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  Yamaura Maru

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USN Nov 15, 1942

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USN 1944

Wartime History
On October 5, 1942 Yamaura Maru escorted by a pair of destroyers to deliver supplies to Japanese forces at Buna, escorted by A6M2 Zeros from the Tainan Kokutai and 3rd Kokutai. Off the coast of New Guinea, attacked by a pair of B-25s from the 38th Bomb Group. The escorting fighters shot down B-25D "Battlin' Biffie" 41-29701. The other, B-25D "Tokyo Sleeper" dropped a single 500lbs bomb aimed at this tranport, landing roughly 100' ahead and claimed a near miss but inflicted no damage.

Sinking History
On November 13, 1942 this transport was part of a convoy of eleven transports (Arizona Maru, Kumagawa Maru, Sado Maru, Nagara Maru, Nako Maru, Canberra Maru, Brisbane Maru, Kinugawa Maru, Hirokawa Maru, Yamaura Maru, and Yamatsuki Maru) escorted by twelve destroyers that departed Shortland to reinforce Guadalcanal steaming down the "The Slot". The ships were scheduled to arrive during the night, but enroute they were recalled back to Shortland, due to the First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal on November 13, 1942.

During the afternoon of November 13, 1942 the convoy departed Shortland again, but was spotted by American aircraft. During the morning of November 14, 1942 American aircraft attacked the convoy, overwhelming their escorts and sank six of the transports and damaged another, forcing it to turn back and later sink.

The remaining four transports and four destroyers continued tp Guadalcanal. After dark, they stopped to the west of the island, awaiting the conclusion of the Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal during the night of November 14-15, 1942.

On November 15, 1942 at 4:00am the remaining four transports Kinugawa Maru, Hirokawa Maru, Yamaura Maru, and Yamatsuki Maru beached on Guadalcanal.

Yamaura Maru beached near Tenaro. Beginning at 0555, American aircraft from Henderson Field plus field artillery began bombarding the ship. Later, USS Meade DD-602 approached and opened fire for an hour with 5" shells, leaving them "blazing with many internal explosions."

These attacks set the transports afire and destroyed most equipment not unloaded before dawn. Approximately 2,000 troops with 260 cases of ammunition and 1,500 bags of rice made ashore. Most of their ammunition and food supplies were lost.

Remained above water settled on the bottom near shore. Heavily photographed by American troops after Guadalcanal was secured. Postwar, the shipwreck was largely scrapped and is no longer visible above water.

Ewan Stevenson adds:
"I have snorkelled the remains of this transport. Not much left."

Sun Setters of the Southwest Pacific Area page 77-78
Thanks to Ewan Stevenson and Peter Flahvin for additional information

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Last Updated
November 16, 2018


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