YUSOSEN!

(Yamasachi Maru as salvaged at Hong Kong postwar – Peter Cundall Collection)

IJN YAMASACHI MARU:

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2015 Berend van der Wal, Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall


19 March 1942:
Tsurumi. Laid down by Nippon Kokkan K.K. for Yamashita Kisen K.K. as a bulk carrier.

10 December 1942:
Scheduled to be requisitioned by the IJN from 13 December 1942 under Third Secret Military Preparation instructions.

23 December 1942:
Launched and named YAMASACHI MARU. [1]

23 February 1943:
Completed and registered at Kobe. Registered that same day by the Department of the Navy as a general transport (refueling ship) attached to the Yokosuka Naval District.

24 February 1943:
Conversion to an emergency tanker starts at Nippon Kokan K.K., Tsurumi Shipyard.

14 March 1943:
The conversion is completed. Departs Tsurumi and arrives at Yokohama later that day.

15 March 1943:
Departs Yokohama and arrives at Yokosuka later that same day.

17 March 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

19 March 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

22 March 1943:
Departs Kure.

24 March 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

12 April 1943:
Departs Sasebo.

13 April 1943:
Arrives at Miike.

14 April 1943:
Departs Miike. Arrives at Imari Wan (Bay) later that day.

18 April 1943:
Departs Imary Wan in convoy SA-7 also consisting of HAKUROKU (HAKUSHIKA), TAMAHIME, SHOTAI (ex-Philippine REGULUS) and MUNKATA MARUs and TOSEI MARU No. 2 escorted by cable layer escort ODATE. The convoy sails at 8 knots for Shanghai.

20 April 1943:
At 0215, HAKUROKU and YAMASACHI MARUs are detached and head south at 10 knots.

22 April 1943:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores.

23 April 1943:
Departs Mako in convoy No. 387 also consisting of eight unidentified merchant ships. En route YAMASACHI MARU is detached.

1 May 1943:
Arrives at Miri, Borneo.

3 May 1943:
Departs Miri.

6 May 1943:
Arrives at St. Jacques, Indochina.

10 May 1943:
Departs St. Jacques in convoy No. 494 also consisting of IJN tanker SHOYO MARU and eight unidentified merchant ships without escort.

16 May 1943:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa (Now Kaoshiung, Taiwan).

18 May 1943:
At 0900 departs Takao in S convoy also consisting of TSUYAMA, TEIKON (ex-German WINNETOU), TACHIBANA MARUs and four unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer ASAKAZE .

23 May 1943:
At 1000, arrives at Moji and later that day arrives at Kobe.

24 May 1943:
Departs Kobe.

26 May 1943:
Arrives at Yokkaichi.

30 May 1943:
Departs Yokkaichi.

31 May 1943:
Arives at Yokosuka.

5 June 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

6 June 1943:
Arrives at Yokkaichi.

13 June 1943:
Departs Yokkaichi and arrives at Nagoya later that same day.

14 June 1943:
Undergoes repairs at the Nagoya Shipbuilding Corporation.

11 July 1943:
Departs Nagoya.

13 July 1943:
Arrives at Seito (Tsingtao, now Qingdao), China.

14 July 1943:
Departs Seito. Arrives at Miike later that day.

17 July 1943:
Departs Miike and joins convoy No. 177 also consisting of HAKONE, ARIMASAN, HOYO, TAKETSU (BUTSU), DURBAN and TACHIBANA MARUs and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by torpedo boat SAGI. The convoy sails at 10.5 knots.

23 July 1943:
Arrives at Takao. Departs there and arrives at Mako later that day.

24 July 1943:
Departs Mako probably in convoy No. 310 also consisting of TAKETSU (BUTSU) and TAINAN MARUs and one unidentified merchant ship without escort, bound for St Jacques. If in the convoy, YAMASACHI MARU is detached en route.

31 July 1943:
Arrives at Miri.

1 August 1943:
Departs Miri.

5 August 1943:
Arrives at St. Jacques.

6 August 1943:
Departs St. Jacques in convoy No. 416 also consisting of tanker HAKKO MARU and nine unidentified merchant ships without escort.

11 August 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

14 August 1943:
Departs Takao. Arrives at Mako later that day.

17 August 1943:
At 1300, departs Mako in convoy No. 293 also consisting of KOZUI, HEIWA, RYUOSAN, HAKKO, HOFUKU, ASAKA, ROKKOSAN MARUs and one unidentified merchant ship. At some point destroyer ASAGAO joins the convoy.

22 August 1943:
Arrives at Mutsure. Departs later that day.

23 August 1943:
Arrives at Shimotsu. Scheduled under message to be derequisitioned from 27 August 1943 (new charter schedule from 31 August.)

27 August 1943:
Departs Shimotsu. Arrives at Osaka later that day.

31 August 1943:
Departs Osaka.

1 September 1943:
Arrives at Wakamatsu.

3 September 1943:
Departs Wakamatsu. Joins convoy No. 193 coming from Moji later that same day consisting of TAKETSU (BUTSU) and SHOKEI MARUs, TAMON MARU No. 8 and two unidentified merchant ships, escorted by second class destroyer KURETAKE.

8 September 1943:
Arrives at Mako.

11 September 1943:
At 0900, departs Mako in convoy No. 322 also consisting of TAKETSU (BUTSU) MARU and eleven unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU.

20 September 1943:
Arrives at St. Jacques.

22 September 1943:
At 1800, departs St. Jacques in convoy with TAKETSU (BUTSU) MARU.

25 September 1943:
Arrives at Miri.

28 September 1943:
Departs Miri.

3 October 1943:
Arrives at Manila, Philippines.

11 October 1943:
Departs Manila in convoy No. 870 also consisting of TAKETSU (BUTSU) and FUKUYAMA MARUs and one unidentified merchant ship escorted by destroyer ASAKAZE.

14 October 1943:
At 1400, arrives at Takao.

18 October 1943:
At 1120, departs Takao in convoy No. 212 also consisting of JUYO MARU and four unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer KARUKAYA.

23 October 1943:
At 1515, arrives at Mutsure.

24 October 1943:
Departs Mutsure.

25 October 1943:
Arrives at Osaka.

28 October 1943:
Derequisitioned and requisitioned again attached to the Kure Naval District. Rerated as the 19th Navy oil supply ship. Loads 500t cargo and departs Osaka later that same day.

29 October 1943:
Arrives at Wakamatsu.

30 October 1943:
Departs Wakamatsu in convoy No. 110 also consisting of ASAHISAN, MALTA, HANAKAWA, TERUKAWA, TEIKA (ex-French CAP VARELLA), KIZAN, YOZAN, SEIZAN, TEIKON (ex-German WINNETOU), OSHIMA, CHINKAI, TAINAN, TOYO, YULIN, SHINKOKU and SEIWA MARUs escorted by auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU and patrol boat PB-2.

4 November 1943:
At 1410, arrives at Takao.

E 5 November 1943:
Unloads 500t cargo.

6 November 1943:
Departs Takao and arrives at Mako later that day.

7 November 1943:
Departs Mako.

That same day, convoy No. 336 departs Takao consisting of cargo ships YULIN, TAINAN, KISHU, SEIWA, SEINAN, TEIKA and SHORYU MARUs and tankers TEIYO and TERUKAWA MARUs plus an unidentified ship (possibly tanker YAMASACHI MARU) without escort.

13 November 1943:
Arrives at St. Jacques, French Indochina (now Vung Tau, Vietnam).

15 November 1943:
Departs St. Jacques.

19 November 1943:
Arrives at Miri.

20 November 1943:
Loads 6,900t cargo. Departs Miri later that day with TAINAN MARU escorted by auxiliary patrol boat TOSHI MARU No. 2.

24 November 1943:
Arrives at Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), Indochina.

E 25 November 1943:
Loads 300t cargo.

26 November 1943:
Departs Saigon.

8 December 1943:
Scheduled to be registered as a Navy supply ship under the Third Secret Military Preparation instruction No. 422.

11 December 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

11 ~ 16 December 1943:
Unloads 3,400t cargo.

16 December 1943:
Departs Takao. Arrives at Mako later that day.

16 ~ 20 December 1943:
Unloads 2,500t cargo and embarks 20 people.

20 December 1943:
Departs Mako. Arrives at Takao later that day.

E 21 December 1943:
Disembarks 20 people. Loads 300t cargo.

22 December 1943:
At 1200, departs Takao in convoy No. 229 also consisting of TEIKA MARU (ex-French CAP VARELLA) and five unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer SHIOKAZE.

29 December 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

E 30 December 1943:
Unloads 600t cargo

31 December 1943:
Departs Moji and arrives at Kudamatsu later that day. Unloads 1,000t cargo.

4 January 1944:
Departs Kudamatsu and arrives at Kasado later that day. Enters Kasado drydock.

27 January 1944:
Undocked. Departs Kasado later the same day. Arrives at Tokuyama later that day.

E 28 January 1944:
Loads 300t cargo.

29 January 1944:
Departs Tokuyama and arrives at Wakamatsu later that same day.

E 30 January 1944:
Embarks 17 passengers.

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

6 February 1944:
At 1500, arrives at Takao.

6 ~ 10 February 1944:
Disembarks 17 passengers. Loads 500t cargo and embarks 6 passengers.

10 February 1944:
At 1200, departs Takao in convoy TAMA-03 also consisting of fourteen unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU, destroyer KURETAKE and auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 3.

14 February 1944:
At 1500, arrives at Manila.

14 ~ 16 February 1944:
Unloads 800t cargo and disembarks 6 passengers.

16 February 1944:
Departs Manila in convoy MAMI-02 also consisting of TEIKO (ex-French D'ARTAGNAN), KIKUSUI, SAN DIEGO, TACHIBANA MARUs, OGURA MARU No.1 and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by second class destroyer KURETAKE.

20 February 1944:
Scheduled to be registered as a Navy supply ship under the Third Secret Military Preparation instruction No. 216.

21 February 1944:
TEIKO MARU (ex-French D'ARTAGNAN) and KIKUSUI MARU are detached and head for Singapore. At 0730, arrives at Miri.

21 ~ 24 February 1944:
Loads 6,900t cargo.

24 February 1944:
Departs Miri.

28 February 1944:
At 1600, departs Miri in convoy MIMA-03 also consisting of TAKETSU (BUTSU), NITTETSU, and SAN DIEGO MARUs escorted by second class destroyers KARUKAYA and KURETAKE. At some point partway, KURETAKE is detached and minesweeper W-17 joins.

4 March 1944:
At 1445, arrives at Manila.

4 ~ 7 March 1944:
Loads 300t cargo.

7 March 1944:
At 1200, departs Manila in convoy MATA-10 also consisting of KENWA, KOHO, SORACHI, TAITO, TARUYASU MARUs and tankers NITTETSU, TACHIBANA, SAN DIEGO, TAKETSU (BUTSU) MARUs, and OGURA MARU No.1 escorted by second class destroyer KARUKAYA and minesweeper W-17.

12 March 1944:
At 1200, arrives at Takao.

12 ~ 15 March 1944:
Loads 300t cargo and embarks 8 passengers.

15 March 1944:
At 1200, departs Takao in convoy TAMO-11 also consisting of TAITO, MUTSU, HINODE, MANILA, MANKO, ASAHI, BELGIUM, SORACHI, KOHO, TARUYASU (ex-British TALTHYBIUS), KENWA, KENZUI, BRAZIL, KENNICHI and TAKETSU (BUTSU) MARUs and UNKAI MARU No. 12 and tankers NITTETSU, SAN DIEGO and TACHIBANA MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 1. escorted by destroyers SHIGURE and NOKAZE, minesweeper W-17 and subchasers CH-38 and CH-37.

16 March 1944:
At 1600, TEIKA (ex-French CAP VARELLA) and TOYO MARUs join the convoy from Kirun (now Keelung). CH-38 is probably detached.

21 March 1944:
At 0430, MANKO, ASAHI, and TOYO MARUs are detached. At 1200, the convoy arrives at Nagasaki.

22 March 1944:
ASAHISAN, KOAN MARUs and UNKAI MARU No.12 are detached to Karatsu Wan (Bay), arriving at Moji the following day. The rest of the convoy arrives at Moji. Departs the same day.

23 March 1944:
Arrives at Kudamatsu.

23 ~ 30 March 1944:

Unloads 7,500t cargo and disembarks 8 passengers.

30 March 1944:
Departs Kudamatsu.

31 March 1944:
Arrives at Sasebo. Loads 300t cargo and embarks 17 passengers.

1 April 1944:
Departs Sasebo.

2 April 1944:
Arrives at Miike.

4 April 1944:
Departs Miike.

5 April 1944:
At 0240, convoy MOTA-16 departs Imari Wan also consisting of TACHIBANA, NITTETSU, HIROTA, TENSHIN, MITSU, TAKETSU (BUTSU), TOSHO, SHONAN and SHIRAHAMA MARUs escorted by minesweeper W-18 and patrol boat PB-38. At 1845, anchors off Raro Retto, Chosen.

6 April 1944:
At 0530, departs Raro Retto.

8 April 1944:
At 0637, arrives at Ssu Chiao Shan (now Sijao Island). At 1054, departs there with auxiliary gunboat CHOHAKUSAN MARU as an additional escort.

11 April 1944:
At 1027, arrives at Takao.

11 ~ 15 April 1944:
Embarks 112 passengers.

15 April 1944:
At 1100, departs Takao in convoy TAMA-16 also consisting of MATSUMOTO, BIZEN, HAKUBASAN, TAKETSU (BUTSU), OMINE, NITTETSU, TOSHO, JOGU, SORACHI, SHIRAHAMA, SHONAN MARUs, OGURA MARU No. 1 and YOSHIDA MARU No. 3, escorted by second class destroyer HASU, torpedo boat SAGI and auxiliary subchaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 3. The convoy sails at 8.5 knots.

16 April 1944:
At 0930, destroyer HASU and auxiliary mine-sweeper TAKUNAN MARU No.3 finish escort duty and are detached.

17 April 1944:
At 0725, torpedo boat HAYABUSA joins as an additional escort. At 1550, auxiliary gunboat KISO MARU and special sub-chaser CHa-39 join as additional escorts.

19 April 1944:
At 1312, arrives at Manila.

19 ~ 22 April 1944:
Unloads 300t cargo and disembarks 129 passengers.

22 April 1944:
At 0615, departs Manila in convoy MI-02 also consisting of fleet oiler ASHIZURI and tankers NITTETSU, HAKUBASAN, TACHIBANA, TAKETSU (BUTSU), MATSUMOTO MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 1 and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2 escorted by torpedo boat SAGI. At 1040, patrol boat PB-38 joins as an additional escort.

23 April 1944:
At 2000, arrives at Pagdanan Bay, Palawan. Departs later.

24 April 1944:
At 0720, departs Pagdanan Bay.

25 April 1944:
At 1200, ASHIZURI is detached from convoy MI-02 and proceeds independently toward Tarakan. At 1925, the convoy arrives at Marudu Bay, North Borneo.

26 April 1944:
At 0800, departs Marudu Bay and arrives at Jesselton, Borneo at 1755.

27 April 1944:
At 0915, departs Jesselton.

28 April 1944:
At 0045, arrives at Brunei Bay, Borneo. Departs there and arrives at Miri at 1325.

28 April ~ 4 May 1944:
Loads 6,900t cargo.

4 May 1944:
At 1030, departs Miri in convoy MI-02 also consisting of NITTETSU, KENSEI, HAKUBASAN, TACHIBANA, TAKETSU (BUTSU), TAIHEI, AKAGISAN, TENSHIN, MATSUMOTO, TAIYU, NISSHIN, SHINCHO and KURENAI MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 1 and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2 escorted by kaibokan AWAJI, torpedo boat SAGI and patrol boat PB-38. At 2100, the convoy anchors in Imuruan Bay, Northwest Borneo.

5 May 1944:
At 0530, the convoy departs Imuruan Bay.

6 May 1944:
SW of Balabac Island. At 0801, LtCdr Francis D. Walker Jr's (USNA '35) USS CREVALLE (SS-291) fires torpedoes at the largest ship (16,801-tons) in the convoy, NISSHIN MARU. Three hit aft and heavy flooding begins. At 0810, she sinks at 07-19N, 116-52E. 15 crewmen are KIA but the fate of her 291 passengers is unknown. The escorts counter-attack and drop 13 DCs, but without success.

7 May 1944:
At 2000, the convoy anchors in Ulugan Bay, Palawan.

8 May 1944:
At 1130, the convoy departs Ulugan Bay.

10 May 1944:
At 1330, arrives at Manila. KENSEI, AKAGISAN, TAIHEI, TENSHIN, TAIYU and KURENAI MARUs are detached. SEIYO MARU joins the convoy. Auxiliary gunboats PEKING and CHOJUSAN MARUs join the escort.

10 ~ 13 May 1944:
Embarks 89 passengers.

13 May 1944:
At 0552, departs Manila in convoy MI-02. The convoy’s escort is reinforced by auxiliary gunboats PEKING and CHOJUSAN MARUs. Cargo ship SEISHO MARU also joins.

16 May 1944:
At 1705, arrives at Takao. Embarks 46 passengers. Loads 400t cargo. SEIYO, HAKUBASAN and MATSUMOTO MARUs and auxiliary gunboat CHOJUSAN MARU are detached.

17 May 1944:
At 1527, departs Takao still in convoy MI-02.

18 May 1944:
At 1520, the convoy arrives at Kirun. KAMO, CHIKUZEN and CHOSAN MARUs join the convoy, as does second class destroyer HASU.

23 May 1944:
At 1700, arrives at Moji.

E 24 May 1944: Departs Moji.

25 May 1944:
Arrives at Amagasaki.

25 ~ 29 May 1944:
Unloads 7,300t cargo and disembarks 135 passengers.

29 May 1944:
Departs Amagasaki.

30 May 1944:
Arrives at Kure. Loads 300t cargo and embarks 78 passengers.

31 May 1944:
Departs Kure. Arrives at Wakamatsu later that day.

1 June 1944:
Embarks 52 passengers. Departs Wakamatsu.

3 June 1944:
At 0415, departs Imari Bay in convoy MI-05 also consisting of fleet oiler NOTORO and tankers AYAGIRI, AYANAMI, FUYUKAWA, KENZUI, MARIFU, NITTETSU, OEI, SAN DIEGO, TACHIBANA, TAKETSU (BUTSU), TOA, TOKUWA and CERAM MARUs and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2 and cargo/transports HINAGA, IKOMASAN, KENEI, NIPPO (ex-Swedish NINGPO), SURAKARUTA, TATSUJU and SHOEI MARUs, TOYO MARU NO. 3 and nine unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan CD-14, CD-18, torpedo boat SAGI, patrol boat PB-38, minesweeper W-17, auxiliary subchaser CHa-22 and two unidentified warships.

8 June 1944:
Arrives at Kirun. Disembarks one passenger. TOYO MARU No. 3 is detached.

9 June 1944:
Departs Kirun.

11 June 1944:
Transports ARIMASAN, MANILA, MIIKESAN and USSURI MARUs and tankers JINEI, BAIEI and SAN DIEGO MARUs and KYOEI MARU No. 8 join the convoy from Takao escorted by minelayer MAESHIMA and auxiliary subchaser CHa-95. TOA and SHOEI MARUs are detached.

13 June 1944:
LtCdr John D. Crowley's (USNA '31) USS FLIER (SS-250) torpedoes and damages MARIFU MARU at 15-57N, 119-42E. MARIFU MARU is taken in tow by MIIKESAN MARU escorted by SAGI.

15 June 1944:
Arrives at Manila. Damaged MARIFU MARU and MIIKESAN MARU arrives later that same day. MARIFU MARU is towed to Cavite.

14 ~ 27 June 1944:
Unloads 300t cargo and disembarks 129 passengers.

21 June 1944:
Scheduled to be registered as a Navy supply ship under the Third Secret Military Preparation instruction No. 558.

27 June 1944:
Departs Manila in MI-07 convoy then also consisting of SHIROGANESAN, TAKETSU (BUTSU), NITTETSU, OEI, KENEI, TAIKAI, KAKOGAWA, CHIHAYA, RYUSHO, OYO, TAIEI and SAN LUIS MARUs escorted by destroyer ASAKAZE and kaibokan YASHIRO.

2 July 1944:
At 1700, arrives at Miri.

2 ~ 10 July 1944:
Loads 7,300t cargo.

10 July 1944:
Departs Miri in convoy MI-08 consisting of MEXICO, ASAKA, OLYMPIA, RASHIN, HAKUROKU (HAKUSHIKA), TATSUBATO, KUROGANE MARUs and tankers SAN LUIS, SAN DIEGO, NITTETSU, OEI, TAKETSU (BUTSU), RYUSHO and CHIHAYA MARUs and KYOEI MARU No. 6 escorted by torpedo-boat SAGI, kaibokan CD-18 and minesweepers W-17, and W-18.

11 July 1944:
At 1830, the convoy anchors in Kimanis Bay, SW of Kota Kinabalu, Borneo.

12 July 1944:
At 1300, the convoy departs Kimanis Bay. At 1015, TAKETSU MARU is detached and begins a return journey to Miri.

16 July 1944:
From 0820 until 1400, the convoy is accompanied by torpedo-boat HIYODORI and kaibokan MIKURA. At 2035, the convoy arrives safely at Manila.

17 ~ 24 July 1944:
Embarks 18 passengers.

23 July 1944:
Departs Manila in convoy MI-08 consisting of MIZUHO, MANILA, ARABIA, TATSUBATO, HAKUSHIKA (HAKUROKU) MARUs and tankers SAN LUIS, SAN DIEGO, NITTETSU, MIRI, RYUSHO, CHIHAYA MARUs and KYOEI MARU NO. 6. escorted by torpedo boat SAGI, kaibokan CD-1, CD-18 and CD-28, minesweeper W-17, minelayer ENOSHIMA and subchaser CH-61. The convoy sails at eight knots.

27 July 1944:
At 0920, auxiliary subchaser CHa-74 and auxiliary transport OYO MARU join the escort. At 1605, arrives at Takao and the convoy is again reorganized. CH-61 is detached.

27 ~ 30 July 1944:
Disembarks 18 passengers.

30 July 1944:
Departs Takao in convoy MI-08 now consisting of ZUIHO, BOKO (ex-British SAGRES), MANILA, TSUYAMA, YAGI, TOUN, ARABIA and TATSUBATO MARUs and tankers SAN LUIS, SAN DIEGO, NITTETSU, MIRI, RYUSHO and CHIHAYA and EIHO MARUs and cargo ships YAGI and TOUN MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD-1 and CD-18, torpedo-boat SAGI, minesweeper W-17 and auxiliary netlayer KISHIN MARU. The convoy's speed is 7 knots.

1 August 1944:
At 1400, arrives at Kirun after it is suspected that enemy submarines had gained contact.

1 ~ 4 August 1944:
Loads 500t cargo.

4 August 1944:
At 1600, departs Kirun still in convoy MI-08 and heads up the Ryukyu Islands bound for Kyushu.

9 August 1944:
N of Okinoshima. LtCdr (later Cdr) Robert A. Keating's (USNA '33) BARBEL (SS-316) torpedoes and sinks YAGI and BOKO MARUs at 27-56N, 128-47E. 31 crewmen and three gunners are KIA on YAGI MARU with casualties unknown on BOKO MARU. CD-1 and W-17 carry out an antisubmarine sweep and drop 21 depth-charges that cause some damage to USS BARBEL. Afterwards, the convoy heads out of the area at full speed making evasive movements. At 1200, the convoy arrives at Koniya, Amami-O-Shima.

11 August 1944:
At 0400, departs Amami-O-Shima still in convoy MI-08.

13 August 1944:
Arrives at Moji. Departs later that same day.

14 August 1944:
Arrives at Tokuyama.

14 ~ 19 August 1944:
Unloads 8,000t cargo.

19 August 1944:
Departs Tokuyama. Arrives at Kasado later that day. Enters Kasado drydock.

17 September 1944:
Undocked. Departs Kasado and arrives at Tokuyama later that day.

E 18 September 1944:
Loads 450t cargo.

19 September 1944:
Departs Tokuyama.

20 September 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

E 21 September 1944:
Loads 250t cargo.

22 September 1944:
Departs Moji.

24 September 1944:
Arrives at Miike.

Between 24 and 29 September 1944:
Embarks 63 people.

29 September 1944:
Departs Miike. At 1500, convoy MOTA-27 departs Moji consisting of SHIROTAE, SAGAMIGAWA, MITSUKI, YAMAHAGI, EIMAN, SHINETSU, KINE, KISHUN, SHINWA, EIWA, MEIRYU, YASUKUNI, and HAMBURG MARUs and TAMON MARU No. 15 and two unidentified ships escorted by kaibokan CD-130, torpedo boat HATO and auxiliary submarine chasers CHa-151 and CHa-163. YAMASACHI MARU joins en route.

5 October 1944:
At 0630, arrives at Takao. Unloads 280t cargo, disembarks 20 passengers and embarks 74 passengers.

6 October 1944:
Departs Takao.

8 October 1944:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

11 October 1944:
Disembarks seven passengers.

15 October 1944:
Disembarks 15 passengers. Embarks five passengers.

16 October 1944:
Sustains an air attack. Receives one hit in the rear hull. Disembarks 33 passengers. One person is killed.

19 October 1944:
Docks at an Hong Kong shipyard and starts Repairs.

31 October 1944:
24 passengers disembark.

1 November 1944:
Undocked.

6 November 1944:
Disembarks nine passengers.

9 November 1944:
Disembarks 22 passengers.

15 November 1944:
Embarks 72 passengers.

16 November 1944:
Strikes a mine. Hull bottom is damaged.

17 November 1944:
Disembarks 72 people.

19 November 1944:
Enters drydock No. 6 for repairs.

30 November 1944:
Undocked.

1 December 1944:
Enters drydock in the Hong Kong Naval Shipyard.

7 December 1944:
Tethers to buoy A8, Kellett Bank, Hong Kong harbour.

8 December 1944:
Sustains airstrikes. Crew accomodations are hit and set afire. Third oil tank is wrecked. Engine room is destroyed.

11 December 1944:
Scheduled to be registered as a Navy supply ship under the Third Secret Military Preparation instruction No. 1263.

19 December 1944:
Sustains airstrikes. Receives two bomb hits.

24 December 1944:
Sustains air strikes.

3 January 1945:
Docks at the Hong Kong shipyard

7 January 1945:
Unloads 420t cargo.

16 January 1945:
Sustains an airs strike. Receives a direct hit in oil tank No. 4 and in the engine room. Floods and sinks in shallow waters with unknown casualties.

(Taikoo, Hong Kong bombed 16 Jan ‘45 – Peter Cundall Collection)

September 1945:
YAMASACHI MARU’s wreck is found by British authorities at the end of the war. She is later salvaged and moored across from the Hong Kong and Whampoa yard but not repaired. It is presumed the wreck was scrapped 1946-47.


Authors notes :

(1) Also known as SANKO MARU or YAMAKO MARU.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan.

Berend van der Wal, Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall.


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