(BIYO MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2013-2016 Bob Hackett

16 June 1920:
Tsurumi. Laid down by Asano Shipbuilding Company as a 5,480 ton cargo ship for Toyo Kisen Kaisha (Oriental Steamship Company), Yokohama.

22 November 1921:
Launched and named BIYO MARU.

20 May 1921:

Placed on Oriental Steamship Company's Algiers ~ Genoa and Hong Kong ~ New York service.

12 February 1922:
Arrives at Ellis Island, New York from Algiers, Algeria.

18 September 1922:
Arrives at Ellis Island from Gibraltar.

30 July 1930:
Off Shiriyazaki Lighthouse, Honshu. BIYO MARU runs hard aground.

24 August 1930:

29 October 1931:
BIYO MARU departs Geelong, Australia.

2 November 1931:
BIYO MARU departs Melbourne for Yokohama.

4 December 1931:
BIYO MARU arrives at Kirun, Formosa (Keelung, Keelung) with slight damage to her hull and cargo due to unknown causes. Later, continues her voyage.

14 December 1935:
BIYO MARU, under charter to Osaka Shosen K.K.(OSK), departs Singapore for Yokohama via Moji, Kobe and Osaka.

7 June 1936:
BIYO MARU, under charter to OSK, departs Singapore for Bombay and Karachi India via Penang, Malaya and Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

1 October 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army and converted to a troop transport. Allotted Army No. 414.

17 December 1941: Operation "M" (M Sakusen) -The Invasion of the Northern Philippines:
At 0900, BIYO MARU departs Kirun, Formosa (Keelung, Taiwan) for Lingayen Gulf, Philippines in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Rear Admiral Hirose Sueto (39)(former CO of HARUNA) 3rd Lingayen Invasion Unit with 21 other IJA transports escorted by DesDiv 9's YAMAGUMO, minelayer WAKATAKA and four smaller warships.

The Japanese main invasion at Lingayen Gulf consists of three transport echelons. The first is composed of 27 transports from Takao under Rear Admiral Hara Kensaburo, the second of 28 transports under Rear Admiral Nishimura and the third under Rear Admiral Hirose. This force of 76 transports carries the main part of LtGen Homma Masaharu's 80,000-man 14th Army.

24 December 1941:
Between 0110 and 0430, the transports land their troops at Lingayen.

17 February 1942:
At night, transports SAGAMI and SASAGO MARUs carrying part of the IJA's 48th Infantry Division depart Makassar, Celebes (now Sulawasei) for Bali, Java (now Indonesia) escorted by DesDiv 8's ASASHIO, OSHIO, ARASHIO and MICHISHIO.

19 February 1942: The Invasion of Eastern Java:
Jolo, Philippines. At 0800, the Eastern Java Invasion Convoy (Toho Koryaku Butai) consisting of 39 troop transports departs the anchorage carrying the IJA’s 48th Infantry Division in seven sections:
1st Section consisting of: HAGUE, YAMAGIKU, KENKON, NANKO, ADEN and KONAN MARUs,
2nd Section consisting of: HOLLAND, JOHORE, TAKAOKA, HOKKO, KYOKUSEI and TAEI MARUs,
3rd Section consisting of: KENZAN, HIMALAYA, HAVRE, ARIZONA, ANZAN and CHOKO MARUs (6783/20),
4th Section consisting of: NISSHU, BIYO, ITALY, ASAKA, KASHU and YONEYAMA MARUs,
6th Section consisting of: MIYADONO, JINZAN (JINSAN), WALES, SUEZ, TAMON and YASUKAWA MARUs, and the
7th Section consisting of: SATSUMA, MINRYU and HOZUGAWA MARUs.

The convoy is escorted by Rear Admiral Nishimura's heavy cruisers NACHI and HAGURO, DesRon 2's light cruisers NAKA and JINTSU and DesDiv 16's YUKIKAZE, TOKITSUKAZE, AMATSUKAZE and HATSUKAZE and DesDiv 7's USHIO, SAZANAMI, YAMAKAZE and KAWAKAZE and DesRon 4's light cruiser NAKA, DesDiv 2's YUDACHI, SAMIDARE, HARUSAME, DesDiv 9's ASAGUMO, MURASAME, MINEGUMO and NATSUGUMO.

E 21 February 1942:
Makassar Strait. SAGAMI and SASAKO MARUs join the main convoy and steam with it.

22 February 1942:
At 1200, LIVERPOOL and EHIME MARUs join the Eastern Java Invasion Convoy north of Aru Bank. The same day, HITERU and TEIRYU MARUs depart Palau carrying elements of the Sakaguchi Detachment.

23 February 1942:
HITERU and TEIRYU MARUs join the Eastern Java Invasion Convoy.

27 February 1942: The Battle of the Java Sea:
At 1547, HAGURO and NACHI, DesRon 2's JINTSU with DesDiv 16's YUKIKAZE, TOKITSUKAZE, AMATSUKAZE and HATSUKAZE and DesDiv 7's USHIO, SAZANAMI, YAMAKAZE and KAWAKAZE engage Dutch Rear Admiral Karel W. F. M. Doorman's Strike Force's light cruiser Hr.Ms. DE RUYTER (F), heavy cruisers HMS EXETER and USS HOUSTON (CA-30), light cruisers HMAS PERTH and Hr.Ms. JAVA, destroyers HMS ELECTRA, ENCOUNTER, JUPITER, Hr.Ms. KORTENAER and WITTE de WITH and old destroyers USS ALDEN (DD-211), JOHN D. EDWARDS (DD-216), JOHN D. FORD (DD-228) and PAUL JONES (DD-230).

During this day and the next day’s engagements, Doorman's Strike Force loses HMS EXETER and USS HOUSTON (CA-30), light cruisers HMAS PERTH, HrMs DE RUYTER, Hr.Ms. JAVA, destroyers HMS ELECTRA, ENCOUNTER, JUPITER and Hr.Ms. KORTENAER to superior Japanese forces. The Allies also lose old four stack USS POPE (DD-225).

1 March 1942: Operation "J" - The Invasion of Java, Netherlands East Indies:
At 0120, 100 miles W of Surabaya, Java. The Eastern Java Invasion Force now consisting of 43 transports including HAGUE MARU enters the roadstead off Kragan village, East Java.

Just before dropping anchor, the ships suffer a fierce air attack. JOHORE MARU is hit and suffers many KIA and WIA. TOKUSHIMA MARU is also hit and has to be beached at 0200. Despite the air attacks, at 0015, the convoy lands the 48th Infantry Division at Kragan village, East Java. Their main objectives are the Surabaya Naval Base on the eastern coast and Tjilatjap harbor on the southern coast.

E 4 January 1943:
BIYO MARU departs Hokkaido in convoy No. 2106 also consisting of NIKKO and TSUSHIMA MARUs escorted by minesweeper W-17.

6 January 1943:
Arrives at Tokyo.

9 February 1943:
BIYO MARU departs Yokosuka in convoy 7209 also consisting of KINRYU, KINSHU and TAIZAN MARUs escorted by cable/mine layer KOMAHASHI. At an unknown point, KOMAHASHI is detached.

28 April 1943:
BIYO MARU is released to her owners and re-requisitioned by the IJA as an Army/Civilian (A/C) shared employment ship ("Haitosen"). Alloted IJA No. 5169.

29 April 1943:
BIYO MARU departs Moji in convoy No. 152 also consisting of ATAGO, , HAKONE, HAKUBASAN, JUYO, KENSHIN, SEIAN and SHOKO MARUs and KYOEI MARU No. 5 escorted by destroyer KARUKAYA.

4 May 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

20 July 1943:
At 0800, BIYO MARU departs Takao in convoy No. 284 also consisting of transports ARGUN, HIROTA, KISHU, NORFOLK and SHOUN MARUs, tankers MATSUMOTO and NANEI MARUs and two unidentified merchants escorted by destroyer SANAE.

20 July 1943:
At 0800, BIYO MARU departs Takao in convoy No. 284 also consisting of transports ARGUN, HIROTA, KISHU, NORFOLK and SHOUN MARUs, tankers MATSUMOTO and NANEI MARUs and two unidentified merchants escorted by destroyer SANAE.

25 July 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

10 September 1943:
BIYO MARU departs Yulin for Mako in convoy No. 424 consisting of transports ANKO (ex-Chinese AN SHING), BELGIUM, CHINA, FUKUJU, JINZAN, KAIKO, KENSEI (ex-British HINSANG), TEIRYU (ex-German AUGSBURG) andTOSEI MARUs and tanker CHIYODA MARU, escorted by patrol boat PB-2 and auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU.

14 September 1943:
At 0800, the convoy arrives at Mako less ANKO, KAIKO, TEIRYU and TOSEI MARUs detached earlier.

19 September 1943:
At 0950, BIYO MARU departs Mako, Pescadores, for Moji in convoy No. 205 also consisting of CHINA, DENMARK, FUKUJU, GINREI, KYOKKO, NICHIEI, SEIZAN, TEIKO (ex-Vichy French D’ARTAGNAN MARUs and oiler HOKUAN MARU escorted by patrol boat PB-2 and auxiliary TOYO MARU No. 3.

20 September 1943:
The convoy is joined by transports BIYO, GINREI, JINZAN, KENZUI, TATSUHA and TOSEI MARUs.

24 September 1943:
At 1600, the convoy arrives at Moji less HOKUAN MARU that was detached earlier.

30 December 1943:
At 0900, convoy OKI-003 departs Naha, Okinawa consisting of FUYO, HIBURI and NICHINAN MARUs escorted by minesweeper W-27. At 1800, anchors at Koniya, Amami Oshima where the convoy is joined by BIYO and SUMIDA MARUs and TOYO MARU No. 5.

4 January 1944:
At 0700, departs Koniya. MITSU MARU joins the convoy, but straggles because of engine trouble and returns to Koniya.

5 January 1944:
At 1300, MITSU MARU catches up with convoy. At 2200, arrives Kagoshima.

27 September 1944:
At 1700, BIYO MARU departs Takao for Moji in convoy TAMO-26 also consisting of CLYDE, GASSAN, HAKUSAN, MATSUURA, NIKKO, SEISHIN, TAIJO and YOKO MARUs and SS No. 6 (kidotei) escorted by kaibokan CD-1, CD-3, CD-7, auxiliary patrol boat OSEI MARU and auxiliary minesweeper TAISEI MARU.

28 September 1944:
Off Kirun (Keelung), CD-3 attacks an underwater contact, dropping 3 depth charges. At 1200, arrives at Keelung. Auxiliary patrol boat OSEI MARU is detached.

30 September 1944:
At 0730, departs Kirun.

6 October 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

1 June 1945:
Osaka. BIYO MARU is damaged by bombs dropped in a 458-plane raid by USAAF B-29s.

15 August 1945: End of Hostilities:
Osaka Bay. BIYO MARU survives the war in non-navigable condition.

Sold to the government and scrapped.

Author's Note:
Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

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