RIKUGUN YUSOSEN

(BATAVIA MARU, prewar)

IJA/IJN BATAVIA MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2014-2018 Bob Hackett


1918:
Hiroshima. Laid down by Osaka Iron Works Co., Ltd. Innoshima Plant as a 4, 393-ton cargo ship for Osaka Shosen Kaisha, K. K. (O.S.K. Lines) South Seas Service's (Japan ~ Manila ~ Batavia ~ Surabaya ~ Hong Kong ~ Kaohsiung (Takao) ~Japan.

December 1918:
Launched and named BATAVIA MARU

26 January 1919:
Completed..

February 1927:
Inaugurated on the South Sea and Nanyang lines.

December 1927:
Inaugurated on the South Sea Route and the Basin Temple Line.

1931:
Inaugurated on the Nanyang Passage and the Japan Philippine Line.

23 July 1935:
BATAVIA MARU runs aground off Cambodia, French Indochina, but is later salvaged.

23 July 1937:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA). Allotted IJA No. 504.

1937:
Released back to O.S.K. Lines.

23 July 1942:
Re-requisitioned by the IJA.

2 June 1943:
At 0715, BATAVIA MARU departs Takao for Moji in convoy No. 268 also consisting of FUJI, HEIAN, KAYO, KOSO, MIYO, REIYO, SHOJIN, TSUSHIMA, UCHIDE, WALES and YAMAHAGI MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-36.

5 June 1943:
At 1013, TSUSHIMA MARU is hit by a dud Mark 14-3A torpedo fired by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Lawrence R. Daspit's (USNA í27) USS TINOSA (SS-283), but not damaged. PB-36 attacks with depth charges, but TINOSA escapes.

6 June 1943:
At 0925, MIYO MARU is detached for Jinsen, Chosen (Inchon, Korea).

7 June 1943:
At 0740, arrives at Moji.

11 September 1943:
At 1700, BATAVIA MARU departs Mutsure for Keelung, Formosa in convoy No. 195 also consisting of CHIHAYA, KISO, KASHIMA, YAMATO and YOSHU MARUs escorted by destroyer SHIOKAZE.

13 September 1943:
At 0206, LtCdr (later Rear-Admiral) Charles O. Triebel's (USNA í29) USS SNOOK (SS-279) torpedoes and sinks YAMATO MARU at 30-18N, 123-03E with 916 passengers, 3,340-tons of cargo and 3,000-kg of mail. Four crewmen and 29 passengers are KIA. SHIOKAZE drops 14 depth charges, but USS SNOOK evades.

17 September 1943:
At 0800, arrives at Keelung.

21 September 1943:
At 0740, BATAVIA MARU departs Mako, Pescadores for Cap St Jacques in unescorted convoy No. 324 also consisting of CHIHAYA, KASHIMA and YOSHU MARUs and KONAN MARU No. 5.

27 September 1943:
At 0652, an enemy submarine is discovered on the surface. KONAN MARU No. 5, acting as escort, opens fire forcing the submarine to submerge. At 0740, LtCdr (later Cdr) Thomas W. Hogan's (USNA í31 USS BONEFISH (SS-223) torpedoes and sinks KASHIMA MARU at 31-35N, 127-47E with 1,665 Army troops, 107 other passengers and 8, 353 cubic meters of military equipment. 139 troops/passengers and one crew are KIA.

28 September 1943:
Arrives at Cape St. Jacques, Vichy French Indochina.

13 December 1943:
At 1500, BATAVIA MARU departs Moji in convoy No. 121 also consisting of cargo ships HIROTA and NICHIREI MARUs, oilers TENEI MARU, SARAWAK, OGURA MARU No. 2, FUSHIMI MARU No. 3 and eight unidentified merchants escorted by destroyer SHIOKAZE and minesweeper W-33.

17 December 1943:
S of the Ryukyus. At 2226, LtCdr Henry C. Stevensonís (USNA '30) USS ASPRO (SS-309) torpedoes and damages SARAWAK MARU at 24-10, 124-40E. About the same time, ASPRO also torpedoes and damages TENEI MARU at the same place. SHIOKAZE counter-attacks, but ASPRO evades and escapes.

20 December 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

29 February 1944:
BATAVIA MARU departs Takao in convoy TAMO-07 also consisting of cargo BIZEN, SHOUN, SHOZUI MARUs, transports HAVRE MARU, auxiliary tankers MATSUMOTO and ASANAGI MARUs and auxiliary netlayer TOYO MARU No. 3 and fifteen unidentified merchants escorted by destroyers ASAGAO, HARUKAZE and NAMIKAZE, minesweeper W-18 and auxiliary subchaser CHa-74.

E 3 March 1944:
ASAGAO is detached.

28 March 1944:
Released by the IJA. That same day, requisitioned by the Imperial Navy (IJN) as a Ippan Choyosen (B-AK).

8 March 1944:
Arrives at Osaka.

15 April 1944:
At 0600, BATAVIA MARU departs Tokyo in convoy "Higashi-Matsu No. 6" also consisting of AWA, AWAJI, HAKUBA, HOKUSHIN, KATSUKAWA, SHOZAN and TAKAOKA MARUs bound for Saipan, HINKO (KAMISHIMA) MARU bound for Woleai, CHOAN MARU No. 2 and MIKAGE MARU No. 1 bound for Truk, BISAN, JINSAN and JOKUJA MARUs bound for Palau, INARI and TONEGAWA MARUs bound for Guam and TATSUAKI and TAMAHOKO MARUs bound for Chichi-Jima. Escort is provided by destroyers HOKAZE, UZUKI and YUNAGI, kaibokan MIYAKE and CD-6, minelayers KYOSAI, SARUSHIMA and YURISHIMA, subchasers CH-10 and CH-12 and minesweepers W-20 and W-28.

23 April 1944:
At 0300, TONEGAWA and INARI MARUs and minesweeper W-20 are detached and arrive at Guam, Marianas at 1735. At 0600, the rest of the convoy arrives at Saipan, Marianas.

29 May 1944:
At 0600, BATAVIA MARU departs Guam in an unnamed convoy also consisting of transport NISSHO MARU No. 18 and auxiliary storeship TAKUNAN MARU escorted by minelayer SARUSHIMA, minesweeper W-20 and auxiliary minesweeper FUMI MARU No. 2. At 2030, the convoy arrives at Saipan.

11 June 1944:
Saipan. Fear of an imminent Allied invasion causes all navigable ships to flee. At 0400, BATAVIA MARU departs Tanapag Harbor, Saipan in convoy No. 4611 also consisting of transports BOKUYO, FUKOKU, HINKO, IMIZU, INARI, MOJI, NITCHO, REIKAI, SHINTO, TATSUTAGAWA and TENRYUGAWA, MARUs, auxiliary netlayer KOKKO MARU and 16 unidentified ships escorted by torpedo boat OTORI, kaibokan CD-4, subchasers CH-33, CH-55, auxiliary minesweeper Wa-6 and auxiliary subchasers CHa-20 and CHa-50.

12 June 1944:
About 100 nautical miles W of Alamagan Island, northern Marianas. Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscherís (USNA í10) Task Force 58ís carriers ESSEX (CV-9), LANGLEY (CVL-27) and COWPENS (CVL-25) attack the convoy and sink BATAVIA MARU at 17-07N, 143-34E. 18 passengers and 59 crewmen are KIA.

Task Force 58ís planes also sink BOKUYO, FUKOKU, HINKO (KAMISHIMA), IMIZU, MOJI. NITCHO, REIKAI, SHINTO and TENRYUGAWA MARUs, torpedo boat OTORI and auxiliary netlayer KOKKO MARU. Mitscherís planes also damage transport KEIYO and TATSUTAGAWA MARUs, kaibokan CD-4, subchasers CH-33, CH-50 and CH-51, auxiliary subchaser Cha-20 and auxiliary minesweeper Wa-6.

31 July 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors' Notes:
Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

- Bob Hackett


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