Kevin, I might have found a big way to find out more. But offline please. What is your email address or can you contact me? But I reckon you may have found out yourself already.
Nelson, I fully support your closing remarks.
There is however little fact in this whole story.
We, I mean we the guys on this forum, can only be sure about one thing: the existance of the wreck of Augustina and its location, as disclosed by Kevin. Meijer's witness accounts do not give definitive other answers. We don't even know when she sunk, well, some day after March 3rd or 4th when she was last seen FLOATING. It could have been days later. Was there any salvage attempt by the IJN? They put a lot of effort in salvaging other Shell tankers, ones that had been really sunk to the bottom. Augustina was left floating and remember, Meijer saw the vessel that appeared to have been a destroyer still close to the tanker hours later. Was it a salvage or towing attempt? Checking the possibilities? To the Allies the Augustina went simply missing for a long time. The tanker even appeared on a list of possible blockade runners in early 1943:http://www.researcheratlarge.com/Atlantic/BlockadeRunners/Summary/
Good narrowing down of possible destroyers as culprits, Nelson. I can't add anything. I would however not rule out another type of vessel, a vessel that resembled somehow a destroyer in the eyes of a young engineer. Though I have no evidence I would not rule out a minesweeper, one of the vessels that had been at Tarakan or Ambon. Not just because IJN minespeepers were often misidentified, but also because minesweeper crews already had blood on their hands after Tarakan and Ambon, and destroyer crews not. But this I admit is just a gut feeling.