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  Yawata Maru (Unyō)
Taiyo Class Escort Carrier

6,143 Tons (as built)
17,830 ( carrier)
435' x 66' x 32' (as built)
569'x73'10"x25'5" (carrier)
none (as built)

(escort carrier 1943)
4 x 120mm guns
8 x 25mm AA guns
9 x fighters
18 x bombers

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement

Ship History
Yawata Maru (八幡丸) named after a Shinto Shrine. Built in by Mitsubishi Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. at Nagasaki. Laid down December 14, 1938. Launched October 31, 1939. Owned by Nippon Yusen Kaisha Line (NYK) as a cargo and passenger vessel.

Departed on her maiden voyage on July 31, 1940 providing service to the United States including San Francisco until 1941. At the start of the Pacific War, requisitioned by the Japanese Navy. Initially, the ship was initially aassigned for transporting prisoners of war.

Rebuilt at Kure Naval Yard as a Taiyo class escort carrier during November 25, 1941 - May 31, 1942 with a flight deck 490' × 75' and was equipped with two elevators no island, catapults or arresting gear. Capable of carrying 9 fighters and 18 bomber aircraft. Armed with 4 x 140mm guns and 8 x 25mm anti-aircraft guns, then upgraded to 14 x 25mm anti-aircraft guns.

Wartime History
Departs for Yokosuka arriving July 25 then departs to Truk. On July 31, reclassified as an escort carrier and renamed Unyō (雲鷹, "Hawk tear the cloud").

On August 2, 1942 arrived at Saipan, then departed bound for Rabaul. Arrived at Simpson Harbor on August 6 and delivered fifteen 2nd Kokutai A6M3 Model 32 Zeros to Lakunai Airfield.

Afterwards arrived at Ulithi on August 9 and returned to Kure on August 14 and departed on September 1 arriving at Yokosuka on September 2. Next, departs on September 4 arriving at Saipan on September 7, departing the next day and arrives at Truk on September 9. Departed bound for Kavieng and then returned to Truk. Departed on September 13 for Kure arriving September 18, escorted by Akatsuki.

On September 25 departs Yokosuka arrives at Truk on October 1 and departs three days later returning to Yokosuka on October 9, then departs two days later for Yokosuka.

Departing Yokosuka on October 11 arrives at Truk on October 16 and departs the next day to Yokosuka arriving October 24. Departs on October 28 and arrives at Truk on November 2 then departs the next day for Palau arriving November 8. then departs three days later, arriving Davao on November 13.


On January 5 departs for Yokosuka, then afterwards enters dry dock at Yokohama on January 18-24 then returns to Yokosuka. On January 28, assigned to Captain Aitoku Ichiro and armament upgraded to 30 x 25mm anti-aircraft guns and eight depth charges and on February 1, 1943 departs Yokosuka and arrives at Truk on February 7.


On September 11, arrived at Simpsom Harbor off Rabaul and delivered ten A6M3 Model 32 Zeros to Rabaul.


Deaprting on October 13 for Truk arriving October 21, then departing on October 30 for Yokosuja arriving November 5 and departs the same day with Zuihō and Chuyo back to Truk arriving on November 21.


On November 10, arrived at Simpsom Harbor off Rabaul and ten D3A Vals from the 956th Kokutai.


On 10 July 1943, off Truk, she was hit by a single torpedo fired by USS Halibut.


On 19 January 1944, while en route to Yokosuka, she was hit and heavily damaged by three torpedoes fired by USS Haddock. While sheltering in Garapan Harbor off Saipan on January 23, a follow-up attack by USS Halibut was driven off. Following repairs, she was back in service by June 1944.

On August 10, 1944 upgraded to 6 x 140mm guns and 59 x 25mm anti-aircraft guns.

Sinking History
On September 17, 1944, Unyō was hit on the starboard side by two torpedoes fired by USS Barb at position 220 nautical miles southeast of Hong Kong at approximately 19°08'N, 116°36'E. Of the approximately 1,000 crew and passengers, 761 were rescued. Officially removed from the Navy list on November 10, 1944.

The First Team And the Guadalcanal Campaign pages 44, 191, 472, 625, 626

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Last Updated
August 4, 2020


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