(WAITEMATA, later YUKI MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2014-2017 Bob Hackett

Howden on Tyne, England Laid down at Northumberland Ship Building Co. Ltd. for the Shipping Controller, London as Yard No. 271, a 5,729-ton British WW1 Type F1 Standard Cargo Ship.

3 April 1919:
Launched and named WAR RAMPART.

May 1919:
Completed for the Union Steam Ship Co. of Dunedin, New Zealand. Renamed WAITEMATA and placed on Union Steam Ship Co.'s New Zealand ~ Australia ~ San Francisco route.

Sold to William Crosby & Co, Melbourne, Australia. Renamed WILLANDRA.[1]

Sold to Dairen Kisen K. K, Dairen, Manchuria. Renamed YUKI MARU. [2]

16 April 1944:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA). Alloted IJA No. 714. [3]

3 June 1944:
YUKI MARU departs Manila in convoy H-28 also consisting of ATSUTA, GENKAI, HINODE, KANKYO, PACIFIC and TSUKUBASAN MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD-3, minesweeper W-28 and subchasers CH-41 and CH-46

13 June 1944:
At 1200, arrives at Kau, Halmahera.

16 June 1944:
At 0600, YUKI MARU departs Wasili, Halmahera for Manila in joint convoy M-23 and M-24 also consisting of ATSUTA, BELGIUM, GENKAI, HINODE, KANKYO, MURORAN, TEIYU (ex-Italian CARIGNANO), PACIFIC and TSUKUBASAN MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD-3, minesweepers W-5 and W-28 and subchasers CH-41 and CH-46.

Sumba Strait, off Halmahera Island. At 1650, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Wreford G. Chapple’s (USNA ‘30) USS BREAM (SS 243) fires six torpedoes and gets hits in YUKI MARU's portside between holds No. 2 and 3 and then again in hold No. 3. YUKI MARU splits in two and sinks at 02-22N, 128-43E. 18 crewmen are KIA. At about the same time and place, BREAM torpedoes and hits HINODE MARU portside in the engine room. She loses all power and drifts into the night.

17 June 1944:
At 0503, drifting HINODE MARU runs aground on a coral reef and is abandoned. Three passengers, 6 gunners and 13 crewmen are KIA.

Author's Note:
[1] One source says W. Crosby & Co intended to rename WAITEMATA as WILLANDRA, but that the change was not carried out.

[2] Not to be confused with YUKI MARU (3168/16).

[3] Probably reequisitioned during an earlier period, but there is no surviving record.

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

Bob Hackett

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