Jun'yō Maru

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Career (Empire of Japan)
Name: Junyō Maru
Builder: Robert Duncan & Co., Port Glasgow
Yard number: 324
Launched: 30 October 1913
Fate: Torpedoed and sunk by British submarine HMS Tradewind, 18 September 1944
General characteristics [1]
Type: Cargo ship
Tonnage: 5,131 GRT
Length: 405 ft (123 m)
Beam: 53 ft (16 m)

The Jun'yō Maru (順陽丸?) was a Japanese cargo ship (one of the "hell ships") that was attacked and sunk in 1944 by the British submarine HMS Tradewind, resulting in the loss of over 5,000 lives.[2]

Ship history[edit]

The ship was built in 1913 by Robert Duncan & Co. of Glasgow. It displaced 5,065 tons, was 405 ft (123 m) long, 53 ft (16 m) wide, and 27.2 ft (8.3 m) deep. The engines were rated at 475 hp (354 kW).

The ship was built for Lang & Fulton of Greenock as SS Ardgorm. In 1917, she was sold to the Norfolk & North American Steamship Company (part of Furness Withy), London, and renamed Hartland Point. In 1918, she was acquired by the Johnstone Line of Liverpool, who renamed her Hartmore in 1920, and sold her in 1921 to the Anglo-Oriental Navigation Company (part of Yule Catto), Liverpool, who renamed her Sureway.[1] In 1926, she was sold to a Japanese company and renamed Junyō Maru,[1] and later taken over by the Japanese government.

Sinking[edit]

In order to transport prisoners, the ship was fitted out with extra decks constructed of bamboo subdivided into cages of the same material. Deck space was also used for the prisoners. When she was attacked and sunk on September 18, 1944, by HMS Tradewind, the Junyō Maru was packed with 1,377 Dutch, 64 British and Australian, and 8 American[3] prisoners of war along with 4,200 Javanese slave labourers (Romushas) bound for work on the railway line being built between Pakan Baru and Muaro in Sumatra. It was the world's greatest sea disaster at the time with 5,620 dead.[4] 680 survivors were rescued, only to be put to work in conditions similar to those of the Burma Railway where death was commonplace.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "SS Ardgorm, built by Robert Duncan & Co., Port Glasgow". Clydebuilt Ships Database. 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Smith, Robert Barr (12 June 2006). "Junyō Maru: Torpedoed By British Submarine HMS Tradewind". HistoryNet. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  3. ^ van der Kuil, Peter (March 2003). "Junyo Maru - Casualties". members.iinet.net.au. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  4. ^ "Major Sinkings of POW Hell-Ships". Center for Research — Allied POWS Under the Japanese.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 2°53′S 101°11′E / 2.883°S 101.183°E / -2.883; 101.183