Tabular Record of Movement

© 2011 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp

22 November 1916:
Nagasaki. Laid down at Mitsubishi Zosensho Shipyard as a 5,339-ton cargo ship for the Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) Line, Tokyo.

7 June 1917:
Launched and named CALCUTTA MARU.

7 July 1917:

10 September 1918:
Departs on her first NYK cargo service voyage from Kobe to Calcutta.

27 September 1920:
Departs from Kobe to New York.

22 January 1919:
Arrives at Ellis Island, NY from Saint Nazaire, France and Santos, Brazil.

15 October 1919:
Arrives at Ellis Island, NY from Calcutta, India.

12 November 1923:
Departs Singapore for Calcutta.

22 January 1919:
Arrives at Ellis Island, NY from Saint Nazaire, France and Santos, Brazil.

15 October 1919:
Arrives at Ellis Island, NY from Calcutta, India.

12 November 1923:
Departs Singapore for Calcutta.

20-28 January 1932: The "First Shanghai Incident":
Shanghai. In protest over the Kwantung Army's occupation of Manchuria, the Chinese boycott import and sale of Japanese goods. The Japanese retaliate by burning Chinese factories and shops. The Japanese Consul-General demands that Shanghai's Mayor Wu T'ieh-ch'eng dissolve all anti-Japanese organizations, pay compensation and end anti-Japanese agitation. Although Mayor Wu agrees, the IJN dispatches the Shanghai Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) of about 2,500 troops to evict two divisions of the Chinese 19th Route Army from Shanghai.

24 February 1932:
Requisitioned by the Army after the First Shanghai Incident.

28 March 1932:
The IJA releases CALCUTTA MARU back to her owners.

Enters NYK's service on their South Seas route.

7 July 1937: The Marco Polo Bridge (The "First China Incident") Incident: Hun River, Lukuokiao, China. Japanese troops at the bridge fire blank cartridges during night maneuvers. Chinese troops fire back. Later, the Japanese discover a soldier missing. They demand entry to the Peking (Beijing) suburb of Wanping to look for him, but the Chinese refuse. The Japanese shell the city and an undeclared war on China begins.

13 August 1937:
After the outbreak of Sino-Japanese conflict, CALCUTTA MARU is requisitioned by the IJN, converted to an auxiliary transport and attached to Kure Naval District.

15 August 1937:
Reattached to Sasebo Kure Naval District.

9 February 1939: Hainan Island Operation:
At midnight, an invasion convoy under Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake’s (35) Fifth Fleet, South China Naval Force enters and anchors in Tsinghai Bay, northern Hainan Island. Kondo’s forces include transports CALCUTTA, MANKO, KAGU, KATSURAGI, KINUGASA, KOTOKU and KAMIKAWA MARUs that carry Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) troops and IJA units covered by cruiser MYOYO (F), light cruisers NAGARA and NATORI and DesDiv 23’s MOCHIZUKI, MUTSUKI, MIKAZUKI and KIKUZUKI, DesDiv 45’s MATSUKAZE and ASAKAZE and DesDiv 28’s YUNAGI and ASANAGI and MinesweepDiv 12 and other warships. The invasion forces then carry out an amphibious assault landing. CarDiv 1's AKAGI and seaplane carrier CHIYODA provide air cover.

10 February 1939:
At 1200, the 4th Base Force’s 4th Yokosuka, 6th Kure and 8th Sasebo Special Naval Landing Forces (SNLF) effect a landing at Haikou. Thereafter, IJA MajGen Iida Shojiro’s Taiwan Mixed Brigade consisting of the 1st and 2nd Infantry and Mountain Gun Regiments and Navy SNLF forces mop up the northern part of the island.

11 February 1939:
Combat units land at Samah at the southern Hainan Island and occupy Yulin (Samah) and Yai-Hsien. Thereafter, these units and the 5th Garrison Unit occupy and subjugate the entire island. Later, Hainan Guard District Headquarters is established at Samah.

8 April 1941:
The IJN releases CALCUTTA MARU back to her owners.

20 July 1941:
CALCUTTA MARU is requisitioned by the IJA as an auxiliary transport and assigned Army ship number 448.

14 November 1941:
Departs Sakaide, Shikoku Island, for Haiphong, Indochina (now Vietnam).

23 November 1941:
Arrives at Haiphong.

24 November 1941:
Arrives at Nanking.

5 December 1941:
Departs Nanking for Wuhu.

6 December 1941:
Departs Wuhu for Nanking.

9 December 1941:
Arrives at Nanking, departs for Woosung on that same day.

10 December 1941:
Arrives at Woosung.

14 December 1941:
Departs Woosung for Takao.

15 December 1941:
Arrives at Takao.

10 January 1942:
Arrives at Bangkok.

13 January 1942:
Departs Bangkok for Hong Kong.

25 January 1942:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

26 January 1942:
Departs Hong Kong for Takao, Formosa (now Kaohsiung, Taiwan).

29 January 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

30 January 1942:
Departs Takao, carrying a detachment of the 38th Infantry Division.

18 February 1942: Operation "J" - The Invasion of Java, Netherlands East Indies:
Arrives at Camranh Bay. IJA CALCUTTA MARU is attached to Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo's (36) Third Fleet, Southern Force, Netherlands East Indies Force in Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo’s (37) Western Java Seizure Force. Departs Camranh Bay in a convoy comprised of 56 troop transports. They carry the 2nd Infantry Division for the invasions of Merak, Bantam Bay and Eretan, Java escorted by light cruisers YURA and NATORI, DesDivs 5, 6, 11, 12 and 22.

Forty-five transports go to Merak and Bantam Bay Java. CALCUTTA MARU and six transports go to Eretan Wetan including SUWA, YAE, GLASCOW, UCHIDE, YAMAZUKI and HOFUKU MARUs. Seaplane tender SANYO MARU provides air cover. At 1000, CALCUTTA MARU departs Camranh Bay with the main body of the Western Java invasion convoy.

1 March 1942:
At 0140, arrives at Eretan Wetan, Java and lands the infantry detachment.

5 March 1942:
All seven marus depart Eretan Wetan for Singapore and arrive that day.

9 March 1942:
Departs Singapore for Saigon, Indochina..

19 March 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

25 March 1942:
Departs Saigon for Singapore.

30 March 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

4 April 1942:
Arrives at Bangkok, Siam (Thailand)..

5 April 1942: Departs Bangkok for Makung (Mako), Pescadores.

6 April 1942:
Arrives at Makung.

16 April 1942:
At 1215, an unidentified convoy departs Singapore for Dairen, Manchuria consisting of MYOKO, ATLAS, TSUYAMA, MOMOYAMA, FRANCE, HEIAN, RYUNAN, GLASGOW, TOKIWA, HAVRE and SANKO MARUs escorted by kaibokan SHIMUSHU, torpedo boats OTORI and HIYODORI, patrol PB-35 and auxiliary gunboat DAIGEN MARU No. 7. The convoy is transporting the IJA’s 3rd Tank Corps. The escorts protect the convoy to latitude 16N where the convoy is escorted by unknown units of the IJN's North China Area Fleet.

At 1540, that same day, CALCUTTA MARU departs Bangkok for Dairen together with SYDNEY and GENKAI MARUs fully loaded with 422 men of the IJA 36th Airfield Battalion, 50 vehicles and airfield equipment.

19 April 1942:
The convoy is joined by CALCUTTA, SYDNEY and GENKAI MARUs transporting several IJA aviation units from Bangkok.

April 1942:
At an unknown location, CALCUTTA MARU and her two consorts are detached for Takao to refuel.

24 April 1942:
At 1018, arrives at Hong Kong. CALCUTTA MARU and her two consorts are detached for Takao to refuel. At 1855, the remainder of the convoy departs.

26 April 1942:
CALCUTTA MARU and her two consorts arrive at Takao.

27 April 1942:
CALCUTTA, SYDNEY and GENKAI MARUs depart Takao and arrive at Mako, Pescadores. There they are joined by BOKO and KAISOKU MARUs and two unidentified ships.

28 April 1942:
CALCUTTA MARU and her six consorts depart Mako escorted by torpedo boat SAGI.

1 May 1942:
East China Sea. E of Wenchow, China. E of Wenzhou. At 0812 (I), At 0852, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Charles C. Kirkpatrick’s (USNA ’31) USS TRITON (SS-201) encounters a convoy of six large freighters escorted by two OTORI class torpedo boats and making 9-10 knots. Kirkpatrick fires four unreliable Mark-14 3A steam torpedoes; two each at two of the ships. They all miss or premature.

TRITON fires two more torpedoes. One misses, but at 0852 the other hits CALCUTTA MARU portside in the aft part of the engine room about 10 feet below the waterline. The explosion causes heavy damage to the engine roomand radio room. No. 3 hold starts flooding. Later, the hull bends amidships. At 0902, Abandon Ship is ordered.

TRITON simultaneously targets another freighter, but misses. After the convoy has disappeared over the horizon, at 1425 Kirkpatrick fires two more torpedoes at the deeply settled CALCUTTA MARU, drifting to NW direction. The first one passes under the ship’s bottom, but the second breaks her back and CALCUTTA MARU sinks at 1645 about 220 nautical miles from Kirun (Keelung), Taiwan at 28-11N, 123-55E. 50 men and four crewmen of 68 crewmen are KIA, seven crewmen seriously wounded and seven other crewmen lightly wounded.

Captain Tsuneda Shigeru is among the survivors rescued by BOKO and KAISOKU MARUs. That same day, most of the original convoy from Singapore arrives at Dairen.

Author's Notes:
Special thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany and Gilbert Casse of France.

Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp

Back to IJA Transports