RIKUGUN YUSOSEN

(ECHIZEN MARU, prewar)

SUI-MOW (later IJA/IJN ECHIZEN MARU):
Tabular Record of Movement

2018 Bob Hackett and Erich Muehlthaler


1907:
Port Glasgow, Scotland. Laid down by William Hamilton & Co., Ltd., as yard number 198, a 1,857 grt cargo ship for Hamburg-America Line, Hamburg, Germany.

9 August 1907:
Launched and named SUI-MOW.

10 September 1907:
Completed.

19??:
Arrives in China and is employed mainly on the Yangtzse River.

1 August 1914:
Arrives at Hankow, China on the Yangtzse River.

2 August 1914:
Departs Hankow.

3 August 1914:
Arrives at Nanking. Departs later that day.

4 August 1914:
Arrives at Woosung. That same day the United Kingdom declares war on Germany.

6 August 1914:
Departs Woosung. Later this day, arrives at Shanghai. Fitted out as an auxiliary naval collier to supply the German Pacific cruiser squadron. Loads a full cargo of coal.

7 August 1914:
Departs Shanghai. That same day, the British government officially asks Japan for assistance in destroying Imperial German Navy raiders in, and around, Chinese waters.

14 August 1914:
Arrives at Pagan, Marianas.

23 August 1914:
Japan sends Germany an ultimatum, which goes unanswered. That same day, Japan formally declares war on Germany.

3 September 1914:
Departs Pagan.

4 September 1914:
Arrives at Saipan.

8 September 1914:
Departs Saipan.

9 September 1914:
Arrives at Pagan. Not knowing the actual situation, departs later this day for Kobe.

E September 1914:
SUI-MOW is taken as war prize by the Japanese.

3 October 1914:
Public notice is issued that SUI-MOW's case is to be decided by the Sasebo Prize Court.

12 November 1914:
SUI-MOW is condemned by Sasebo Prize Court decision, case number 1.

29 March 1915:
A German protest against Sasebo Prize Court decision is rejected by a decision by the Kobe Higher Prize Court.

E 1915:
Renamed TOMOGASHIMA MARU.

26 June 1915:
TOMOGASHIMA MARU is auctioned to Nisshin Kisen K. K., Tokyo and renamed HARYO MARU (also known as PALING MARU, a Chinese reading of Japanese characters), re-measured 2,396grt, port of registry Tokyo.

1917:
Re-measured 2,403 grt.

1918:
Re-measured at 2,411 grt.

1918:
Re-measured at 2,422 grt.

1927:
Re-measured at 2,427 grt.

13 April 1933:
Sold to Kita Nippon Kisen K.K., Fuchu and renamed YETSUZEN MARU, re-measured at 2,424 grt, port of registry Otaru (Hokkaido).

1938:
Reading of the ship's name is adapted to ECHIZEN MARU.

30 April 1942:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) and assigned Army transport No. 669.

28 May 1942:
ECHIZEN MARU departs Tokyo Bay northbound in an unnumbered convoy consisting of cargo/transports JINMU, KOWA, KANSEISHI, MOMOKAWA, NITTEI and TAKAO MARUs and DAIBOSHI MARU No. 6 and tanker KOSHIN MARU escorted by survey ship KOMAHASHI. Later that day, KOMAHASHI is detached to return to Yokosuka.

31 May 1942:
Arrives at Ominato.

3 July 1943:
ECHIZEN MARU is in coastal convoy No. 8703 also consisting of shared transport SANJIN MARU, cargo ship ROZAN (ex-British ANALOCK) MARU, oiler ASAKAZE MARU and an unidentified vessel escorted by minelayer NARYU, part way.

5 July 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

7 November 1943:
At 1225, ECHIZEN MARU departs Takao for Manila in convoy No. 776 also consisting of transports AKAGISAN, CHINKAI, MADRAS, RIZAN, SHINKOKU, TOTTORI and TOYO and YOZAN MARUs, LST BANRYU MARU (later SS-2) escorted by patrol boat PB-2.

11 November 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

16 November 1943:
Owners Kita Nippon Kisen K.K. merge with Osaka Shosen K. K., (OSK Line), Osaka.

18 November 1943:
At 1225, ECHIZEN MARU departs Manila for Kau, Halmahera Island, Moluccas in convoy H-5A also consisting of cargo/transports AKAGISAN, ASAHISAN, MADRAS, MATSUEI (SHOEI), RIZAN (ex-British MUNLOCK) and TOTTORI MARUs. At 1515, patrol boat PB-2 joins the convoy as escort.

19 November 1943:
At 1100, ASAHISAN MARU develops steering problems and has to leave formation. At 1133, ASAHISAN MARU successfully restores her steering gear.

21 November 1943:
At 1410, PB-2 begins an anti-submarine sweep.

22 November 1943:
At 1330, auxiliary subchaser KYO MARU No. 2 arrives from Davao, Mindanao and patrols abaft the convoy. At 1400, KYO MARU No. 2 is ordered to take command of the convoy.

23 November 1943:
At 0600, patrol boat PB-2 is detached from the convoy at 03-03N, 126-18N.

24 November 1943:
The convoy arrives at Kau, Halmahera.

26 November 1943:
At 0600, ECHIZEN MARU departs Wasile in a convoy also consisting of MADRAS MARU and one unidentified merchant escorted by minelayer WAKATAKA and auxiliary minesweeper CHa-9.

28 November 1943:
At 1700, the convoy arrives at Sorong.

30 November 1943:
At 0600, departs Sorong.

2 December 1943:
At 0700, arrives at Kau.

5 December 1943:
ECHIZEN MARU departs Wasile in an M convoy also consisting of MATSUEI, RIZAN and TOTTORI MARUs.

11 December 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

6 January 1944:
Released back to her owners by the IJA.

7 January 1944:
Requisitioned by Imperial Japanese Navy as a cargo ship. Assigned to the Kure Naval Station.

3 February 1944:
Departs Yokohama. Later this day, arrives at Kisarazu, Chiba Prefecture. Loaded base personnel and material of the 503rd Air Group bound for Truk, as well as other military supplies and provisions.

5 February 1944:
Departs Kisarazu. Later this day, arrives at Yokosuka. Loaded more troops and provisions.

7 February 1944:
Departs Yokosuka. Later this day, arrives at Yokohama.

10 February 1944:
ECHIZEN MARU departs Yokohama in a convoy also consisting of transport FUKUYAMA MARU and cargo ship KENAN MARU with an unknown escort.

19 February 1944:
Arrives at Saipan. Lands troops, military supplies and provisions.

22 February 1944:
After receiving news on the appearance of an enemy carrier force, it is decided to land the embarked Air Group personnel and load firearms. Later this day, departs Saipan.

24 February 1944:
W of Saipan. At 2130, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Richard H. O'Kane's (USNA '34) USS TANG (SS-306), fires four torpedoes and gets three hits port side amidships that sink ECHIZEN MARU at about 2200 at 15-15N, 143-18E. 35 crewmen are KIA.


Bob Hackett and Erich Muehlthaler


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