Transport ATAKA MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2010-2011 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

E 1919:
Montreal, Canada. Laid down at Canadian Vickers shipyard as a 5,248-ton passenger/cargo ship for Canadian Government Merchant Marine Ltd.

E 1920:
Launched and named CANADIAN CONQUEROR.

October 1920:

In service for Canadian Government Merchant Marine Ltd.

Managed by Canadian National Steamships Ltd. In service between Montreal, Halifax, Nova Scotia and the West Indies and to Australia.

Canadian National Steamships' Australia service is taken over by Port Line, Ellerman & Co. and New Zealand Shipping Co. who form the Montreal, Australia, New Zealand (MANZ) Line.

Sold to Imprese Navigazione Commerciale Societa Anonima (INCSA) of Rome, Italy. Renamed ADA.

10 June 1940:
Rome. Benito Mussolini, dictator of Italy, declares war on France and Great Britain.

Kobe. ADA, under Master Felice Mouston, is at anchor.

1 June 1942:
Chartered by Teikoku Senpaku Kaisha (Imperial Steamship Co.) of Tokyo, wholly owned by the Japanese Government. Renamed ATAKA MARU. Assigned call letters JWNQ and operated by Yamashita Kisen with her original 32-man Italian crew.

8 March 1943:
Hokkaido. At 0800, ATAKA MARU departs Muroran with KENAN, FUKUJU, SHINFUKU and HOKUYO MARUs and two unidentified ships escorted by minesweeper W-24. At noon, the ships arrive off Komui-saki (a.k.a Furutakei-saki) where HISASHIMA MARU joins the convoy from Hakodate and KONSAN MARU joins from nearby Komui Bay. The convoy receives the designation 2308 and departs for the Tokyo-Yokohama area. From 1400, minelayer SHIRAKAMI and auxiliary KEISHU MARU No. 3 provide distant cover.

8 March 1943:
At 1530, when the convoy arrives at a point 75 degrees 3 nautical miles from Shiriya-zaki, it alters course and proceeds toward Monomi-saki.

At 1645, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Wreford G. Chapple´s PERMIT (SS-178) attacks the rear section of the convoy and torpedoes HISASHIMA MARU. He gets two hits that sink her at 41-16N 141-29E. W-24 immediately carries out a depth charge attack. PERMIT evades and sets course back to Midway. HOKUYO MARU rescues survivors and then proceeds to Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture. The rest of the convoy retreats to Yamada Port.

22 August 1943:
At 1510, ATAKA MARU departs Yokohama for Keelung with MITSU, SAWA, and MOMOGAWA MARUs escorted by auxiliary netlayer KASHI MARU.

23 August 1943:
Off Hamamatsu, Japan. At about 1212, LtCdr Robert H. Rice’s USS PADDLE (SS-263) fires four torpedoes and gets two hits on ATAKA MARU that begins to flood. Her lookouts spot a periscope about 1600 meters to port and her gunners take it under fire. At 1242, Abandon Ship is ordered. At 1255, ATAKA MARU sinks at 34-36N, 138-50E. One crewman is KIA. and another WIA. The 30 survivors were rescued by Japanese fishing boats and taken to Toba (at the western entrance of Ise Bay).

9 September 1943: Fascist Italy Surrenders:
Mussolini is deposed. Italy declares an armistice. The Italian crew become POWs and are imprisoned at Yokohama, then Hakone Maki and finally Shinagawa until the end of the war. In the meantime, only a couple of sailors join Mussolini’s “Repubblica Sociale Italiana” founded on 23 September 1943 (this new puppet fascist regime was actually controlled by the Nazis).

Authors' Notes:
Thanks go to Luca "Luke" Ruffato of Italy for providing some details on ADA.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

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