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  Sagami Maru
IJN
Cargo

7,189 Tons

2 x deck guns
Click For Enlargement
November 3, 1942

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
November 3, 1942

Ship History
Built in 1939, owned by the Nippon Yushen Keisha Shipping Line (NYK). As a civilian luxury liner, the transport had a crew of 68 men and four VIP rooms, twin topside decks, special refrigerated cargo holds, and silk-lined rooms.

Wartime History
Used by the Japanese Navy as a cargo ship. On February 19, 1942 at 2am, Sagami Maru was off the Badung Strait as part of the Japanese invasion force bound for Indonesia.

USS Seawolf SS-197 sited the vessel and made a surface attack, firing two Mark-14 torpedoes at the Sagami Maru and another ship, but all four missed or failed to detonate. The submarine was spotted, forced to dive and was depth charged and pursued, but was able to surface and escape.

Sinking History
On November 3, 1943 in Davao Gulf again spotted by USS Seawolf anchored just off the beach in Talomo Bay and fired a torpedo that exploded midship at 10:50am, causing the vessel to list 30°  starboard before settling into shallow water, while the bow gun began firing at the submarine while the ship righted itself.

Seawolf made a second attack shoring another hit in the aft of the ship at 11:31am “when the smoke cleared away the after gun platform and the entire topside was vacant of people. The forward gun (was) manned but not firing.” and was down 10' in the stern, but not sinking. At the nearby dock area, observers were watching the attack.

Seawolf made a third attack before noon, and observed the flags were lowered and five life boats transporting crew from the ship to the dock. After this attack, the Seawolf was attacked by three Japanese aircraft and two ships, and was forced to dive to 200' and maneuver for over two hours.

Shipwreck
The shipwreck is covered in heavy silt with low visibility inside the ship. Inside the cargo holds are trucks, motorcycles and ordinance, the wreck can be penetrated from the forward and aft holds, the topside decks, the galley area and the broken-off smoke stack.

References
The Sagai Maru and the USS Seawolf by Carlos Munda

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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