(Bangkok Maru by Ueda Kihachiro)

IJN BANGKOK MARU: Tabular Record of Movement

2008-2017 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Revision 8

11 November 1936:
Kobe. Laid down at Mitsubishi's shipyard as a 5,351-ton cargo ship for Osaka Shosen K.K. (O.S.K), Osaka.

30 March 1937:
Launched and named BANGKOK MARU.

20 September 1937:
Completed. Departs Kobe for Bangkok on her maiden voyage. Arrives eight days later, shortening the conventional cruising time of 13 days.

30 January 1940:
Departs Kobe for Saigon and Bangkok.

In service on O. S. K's Japan, Saigon, Bangkok route. Makes one voyage every three weeks.

15 August 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN. Registered as an auxiliary cruiser in the Kure Naval District.

29 August 1941:
Hiroshima. BANGKOK MARU commences conversion to an armed merchant cruiser (AMC) at Ujina Zosen. Four 120-mm (4.7-inch) single mount guns and one 7.7-mm machine gun are fitted. Provisions are made for carrying and launching 500 mines.

20 September 1941:
Captain Tsuda Takehiko (33) is appointed the CO.

12 October 1941:
The conversion is completed.

4 December 1941:
At 0700, departs Saeki Bay, Kyushu, to lay defensive minefields in the Bungo Suido (Strait) with AMC's KINJOSAN and SAIGON MARUs. Lays mines in Area No. 7.

6 December 1941:
Again departs Saeki to lay defensive minefields in the Bungo Suido with AMC's KINJOSAN and SAIGON MARUs. Lays mines in Area No. 8 .

7 December 1941:
At 1000, departs Saeki to lay defensive minefields in the Bungo Suido with AMC's KINJOSAN and SAIGON MARUs. Lays mines in Area No. 11.

9 December 1941:
At 0630, departs Saeki to lay defensive minefields in the Bungo Suido with AMC's KINJOSAN and SAIGON MARUs. Lays mines in Area No. 10. Later that day, arrives at Kure.

11 December 1941:
At 0625, departs Saeki to lay defensive minefields in the Bungo Suido with AMC's KINJOSAN and SAIGON MARUs. Lays mines in Area No. 12.

16 January 1942:
Departs Kure.

21 December 1941:
Departs Kashima Wan and sails north escorted by Minelayers NATSUSHIMA, NASAMI, KUROKAMI and KATASHIMA.

29 December 1941:
At 1000, arrives at Yuranai.

31 December 1941:
Departs Yuranai to lay defensive minefields in the Bungo Suido with AMC's KINJOSAN and SAIGON MARUs. Lays mines in Area No.1.

3 January 1942:
At 0800, arrives at Kure.

21 February 1942:
Departs Saeki escorted by minelayers NATSUSHIMA, KUROKAMI and KATASHIMA and tug EISEN No. 13. Later that day arrives at Motoura.

5 April 1942:
Arrives at Sukumo.

6 April 1942:
At 1130, arrives at Saeki.

9 April 1942:
Departs Sukumo.

10 April 1942:
At 0930, arrives at Susaki.

12 April 1942:
Departs Susaki.

13 April 1942:
At 1930, departs Saeki, escorted by patrol boat PB-2 and OSEI MARU.

17 April 1942:
At 0500, departs Saeki. At 1700, arrives at Susaki.

19 April 1942:
At 1300, departs Saeki for Kushimoto.

20 April 1942:
At 1030, arrives at Kushimoto.

29 April 1942:
At 1400, departs Kushimoto.

17 April 1942:
Departs Saeki.

20 April 1942:
Receives the order to rendezvous with the Soviet 4,761-ton cargo steamer ANGARSTROI (ex-GRANTLEY HALL), en route to Kushimoto for inspection, carrying a boarding party from PB-31.

21 April 1942:
In heavy seas and limited visibility BANGKOK MARU misses the rendezvous point and proceeds directly to Kushimoto.

22 April 1942:
Arrives at Kushimoto. Inspects ANGARSTROI and another Soviet steamer, the 2,363-ton timber carrier VANZETTI, detained around the same time.

29 April 1942:
Departs Kushimoto for Saeki.

30 April 1942:
Arrives at Saeki.

9 May 1942:
At 0530, departs Sukumo.

13 May 1942:
At 0730, departs Satsuki for Saeki.

19 May 1942:
At 1240, departs Saeki. At 1715, arrives at Sukumo.

24 May 1942:
At 0345, departs Sukumo. At 1100, arrives at Saeki.

1 June 1942:
At 1011, departs Saeki. At 1745, arrives at Sukumo.

14 June 1942:
Departs Sukumo and later that day arrives at Saeki.

24 June 1942:
At 1600, arrives at Saeki.

14 July 1942:
At 0800, auxiliary cruisers SAIGON and BANGKOK MARUs arrive at Saeki with and patrol boats PB-46, PB-34 and PB-35.

17 July 1942:
At 1100, arrives at Innoshima.

26 July 1942:
At 0830, departs Innoshima. At 1530, arrives at Kure.

27 August 1942:
Saeki Bay. BANGKOK MARU collides with submarine I-8. Both vessels receive minor damage.

12 September 1942:
At 0730, departs Nagahama. At 1505, arrives at Saeki.

26 September 1942:
At 0830 departs Saeki.

October 1942:
Lays a field of 200 Type 93 mines NE of Hakuoto Lighthouse.

5 October 1942:
Captain (recalled) Inagami Nobuso (33) is appointed the CO. At 1500, departs Saeki.

27 October 1942:
Arrives at Saeki.

27 November 1942:
Departs Saeki.

28 November 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

7 December 1942:
Departs Kure for Yokosuka with seaplane carrier NISSHIN.

10 December 1942:
BANGKOK MARU departs Yokosuka for Truk as part of No. 1 Go convoy consisting of TATSUTAKE, YAMAFUKU and FLORIDA MARUs and possibly others, escorted by seaplane carrier NISSHIN and probably others. She carries a detachment of Yokosuka 7th SNLF.

15 December 1942:
Arrives at Truk. BANGKOK MARU is detached from the convoy.

22 December 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul from Truk and discharges troops and cargo.

E 4 January 1943:
At 29-30N, 133-38E, met by subchaser CH-37.

6 January 1943:
Off Fukajima. CH-37 is detached.

7 January 1943:
Arrives at Saeki.

20 February 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

21 February 1943:
Departs Kobe with sister SAIGON MARU.

22 February 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

28 February 1943:
At 0930 departs Yokosuka for Truk carrying troops of the Sasebo 7th Special Naval Landing Force with SAIGON MARU and transport TOYO MARU escorted by escorted by DesDiv 31/2nd section's destroyer KIYONAMI and destroyer URAKAZE. Escort carrier CHUYO (acting as a ferry) and escorted by destroyers ONAMI and HAGIKAZE departs the same day but overtakes the convoy.

8 March 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

12 March 1943:
Departs Truk for Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands with SAIGON MARU escorted by KIYONAMI and ONAMI.

17 March 1943:
Arrives at Betio, Tarawa. Disembarks troops.

20 March 1943:
Departs Tarawa in convoy escorted by ONAMI only.

27 March 1943:
Arrives at Saipan and departs later that day.

31 March 1943:
In convoy with AMC SAIGON MARU. Rendezvouses with torpedo boat HATO at 28-00N, 134-32E.

1 April 1943:
Off Fukajima. HATO is detached.

2 April 1943:
Anchors off Saeki.

3 April 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

27 April 1943:
Departs Kure.

1 May 1943:
Departs Ujina for Yokosuka.

4 May 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Truk in an convoy consisting of BANGKOK MARU and storeship MAMIYA escorted by destroyer IKAZUCHI. BANGKOK MARU carries about 1,200 troops of the 1st South Seas Garrison Unit.

12 May 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

16 May 1943:
Departs Truk transporting the troops to Tarawa, Gilbert Islands in an convoy consisting only of BANGKOK MARU, escorted by IKAZUCHI.

20 May 1943:
SE of Jaluit Atoll, Marshall Islands. At about 1500, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Bafford E. Lewellen's (USNA '31) USS POLLACK (SS-180) fires four torpedoes and claims three hits that blow the stern off BANGKOK MARU. She sinks at 06-47N, 169-42E. 496 troops and six crewmen are lost. USS POLLACK is damaged by depth charges during counterattacks by what Lewellen describes as a "CHIDORI-class" torpedo boat, but remains on patrol. Destroyer IKAZUCHI and auxiliary submarine chaser KYO MARU No. 7 rescue BANGKOK MARU's survivors and land them on Jaluit where they remain for the rest of the war.

15 July 1943:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Note:
Thanks go to Allan Alsleben of Oregon and John Whitman, also of USA. Thanks also go to Gilbert Casse of France for info in Rev 4.

- Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.

Back to Auxiliary Cruisers Page