Yuzan Maru 6039 G/T (as SS Marne) shortly after launch.
Image from US National Archives via Robert Hurst and NavSource Naval History pages
Voyage and POWs
The Yuzan Maru carried Brig. Gen. Luther Stevens, three colonels, and two enlisted men from Manila to Taiwan, leaving on 19 Dec 1942 and arriving on the 23rd. (Link to roster). Gen. Stevens was in poor health after the deprivations of the Death March and Camp O’Donnell and had been left behind when two earlier groups of high ranking officers had departed for Taiwan aboard Nagara Maru and “Maru San” in Aug and Sept 1942. Col. Tarkenton, Col. Mitchell, and Sgt. Stille had arrived in Manila from Mindanao in Sept 1942 aboard "Maru San," but had been removed from the group by the Kempei-tai and held for questioning at Fort Santiago. Nothing is known about how the men were accommodated aboard the ship.
Yuzan Maru was one of 30 ships built by the Federal Shipbuilding Co., Kearny, New Jersey, according to U.S. Emergency Fleet Corporation design #1037. Completed in 1918, the ship was launched as the SS Marne. The ship was 411.5 ft long, 55 ft at the beam, with a 27 ft draft, and capable of 10.5 knots. The ship was sold in 1937 to an operator in Shanghai and renamed Marne Maru. In 1938, it came under Japanese control and was rechristened Yuzan Maru. The freighter was torpedoed and sunk 30 July 1945 by USS Sennet (SS-408) off Hokkaido (42˚37'N, 139˚49'E).
(Click for larger image)
From Norman L. McKellar's, "Steel shipbuilding under the U.S" page
available at the Shipscribe website.
Braly, William C., "The Hard Way Home"
Holmes, Linda Goetz, "Unjust Enrichment: How Japan's Companies Built Postwar Fortunes Using American POWs" Stackpole Books, 2004. ISBN-13: 978081178448.
Miramar Ship Index http://www.miramarshipindex.org.nz/
Copyright 2009 -- James W. Erickson