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A Misfortunate

Repair Ship

On May 10, 1942, the IJN minelayer Okinoshima departed Rabaul with the destroyers Uzuki, Mochizuki, and Yuzuki. Okinoshima had been appointed to lead the Ocean and Nauru islands occupation forces. On May 12, at the geographic position 05°-06′ S, 153°-48′ E, in the New Britain Trench, the 4,400-ton Okinoshima crossed paths with the USS S-42 (SS-153) and was hit by three of the submarine’s Mark 10 torpedoes. Heavily damaged, the Okinoshima was taken under tow by the destroyer Mochizuki. Meanwhile, Rabaul dispatched a trawler and the repair ship Shoei Maru to assist with the rescue of Okinoshima. However, at 0640 hours, Okinoshima capsized and sank while under tow. The Shoei Maru headed back to Rabaul. Later that day, the repair ship would have the misfortune to cross paths with the USS S-44 (SS-155) and Captain Johnny Moore, who promptly sank the 5,644-ton converted repair ship off Cape St. George.

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