RIKUGUN YUSOSEN

(AKITA MARU, prewar)

AKITA MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2014-2016 Bob Hackett


10 June 1915:
Nagasaki. Laid down at Mitsubishi shipyard as Yard No. 252 , a 3,792-ton passenger-cargo ship for the Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) Line, Tokyo.

20 March 1916:
Launched and named AKITA MARU.

10 May 1916:
Completed.

24 August 1916:
AKITA MARU departs Kobe via Yokohama for Wellington, New Zealand via Sydney, Australia. She carries a cargo of 2325-tons consisting of a wide assortment of trade goods and a small quantity of timber.

13 September 1916,
Arrives at Sydney.

23 September 1916,
Arrives at Wellington.

26 September 1916:
Departs Wellington for Port Pirie and Melbourne, Australia.

3 October 1916:
Arrives at Sydney.

3 October 1916:
Arrives at Sydney.

13 October 1916:
Departs Port Pirie.

22 October 1916:
Departs Sydney for Japan.

1 September 1918:
AKITA MARU arrivea at Ellis Island, New York.

16 February 1919:
Departs Kobe on Hamburg, Germany on NYKís Japan ~ Europe route via London, England, Antwerp, Belgium and Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

21 November 1920:
AKITA MARU arrivea at Ellis Island, New York from Yokohama.

2 June 1921:
Arrivea at Ellis Island, New York from Yokohama.

6 June 1929:
Arrives at Singapore.

May 1931:
Departs Nagoya for Calcutta, India with ports of call at Osaka, Kobe, Moji, Hong Kong, Singapore, Penang, Malaya and Rangoon, Burma (Myanmar).

25 May 1931:
Calcutta. British customs agents search AKITA MARU and seize 7 phials of cocaine hydrochlide. Two Japanese women residents of Calcutta are charged with importation of illicit drugs.

7 July 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army and converted to a troop transport. Allotted IJA No. 814.

January 1942:
Departs Saigon for Singora, Thailand carrying a large amount of timber and bridge building equipment and personnel for the invasion of Malaya.

10 January 1942:
South China Sea. Mouth of the Gulf of Siam off Singora. At about 1720, Dutch Royal Navy (Koninklijke Marine) Ltz. II Hendrik F. Bach Kollingís Hr.Ms. submarine O-19 fires three torpedoes at AKITA MARU. Two hit her in the engine room. Four crewmen are KIA. The remaining crew abandons ship, but to their amazement, the half sunken ship remains afloat. The surviving crew returns to their ship and discover that the timber keeps her afloat.

After being rescued by destroyers ASAKAZE, FUBUKI and HATAKAZE, the FUBUKI sinks AKITA MARU with gunfire. She sinks upright in 253 feet of water at 07-35N, 103-13E.


Authorís Notes:
[1] Some sources claim O-19's third torpedo hit and sank merchant cargo ship TAIRYU (a.k.a) TAIIERYU MARU (4,994-tons) at the same location. Some sources also erroneously claim AKITA MARU was sunk by USS SCULPIN. (SS-191).

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

-Bob Hackett


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