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  Sagara Maru
Seaplane Tender

Ship History
Built by Mitsubishi Shipbuilding for the Nihon Yusen Co. (NYK) Japanese Mailboat Company as a cargo vessel. Laid down on June 23, 1939. Launched on March 23, 1940. Completed on November 12, 1940. This vessel began operating between Japan and Seattle.

Wartime History
On September 11, 1941 requisitioned by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). During September, converted into a seaplane tender and attached to the Yokosuka Naval District assigned to Captain Kohashi Yoshiaki her call sign was JNPO. Assigned six F1M2 Petes and two E8N2 Daves in reserve. Her aircraft bore tail code UVI-xx.


On June 23, 1943 while off Mikomoto Island escorted by destroyer Sawakaze, southeast of Cape Omae Zaki lighthouse off Honshu. USS Harder SS-257 tracked this vessel on SJ radar and made a submerged approach reaching 2,500 yards from Sangara Maru. Spotted, the seaplane tender opens fire but the submarine fires four torpedoes, the first its between her bow and bridge causing severe damage and leaves the vessel drifting. Afterwards, Sawakaze takes her into tow while Matsu Maru and Tatsu Maru assist.

On June 24, 1943 Sagara Maru is beached to avoid sinking of the Tenryu River at 33-45N, 138-10E roughly 1.5 miles southwest of Kaketsuka Light.

On July 4, 1943 at 22:00 USS Pompano SS-181 spots the beached vessel and makes a night attack firing three torpedoes, two hit. On August 17, 1943 Captain Kanda is relieved. On September 1, 1943 the vessel is abandoned as a total loss and removed from the Navy list.

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019


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