RIKUGUN YUSOSEN

YAWATA MARU, prewar)

YAWATA MARU: Tabular Record of Movement

2014-2017 Bob Hackett


7 September 1934:
Tsurumi. Laid down at the Asano Co. shipyard as Yard No. 320, a 1,851-ton cargo ship for Hinode Kisen K. K. of Tokyo.

25 December 1934:
Launched and named YAWATA MARU.

31 January 1935:
Completed.

9 October 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) and converted to a troop transport. Allotted IJA ship No. 47.

13 December 1941 - Operation E The Invasion of Malaya:
At 0830, YAWATA MARU departs Camranh Bay in the IJA 5th Infantry Division Transportation Movement's 3rd Unit with KUNITAMA, OHIO, OREGON and SUMATRA MARUs. The Movement carries the main body of the IJA 5th Infantry Division.

16 December 1941:
At 1900, arrives at Singora, Siam (now Songhkla, Thailand).

14 April 1942: Transport Operation U - transport of troops and material from Singapore to Rangoon:
YAWATA MARU departs Singapore as part of Transport Unit No. 3 also consisting of 32 marus. Unit No. 3 carries the IJA 56th Mixed Brigade and other units.

19 April 1942:
Arrives at Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar).

31 August 1942:
YAWATA MARU departs Mako in convoy No. 332 also consisting of BRISBANE and UMEKAWA MARUs and nine unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer KARUKAYA.

19 June 1943:
YAWATA MARU departs Takao in convoy No. 756 also consisting of MATSUMOTO MARU without escort.

22 June 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

11 September 1943:
YAWATA MARU departs Palau for Rabaul, New Britain in convoy SO-105 also consisting of MEXICO, TAIAN, TAITO and TOTAI MARUs escorted by subchaser CH-18.

18 September 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

22 September 1943:
YAWATA MARU departs Rabaul in convoy O-206 also consisting of MOJI, TOTAI and TOYU MARUs and an unidentified Maru escorted by subchasers CH-18 and CH-37.

29 September 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

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

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, in fact, 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 YAWATA MARU and at 0114 she sinks 28-20N, 135-20E. Four gunners and 64 crewmen are KIA.

At 0220, Dornin's TRIGGER attacks the convoy again, this time sinking DELAGOA MARU. 12 passengers, seven gunners and 68 crewmen are KIA.

At 0321, TRIGGER torpedoes and sinks UME MARU at 28-56N, 135-26E. 36 passengers, 25 gunners and 24 crewmen are KIA.


Author's Notes:
[1] Not to be confused with the former NYK liner YAWATA MARU converted to an 17,830-ton escort carrier from 25 Nov '41 - 31 May '42 and renamed IJN UNYO.

Bob Hackett


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