YAMATO MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2014 Bob Hackett

Riva Trigoso, Genoa, Italy. Laid down at Societa Esercizio Bacini as a 9,757-ton passenger-cargo ship for the Transatlantica Italiana Societa Anonima Di Navigazione, Genoa.

2 August 1915:
Launched and named GIUSEPPE VERDI.

November 1915:
Completed. She can accommodate 100 first class, 260 2nd class and 1,825 3rd class passengers.

4 November 1915:
Departs Genoa on her maiden voyage to Naples, Palermo and New York.

20 November 1915:
Arrives at Ellis Island, New York.

In Transatlantica Italiana (TI) Line’s Italy ~ New York service.

5 September 1916:
Arrives at Ellis Island, New York.

20 October 1922:
Arrives at Ellis Island, New York.

8 June 1925:
Arrives at Boston.

27 October 1925:
Arrives at Boston.

11 October 1927:
Departs New York.

24 October 1927:
Arrives at Naples.

9 November 1927:
Departs Genoa for Naples, Palermo, Lisbon and New York.

6 December 1927:
Departs New York for Boston, Lisbon, Naples and Genoa.

Sold by TI to Kinkai Yusen K. K. (Near Seas Mail Co.) of Tokyo and renamed YAMATO MARU.

1937: Second Sino – Japanese War.
YAMATO MARU is chartered and operated by the Civilian Shipping Administration (Senpaku Un´eikai).

8 September1937:
YAMATO MARU departs Osaka carring the IJA 20th Infantry Regiment of the 16th Division.

14 September 1937:
Arrives at Wusung, near Shanghai, China. Lands troops.

30 October 1937:
Departs Osaka and arrives at Goto Islands. Carrries elements of the IJA 114th Division’s 150th Infantry Regiment.

3 November 1937:
YAMATO MARU departs Goto Islands in a convoy also consisting of transports BEIJING, FUSHIMI, HORAI, JUYO, KARAFUTO, KURETAKE, MEIKO, SHINYO, SHIN YUBARI, SHINSEI and TAIAN MARUs escorted by destroyer MIKAZUKI.

5 November 1937:
Arrives at Hangzhou Bay, China. Stands by for five days because of faulty landing craft.

10 November 1937:
Lands troops.

8 September 1939:
Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) Line of Tokyo acquires Kinkai Yusen and YAMATO MARU.

YAMATO MARU's funnels are reduced to one.

E 1943:
YAMATO MARU is chartered and operated by the Civilian Shipping Administration (Senpaku Un´eikai).

January 1943:
YAMATO MARU departs Ujina for Rabaul in convoy "U" also consisting of INDUS, MEIKAI and MOMOHA MARUs escorted by destroyer YUNAGI.

27 January 1943:
At 00-30N, 149-40E, subchaser CH-18 rendezvous with convoy "U" and takes over escorting the convoy. YUNAGI is detached.

31 January 1943:
The convoy arrives at Rabaul.

28 March 1943:
YAMATO MARU departs Rabaul for Palau in a convoy also consisting of DENMARK, KUROHIME, MAYA, NAGANO and TAIKO MARUs escorted by subchasers CH-16 and CH-24.

29 March 1943:
Late in the afternoon, LtCdr (later Captain) Arnold H. Holtz's (USNA ’31) USS TUNA (SS-203) sights the convoy, two escorts and two aircraft overhead. TUNA begins tracking the convoy.

30 March 1943:
NE of Manus Island. At 0750, Holtz fires three torpedoes and gets two hits that sink KUROHIME MARU at 00-35N, 147-55E. 27 passengers and nine crewmen are KIA.

5 April 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

22 April 1943:
YAMATO MARU departs Takao for Kure in convoy No. 254 also consisting of IJA transports MITO, YASUSHIMA, SHINSOKU and SHOKEI MARUs, tankers NIKKAKU and TOKUWA MARUs, auxiliary transport TAITO MARU and auxiliary survey vessel KYODO MARU No. 36 escorted by torpedo boat HAYABUSA.

26 April 1943:
SHOKEI and TOKUWA MARU are detached and arrive at Sasebo, the rest of the convoy resumes course to Kure.

24 August 1943:
At 0700, YAMATO MARU departs Palau for Ujina in convoy FU-407 also consisting of empty troop ships BRAZIL, FUKKO, HAVRE, MINRYO and TOHO MARUS escorted by patrol boat PB-46 and auxiliary gunboat KAZAN MARU.

LtCdr (later Cdr) John A. Scott's (USNA ’28) USS TUNNY (SS-282) makes several attacks on the convoy, but is unsuccessful, probably due to defective Mark 14 torpedoes of which Scott fires 11. TUNNY is depth charged and damaged. After a fire breaks out aboard, she is forced to abort her war patrol.

E 2 September 1943:
At 29-41N, 133-16E, the convoy is joined by auxiliary gunboat CHOUN MARU, auxiliary netlayer TAISHU MARU, auxiliary minesweepers TAKUNAN MARU No. 3 and TAKUNAN MARU No. 8 and auxiliary patrol boats TAITON MARU and NITTO MARU No. 12.

4 September 1943:
Arrives at Ujina.

11 September 1943:
At 1700, YAMATO MARU departs Mutsure for Keelung, Formosa in convoy No. 195 consisting of BATAVIA, CHIHAYA, KISO, KASHIMA and YOSHU MARUs escorted by destroyer SHIOKAZE. YAMATO MARU carries 916 passengers, 3,340 tons of cargo and 3,000 kg of mail.

13 September 1943:
At 0206, LtCdr (later Rear-Admiral) Charles O. Triebel's (USNA ’29) SNOOK (SS-279) torpedoes and sinks YAMATO MARU at 30-18N, 123-35E. Four crewmen and 29 passengers are KIA. SHIOKAZE drops 14 depth charges unsuccessfully, but claims destruction of the submarine.

Bob Hackett

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