(Sister TAIZAN MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2014-2016 Bob Hackett

Tokyo. Laid down at Ishikawajima Shipyard as Yard No. 326, a 3,149-ton cargo ship for Kokusai Kisen K. K. (International Steamship Co.), Tokyo.

January 1920:
Launched and named DOVER MARU.

14 July 1919:

22 May 1933:
Sold to Kuribayashi Steamship Co., Ltd. of Tokyo

October 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA). Converted to a troop transport and allotted Army No. 788.

7 May 1942:
At 1200, DOVER MARU departs Mutsure for Singapore in convoy No. 109 also consisting of cargo ships MIKAGE, RYUSEI, TAIYO (ex-German CAP FINISTERRE) and YOSHINO MARUs escorted by auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU.

8 May 1942:
At 1900, PEKING MARU signals “danger of enemy sub appearance, use strict caution, prepare for gun action”.

170 km SW of Me-Shima, SW Kyushu. At 1945, LtCdr Willis A. Lent’s (USNA ‘25) USS USS GRENADIER (SS-210) fires four torpedoes at TAIYO MARU. Two torpedoes pass under her without exploding, but the other two hit her portside in the stern and No. 2 hold. A cargo of calcium carbide cargo in No. 2 hold catches fire. The flames reach stored hand-grenades and illumination rounds which explode and severely damage TAIYO MARU´s bottom.

80 n. miles from Me-Shima Lighthouse. By 2020, TAIYO MARU develops a 35 degree list to port. Abandon Ship is ordered. At 2040, TAIYO MARU rises vertically and sinks. Captain Harada Keisuke and 156 of his 263-man crew, 656 of 1,044 passengers and four of 53 armed guards/gunners are KIA (total 817).

PEKING MARU sends a distress call , picks up 15 survivors and counter-attacks and then drops depth charges on GRENADIER, but without effect. MINEKAZE and TOMITSU MARU arrive about midnight and start rescue work. Despite severe weather they pick up 480 survivors. At noon, they land the survivors at Nagasaki

10 May 1942:
48 other survivors are rescued by fishing vessel GENSHIN MARU No. 1 and landed at Nagasaki the next day. No more survivors are found. Official total count for survivors is 543.

6 November 1942:
At 1400, DOVER MARU departs Paramushiro, Kuriles for Attu, Aleutins in a convoy also consisting of TAIRIN MARU escorted by kaibokan ISHIGAKI. Enoute, ISHIGAKI is detached.

12 November 1942:
At 1800, the convoy arrives at Attu.

28 April 1943:
DOVER MARU departs Saeki in convoy K-428 also consisting of ARATAMA, DAINICHI, ENGLAND, MACASSAR, SANKA and UME MARUs escorted by YURIJIMA and minesweeper W-17.

E 30 April 1943:
W-17 is detached at 28-20N.

6 May 1943:
The convoy arrives at Palau.

31 May 1943:
DOVER MARU departs Palau for Saeki in convoy P-531 also consisting of transports SANTO, SHOHO, TAIRIN and TOYU MARUs and auxiliary collier/oiler ASAKAZE MARU escorted by torpedo boat HATO.

E 6 June 1943:
Auxiliary minesweeper TAMA MARU No. 6 joins the escort at 28-30N 134-45E.

E 8 June 1943:
Auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 3 and auxiliary subchaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 8 join the escort at 30-45N 133-05E.

9 June 1943:
Arrives at Saeki.

26 October 1943:
Indian Ocean, S of Rangoon, Burma (Yangon, Myanmar). USAAF 14th Air Force bombers sink DOVER MARU at 11-15N, 96-00E. Casualties are unknown.

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

- Bob Hackett

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