(AKAGISAN MARU in wartime by Ueda Kihachiro)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2013-2016 Bob Hackett

12 May 1923:
Kobe. Laid down at Mitsui Bussan K.K. Zosenbu shipyard as Yard No. 63, a 4,715-ton passenger-cargo ship for Mitsui Bussan K.K.

20 March 1924:
Launched and named AKAGISAN MARU.

18 July 1924:
Completed. She can accommodate two first class passengers and carries a crew of 39 men.

July 1924:
Placed in Mitsui’s Lines service and departs for the United States.

14 April 1936:
AKAGISAN MARU departs Singapore.

18 December 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) and converted to a troop transport. Assigned IJA No. 866.

18 February 1942: Operation "J" - The Invasion of Java, Netherlands East Indies:
AKAGISAN MARU is attached to Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hiraoki Kumeichi’s (39) 9th Base Force in Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo’s Western Java Seizure Force. At 1000, departs Camranh Bay, Vichy French, Indochina in a convoy also comprised of 54 troop transports.

28 February 1942: S of Merak, Java. At 2320, AKAGISAN and 29 other transports carrying MajGen Nasu Yumio’s and Colonel Fukushima Kyusaku’s detachments of LtGen Maruyama Masao’s 2nd Infantry Division commence landing their troops.

At an unknown date, AKAGISAN MARU is released by the IJA back to her owners.

5 December 1942:
AKAGISAN MARU is re-requisitioned by the Imperial Army.

7 December 1942:
AKAGISAN MARU departs Saeki for Palau in Military Movement No. 8’s convoy "F" also consisting of FUKOKU, KENZAN, SHIRAHA MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 17 escorted by minelayer YURIJIMA and patrol boat PB-31.

E 9 December 1942:
The escorts are detached at 27N.

28 December 1942:
Tokyo. AKAGISAN MARU is transfered with the establishment Mitsui vessels.

2 January 1943:
At 0800, AKAGISAN MARU departs Rabaul escorted by subchaser CH-16. At 0421 (L), lookouts aboard LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) James C. Dempsey’s (USNA ‘31) USS SPEARFISH (SS-190) sight smoke of a convoy at 12,000 yards at 03-38N, 151-30E. The convoy consists of two APs or AKs escorted by two unidentified CHIDORI-type torpedo-boats. At 0544, Dempsey fires four torpedoes and gets one hit on a “LYONS MARU” type transport. SPEARFISH is subjected to depth charging, but evades. At 0755, Dempsey comes to periscope depth and observes the target dead in the water and smoke and fire rising from the stern.

January - April 1943:
Rabaul. Probably receives temporary repairs by repair ship YAMABIKO MARU.

7 April 1943:
AKAGISAN MARU departs Rabaul for Palau in a convoy also consisting of KOFUKU, OYAMA (YUZAN) and TOYU MARUs escorted by subchasers CH-18 and CH-39.

9 April 1943:
250 miles NNW of Kavieng, New Ireland. At about noon, the convoy is attacked by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Bernard F. McMahon's (USNA ’31) USS DRUM (SS-228) at 00-38N, 150-17E. McMahon fires three torpedoes at OYAMA MARU and gets one hit that sinks her. Four crewmen are KIA.

10 April 1943:
In the morning, McMahon attacks the convoy again. He torpedoes and damages AKAGISAN MARU, but she does not sink. The convoy diverts from Palau to Truk.

13 April 1943:
At 0810, arrives at Truk.

April 1943:
Truk. Probably receives temporary repairs by repair ship AKASHI.

7 November 1943:
At 1225, AKAGISAN MARU departs Takao for Manila in convoy No. 776 also consisting of IJA transports CHINKAI, MADRAS and YOZAN (6487 GRT) MARUs, IJN cargo/transports ECHIZEN (2424 GRT), RIZAN, SHINKOKU, TOTTORI and TOYO (2704 GRT) MARUs, IJA LST BANRYU MARU (later SS2) escorted by patrol boat PB-2.

11 November 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

18 November 1943:
At 1225, AKAGISAN MARU departs Manila for Kau, Halmahera Island, Moluccas in convoy H-5A also consisting of IJA transport MADRAS MARU and IJN cargo/transports ECHIZEN (2424 GRT), MATSUEI, RIZAN and TOTTORI, MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-2.

22 November 1943:
Auxiliary subchaser KYO MARU No. 2 joins the convoy.

23 November 1943:
At 0600, PB-2 is detached.

E November 1943:
Arrives at Kau.

1 December 1943:
At 0500, AKAGISAN MARU departs Kau, Halmahera in convoy M-3 also consisting of FUKUEI MARU No. 8 escorted by patrol boat PB-103.

4 December 1943:
FUKUEI MARU No. 8 is detached because of her slow speed.

5 December 1943:
Near Cebu. AKAGISAN MARU suffers rudder problems and stops for temporary repairs. Arrives at Cebu that day.

3 January 1944:
AKAGISAN MARU departs Takao in convoy No. 232 also consisting of DAIHO, GOZAN, HASSHU, KOHO, KENSEI (ex-British HINSANG), KINE, SAN DIEGO, TAIKAI and YOZAN MARUs escorted by kaibokan TSUSHIMA and MIYAKE.

10 January 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

23 January 1944:
AKAGISAN MARU departs Moji in convoy No. 131 also consisting of ARABIA, CHOJO, HAWAII, NORFOLK, TOTTORI and USSURI MARUs and three unidentified merchants escorted by subchasers CH-41 and CH-43.

28 January 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

31 January 1944:
AKAGISAN MARU departs Takao for Cap St Jacques, Vichy French Indochina in convoy No. 357 also consisting of ANKO, ARABIA, HAWAII, NORFOLK, TOTTORI, TSUKUBA and USSURI MARUs, TONAN MARU No. 2 and four unidentified merchants escorted by subchasers CH-41, CH-43 and auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU.

E 7 February 1944:
Arrives at St Jacques.

12 February 1944:
AKAGISAN MARU departs St Jacques in convoy SASHI-03 also consisting of ARABIA, HAWAII, KUNIYAMA, NORFOLK, TOTTORI, SHIKISAN, USSURI and YOSHU MARUs and tanker TONAN MARU No. 2 escorted by destroyers KARUKAYA.

15 February 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

4 May 1944:
At 1030, AKAGISAN MARU departs Miri, Borneo for Moji in convoy MI-02 (return) also containing cargo ships KENSEI, TAIHEI and TAIYU MARUs and passenger ship KURENAI MARU, tankers HAKUBASAN, MATSUMOTO, NISSHIN, NITTETSU, TACHIBANA, SANKO (YAMAKO), SHINCHO, TAKETSU (BUTSU) and TENSHIN MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 1 and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2 escorted by kaibokan AWAJI, torpedo boat SAGI and patrol boat PB-38. At 2100, anchors in Imuruan Bay, NW Borneo.

5 May 1944:
At 0530, departs Imuruan Bay.

6 May 1944:
At 0801, LtCdr Francis D. Walker's (USNA '35) USS CREVALLE (SS-291) torpedoes and sinks NISSHIN MARU at 07-19N, 116-52E. At 16,801-tons, she is the largest ship in the convoy.

7 May 1944:
At 2000, anchors Ulugan Bay, Palawan.

8 May 1944:
At 1130, departs Ulugan Bay.

10 May 1944:
At 1330, arrives at Manila AKAGISAN, KENSEI, TAIHEI, TAIYU and TENSHIN MARUs and passenger ship KURENAI MARU are detached.

15 May 1944:
AKAGISAN MARU departs Manila for Halmahera Island, Molucas in convoy H-26 also consisting of DAIJUN, ETAJIMA, KENWA, SHIRAHAMA, TAIYU, TEMPEI and TOUN MARUs escorted by minelayer YAEYAMA and subchasers CH-47 and CH-45.

22 May 1944:
Off Davao, Philippines. At about 0100, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Brooks J. Harral's (USNA ’32) USS RAY (SS-271) makes a radar-assisted night attack on the surface on the convoy. In a series of attacks, Harral torpedoes TEMPEI MARU carrying a cargo of rice and gasoline that erupts in flames. She sinks at 05-16S, 127-42E. 11 passengers, five gunners and 19 crewmen are KIA.

23 May 1944:
At about 0500, the USS RAY makes a surface radar-assisted attack and torpedoes DAIJUN MARU, carrying 16 passengers, 4,022 cubic meters of war supplies and two Daihatsu barges. She sinks at 02-42N, 128-08E. Two gunners and three crewmen are KIA. Late that day, the remainder of H-26 arrives at Kau Bay, Halmahera.

11 June 1944:
AKAGISAN MARU departs Kau Bay in convoy H-27 (return) also consisting of KOAN, SORACHI, SHIROGANESAN, TAIYU and YOZAN MARUs and YOSHIDA MARU No. 3 escorted by destroyer TSUGA, patrol boat PB-104, subchasers CH-21, CH-38 and auxiliary netlayer KOREI MARU.

12 June 1944:
TSUGA and CH-38 are detached for Davao.

14 June 1944:
At 1003, LtCdr Willard R. Laughon's (USNA ’33) USS RASHER (SS-269) torpedoes and sinks KOAN MARU at 04-33N, 122-23E. One gunner and thirteen crewmen are KIA.

20 June 1944:
At 0925, arrives Manila.

2 July 1944:
AKAGISAN MARU departs Manila in convoy MI-06 now also consisting of transports KANKYO, TSUYAMA and YAGI MARUs, tankers ATAGO, TACHIBANA, TOKUWA and ZUIHO MARUs, UNKAI MARU No. 5, OGURA MARU No. 2 and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2 and two unidentified ships escorted by CD-8, CD-14, patrol boat PB-38 and minesweeper W-18.

10 July 1944:
Arrives at Takao. That same day, convoy MI-06 departs Takao for Moji now also consisting of transports AKAGISAN, KANKYO, TSUYAMA and YAGI MARUs, tankers ATAGO, TACHIBANA, TOKUWA and ZUIHO MARUs, UNKAI MARU No. 5, YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2 and OGURA MARU No. 2 escorted by kaibokan CD-8, CD-14, patrol boats P-38, minesweeper W-18 and auxiliary patrol boat TAKUNAN MARU No. 3.

12 July 1944:
Transport TEIKA MARU (ex-Vichy French) CAP VARELLA departs Keelung and joins convoy MI-06.

17 July 1944:
At 1450, arrives at Moji.

6 October 1944:
At 2300, AKAGISAN MARU departs Ssu Chiao Shan in an unidentified convoy escorted by minesweeper W-21.

8 October 1944:
At 2107, arrives at Amoy.

14 October 1944:
At 0649, AKAGISAN MARU departs Ssu Chiao Shan in an unidentified convoy also consisting of TOUN MARU escorted by minesweeper W-21.At 1350, arrives at Shanghai.

3 November 1944:
At 1000, AKAGISAN MARU departs Moji for Miri, Borneo in convoy MI-25 also consisting of DAIA, HINAGA KACHOSAN, KENSEI , KINSEN, NICHIYO, NIKKO, OJIKASAN and SHOEI MARUs and tankers ATAGO, DAIEI, DAIRETSU, DAISHU, DAITO, GYOSHIN, OTSUSAN, RYUSHO and YAMAMURA MARUs and YUZAN MARU No. 2 and two unidentified ships escorted by kaibokan CD-23, CD-33, CD-51, CD-52 and CD-130.

8 November 1944:
KACHOSAN, KINSEN and NIKKO MARUs and the one unidentified ship are detached for Kirun,Formosa (Keelung, Taiwan). Later, AKAGISAN and NICHIYO MARUs are detached for Takao.

23 November 1944:
At 1530, AKAGISAN MARU departs Takao in convoy TAMA-32A also consisting of HAGIKAWA, JINYO, MINO, NICHIYO, SHOEI, SORACHI, SHIROUMA, SHONAN and WAYO MARUs, BANSHU MARU No. 6 and kidotei (Army landing ship) SS No. 6 escorted by destroyer KURETAKE, kaibokan CD-1, CD-3, CD-8, CD-28 and CD-54 and subchasers CH-17, CH-18, CH -37 and CH-38. Soon after leaving port, the convoy anchors along the coast.

24 November 1944:
At 0400, departs the Formosan coast.

25 November 1944:
At 2200, arrives at Musa Bay, Fuga Island.

27 November 1944:
At 0400, departs Musa Bay. At 1645, arrives at Lapoc Bay.

28 November 1944:
At 0600, departs Lapoc Bay. At 1800, arrives at N San Fernando.

29 November 1944:
At 0600, departs N San Fernando.

30 November 1944:
At 0500, arrives at Manila.

5 December 1944: - TA-Go Transportation Movement:
AKAGISAN MARU departs Manila in convoy TA No. 8 also consisting of army cargo HAKUBA and NICHIYO MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 5 and naval transport T. 11 escorted by destroyers MOMO, SUGI and UME and subchasers CH-18 and CH-38. AKAGISAN MARU is carrying the 1st Battalion, 126th Infantry Regiment [68th Brigade], half of the 3rd Company, the 21st Independent Mortar Battalion (equipped with rockets) and 58 replacements for the 26th Division. The convoy is under Captain Sugama Ryokichi, ComDesDiv 43.

7 December 1944:
Heavy air attacks begin. Captain Sugama learns that the Americans commenced amphibious landings south of Ormoc, supported by a fleet of 80 vessels. Sugama orders the transports to run themselves aground at San Isidro, 30 miles north of Ormoc, Leyte. The area remains under constant assault from American fighter-bombers throughout the day. The soldiers are landed, but only two field guns and very little other material are landed.

USAAF 5th Air Force and USMC F4U “Chance-Vought “Corsair” fighter-bombers of VMF 211, VMF 218, and VMF 313, attack and sink AKAGISAN, HAKUBA and NICHIYO MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 5, and fast transport T.11. The planes also damage destroyers SUGI and UME at 11-25N, 124-20E. There are about 350 casualties, including all 69 gunners and 58 crewmen KIA on AKAGISAN MARU.

Author's Note:
Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

Bob Hackett

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