 64 crew are KIA.

At 0215, TRIGGER attacks the convoy again. Dornin fires three torpedoes. All hit and sink DELAGOA MARU near Tanegashima at 28-30N, 135-35E. She was carrying 206 maintenance and supply men of the 248th Air Regiment. The unit was equipped with Nakajima Type 1 "Hayabusa" (Oscar) IJA fighters. 201 of its men are KIA, as are 12 Army civilians, seven gunners and 68 crewmen.

31 January 1944:
At 0920, YAMAGATA MARU departs Moji for Takao in convoy No. 133 also consisting of IJA transports CLYDE, FUKKO, MATSUE, MATSUEI, OSAKA, SHINYU, SORACHI, TOYO (2704 GRT) and YOZAN MARUs and DAIGEN MARU No. 3 and tankers NITTETSU, SHINCHO, TAKETSU (BUTSU) and YAMAKO (SANKO), MARUs, escorted by patrol boat PB-31 and auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 3.

6 February 1944:
At 1500, the convoy arrives at Takao.

25 February 1944:
At 1500, YAMAGATA MARU departs Manila for Kau, Halmahera Island in convoy H-19 consisting of NITTAI, SHOGEN, SHINYU and TENCHO MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-103.

28 February 1944::
At 1000, arrives at Cebu, Philippines. The convoy is joined by KANTO MARU and auxiliary subchaser CHa-24 and auxiliary minesweeper Wa-8.

29 February 1944:
Departs Cebu.

1 March 1944::
The escorts detect a submarine. CHa-24 drops depth charges, but without effect.

3 March 1944:
Celebes Sea, 290 miles NW of Wasili, Halmahera. At 2347, LtCdr Willard R. Laughon’s (USNA ’33) USS RASHER (SS-269) attacks convoy H-19. Laughon torpedoes and sinks army transport NITTAI MARU carrying 8,655 tons of white rice at 03-8N, 123-56E. One crewman is killed. The escorts drop seven depth charges that slightly damage USS RASHER.

4 March 1944:
At 1825, the convoy's escort is joined by auxiliary NITTO MARU No. 17. At 2300, the escorts detect a surfaced submarine and attack, but without success.

5 March 1944::
At 0405, Laughon's RASHER fires torpedoes at the convoy at 02-49N, 126-40E. SHINYU MARU barely manages to evade a hit.

6 March 1944:
At 0237, arrives at Wasile, Halmahera, then departs for Kau.

7 March 1944:
Arrives at Kau.

9 March 1944:
At midnight, YAMAGATA MARU departs Halmahera for Manokwari, New Guinea escorting a convoy consisting of TENCHO, SHOGEN, YAMAGATA and SHINYU MARUs escorted by minesweeper W-4 and auxiliary netlayer HINOKI MARU.

11 March 1944::
At 1017, arrives at Manokwari.

20 March 1944:
YAMAGATA MARU departs Manokwari for Biak Island and Sarmi, New Guinea in a convoy also consisting of SHINYU MARU escorted by minesweeper W-4 and auxiliary netlayer HINOKI MARU.

25 March 1944:
At 1100 arrives at Sarmi. Later proceeds to Wakde.

26 March 1944:
Departs Wakde and later that day arrives at Sarmi.

29 March 1944:
At 0400, the convoy departs Sarmi for Manokwari.

31 March 1944::
At 1916, arrives at Manokwari.

3 April 1944:
At 0500, YAMAGATA MARU departs Manokwari for Halmahera in a convoy also consisting of SHINYU. SHOGEN, TENCHO and TETSUYO MARUs and an unidentified ship escorted by minesweepers W-4 and W-105, auxiliary netlayer HINOKI MARU and auxiliary NITTO MARU No. 17

5 April 1944:
At 0625, arrives at Wasile, Halmahera.

12 April 1944:
At 1500, YAMAGATA MARU departs Kau for Manila in convoy M-27 also consisting of SHINYU and SHOGEN MARUs and NIKKO MARU No. 1 and Army LST BANRYU (later SS-2) . escorted by escorted by patrol boats PB-103 and PB-105, auxiliary subchasers YATSUSHIRO MARU and KYO MARU No. 2.

15 April 1944:
At 2340, LtCdr (later Cdr) Marshall H. Austin's (USNA ’35) USS REDFIN (SS-272) torpedoes and damages SHINYU MARU, but she is able to continue.

16 April 1944:
SW coast of Moro Bay. Mindanao. At 0240, REDFIN torpedoes and damages YAMAGATA MARU transporting about 100 wounded soldiers and 25 other passengers, and later she sinks at 06-51N, 123-37E. 28 passengers and five crewmen are KIA.

Author's Note:
Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

Bob Hackett

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