RIKUGUN YUSOSEN/BYOINSEN

(CHICAGO MARU, prewar)

IJA Hospital Ship/Transport CHICAGO MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2012 Bob Hackett


3 May 1909:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki Shipbuilding as a 6,182-ton passenger-cargo liner for the Osaka Shosen Kaisha (OSK) Line.

28 February 1909:
Launched and named CHICAGO MARU.

12 January 1910:
Completed.

23 February 1910:
Departs Hong Kong for Tacoma, Washington, USA on her miden voyage.

17 May 1911:
Arrives at Seattle, Washington.

12 October 1917:
Arrives at Seattle.

26 December 1917:
Arrives at Seattle.

1920:
Transferred to the South American eastern coast route via Africa.

1921:
Departs Kobe on No. 22 Emigrant Voyage.

7 February 1921:
Arrives at Santos, Brazil. [1]

1922:
Departs Kobe on No. 24 Emigrant Voyage.

13 September 1922:
Arrives at Santos.

September 1923: The Great Kanto Earthquake:
Serves as a rescue vessel carrying relief materials and refugees of the disaster between Toko/Yokohama and Osaka/Kobe.

1924:
Departs Kobe on No. 35 Emigrant Voyage.

19 June 1924:
Arrives at Santos.

1925:
Departs Kobe on No. 44 Emigrant Voyage.

18 January 1925:
Arrives at Santos.

1925:
Departs Kobe on No. 53 Emigrant Voyage.

20 August 1925:
Arrives at Santos.

April 1926:
Transferred to the South American route via Africa.

1931:
Transferred to OSKís Philippine route.

7 July 1937: The Marco Polo Bridge (The "First China Incident"):
Hun River, Lugouqiao, China. Japanese troops on night maneuvers fire blank cartridges. Nearby Chinese troops fire back, but do not cause injuries. At morning roll call, the Japanese discover a soldier missing and assume the Chinese captured him. They demand entry to a Peking suburb to look for the soldier. The Chinese refuse. The Japanese then shell the city and an undeclared war on China begins.

1938:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA). Serves as a hospital ship. Transports wounded soldiers from China to Japan.

E 1939:
Released by the IJA. Returned to her owners. Probably undergoes overhaul, complete repainting and refurbishment to OSKís standards for their civilian liners.

E 1939-1941:
In OSK service.

10 October 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJA again, this time as a troop transport.

15 October 1941:
Departs Moji.

17 October 1941:
Arrives at Shanghai and departs later that day.

19 October 1941:
Arrives at Moji.

25 October 1941:
Arrives at Ujina.

27 October 1941:
Arrives at Kirun, Formosa (Keelung,Taiwan).

30 October 1941:
Departs Kirun.

1 November 1941:
Arrives at Moji.

6 November 1941:
Arrives at Moji .

8 November 1941:
Arrives at Kirun.

November 1941:
Arrives at Takao.

20 November 1941:
Departs Takao. Arrives at Kwangtung (Guangdong) Province, China and probably calls at Canton.

21 November 1941:
Departs Kwangtung.

1 December 1941:
Arrives at Saigon Indochina (Ho Chi Minh, City,Vietnam).

2 December 1941:
Departs Saigon.

9 December 1941:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa.

10 December 1941:
Departs Takao.

11 December 1941:
Arrives at Mako.

19 December 1941:
Arrives at Takao. Departs and arrives at Kwangtung.

5 January 1942:
Departs Kwangtung.

8 January 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

9 January 1942:
Departs Takao.

17 January 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

5 February 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

6 February 1942:
Departs Takao.

8 February 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

2 March 1942:
Arrives at Singora, Siam (Thailand).

6 March 1942:
Departs Singora.

10 March 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

13 March 1942:
Departs Saigon.

19 March 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

22 March 1942:
Departs Takao.

28 March 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

29 March 1942:
Departs Saigon.

30 March 1942:
Arrives at Singapore, Malaya.

10 April 1942:
Arrives at Surabaya, Java.

13 April 1942:
Arrives at Singapore

29 April 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

3 May 1942:
Departs Saigon.

8 May 1942:
Arrives at Singapore

9 May 1942:
Departs Singapore.

17 May 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

30 May 1942:
Arrives at Rangoon, Burma (Yangon, Myanamar).

31 May 1942:
Departs Rangoon.

7 June 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

25 June 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

26 June 1942:
Departs Saigon.

29 June 1942:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

24 July 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

25 July 1942:
Departs Takao.

28 July 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

9 August 1942:
Departs Ujina.

14 August 1942:
Arrives at Shanghai, China.

15 August 1942:
Departs Shanghai.

19 August 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

22 August 1942:
Departs Ujina.

26 August 1942:
Arrives at Dalian (Dairen), Manchuria and departs.

29 August 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

3 September 1942:
Departs Moji.

7 September 1942:
Arrives at Shanghai.

8 September 1942:
Departs Shanghai.

12 September 1942:
Arrives at Ujina. Probably reclassified as a hospital ship again and at an unknown place and time repainted with large red crosses on the deck and both hull sides.

17 October 1942:
Departs Ujina.

21 October 1942:
Arrives at Shanghai.

23 October 1942:
Embarks 59th patient transport group and departs Shanghai.

27 October 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

1 November 1942:
Departs Ujina.

16 November 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

18 November 1942:
Departs Singapore.

20 November 1942:
Arrives at Batavia, Java (Jakarta, Indonesia).

20 November 1942:
Arrives at Palembang, Sumatra, (Indonesia).

21 November 1942:
As required by the Genenva conversion, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs notifies the warring powers of CHICAGO MARU's status as a hospital ship.

3 December 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

4 December 1942:
Departs Singapore.

10 December 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

16 December 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

24 December 1942:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

24 December 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

25 December 1942:
Departs Saigon.

12 January 1943:
Arrives at Hong Kong and departs that day.

14 January 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

31 January 1943:
Departs Moji.

11 February 1943:
Arrives at Palau, Carolnes.

19 February 1943:
Arrives at Kokopo, S Rabaul, New Britain and departs.

20 February 1943:
Arrives at Manila, Philippines.

12 March 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

14 March 1943:
Departs Palau.

21 March 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul and departs, then arrives at Kokopo that same day.

1 April 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

2 April 1943:
Arrives at Kokopo.

7 April 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

4 May 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

5 May 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

8 May 1943:
Departs Rabaul.

13 May 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

16 May 1943:
Departs Palau.

22 May 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

22 May 1943:
Departs Rabaul.

5 June 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

6 June 1943:
Departs Manila.

10 June 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

1943:
At an unknown time and place, CHICAGO MARU is reconverted to a troop transport. Her red crosses are removed and AA armament probably is fitted.

7 July 1943:
Arrives at Ujina.

11 July 1943:
Arrives at Shanghai.

13 July 1943:
Departs Shanghai.

16 July 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

17 July 1943:
Departs Moji.

21 July 1943:
Arrives at Kirun.

23 July 1943:
Departs Kirun.

28 July 1943:
Arrives at Ujina.

30 July 1943:
Departs Ujina.

4 August 1943:
Arrives at Kirun.

8 August 1943:
Departs Kirun.

16 August 1943:
Arrives at Osaka.

21 August 1943:
Arrives at Qinhuangdao.

22 August 1943:
Departs Qinhuangdao.

23 August 1943:
Arrives at Osaka.

5 September 1943:
Arrives at Ujina.

10 September 1943:
Arrives at Qinhuangdao.

12 September 1943:
Departs Qinhuangdao.

15 September 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

10 October 1943: At 1505, CHICAGO MARU departs Moji in convoy No. 105 consisting of, AMERICA, GYOKUREI, MIKASA, HEIAN, NICHIEI, TEIKAI (ex-German FULDA) and GYOTEN MARUs and tankers SAN RAMON and MITSU MARUs escorted by destroyer SHIOKAZE. CHICAGO MARU carries 1,285 men of the IJA 4th Divisionís units including Headquarters and 1st Company, 4th Transport Regiment, 1st Battalion and Anti-Tank Gun Company, 37th Infantry Regiment and 1st Field Hospital. She also carries 21 gunners and crew.

15 October 1943: At 0110, LtCdr (later KIA) Charles F. Brindupke's USS TULLIBEE (SS-284) torpedoes and sinks CHICAGO MARU at 24-30N, 120-26E. 42 men are KIA.

Over the next five hours, SAN RAMON MARU, NICHIEI and GYOKUREI MARUs rescue survivors. Later that day, the convoy arrives at Takao.

At 2122, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message that says CHICAGO MARU had aboard 1,304 men, elements of a field antiaircraft artillery battalion.


Author's Notes:
[1] Three quarters of all Japanese prewar immigrants to Brazil arrived between 1925 and 1935, while Japan was preparing for its military and territorial expansion in East Asia. In 1933, immigrants from Japan numbered 24,494 or 53.2 percent of all immigrants entering Brazil that year. In the late 1930s, the number of Japanese immigrants to Brazil sharply declined as Japanese emigration headed to Manchuria, China, and Korea.

Bob Hackett


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