Junyo Maru
The was a Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese cargo ship
Cargo ship
A cargo ship or freighter is any sort of ship or vessel that carries cargo, goods, and materials from one port to another. Thousands of cargo carriers ply the world's seas and oceans each year; they handle the bulk of international trade...

 (one of the "hell ship
Hell Ship
A hell ship is a ship with extremely unpleasant living conditions or with a reputation for cruelty among the crew. It now generally refers to the ships used by the Imperial Japanese Navy to transport Allied prisoners of war out of the Philippines, Hong Kong and Singapore during World War II. The...

s") that was sunk in 1944 by the British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

 , resulting in the loss of over 5,000 lives.

The ship was built in 1913 by Robert Duncan Co. Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

. It displaced 5,065 tons, was 405 ft (123.4 m) long, 53 ft (16.2 m) wide, and 27.2 ft (8.3 m) deep. The engines were rated at 475 hp. In order to transport prisoners it was fitted out with extra decks constructed of bamboo
Bamboo is a group of perennial evergreens in the true grass family Poaceae, subfamily Bambusoideae, tribe Bambuseae. Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family....

 subdivided into cages of the same material. Deck space was also used for the prisoners.

When it was attacked and sunk on September 18, 1944, by Tradewind, the Junyō Maru was packed with 1,377 Dutch
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, 64 British
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 and Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n, and 8 American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

  prisoners of war along with 4,200 Javanese slave labourer
Unfree labour
Unfree labour includes all forms of slavery as well as all other related institutions .-Payment for unfree labour:If payment occurs, it may be in one or more of the following forms:...

s (Romusha
were forced laborers during the Japanese occupation of Indonesia in World War II. The U.S. Library of Congress estimates that in Java, between four and 10 million romusha were forced to work by the Japanese military. About 270,000 of these Javanese laborers were sent to other Japanese-held areas...

s) bound for work on the railway line being built between Pakan Baru and Muaro in Sumatra
Sumatra is an island in western Indonesia, westernmost of the Sunda Islands. It is the largest island entirely in Indonesia , and the sixth largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 with a population of 50,365,538...

. It was the world's greatest sea disaster at the time with 5,620 dead. 723 survivors were rescued only to be put to work in conditions similar to those of the Burma Railway where death was commonplace.

See also

  • Japanese war crimes in mainland Asia
  • List of Japanese hell ships
  • Cap Arcona and Thielbek
    The Thielbek was a 2,815 GRT freighter that was sunk along with the SS Cap Arcona and the Deutschland during British air raids on May 3, 1945 while anchored in the Bay of Lübeck with the loss of 2,750 lives...

     - German prison ship
    Prison ship
    A prison ship, historically sometimes called a prison hulk, is a vessel used as a prison, often to hold convicts awaiting transportation to penal colonies. This practice was popular with the British government in the 18th and 19th centuries....

    s sunk while transporting between 7,000 and 8,000 deportee
    Deportation means the expulsion of a person or group of people from a place or country. Today it often refers to the expulsion of foreign nationals whereas the expulsion of nationals is called banishment, exile, or penal transportation...


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