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Usukan Wreck - Malaysia


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The Usukan Wrecks are 3 wrecks located at about 58 km north of Kota Kinabalu. The wrecks are Kokusei Maru, Higane Maru and Hiyori Maru. They were Japanese cargo wrecks that were sunk on 2nd October 1944 during the Pacific War, World War II by USS Hammerhead (SS-364) under the command of Lieutenant Commander John Craysdale Martin.

According to public military records, the Kokusei Maru was a 5,396 tonnes cargo ship, while the other two, Higane Maru and Hiyori Maru were 5,321 tonnes cargo ships.

On 30th September 1944, a Convoy MI-08 left Singapore at 8:00am for Miri, Borneo (now Miri, Sarawak). The convoy consisted of two destroyers, the Shiokaze and Kuretake; Higane Maru, Hiyori Maru, Kaisoku Maru, Kikusui Maru, Kokusei Maru, Ryofu Maru, Unkai Maru No. 5 and Nanshin Maru No. 18. The convoy arrives at Miri without much incident on 26th September 1944 and began loading. The convoy finally left Miri on 30th September for Manila hugging the coast.

On 2nd October 1944, off Gaya Bay, Northwest Borneo (present Kota Kinabalu), 06° 30’ N, 116° 11’ E, at 12:30am, USS Hammerhead (SS-364) attacks the convoy and sinks Hioyri Maru and Higane Maru, both carrying bauxite ores; and Kokusei Maru. The destroyers in the convoy did not counter-attack.

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