(Sister ship ADEN MARU by Ueda Kihachiro)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2012-2017 Bob Hackett and Erich Muehlthaler.
Revision 4

28 July 1919:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki Dockyard Co. Ltd. as a 5,865-ton cargo ship.

22 October 1919:
Launched and named ENGLAND MARU

18 November 1919:
Completed for Kokusai Kisen Kaisha (K Line), K. K.

In service on on K Lines’s routes serving the Atlantic, North and South America, Africa and the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas.

27 October 1935:
North Atlantic. In a raging storm, British cargo BERWINDLEA (2960 t) runs aground on Dead Man Island. She sends out an SOS which is picked up by ENGLAND MARU then off the East Point of Prince Edward Island. ENGLAND MARU replies she is coming to assist, but in the high seas, her best speed is only 6 knots. Hours later, when she arrives at the stranding site, she cannot get close enough to take off the survivors gathered on BERWINDLEA's bridge. ENGLAND MARU's merchant Captain Honja lowers a 30-foot life boat crewed by 20 oarsmen that brave being dashed on the rocks and rescues the British crew.

1937: Second Sino – Japanese War.
Chartered by the Imperial Army (IJA) as a troop transport.

12-13 August 1937:
Departs Kobe carrying the 2nd Battalion (less 5th and 6th Companies) of the IJA 40th Infantry Regiment.

18 August 1937:
Arrives at Arrives at Taku (near Tianjin), China and lands troops.

30 October 1937:
Departs Osaka and arrives at Goto Islands. Carrries elements of the IJA 114th Division’s 150th Infantry Regiment.

3 November 1937:

5 November 1937:
Arrives at Hangzhou Bay, China. Stands by for five days because of faulty landing craft.

10 November 1937:
Lands troops.

17 December 1937:
Sold to Yamashita Kisen, K. K., Kobe.

E 1938:
Released by the IJA back to her owners.

In service on on Yamashita Kisen Lines’s routes serving North and South America.

7 December 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army and converted to a troop transport. Alloted IJA No. 20.

15 February 1942 - The Fall of the Straits Settlement of Singapore:
Ford Motor Plant, Bukit Timah Road, Singapore. LtGen Arthur E. Percival, Royal Army, surrenders Singapore and Malaya to IJA LtGen Yamashita Tomoyuki's (The "Tiger of Malaya") 25th Army. The outnumbered Japanese capture 130,000 poorly led and poorly equipped British, Indian, and Australian troops in the largest surrender of British-led personnel in history.

14 April 1942: Transport Operation U - transport of troops and material from Singapore to Rangoon:
ENGLAND MARU departs Singapore as part of Transport Unit No. 3 consisting of 32 marus including ANYO, GINYO, KUWAYAMA, KOCHI, KENKOKU, SAMARANG, SUEZ, TAIKAI, TAZAN, HAMBURG, BUYO, HAVRE, BRAZIL, PENANG, HOKUROKU, MONTREAL, TEIKAI (ex-German FULDA), YAWATA and YONEYAMA MARUs. The 3rd Transport Unit carries the 56th Mixed Brigade and other units.

19 April 1942:
Arrives at Rangoon, Burma (now Myanmar).

17 May 1942:
ENGLAND MARU departs the port of Belawin Deli at Medan, Sumatra for Victoria Point, Burma in a convoy with CELEBES and KYOKUSEI MARUs and an unidentified minesweeper. ENGLAND and KYOKUSEI MARUs are carrying British and Dutch POWs. Steams northwards up the Malacca Straits. [1]

20 May 1942:
The convoy arrives at Victoria Point. One Australian battalion of 1,017 men is disembarked from TOYOHASHI MARU and the Dutch POWs are disembarked from KYOKUSEI MARU.

24 May 1942:
Arrives at Mergui, Burma. Another battalion of about 1,000 POWs is disembarked.

27 May 1942:
Arrives at Sinbyubyin, the quarantine port for Tavoy, Burma. The remaining battalion of 983 men is disembarked.

1 June 1942:
At 0925, ENGLAND MARU departs Sinbyubyin, Burma for Singapore in an unescorted convoy consisting of CELEBES, TOYOHASHI and KYOKUSEI MARUs.

4 June 1942:
Malacca Strait. SW of Phuket, Malaya. At 0335, British Lt E. F. Balston's submarine HMS TRUSTY torpedoes TOYOHASHI MARU at 07-14N, 98-06E. At 0400 she sinks. One crewman and 16 gunners are KIA. The survivors are rescued by KYOKUSEI MARU.

5 June 1942:
At 1120, the convoy arrives at Penang, Malaya.

8 June 1942:
The convoy arrives at Singapore.

12 August 1942:
Singapore. 1,500 mostly British prisoners-of-war (POWs), are marched from Changi jail to Singapore harbor for transport. About 400 men, including vanquished LtGen Percival, former GOC, Malaya, are embarked aboard ENGLAND MARU. The remaining 1,100 POWs are embarked on FUKKAI MARU. [1]

E 14 August 1942:
The POW convoy arrives at Saigon, Indochina. After a brief stop, it departs.

29 August 1942:
The convoy arrives at Takao, Formosa (now Taiwan) after passing through three typhoons in the South China Sea. The officer POWs are disembarked from ENGLAND MARU and taken to Heito POW camp. The other POWS are sent to a camp at Karenko. The POWs aboard FUKKAI MARU are forced to work as stevedores unloading bauxite until they are reembarked on FUKKAI MARU.

E 8 September 1942:
FUKKAI MARU departs Takao for Korea.

22 September 1942:
FUKKAI MARU arrives at Pusan, Korea.

E 20 October 42:
ENGLAND MARU departs Singapore for Formosa. She carries about 1,000 mostly British POWs.

6 November 1942:
ENGLAND MARU arrives at Kirun (Keelung), Formosa. The POWs are interned in Taihoku POW Camp No. 6.

14 January 1943:
ENGLAND MARU departs Saeki, Japan for Wewak, New Guinea in the “Hinoe No. 3 Go” convoy also consisting of RYUYO, DAINICHI, SHONAN, NAGATO, ZUISHO, TOFUKU and BENGAL MARUs escorted by torpedo boat HATO, minelayer YURIJIMA and subchaser CH-37.

E 15 January 1943:
YURIJIMA and CH-37 are detached at 29N.

8 April 1943:
Subchaser CH-35 and auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 8 join an unescorted convoy from Palau consisting of ENGLAND. DAINICHI, TOFUKU, and ZUISHO MARUs until 31-00N, 132-05E.

9 April 1943:
Arrives at Saeki.

23 April 1943:
ENGLAND MARU departs Ujina in convoy P-512 also consisting of NAGANO, KONAN and DAINICHI MARUs.

28 April 1943:
ENGLAND MARU departs Saeki in convoy K-428 also consisting of ARATAMA, DAINICHI, MACASSAR and UME MARUs and possibly others with an unidentified escort.

6 May 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

12 May 1943:
At 1100, convoy P-512 departs Palau for Rabaul escorted by subchaser CH-22. The four marus are laden with antiaircraft units. The 7th and 8th Searchlight Companies, the 61st Field Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion, and other units were aboard these marus. ENGLAND MARU carries the IJA 26th and 27th Field Freight Depots, 74th Land Duty Company, 31st Antiaircraft Artillery Company 22nd and 23rd Field Machine Cannon Companies and an unidentified unit. Replacement field freight depot troops and the 74th Land Duty Company were headed to the 18th Army and the 8th Area Army.

17 May 1943:
NE of the Admiralty Islands. At about 1800, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Edward C. Stephan's (USNA ’29) USS GRAYBACK (SS-208) torpedoes and sinks troop transport ENGLAND MARU at 00-45S, 148-30E. 232 of the 1,500 troops aboard and 13 crewmen are KIA. Equipment lost included the 7.7mm heavy machine guns of the 31st Independent Field Antiaircraft Artillery Company and the single-barrel 20mms of the 22nd and 23rd Field Machine Cannon Companies (six 20mms in each cannon company). Horses and trucks belonging to both units are also lost.

Authors' Note:
[1] ENGLAND, CELEBES, TOYOHASHI, KYOKUSEI and FUKKAI MARUs were considered to be "Hell Ships" by the Allied POWs.

Thanks go to the late John Whitman for info on convoy P-512's cargo and info about China in 1937.

Bob Hackett and Erich Muehlthaler.

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