RIKUGUN YUSOSEN/BYOINSEN

(AMERICA MARU)

IJA Hospital Ship/IJN Transport AMERICA MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

©2012-2014 Bob Hackett
Revision 1


March 1897:
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England. Laid down at C. S. Swan & Hunter, Ltd. as a 6,070-ton passenger cargo ship for Toyo Kisen Kaisha (Oriental Steamship Co., Ltd.), Tokyo.

9 March 1898:
Launched and named AMERICA MARU.

24 September 1898:
Completed. She can accomodate 30 1st class, 86 2nd class and 502 3rd class passengers and carries a crew of 128.

15 January 1899:
Placed on the Oriental Steamship Co.ís Trans-Pacific route with ports of call at Hong Kong, Shanghai, Nagasaki, Kobe, Yokohama, Honolulu and San Francisco. Departs Hong Kong for San Francisco.

1 July 1899:
Departs Yokohama for Honolulu, Hawaii.

October 1899:
AMERICA MARU may carry rats carrying Bubonic Plague to Honolulu. Authorities place the ship in quarantine and burn down Honolulu's Chinatown where the outbreak is centered in an effort to control the epidemic.

1900:
Mast No. 1 of her three original masts is removed.

June-August 1900: The Boxer Rebellion:
China. In defense of their foreign legations, troops of the United States, Great Britain, France, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Germany, Russia and Japan fight and win a campaign against the anti-foreign, anti-imperialist Boxers and Chinese Nationalist troops. Shortly thereafter, the majority of American, European and Japanese troops are withdrawn from China.

7 September 1901:
A peace treaty is signed between Empress Tsu Hsi and the colonial powers. The revolution against the Qing Dynasty led by Sun Yat-sen, first president and founding father of Nationalist China fails. Sun goes into exile to Yokohama aboard AMERICA MARU.

4 February 1904:
Requisitioned by the IJN and attached to the Combined Fleetís Yokosuka Naval District.

15 February 1904:
Yokosuka Navy Yard. Begins conversion to an armed merchant cruiser.

February 1904:
Suffers an accidental fire.

1 March 1904:
Completes restoration and is demilitarized.

22 March 1904:
Attached to the Combined Fleet.

23 March 1904:
Completes restoration.

7 April 1904:
Departs Yokohama for San Francisco.

10 December 1904:
Arrives at Yokohama. Requisitioned by the IJN and attached to Combined Fleetís Yokosuka Naval District. Departs Yokohama and arrives at Yokosuka Navy Yard.

12 January 1905:
Enters dock. Begins conversion to an armed merchant cruiser.

15 January 1905:
Undocked.

24 January 1905:
Begins installation of armament.

10 February 1905:
Completes installation of armament. Posted to Combined Fleet special duty.

18 February 1905:
Departs Yokosuka and arrives at Tateyama.

19 February 1905:
Departs Tateyama.

22 February 1905:
Arrives at Sasebo.

1 May 1905:
Undergoes contract renovation.

26 May 1905:
Departs Sasebo in search of the Russian Baltic Fleet. In Oct Ď04, Russian Admiral Zinovi P. Rozhdestvenskiís Baltic fleet departed on an epic eight-month journey to the Far East. Rear Admiral Nikolai Nebogatov's Third Pacific Squadron joins Rozhdestvenski's fleet in May Ď05. On this day, the 45-ship Russian fleet is sighted entering Japanese waters.

27-28 May 1905: The Battle of Tsushima:
The Combined Fleet under Admiral Togo sorties from Chinhae, Korea to engage the Russians. In a running gun battle off Okinoshima, Togo's fleet of battleships, cruisers, including IZUMO, and smaller ships battle Rozhdestvenski. Thirty-four Russian vessels are sunk, scuttled or captured. Only two Russian destroyers and a light cruiser reach Vladivostock, Siberia. Six other smaller ships reach neutral ports and are interned. 4,830 Russian officers and men are KIA and 5,917 captured. Togo loses three torpedo boats and several capital ships are damaged.

28 May 1905:
AMERICA MARU picks up survivors of Russian cruiser SVYETLANA and destroyer BUISTRI, sunk by IJN cruisers OTOWA and NIITAKA.

29 May 1905:
Arrives at Sasebo and departs.

1 June 1905:
Arrives at Kirun, Formosa (now Keelung, Taiwan).

2 June 1905:
Departs Kirun.

4 June 1905:
Arrives at Ozaki Bay.

14 June 1905:
Attached to the IJNís Second Fleet.

12 July 1905:
While patrolling the Korea Strait collides with S.S. CHINA. Later that day, arrives at Takeshiki.

12 July 1905:
Departs Takeshiki.

14 July 1905:
Arrives at Kure.

17 July 1905:
Enters Kureís No. 2 dock.

24 July 1905:
Demilitarized. Removed from the Second Fleet. Attached to the Kure Naval District and posted to the Kure harbor service section.

6 August July 1905:
Undocked.

29 August July 1905:
Departs Kure.

1 October 1905:
Returns to the Oriental Steamship Co.ís Trans-Pacific route.

16 September 1906:
Suffers an accidental fire.

19 February 1908:
Arrives at San Francisco.

May 1909:
Placed on the Oriental Steamship Co.ís South American route.

20 September 1911:
Ownership of AMERICA MARU is transferred to the Osaka Shosen Kaisha (OSK) Line.

9 May 1911:
Kobe. Enters dock at Kawasaki shipyard for modifications.

1914:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA).

E 1918:
Returned to her owners.

August 1924:
Departs on OSK's Dairen, Manchuria (now Dalian, China) route.

20 April 1928:
Requisitioned by the IJA.

21 April 1928:
Departs Ujina and arrives at Moji.

22 April 1928:
Departs Moji.

25 April 1928:
Arrives at Tsingtao (Qingdao), China and departs that day.

28 April 1928:
Arrives at Ujina.

5 May 1928:
Chartered by the IJA.

26 October 1930:
Departs Osaka on naval maneuvers.

February 1932 ~ September 1937:
AMERICA MARU makes regular runs between Kobe ~ Moji ~ Darien, with occasional stops at Hiroshima.

21 September 1934:
Kobe. A typhoon srikes the waterfront. Although sheltered by breakwaters from mountainous seas running outside the harbor, ocean-going liners berthed alongside Kobeís piers suffer severe damage. AMERICA MARU lashed to a wharf, and with two anchors down, breaks away and collides with TAKUSAN MARU. The Blue Funnel freighter PHEMIUS breaks its moorings and drifts across the harbor to collide with HARBIN MARU. Both ships are damaged above the waterline. Many smaller vessels are wrecked and lighters lifted onto the wharves. Cargo is strewn about the docks.

4 September 1937:
AMERICA MARU collides with auxiliary engined sailing vessel NANRYU MARU NO. 3.

September 1937:
Requisitioned by the IJA and probably converted to a hospital ship at this time. Repainted overall white with a green horizontal stripe around the hull and red crosses on the sides and funnel.

16 October 1937:
Departs Ujina for Moji

17 October 1937:
Arrives at Moji.

19 October 1937:
Arrives at Shanghai.

22 October 1937:
Arrives at Moji.

24 October 1937:
Departs Moji.

25 October 1937:
Arrives at Ujina.

9 November 1937:
Departs Ujina.

10 November 1937:
Arrives at Moji and departs that day.

12 November 1937:
Arrives at Kure.

16 November 1937:
Arrives at Shanghai.

17 November 1937:
Departs Shanghai.

19 November 1937:
Arrives at Moji and departs that day.

20 November 1937:
Arrives at Ujina.

21 November 1937:
Departs Ujina.

22 November 1937:
Arrives at Moji and departs that day.

27 November 1937:
Arrives at Shanghai.

28 November 1937:
Departs Shanghai.

29 November 1937:
Arrives at Moji and departs.

1 December 1937:
Arrives at Ujina.

27 February 1938
Departs Ujina.

28 December 1939:
Arrives at Qinhuangdao.

17 October 1941:
Arrives at Ujina.

19 October 1941:
Arrives at Tsingtao.

20 October 1941:
Departs Tsingtao.

23 October 1941:
Arrives at Dairen.

25 October 1941:
Departs Dairen.

28 October 1941:
Arrives at Ujina.

1 November 1941:
Departs Moji.

5 November 1941:
Arrives at Dairen.

7 November 1941:
Departs Dairen.

11 November 1941:
Arrives at Moji.

16 November 1941:
Departs Ujina.

19 November 1941:
Arrives at Shanghai.

21 November 1941:
Departs Shanghai.

25 November 1941:
Arrives at Ujina.

26 November 1941:
Departs Ujina.

30 November 1941:
Arrives at Kirun.

1 December 1941:
Departs Kirun.

2 December 1941:
Arrives at Moji.

11 December 1941:
Departs Moji.

14 December 1941:
Arrives at Qinhuangdao and departs that day.

20 December 1941:
Arrives at Ujina.

21 December 1941:
Departs Ujina.

22 December 1941:
Arrives at Kure.

23 December 1941:
Departs Kure.

25 December 1941:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa (now Kaohsiung, Taiwan).

27 December 1941:
Departs Takao.

2 January 1942:
Arrives at Kirun.

3 January 1942:
Departs Kirun.

7 January 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

12 January 1942:
Departs Moji.

15 January 1942:
Arrives at Shanghai.

16 January 1942:
The 7th hospital group embarks patients for transport. Departs Shanghai.

18 January 1942:
Arrives at Moji, unloads and departs.

19 January 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

22 January 1942:
Departs Moji.

25 January 1942:
Arrives at Shanghai.

27 January 1942:
Departs Shanghai and arrives at Moji late that day.

2 February 1942:
Arrives at Ujina

3 February 1942:
Arrives at Moji and departs.

7 February 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

9 February 1942:
Departs Takao.

10 February 1942:
Arrives at Kirun.

11 February 1942:
Departs Kirun.

15 February 1942:
Off Ujina. AMERICA MARU and hospital ship SEATTLE MARU run aground at Nezumishima, but are refloated.

1942:
Undergoes repairs at Kobe.

27April 1942:
Departs Ujina.

2 May 1942:
Arrives at Kirun.

3 May 1942:
Departs Kirun.

7 May 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

11 May 1942:
Departs Ujina.

13 May 1942:
Arrives at Pusan, southern Korea.

14 May 1942:
Departs Pusan and arrives at Chongjin, northern Korea.

16 May 1942:
Departs Chongjin and arrives Tsu Castle, Mie Prefecture.

20 May 1942:
Arrives at Pusan and departs that day. That same day, Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues an official notice to all belligerent countries that AMERICA MARU is employed as a hospital ship.

22 May 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

27 May 1942:
Departs Ujina

30 May 1942:
Arrives at Dairen

3 June 1942:
Departs Dairen.

6 June 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

11 June 1942:
Departs Ujina.

15 June 1942:
Arrives at Dairen.

19 June 1942:
Departs Dairen.

23 June 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

27 June 1942:
Departs Ujina.

30 June 1942:
Arrives at Dairen.

5 July 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

14 July 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

15 July 1942:
Departs Ujina.

20 July 1942:
Arrives at Tsingtao.

22 July 1942:
Departs Tsingtao.

27 July 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

29 July 1942:
Departs Ujina.

2 August 1942:
Arrives at Dairen.

6 August 1942:
Departs Dairen.

10 August 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

12 August 1942:
Departs Ujina.

20 August 1942:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

22 August 1942:
Departs Hong Kong.

28 August 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

3 September 1942:
Departs Ujina.

10 September 1942:
Arrives at Manila

13 September 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

14 September 1942:
Departs Takao.

18 September 1942:
Arrives at Manila.

19 September 1942:
Departs Manila.

21 September 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

23 September 1942:
Departs Takao.

24 September 1942:
Arrives at Kirun.

24 September 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

4 October 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

6 October 1942:
Departs Moji.

12 October 1942:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

8 November 1942:
The 14th hospital group embarks patients for transport. Departs Hong Kong.

14 November 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

25 November 1942:
Departs Moji.

26November 1942:
Arrives at Dairen.

27 November 1942:
The 57th hospital group embarks patients for transport. Departs Dairen.

29 November 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

30 November 1942:
Departs Moji.

1 December 1942:
Arrives at Palau.

2 December 1942:
Departs Palau.

8 December 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul, New Britain.

10 December 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

17 December 1942:
Arrives at Kokopo, S of Rabaul.

18 December 1942:
Departs Kokopo.

23 December 1942:
Arrives at Manila.

24 December 1942:
Departs Manila.

26 December 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

4 January 1943:
Departs Takao.

8 January 1943:
Arrives at Erebenta, Shortland Islands, Bougainville.

9 January 1943:
Departs Erebenta.

22 January 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

31 January 1943:
Departs Rabaul.

1 February 1943:
Arrives at Kokopo and departs that day.

10 February 1943:
Arrives at Palau and departs that day.

13 February 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

16 February 1943:
Departs Manila.

20 February 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

1 March 1943:
Departs Rabaul.

2 March 1943:
Arrives at Kokopo, New Britain and departs that day.

7 March 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

8 March 1943:
Departs Palau.

14 March 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

15 March 1943:
Departs Takao.

19 March 1943:
Arrives at Palau and departs that day.

3 April 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

5 April 1943:
Departs Rabaul.

6 April 1943:
Arrives at Erebenta location and departs that day.

12 April 1943:
Arrives at Palau and departs that day.

23 April 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

24 April 1943:
Departs Manila

25 April 1943:
Arrives at Takao and departs that day.

26 April 1943:
Arrives at Kirun.

28 April 1943:
Departs Kirun.

1 May 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

14 June 1943:
Departs Moji.

23 June 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

25 June 1943:
Departs Manila.

27 June 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

28 June 1943:
Departs Takao.

30 June 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

1 July 1943:
Departs Manila.

2 July 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

5 July 1943:
Departs Takao.

6 July 1943:
Arrives at Kirun.

9 July 1943:
Departs Kirun.

13 July 1943:
Arrives at Ujina.

18 July 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

19 July 1943:
Arrives at Shanghai.

20 July 1943:
Departs Shanghai.

22 July 1943:
Arrives at Ujina.

6 August 1943:
Departs Osaka.

10 August 1943:
Arrives at Dairen.

12 August 1943:
Departs Dairen.

15 August 1943:
Arrives at Ujina.

22 August 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

29 August 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

1 September 1943:
Departs Palau.

5 September 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul and departs.

16 September 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

21 September 1943:
Departs Manila.

26 September 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

1943:
At an unknown time and place, AMERICA MARU is rerated a transport, painted grey overall, and probably fitted with AA guns.

10 October 1943:
Arrives at Ujina and departs for Moji. At 1505, AMERICA MARU departs Moji for Takao in convoy No. 105 also consisting of IJA transports TEIKAI (ex-German FULDA), CHICAGO, MIKASA, HEIAN, GYOTEN (ex-British EMPIRE PAGODA) MARUs, IJN transport NICHIEI MARU, civilian ore carrier GYOKUREI MARU, auxiliary oiler SAN RAMON MARU and civilian tanker MITSU MARU escorted by destroyer SHIOKAZE. AMERICA MARU carries the regimental headquarters, 8th Infantry, 4th Division; and 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry. CHICAGO MARU carries 1,364 men of the IJA 4th Divisionís units including Headquarters and 1st Company, 4th Transport Regiment headquarters and one company of trucks, 1st Battalion and Anti-Tank Gun Company, 37th Infantry Regiment's Infantry's rapid fire artillery unit (antitank) and 1st Field Hospital, 4th Division. She also carries 21 gunners and crew. GYOTEN MARU carries 3rd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Division.

15 October 1943: At 0110, LtCdr (later KIA) Charles F. Brindupke's (USNA '32) USS TULLIBEE (SS-284)(later lost) torpedoes and sinks CHICAGO MARU at 24-30N, 120-26E. 43 troops and eight crewmen are KIA. Over the next five hours, NICHIEI, SAN RAMON and GYOKUREI MARUs rescue survivors.

16 October 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

19 October 1943:
AMERICA MARU departs Mako in convoy No. 331 also consisting KOSEI MARU and eleven unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer ASAKAZE.

25 October 1943:
AMERICA MARU departs St Jacques in convoy No. 520 also consisting of seven unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer ASAGAO.

28 October 1943:
Arrives at Singapore, Malaya.

28 October 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

2 November 1943:
Departs Singapore.

5 November 1943:
Arrives at Belawan, Sumatra.

6 November 1943:
Departs Belawan.

8 November 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

15 November 1943:
Departs Singapore.

18 November 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques, Vichy French Indochina.

20 November 1943:
AMERICA MARU departs St Jacques in convoy No. 443 also consisting of RAKUYO MARUs and five unidentified merchant ships escorted by subchaser CH-9 and unidentified warships. The convoy splits into two sections after departing port.

26 November 1943:
AMERICA MARU and the first section arrive at Takao.

11 December 1943:
At 0900, AMERICA MARU departs Takao for Moji in convoy No. 226 also consisting of ENJU, HIDA, OYO, ATLAS, HANAGAWA and NEIKAI MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-36.

17 December 1943:
Convoy No. 226 arrives at Moji, less ENJU MARU detached at Okinawa due to engine trouble.

.19 December 1943:
Departs Moji.

12 January 1944:
Arrives at Ujina. That same day, AMERICA MARU is chartered by the IJN and operates under the direction of the Kure Naval District.

20 January 1944:
Departs Osaka.

21 January 1944:
Arrives at Kure.

24 January 1944:
Departs Kure.

25 January 1944:
Arrives at Kobe.

27 January 1944:
Departs Kobe.

30 January 1944:
Arrives at Yokohama.

14 February 1904:
Departs Yokohama.

17 February 1904:
Arrives at Chichi Jima, Bonins.

20 February 1904:
Departs Chichi Jima.

28 February 1944:
Arrives at Saipan, Marianas.

4 March 1944:
AMERICA MARU departs Saipan for Yokosuka in an unidentified convoy also consisting of transport (ex-sub tender) MANJU MARU (ex-SANTOS MARU) escorted by torpedo boat OTORI and two unidentified subchasers. AMERICA MARU is repatriating 511 civilian evacuees from Saipan, mostly women and children. [1]

6 March 1944:
About 420 miles NNW of Saipan. At 0509, Cdr William D. Irvinís (USNA Ď27) USS NAUTILUS (SS-168) attacks the convoy. Irvin fires six torpedoes and gets two or three hits in the portside engine room and No. 4 hold that sink AMERICA MARU in less than two minutes at 22-19N, 143-54E. Only 43 survivors are rescued of 642 persons aboard.

Irvin also claims damaging MANJU MARU, but the torpedoes were probably duds. OTORI counterattacks unsuccessfully dropping at least 21 depth charges to no effect.


Authorsí Notes:
[1] Some sources claim there were as many as 1,700 evacuees.

Bob Hackett


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