ZATSUYOSEN!

(Sister ship BRASIL MARU at Los Angeles, 1941)

IJN ARGENTINA MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2015 Gilbert Casse, Peter Cundall and Anthony Tully


9 December 1938:
Nagasaki. Launched at Mitsubishi’s shipyard and named ARGENTINA MARU .

31 May 1939:
Completed as a 12,755-ton passenger liner for Mitsui's OSK (Osaka Shosen Kaisha) line.

11 July 1939:
Departs Yokohama on round voyage No. 292 to Brazil (by OSK).

12 July 1939:
Departs Yokkaichi.

15 July 1939:
Departs Kobe.

19 July 1939:
Departs Hong Kong.

24 July 1939:
Departs Singapore.

29 July 1939:
Departs Colombo.

7 August 1939:
Departs Durban.

9 August 1939:
Arrives at Cape Town.

11 August 1939:
Departs Cape Town.

20 August 1939:
Departs Rio de Janeiro.

21 August 1939:
Arrives at Santos.

23 August 1939:
Departs Santos.

26 August 1939:
Departs Montevideo.

27 August 1939:
Arrives at Buenos Aires. Then returns via Panama Canal and west coast USA to Yokohama.

27 September 1939:
Departs San Pedro, Los Angeles wearing neutrality markings had been painted on at some point post 3 September.

13 November 1939:
Departs Yokohama on round voyage No. 296 to Brazil.

14 November 1939:
Departs Yokkaichi.

17 November 1939:
Departs Kobe.

21 November 1939:
Departs Hong Kong.

26 November 1939:
Departs Singapore.

1 December 1939:
Departs Colombo.

10 December 1939:
Departs Durban.

14 December 1939:
Departs Cape Town.

22 December 1939:
Departs Rio de Janeiro.

23 December 1939:
Arrives at Santos.

24 December 1939:
Departs Santos.

27 December 1939:
Departs Montevideo. Passes the remains of German Pocket Battleship (Armored Ship) ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE that had been scuttled in the roadstead 10 days before as a result of damage received from the Battle of the River Plate on 13 December.

28 December 1939:
Arrives at Buenos Aires. Then returns via Panama Canal and west coast USA to Yokohama.

20 April 1940:
Arrives at Santos on round voyage No. 298 to Brazil.

21 August 1940:
Arrives at Santos on round voyage No. 300 to Brazil.

9 February 1941:
Departs Dairen for Kobe.

20 February 1941:
Departs Dairen for Kobe.

4 March 1941:
Departs Dairen for Kobe.

15 March 1941:
Departs Dairen for Kobe.

26 March 1941:
Departs Dairen for Kobe.

2 April 1941:
Departs Kobe.

3 April 1941:
Arrives at Moji and departs later that day.

5 April 1941:
Arrives at Dairen.

7 April 1941:
Departs Dairen for Kobe.

14 April 1941:
Departs Kobe.

15 April 1941:
Arrives at Moji and departs later that day.

17 April 1941:
Arrives at Dairen.

19 April 1941:
Departs Dairen for Kobe.

1 May 1941:
Departs Dairen for Kobe.

13 May 1941:
Departs Dairen for Kobe.

24 May 1941:
Departs Dairen for Kobe.

4 June 1941:
Departs Dairen for Kobe.

16 June 1941:
Departs Dairen for Kobe.

27 June 1941:
Departs Dairen for Kobe.

10 July 1941:
Departs Dairen for Kobe.

21 July 1941:
Departs Dairen for Kobe.

31 July 1941:
Departs Dairen for Kobe.

29 September 1941:
Requsitioned by the IJN as a general transport and assigned to Yokosuka Naval District.

4 December 1941:
Departs Truk.

7 December 1941:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

17 December 1941:
Departs Yokosuka.

18 December 1941:
Arrives at Yokkaichi.

20 December 1941:
Departs Yokkaichi.

23 December 1941:
Arrives at Saipan.

26 December 1941:
Departs Saipan.

28 December 1941:
Arrives at Truk.

8 January 1942:
Departs Truk.

10 January 1942:
Arrives at Omiya Jima (Guam) and departs later that day.

14 January 1942:
Arrives at Tadotsu.

16 January 1942:
Departs Tadotsu.

17 January 1942:
Arrives at Fusan (Pusan).

18 January 1942:
Departs Fusan.

20 January 1942:
Arrives at Kure and departs later the same day.

21 January 1942:
Arrives at Fusan (Pusan).

22 January 1942:
Departs Fusan.

25 January 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

26 January 1942:
Transfers from Yokosuka to Yokohama.

30 January 1942:
Transfers from Yokohama to Yokosuka.

1 February 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

6 February 1942:
Arrives at Saipan and departs later that day.

8 February 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

14 February 1942:
Departs Truk.

15 February 1942:
Arrives at Ponape.

16 February 1942:
Departs Ponape.

17 February 1942:
Arrives at Ocean Island and departs later that day and then arrives at Brown Island (Eniwetok).

18 February 1942:
Departs Brown Island.

19 February 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

20 February 1942:
Transfers from Kwajalein to Roi.

21 February 1942:
Departs Roi.

22 February 1942:
Arrives at Taroa.

23 February 1942:
Departs Taroa.

24 February 1942:
Arrives at Emidj Atoll.

25 February 1942:
Departs Emidj Atoll.

26 February 1942:
Arrives at Wotje Atoll and departs later that day.

27 February 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein and departs later that day.

1 March 1942:
Arrives at Ponape and departs later that day.

2 March 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

4 March 1942:
Departs Truk.

9 March 1942:
Arrives at Minami Torishima (Marcus).

10 March 1942:
Departs Minami Torishima.

13 March 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

21 March 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

23 March 1942:
Arrives at Fusan (Pusan).

24 March 1942:
Departs Fusan.

29 March 1942:
Arrives at Mereyon.

31 March 1942:
Departs Mereyon.

1 April 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

3 April 1942:
Departs Truk.

6 April 1942:
Arrives at Mille (Mili).

7 April 1942:
Departs Mille.

8 April 1942:
Arrives at Roi and departs later the same day.

14 April 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

1 May 1942:
Rerated a (Ko) series auxiliary transport. Captain Watanabe Takeshi (34) (former CO of DesDiv 28) assumes command. [1]

5 May 1942:
At 0850 departs Kure for gunnery trials in Hiroshima Wan before returning at 1430 that day. Loads ammunition, sake, general supplies and 816 Kure Naval Landing Force troops.

15 May 1942:
At 0700 departs Kure in convoy with KIYOZUMI MARU escorted by patrol boats PB-34 and PB-35 for Saipan.

20 May 1942:
An enemy submarine sighting is reported and ARGENTINA MARU diverts to Guam.

21 May 1942:
At 1040 arrives at Omiya Jima (Guam). The ships are joined by BRASIL MARU.

23 May 1942:
At 1200 departs Omiya Jima.

24 May 1942:
At 0100 arrives at Saipan and anchors off Garapan.

28 May 1942:
At 1740 departs Saipan and heads to Midway Islands. ARGENTINA MARU carrying elements of the 5th Special Naval Brigade and supplies is in Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake's (35) Midway Invasion Force with Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Tanaka Raizo's (41) Transport Group’s also consisting of TOA MARU No. 2, KIYOSUMI, ZENYO, BRASIL, NANKAI, AZUMA, GOSHU, KANO, KEIYO, KIRISHIMA and HOKUROKU MARUs, oiler AKEBONO MARU escorted by DesRon 2’s light cruiser JINTSU with DesDiv 15’s KUROSHIO, OYASHIO, DesDiv 16’s AMATSUKAZE, HATSUKAZE, TOKITSUKAZE, YUKIKAZE and DesDiv 18’s destroyer-transports ARARE, KASUMI and SHIRANUHI.

Rear Admiral Fujita Ruitaro’s (38) 11th Seaplane Tender Division’s CHITOSE and KAMIKAWA MARU provide air cover.

3 June 1942:
Two air attacks occur, the first at 26-31 N 171-24E where the convoy is bombed by nine Boeing ‘Flying Fortress’ B-17s. ARGENTINA MARU is undamaged, the second at 26-48N 173-38E where the convoy is attacked by torpedo-carrying Consolidated PBY amphibious patrol planes. AKEBONO MARU is torpedoed and KIYOSUMI MARU is strafed. ARGENTINA MARU is again undamaged. A total of 3224 rounds of AA rounds are fired.

4 June 1942:
The convoy is contacted by PBY P-12; one of eleven VP-44 launched from Midway that morning on a search/strike mission. Seaplane carrier CHITOSE launches three Mitsubishi F1-M "Pete" fighter float biplanes to intercept the flying boat. They engage P-12 at 500 feet and shoot it down into the sea. Lt (j.g.) Robert Whitman and four of his ten-man aircrew are lost. [2]

6 June 1942:
The Midway operation ends.

13 June 1942:
At 1530 arrives at Omiya Jima (Guam).

17 June 1942:
Departs Omiya Jima.

21 June 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

28 June 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

5 July 1942:
Arrives at Kiska, Aleutians.

10 July 1942:
Departs Kiska.

15 July 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

1 August 1942:
At 0500 departs Moji and at 1700 that day arrives at Sasebo. Loads 338 passengers and 1607 tons cargo.

3 August 1942:
At 1500 departs Sasebo.

6 August 1942:
At 1030 arrives at Hong Kong. One passenger and 100kg of cargo loaded and 500kg of cargo and 62 passengers disembarked.

7 August 1942:
At 1800 departs Hong Kong.

11 August 1942:
At 1700 arrives at Singapore Navy base. 40 passengers disembark and 1121 tons of cargo is discharged. Two tons of cargo and 159 passengers are embarked on the ship.

15 August 1942:
At 1200 departs Singapore Navy base.

18 August 1942:
At 1255 arrives at Macassar. Two tons of cargo and 114 passengers are disembarked. 472 tons cargo and 160 passengers joins the ship.

22 August 1942:
At 1000 departs Macassar bound for Surabaya, but then recalled and turns back.

23 August 1942:
At 1130 arrives back at Macassar. 124 passengers and 214 tons cargo are offloaded and 319 tons cargo and 72 passengers are loaded.

24 August 1942:
At 2130 departs Macassar.

25 August 1942:
At 1530 arrives at Pomalaa. 319 tons cargo and 75 passengers are disembarked.

27 August 1942:
At 1700 departs Pomalaa.

28 August 1942:
At 1000 arrives back at Macassar. Over the next few days loads 2200 tons periwinkels, 62 tons copper, 25 tons copra, 100 tons salt, 75 tons coconut shells, 18 tons other items

31 August 1942:
At 0800 departs Macassar.

8 September 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

11 September 1942:
Departs Maizuru.

19 September 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

4 October 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

15 October 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

29 October 1942:
Arrives at Kobe.

7 November 1942:
Arrives at Kobe.

11 November 1942:
Departs Kobe.

20 November 1942:
Arrives at Kobe.

9 December 1942:
OSK sells ARGENTINA MARU to the IJN for an undisclosed amount.

10 December 1942:
Nagasaki. Begins conversion at Mitsubishi’s shipyard to a light carrier. Her diesel engines are replaced by two sets of destroyer turbines.

23 November 1943:
The conversion is completed. Renamed KAIYO ("Sea Hawk") and assigned directly to the Combined Fleet. Captain Takao Yoshimi (43) (former CO of AKITSUSHIMA) is Commanding Officer.

For further information refer KAIYO TROM.


Authors Notes:

[1] There were two categories of Zatsuyosen. (Ko) category with an IJN Captain as supervisor aboard and (Otsu) category without.

[2] Five surviving members of VP-44’s P-12's aircrew were rescued at 1455 (local) 6 June by PBY-5 of VP-23. But unfortunately one of them died the next day, bringing the total KIA to six. VP-44’s PBY P-12 was the only PBY lost in combat with Japanese forces during the battle of Midway.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan. .

Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


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