ZATSUYOSEN!

(BRASIL MARU at Los Angeles, 1941)

IJN BRASIL MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2014 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


31 October 1938:
Nagasaki. Laid down by Mitsubishi Jugokyo K.K. shipyard for Osaka Shosen K. K. (OSK) as a 12,752-ton refrigerated passenger ship.

2 August 1939:
Launched and named BRASIL MARU

23 December 1939:
Completed and registered in Osaka.

11 January 1940:
Departs Yokohama and arrives at Kobe later to begin her first cruise as No. 297 immigrant voyage.

17 January 1940:
Departs Kobe.

21 February 1940:
Arrives at Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Departs later.

24 February 1940:
Arrives at Santos, Brasil. Departs later.

E March 1940:
Arrives at Kobe.

May 1940:
Departs Yokohama on No. 299 immigrant voyage.

22 June 1940:
Arrives at Santos.

E July 1940:
Arrives at Kobe.

15 September 1940:
Departs Kobe on t No. 301 immigrant voyage.

22 October 1940:
Arrives at Santos.

E November 1940:
Arrives at Kobe.

26 January 1941:
Departs Kobe.

E 27 January 1941:
Arrives at Dairen, Manchuria (now Dalian northern China).

12 February 1941:
Departs Dairen.

E 13 February 1941:
Due to arrive at Kobe.

24 February 1941:
Departs Dairen.

E 25 February 1941:
Due to arrive at Kobe.

8 March 1941:
Departs Dairen.

E 9 March 1941:
Due to arrive at Kobe.

20 March 1941:
Departs Dairen.

E 21 March 1941:
Due to arrive at Kobe.

31 March 1941:
Departs Dairen.

E 1 April 1941:
Due to arrive at Kobe.

6 April 1941:
Departs Kobe.

7 April 1941:
Arrives at Moji. Departs later that day.

9 April 1941:
Arrives at Dairen.

11 April 1941:
Departs Dairen.

E 12 April 1941:
Due to arrive at Kobe.

18 April 1941:
Departs Kobe.

19 April 1941:
Arrives at Moji. Departs later that day.

21 April 1941:
Arrives at Dairen.

23 April 1941:
Departs Dairen.

E 24 April 1941:
Due to arrive at Kobe.

5 May 1941:
Departs Dairen.

E 6 May 1941:
Due to arrive at Kobe.

17 May 1941:
Departs Dairen.

E 18 May 1941:
Due to arrive at Kobe.

28 May 1941:
Departs Dairen.

E 29 May 1941:
Due to arrive at Kobe.

9 June 1941:
Departs Dairen.

E 10 June 1941:
Due to arrive at Kobe.

21 June 1941:
Departs Dairen.

E 22 June 1941:
Due to arrive at Kobe.

2 July 1941:
Departs Dairen.

E 3 July 1941:
Due to arrive at Kobe.

16 July 1941:
Departs Dairen.

E 17 July 1941:
Due to arrive at Kobe.

27 July 1941:
Departs Dairen.

E 28 July 1941:
Due to arrive at Kobe.

4 September 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN an attached to the Yokosuka Naval District as a general requisitioned transport.

6 December 1941:
Assigned to transport personnel and supplies under Yokosuka Naval District secret instruction No. 14.

16 December 1941:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

December 1941:
Assigned to transport ammunition to the Southern Area under Navy’s secret instruction No. 843.

20 December 1941:
Departs Yokosuka and arrives at Yokohama later that day.

23 December 1941:
Departs Yokohama.

30 December 1941:
Arrives at Kwajalein, Marshalls.

4 January 1942:
Departs Kwajalein and arrives at Roi-Namur, Marshalls later in the day.

8 January 1942:
Departs Roi-Namur.

9 January 1942:
Arrives at Wotje, Marshalls.

12 January 1942:
Departs Wotje and arrives at Taroa, Marshalls later that same day.

20 January 1942:
Departs Taroa.

21 January 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

25 January 1942:
Departs Kwajalein.

28 January 1942:
Cancelled to troops and supplies transport missions under Yokosuka Naval District secret instruction No. 45.

31 January 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

7 February 1942:
Departs Yokosuka and arrives at Yokohama later that day.

10 February 1942:
Departs Yokohama and arrives at Yokosuka later in the day.

February 1942:
Assigned to transport personnel and ammunition under Navy’s secret instruction No. 202.

12 February 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

13 February 1942:
Hit by a dud torpedo at 32-10N, 129-01E. No damage is sustained. [1]

14 February 1942:
Arrives at Busan (Fuzan), Chosen (now Pusan, South Korea).

15 February 1942:
Departs Busan.

19 February 1942:
Arrives at Saipan, Marianas.

22 February 1942:
Departs Saipan.

24 February 1942:
Arrives at Truk, Central Carolines.

26 February 1942:
Departs Truk.

27 February 1942:
Arrives at Ponape, Eastern Carolines. Departs later that day.

1 March 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

2 March 1942:
Departs Kwajalein and arrives at Roi-Namur.

4 March 1942:
Departs Roi-Namur.

5 March 1942:
Arrives at Wotje.

7 March 1942:
Departs Wotje and arrives at Taroa later in the day.

8 March 1942:
Departs Taroa.

14 March 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

17 March 1942:
Departs Yokosuka and arrives at Yokohama later that same day.

19 March 1942:
Departs Yokohama.

24 March 1942:
Arrives at Woleai (Mereyon-To), Central Carolines.

26 March 1942:
Departs Woleai.

29 March 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

30 March 1942:
Departs Truk.

1 April 1942:
Arrives at Mili, Marshalls.

3 April 1942:
Departs Mili. Calls at Majuro, Marshalls and departs later that same day.

4 April 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

6 April 1942:
Departs Kwajalein and arrives at Roi-Namur later in the day.

7 April 1942:
Departs Roi-Namur.

10 April 1942:
Arrives at Tinian, Marianas.

11 April 1942:
Departs Tinian.

12 April 1942:
Arrives at Saipan. Departs for Japan later. Scheduled that same day to be converted to a new role and to be fitted with additional weapons in Yokosuka Naval Yard under Navy’s secret instruction No. 684.

15 April 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

E 15 April ~ 5 May 1942:
Undergoes conversion at Yokosuka Naval Yard.

1 May 1942:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary transport (Ko) category attached to the Yokosuka Naval District with Yokosuka as home port under Navy’s instruction No. 778. That same day Navy Captain Jintsu Kyujiro is appointed CO. [2]

5 May 1942:
The conversion is completed.

15 May 1942:
At 1230, departs Yokosuka for Saipan in a convoy also consisting of seaplane carrier AKITSUSHIMA escorted by patrol boats PB-1 and PB-2.

19 May 1942:
Arrives at Saipan and joins the other transports involved in “MI” Operation.

28 May 1942: Operation “MI” -The Battle of Midway:
BRASIL MARU carrying 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, ARGENTINA, 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. The Midway Invasion Force departs Saipan and heads to Midway Islands.

3 June 1942:
The convoy is bombed by nine B-17s. BRASIL MARU is undamaged. Then the convoy is attacked by torpedo-carrying PBY amphibious patrol planes. AKEBONO MARU is torpedoed and KIYOSUMI MARU is strafed. BRASIL MARU is again undamaged.

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. [3]

6 June 1942:
Due to IJN’s defeat at Midway, Operation “MI” is cancelled.

13 June 1942:
Arrives at Guam (renamed Omiya Island after its capture), Marianas.

28 June 1942:
Departs Guam.

4 July 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

July 1942:
Assigned directly to the Navy’s Department and attached to Yokosuka Naval District.

18 July 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

19 July 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

22 July 1942:
Departs Osaka.

23 July 1942:
Arrives at Busan.

24 July 1942:
Departs Busan.

29 July 1942:
Arrives at Fais, Eastern Carolines. Departs later that same day.

31 July 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

1 August 1942:
Attached directly to the Combined Fleet under Navy’s secret instruction No. 671.

4 August 1942:
Departs Truk for Yokosuka with about 240 Japanese returnees and some cargo, under command of Navy Captain Ono Nisuke (15) to undergo conversion to an escort carrier. The ship sails without escorts.

5 August 1942:
About 130 nautical miles NW of Truk. Early night, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Henry C. Bruton’s (USNA ’26) USS GREENLING (SS-213) sights the transport. At 2050, Bruton attacks and hits BRASIL MARU but the torpedo is a dud. At 0058, Bruton attacks again and scores two hits that flood instantly the engine room. At 0105, BRASIL MARU sinks at 09-51N, 150-46E by the bow with the loss of 57 crewmen including Captain Ono, and an unknown number of passengers. About 200 survivors boarded four lifeboats. GREENLING submerges and picks up one survivor (a POW) from lifeboat No. 19.

15 August 1942:
Auxiliary gunboat CHOAN MARU No. 2 picks up 54 survivors at 08-31N, 149-16E from lifeboat No. 7.

16 August 1942:
Lifeboat No. 19 with 52 survivors reaches Ono Island, near Truk.

24 August 1942:
Lifeboat No. 18 with 52 survivors is rescued by patrol craft TAKUNAN MARU No. 10.

29 August 1942:
Lifeboat No. 17 with 53 survivors is rescued by auxiliary gunboat CHOAN MARU No. 2 at 11-26N, 147-58E.

15 September 1942:
Removed from the Navy’s list under instruction No. 1711.


Authors Notes:
[1] No reports of that attack in allied records.

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

[3] 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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