Tabular Record of Movement

© 2015 Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall

E 1920:
Sakurajima. Laid down by Osaka Tekkosho K.K. shipyard for Osaka Shosen K.K. (OSK) as a 2,567-tons cargo ship.

8 March 1921:
Launched and named BUSHO MARU.

14 May 1921:
Completed and registered in Osaka. Her Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT) and Net Registered Tonnage (NRT) respectively are 2,567-tons and 1,565-tons. Vessel number is 27480. [1]

Departs Yokohama. Calls at Hanshin region (Osaka – Kobe area) ~ Kirun, Formosa (now Keelung, Taiwan) ~ Dagu (now Dagu Shan), Formosa ~ Manila, Luzon ~ Sandakan, Borneo ~ Batavia (now Djakarta), Java ~ Samarang, Java ~ Surabaya, Java and Macassar, Celebes (now Sulawesi).

31 July 1925:
Departs Kobe. Calls at Osaka and Tianjin, NE of China.

Her (GRT) and (NRT) respectively are changed to 2,569-tons and 1,575-tons. [1]

21 March 1927:
Departs Kobe. Calls at Osaka and Tianjin.

June 1927:
Departs Takao (now Kaohsiung), Formosa. Calls at Dairen, Manchuria (now Dalian, northern China).

Used as troop transport in the Shandong Province, northern China.

April 1929:
Departs Yokohama and arrives at Tianjin.

17 November 1929:
Departs Dairen and arrives at Tianjin.

4 January 1930:
Runs aground under thick fog.

7 January 1930:
Refloats under her own power.

22 November 1930:
Departs Tianjin.

24 November 1930:
Arrives at Dairen.

10 May 1933:
Departs Osaka. Placed on the Tianjin Line.

April 1935:
Departs Kirun and arrives at Hualien, Formosa.

19 April 1935:
Departs Kobe (Scheduled).

16 May 1935:
Departs Kobe (Scheduled).

31 May 1935:
Departs Kobe (Scheduled).

7 July 1935:
Departs Kobe (Scheduled).

25 July 1935:
Departs Kobe (Scheduled).

9 August 1935:
Departs Kobe (Scheduled).

23 August 1935:
Departs Kobe (Scheduled).

6 September 1935:
Departs Kobe (Scheduled).

20 September 1935:
Departs Kobe (Scheduled).

Departs Takao. Placed on the Canton (now Guangzhou), southern China Line.

7 December 1938:
Arrives at Takao.

July 1939:
Her (GRT) and (NRT) respectively are changed to 2,552-tons and 1,534-tons. [1]

15 September 1940:
Requisitioned by the IJN.

15 October 1940:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary gunboat attached to the Sasebo Naval District under instruction No. 716. LtCdr Tsubogo Etsuma (41) is appointed CO. Starts conversion to military duty.

15 November 1940:
Confirmed as an auxiliary gunboat under instruction No. 830. Assigned to 1st Gunboat Division under instruction No. 837.

29 November 1940:
Her owners are changed to Minami Nippon Kisen K.K and her port of registry to Kirun. Vessel number is changed to Formosa No. 454. Her NRT is changed to 1,514-tons. [1]

20 December 1940:
The conversion is completed.

27 December 1940:
Assigned to 1st Base Force under secret instruction No. 47 and rated as No. 15 auxiliary gunboat.

15 January 1941:
Specified to engage in minelaying under internal order No. 56.

23 March 1941:
Departs Tokuyama, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

E 24 March ~ 3 April 1941:
Operates in Chosen (now Korean) waters.

4 April 1941:
Arrives at Karatsu, Saga Prefecture, Kyushu.

10 June 1941:
Departs Sasebo.

E 13 June ~ 7 July 1941:
Operates in southern China waters.

8 July 1941:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores. Departs later for Takao.

12 July 1941:
Departs Takao.

E 13 July ~ 7 September 1941:
Operates in southern China waters.

10 September 1941:
Arrives at Sasebo.

15 October 1941:
Assignment confirmed to Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo’s (36) Third Fleet, 1st Base Force, 1st Gunboat Division under internal order No. 1250.

8 December 1941:
Departs Koniya, Amami-Oshima, Amami Gunto (Islands).

17 December 1941: The Invasion of Lamon Bay, Southern Luzon:
Imperial General Headquarters launches the combined IJA and IJN Lamon Bay Operation. The Army force consists of Gen (later Field Marshal) Count Terauchi Hisachi’s Southern Expeditionary Army. Its 14th Army, under LtGen Homma Masaharu, fields MajGen Morioka Susumu's Invasion Unit of about 7,000 troops consisting of elements of the 16th Infantry division: 20th Infantry, 22nd Field Artillery, HQ and II Battalion, 16 HQ Coy, 16th Eng Battalion, 16th Recon Battalion, 3/45 AA Coy, 16th Transport, 16th Signal Coy, 16th Med Unit and 16th Vet Unit. Two AA and one Signals Regiment are stationed on IJA transports.


The naval force consists of Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake's (35)(former CO of KONGO) Southern Force, Philippines Invasion Group that includes Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo’s (36)(former CO of YAMASHIRO) Third Fleet. Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kubo Kyuji’s (38) (former CO of KAGA) Invasion Unit consists of his 1st Base Force HQ, in light cruiser NAGARA, 1st Quartermaster Ports and Docks Unit and 1st Naval Signal Unit, aboard HAKUSAN MARU, 1st Naval Guard Unit, aboard KIMISHIMA MARU, 1st Naval Survey Unit in SENKO MARU and Captain (later Vice Admiral) Mori Kunizo's (40)(former CO of SATA) Sasebo No. 1 and 2 Combined Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) aboard MYOKO MARU.

The convoy’s escort consists of light cruiser NAGARA (F), heavy cruiser ASHIGARA, destroyers TOKITSUKAZE, YUKIKAZE, KAWAKAZE, SUSUKAZE, UMIKAZE, YAMAKAZE, minelayer AOTAKA, minesweepers W-7 and W-8, auxiliary gunboat/minelayer IKUSHIMA MARU, auxiliary gunboats BUSHO, KEIKO, KANKO and MYOKEN MARUs, auxiliary subchasers SHONAN MARU No. 17 and TAKUNAN MARU No. 5 and auxiliary netlayer FUKUEI MARU No. 15.

The Invasion Force departs Koniya, Amami Oshima for Lamon Bay, Quezon (P.I.).

24 December 1941:
The Invasion Force arrives at Lamon Bay. The landings proceed without strong opposition.

26 December 1941:
Departs Lamon Bay.

1 January 1942:
Arrives at Palau, Western Carolines.

3 January 1942:
Departs Palau.

8 January 1942:
Arrives at Malalag Bay, Davao Gulf.

10 January 1942:
Departs Malalag Bay and arrives at Davao, Mindanao later in the day.

26 January 1942:
Departs Davao.

27 January 1942:
Arrives at Bangka.

1 February 1942:
Assigned to Vice Admiral Sugiyama Rokuzo’s (38) Third Southern Expeditionary Fleet, 32th Base Force, 1st Gunboat Division.

5 April 1942: 
Departs Lingayen for Cebu, Philippines escorting an invasion convoy consisting of IJA transports BORNEO, INDIA, NAGANO, TAIRYU, MEXICO, TOTTORI, RISSHUN and RYUUN MARUs also escorted by light cruiser KUMA, DesDiv2 (less 2 destroyers) HARUSAME, MURASAME, SAMIDARE and YUDACHI , torpedo boat KIJI and auxiliary subchasers KIYO MARU No. 12 and KIYO MARU No. 13. The convoy carries 4,852 men of the Kawaguchi Detachment's consisting of 35th Infantry Brigade HQ, 124th Infantry Regiment, 1 platoon of the 16th Reconnaissance Regiment, 4th Company, 22nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Company, the 21st Field Heavy Artillery Battalion, the main force of the 44th Anchorage HQ, 1 platoon of the 23rd Independent Engineer Regiment [type “E”], 1 company (less 2 platoons) of the 26th Independent Engineer Regiment [type “D”] and part of the Logistics Units. BORNEO MARU carries Major Yamada, commander, 1st Battalion.

10 April 1942: 
The convoy arrives at Cebu. BORNEO MARU and NAGANO MARUs land troops on the east coast (Argao) of Cebu Island. with unknown landing craft. The two transports land the 124th Infantry Regiment HQ, 1st Battalion, the 124th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion (minus 7th Co), the 124th Infantry Regiment, Rapid-fire Gun Company (less 1 platoon), the main force of Regiment Signal Unit, 1 platoon of the brigade radio signal unit, 1 armored car platoon of the 16th Reconnaissance Regiment, 4th Company, the 22nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1 platoon of the 14th Army Road Construction Unit, part of the 14th Army Propaganda Section, 2nd Company, 21st Field Heavy Artillery Battalion and a temporarily formed anti-air machine cannon unit.

Meanwhile, INDIA, TAIRYU, MEXICO, TOTTORI and RISSHUN MARU begin to land troops at Cebu City. Seaplane tender SANUKI MARU covers the landings.

BUSHO MARU is released from the 1st Gunboat Division that same day under internal instruction No. 652. Assigned to Southwest Area Fleet, Third Southern Expeditionary Fleet, 32th Base Force.

10 June 1942:
Naval Reserve Lt Inoue Junzo is appointed CO.

12 June 1942:
Arrives at Kirun.

30 June 1942:
Departs Takao.

20 September 1942:
Departs Manila on transport mission escorting an unknown Oki convoy which may have included IJA AA ship YASUKAWA MARU.

3 October 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul, New Britain and proceeds to landings.

6 October 1942:
At 0505, departs Rabaul with minesweeper W-22 escorting a convoy consisting of IJA transport TAIHEI MARU and AA ship YASUKAWA MARU.

7 October 1942:
Arrives at the Shortlands, Solomons.

3 January 1943:
Arrives at Kirun.

1 February 1943:
Departs Kirun.

19 February 1943:
Departs Zamboanga, Mindanao.

1 June 1943:
At 1200, departs Tarakan, Borneo escorting a convoy consisting of auxiliary oilers SANRAKU (ex-USS SARAH THOMPSON (AO-8) and KYOEI MARUs and IJA shared tanker (A/C-AO) SHONAN MARU.

3 June 1943:
At 1600, BUSHO MARU is detached and auxiliary gunboat KISO MARU joins as relief escort.

1 August 1943:
Arrives at Zamboanga. Currently assigned to Guard Force Unit.

5 August 1943:
Departs Zamboanga and arrives at Jolo Island, Philippines later in the day.

12 August 1943:
Departs Jolo and returns back there later that day.

14 August 1943:
Departs Jolo and arrives at Zamboanga later that same day.

18 August 1943:
Departs Zamboanga and arrives at Jolo later in the day.

20 August 1943:
Departs Jolo.

21 August 1943:
Arrives back at Jolo.

22 August 1943:
Departs Jolo.

23 August 1943:
Arrives back at Jolo.

5 September 1943:
Departs Jolo.

7 September 1943:
Arrives at Davao.

12 September 1943:
Departs Davao.

15 September 1943:
Arrives at Jolo.

22 September 1943:
Departs Jolo and arrives at Zamboanga later in the day.

28 September 1943:
Scheduled to be converted to an auxiliary transport under Navy’s secret directive No. 4917.

1 October 1943:
Removed from the Navy’s list under instruction No. 2038. Registered that same day in the Navy’s list as an auxiliary transport (Otsu) category attached to the Sasebo Naval District with Sasebo as home port under instruction No. 2041. [2]

13 October 1943:
Arrives at Saigon, French Indochina (now Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam).

24 October 1943:
Departs Saigon.

4 December 1943:
At 0800, departs Manila.

9 December 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

17 December 1943:
At 1330, departs Takao with destroyer FUYO, subchaser CH-46 and auxiliary minesweeper Wa-7 escorting convoy No. 782 consisting of auxiliary transport TAITO MARU, IJA transport GOZAN MARU, IJN requisitioned cargo ships (B-AK) SHOZUI and RAIZAN MARUs and eight unidentified merchant ships.

20 December 1943:
Off Subic Bay. At 0915 (JST), LtCdr Frank G. Selby‘s (USNA ’33) USS PUFFER (SS-268) torpedoes and hits FUYO´s stern with two torpedoes. She sinks in two minutes at 14-45N, 119-54E. Her CO, Lt Kakuno is among the survivors rescued by the escorts. Losses are unknown.

At 0950, USS PUFFER again attacks the convoy. GOZAN MARU reports torpedo tracks at 14-40N, 119-55E, but one prematures and four others miss. CH-46 and Wa-7 counter-attack while BUSHO MARU retires with the convoy. Later, the convoy arrives at Manila.

24 December 1943:
At 0800 BUSHO MARU departs Manila escorting convoy No. 879 consisting of IJA transports MATSUEI, HASSHU and YAMAHAGI MARUs. The convoy sails at 8.5 knots.

27 December 1943:
At 1700, arrives at Takao.

30 December 1943:
Departs Takao.

5 January 1944:
Departs Manila escorting Rin Convoy consisting of IJA transports RIZAN MARU (ex British MUNLOCK), SHINSEI MARU No. 1 and one unidentified merchant ship.

10 January 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

13 January 1944:
At 0900, departs Takao in X convoy consisting only of BUSHO MARU escorted by Fleet cable layer ODATE.

16 January 1944:
At 1500, arrives at Manila.

22 January 1944:
Departs Manila.

26 January 1944:
Off French Indochina coast. At night, Cdr (later Captain) Henry G. Munson’s (USNA ’32) USS CREVALLE (SS-291) running on the surface, detects a freighter. About 2200, Munson fires a spread of four Mk. XIV Type 3A torpedoes at the target. One hits and BUSHO MARU sinks rapidly at 08-30N, 109-10E about 175 nautical miles of Cape St. Jacques, French Indochina (now Vung Tau, Vietnam) with the loss of two crewmen.

10 March 1944:
Removed from the Navy’s list under instruction No. 427.

Authors notes :
[1] NRT is a ship's cargo volume capacity expressed in "register tons", one of which equals to a volume of 100 cubic feet (2.83 m3). It is calculated by reducing non-revenue-earning spaces i.e. spaces not available for carrying cargo, for example engine rooms, fuel tanks and crew quarters, from the ship's gross register tonnage (GRT). Net register tonnage (NRT) is not a measure of the weight of the ship or its cargo, and should not be confused with terms such as deadweight tonnage or displacement.

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

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan. Thanks also go to Jeff Donahoo of Iowa for Officers’ info.

Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall.

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