(FUKUYO MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2013-2014 Bob Hackett

23 March 1920:
Tokyo. Laid down at Asano Shipbuilding Co., as Yard No. 34, a 5,463-ton passenger/cargo ship for stock.

30 September 1920:
Launched and named HOSHU MARU. [1]

7 June 1921:

Sold to Toyo Kisen K. K. (Oriental Steam Ship Corporation, Ltd.), of Tokyo. Renamed FUKUYO MARU. [2]

7 July 1937: The "First China Incident" and the Beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War:
Hun River, Lukuokiao, China. Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) troops on night maneuvers at the Marco Polo Bridge fire blank cartridges. Chinese troops across the river think they are under attack. They fire live rounds back, but do not cause injuries. At morning roll call, the Japanese discover a soldier missing and assume the Chinese have captured him. The Japanese demand entry to the Peiping (Beijing) suburb of Wanping to look for the soldier, but the Chinese refuse. The Japanese then shell the city. An undeclared war on China begins.

E August 1937:
Chartered by the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) as a troop transport.

6 September 1937:
FUKUYO MARU departs Osaka for Dagu (Tanggu), Tianjin, China (secret location "B" ) in a convoy also consisting of transports CALIFORNIA, CHIAI and HOKUSHIN MARUs . FUKUYO MARU is carrying 1,141 men and 167 horses of the IJA 16th Division’s 33rd Infantry Regiment’s 3rd Battalion (less 1 company), the regiment’s Infantry Gun Company and the 4th Division’s 3rd Field Anti Air Artillery Unit (Type "B").

12 September 1937:
Arrives at Dagu and begins unloading troops and horses.

11 November 1939:
Samah (Sanya), Hainan Island. At 1200, the Pakhoi and Nanning, China invasion transports assemble in Samah Bay consisting of FUKUYO (5,463 grt), ISSHIN (4,955 grt), TAIAN (3,670 grt), TAITO (4,466 grt), TATEISHI (3,800 grt), TOMIURA (3,821 grt) and YUKI MARUs (3,170 grt). The transports carry elements of LtGenAndo Rikichi's 21st Army including LtGen Imamura Hitoshi's 5th Division, MajGen Nakamura Masao's 21st Brigade and others.

Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake’s (35)(former CO of KONGO) 5th Fleet (South China Naval Force) provides the covering force consisting of DesDiv 11's HATSUYUKI and SHIRAYUKI. Air cover will be provided by seaplane carrier CHIYODA, tender KAMIKAWA MARU and CarDiv 1's AKAGI and CarDiv 2's HIRYU and SORYU cruising in the South China Sea escorted by DesRon 1.

13 November 1939:
In the morning, the transports depart Samah in a Monsoon and heavy rain. They anchor on coast of Kwangsi, about six miles SE of Chishayu.

15 November 1939:
At 0700, landing boats under the protection of the guns of IJN units, effect a successful surprise landing on the coast of Guangxi at the mouth of the Yuhung River, near Pakhoi, at Lungmen Island and the eastern shore of Yamchow (Chinghow) Bay.

On the south coast, an unidentified IJN Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) lands on Qinzhouwan Bay, near Qusha of Pakhoi city. After overwhelming limited Chinese resistance, the Japanese occupy the port of Pakhoi and push towards Nanning with two IJA divisions and one SNLF brigade. They capture Fangcheng and cut off the Nanning-Zhennanguan Pass segment of the Xiang-Gui Railway, but the Chinese ship locomotives, 7,000 tons of railway materials and 5,000 tons of supplies to Tongdeng before the Japanese take over Mingjiang.

29 November 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army as a troop transport. Alloted IJA ship No. 36.

17 December 1941:
At 2200, FUKUYO MARU departs Dairen, Manchukuo for Singora, Siam in the 4th Malaya Reinforcement Convoy also consisting of BOSTON, SHUNSEI and TAIAN MARUs. En route, the convoy calls at Mako, Pescadores.

7 January 1942:
4th Malaya Reinforcement Convoy arrives at Singora.

23 January 1942:
Near Camranh Bay, French Indochina. At about 0800, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) William E. Ferrall’s (USNA ‘27) USS SEADRAGON (SS-193), on her first patrol, torpedoes and gets a hit near the stern of FUKUYO MARU. Ferrall seas FUKUYO MARU heading for the beach.

27 February 1942:
NACHISAN MARU departs for Fuzhou, China to assist damaged FUKUYO MARU that is taken in tow.

March ~ ? 1942:
Undergoes torpedo damage repairs at an unknown location for an unknown period of time.

31 December 1942:
FUKUYO MARU departs Saeki in Military Movement No. 8’s convoy “R” also consisting of fleet oiler KAMOI, tanker TOHO MARU and NICHIUN, and TASMANIA and TETSUZAN MARUs escorted by minelayers NASAMI and NATSUSHIMA.

E 1 January 1943:
The escorts are detached at 29N.

16 January 1943:
At 0730, FUKUYO MARU departs Rabaul in a convoy also consisting of BRAZIL, CHIFUKU, CLYDE, DELAGOA, INDIA and UCHIDE MARUs escorted by minesweepers W-17 and W-21.

At 0900, LtCdr (Cdr/MOH, posthumously) Howard W. Gilmore's (USNA ’26) USS GROWLER (SS-215) torpedoes and sinks CHIFUKU MARU at 04-03N, 151-55E. One crewman is KIA.

22 January 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

25 April 1943:
At 0800, FUKUYO MARU departs Palau in convoy P-425 also consisting of IJA transports ATLAS and TACOMA MARUs, NISSEN MARU No. 6 and IJN transport IKUSHIMA MARU escorted by torpedo boat HATO.

3 May 1943:
Auxiliary minesweepers TAKUNAN MARU No. 8 and TAMA MARU No. 3 join the convoy at 29-33N 133-30E.

5 May 1943:
At 0930, arrives at Moji.

12 May 1943:
FUKUYO MARU departs Ujina in a convoy also consisting of TACOMA and NAGATO MARUs. TACOMA MARU carries most of the IJA 54th Division’s 154th Infantry’s Regiment HQ, 3rd Battalion (less 3rd Machine-gun Company and 3rd Infantry Gun Platoon), Regiment Gun Company (less 1 platoon), one platoon of the Rapid Fire Gun Company and most of the Signal Company.

21 May 1943:
FUKUYO MARU departs Mako in convoy No. 393 carrying 1,100 troops.

27 May 1943:
Arrives at St. Jacques.

28 May 1943:
Departs St. Jacques convoy No. 593.

1 June 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

4 July 1943:
FUKUYO MARU departs Singapore in convoy No. 602 also consisting of ENJU, HITORA (ex-Panamanian RAMONA) and TEIBI (ex-Vichy French BERNARDIN DE SAINT PIERRE) MARUs and seven unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer WAKATAKE. The convoy separates into two parts shortly after departure. FUKUYO, HITORA and TEIBI MARUs are part of the second section.

6 July 1943:
The first section arrives at St Jacques.

7 July 1943:
At 1300, the second section arrives at St Jacques.

10 July 1943:
At 1153, FUKUYO MARU departs Saigon and later that day departs St Jacques in convoy No. 409 consisting of ARGUN, HITORA (ex-Panamanian RAMONA), KOZUI, NORFOLK, NORWAY and TATSUNO MARUs and four unidentified merchants escorted by subchaser CH-9.

14 July 1943:
At 2007, arrives at Camranh Bay.

16 July 1943:
The convoy arrives at Takao.

21 September 1943:
FUKUYO MARU departs Saeki in convoy O-209 also consisting of BRAZIL DAKAR, ERIE, HOZUGAWA, KANAYAMASAN, KAYO and NITTAI, MARUs and SHINTO MARU No. 1 escorted by kaibokan IKI and auxiliary minesweepers TAKUNAN MARU No. 3, AOI, YACHIYO, KOZAN MARUs and TOKUHO MARU No. 10.

E 22 September 1943:
Auxiliary minesweepers KOZAN MARU and TOKUHO MARU No. 10 are detached at 30N.

E 23 September 1943:
Auxiliary minesweepers AOI and YACHIYO MARUs are detached at 28N.

2 October 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

13 October 1943:
FUKUYO MARU departs Palau in convoy FU-310 also consisting of IJA transports BRAZIL, CLYDE, DAKAR, KIBI , HAVRE, PACIFIC, SHOUN and YURI, MARUs and IJN cargo CHIYO MARU escorted by minesweeper W-18.

20 October 1943:
Auxiliary minesweepers AOI and YACHIYO MARUs and TOKUHO MARU No. 10 join the convoy’s escort.

22 October 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

3 November 1943:
At 1430, FUKUYO MARU departs Moji in convoy No. 111 also consisting of AKAGANE, DAIHO, FUJIKAWA, OMINE, SHINKYO, TATSUHARU and TOHO and YUHO MARUs and two other unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan SADO.

8 November 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

13 April 1944:
At 2355, FUKUYO MARU departs Moji in convoy MOTA-17 also consisting of KANAN, MANSHU, TEIKA (ex-Vichy French CAP VARELLA), TEIKAI (ex-German FULDA) MARUs escorted by destroyer ASAKAZE, minesweeper W-22 and kaibokan CD-20.

14 April 1944:
At 1748, arrives Chinkai, Chosen (Chinhae, Korea) where the convoy is dissolved.

21 April 1944:
FUKUYO MARU departs Tungchiaoshan (Tangjiqiozshan) near Shanghai in the Take (“Bamboo”) No. 1 troop convoy carrying about 30,000 troops of the IJA's 32nd and 35th divisions from China via Manila to reinforce Biak and Hollandia, New Guinea.

The convoy also consists of 15 Army transports also including ADEN, TAJIMA and YOZAN MARUs and YOSHIDA MARU No. 1 bound for Manokwari, New Guinea carrying the 35th Division's troops. Seven transports are destined for Manila only: MANSHU, FUKUYO, TEIKAI (ex-German FULDA), KANAN, TEIKO MARUs, UNKAI MARU (No. unknown) and an unknown ship. Transports KAZUURA, MITSUKI, BRAZIL and TENSHINZAN (AMATSUSAN) MARUs carrying the 32nd Division are bound for Mindanao, Philippines.

The escorts include destroyers ASAKAZE, SHIRATSUYU and FUJINAMI, kaibokan KURAHASI, CD-20 and CD-22, minelayer SHIRATAKA (F) carrying Rear Admiral Kajioka Sadamichi (former CO of KISO), CO of the newly formed 6th Escort Convoy Command, minesweeper W-2, subchasers CH-37 and CH-38 and gunboats ATAKA, UJI and TAMA MARU No. 7. 26 April 1944:
Off NW Luzon, Philippines. LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Thomas M. Dykers’ (USNA ’27) USS JACK (SS-259) intercepts the convoy. Dykers makes three separate attacks and fires 18 torpedoes at the convoy. At about 0600, from two to four torpedoes hit YOSHIDA MARU No. 1 portside. She breaks in two and sinks quickly at 18-06N, 119-40E taking down 61 crewmen, two passengers and 2586 of 3400 soldiers of the IJA's 210th Infantry Regiment including its commander.

Tokyo. Prime Minister and Army General Tojo Hideki learns of the losses inflicted upon convoy Take No. 1. Fearing further attacks by American skip-bombers, like those suffered earlier in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, Tojo orders the convoy diverted from Manokwari, New Guinea to Halmahera, Moluccas.

27 April 1944:
Arrives at Manila. FUKUYO, BRAZIL, KANAN and MANSHU MARUs are detached and remain behind.

26 May 1944:
At 1350, FUKUYO MARU departs Wasili, Halmahera Island for Manila in convoys M-20 and M-21 also consisting of FUYO, KENNICHI, KUROGANE MANSHU, PEKING, SHIROTAE, TATSUMA, TENSHO, TSUSHIMA and YAMAHAGI MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-103.

30 May 1944:
At 0845, arrives at Zamboanga, Mindanao and departs later that day.

1 June 1944:
At 0740, arrives at Cebu and departs later that day.

3 June 1944:
At 2100, arrives at Manila.

26 June 1944:
FUKUYO MARU departs Manila in convoy MATA-24 also consisting of AKANE, AOBASAN, ATSUTA, GENKAI and MIIKESSAN MARUs escorted by destroyer ASAGAO, kaibokan CD-2 and auxiliary subchaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 3.

27 June 1944:
At 0517, LtCdr (later Captain) Slade D. Cutter’s (USNA ’35) USS SEAHORSE (SS-304) torpedoes and sinks MEDAN MARU at 21-10N 120-31E with no survivors. CD-17 searches for survivors unsuccessfully. Later that day, SEAHORSE torpedoes USSURI MARU in the bow and damages her.

28 June 1944:
At 2320, a submarine is sighted at 18-00N, 119-40E. ASAGAO and CD-2 probably are detached to hunt the submarine.

4 July 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

10 November 1944:
FUKUYO MARU departs Miike, Kyushu for Manila in convoy MOMA-07 also consisting of NARUO, GYOKUYO, JINYO, KENJO, MIHO, MINO, TATSUAKI (TATSUSHO), SHINFUKU and SHIROUMA (HAKUBA) MARUs and KONAN MARU No. 1 escorted by kaibokan CD-8, CD-9, CD-28, CD-54, auxiliary subchaser CHa-24 and an unidentified warship.

GYOKUYO MARU carries the 14th and 15th Shinyo explosive motor boat (EMB) units. MIHO MARU is carrying the 20th Shinyo EMB unit. SHINFUKU MARU carries 185 men from the 12th Shinyo Unit. TATSUAKI Maru carries elements of the 19th Division and elements of the 18th Sea Raiding Battalion (EMB).

11 November 1944:
Near Cape Ose Sea, Goto Archipelago. At 0906, Cdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Charles E. Loughlin’s (USNA '33) USS QUEENFISH (SS-393) fires four torpedoes and hits MIHO MARU in the bow. Unable to keep up with the convoy, she heads for Sasebo. The escorts drop 55 depth-charges on QUEENFISH, but she remains undamaged.

12 November 1944:
248 miles SW of Nagasaki. At 0420, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral/MOH) Eugene B. Fluckey’s (USNA '35) USS BARB (SS-220) torpedoes NARUO and GYOKUYO MARUs at 31-30N 125-57E. NARUO MARU, hit by one or more torpedoes, blows up and sinks instantly. She was carrying 20,000 shells and army troops. 490 passengers, 72 crewmen and 131 gunners are KIA.

GYOKUYO MARU is hit by a torpedo in the engine spaces. She goes dead in the water and begins to drift. Later, JINYO MARU attempts to tow the cripple, but the towline parts. The passengers are transfered to other ships. The escorts drop seven depth-charges on BARB and inflict slight damage.

At about 0620, LtCdr Robert H. Caldwell’s (USNA '36) USS PETO (SS-265) torpedoes TATSUAKI MARU at 31-46N, 125-40E. One strikes No. 2 hold, a huge explosion occurs. She lists over, then explodes. 145 passengers and 65 crewmen are KIA. JINYO MARU rushes to the area from where the attack came and drops depth-charges.

13 November 1944:
At 0950, arrives at the Shushan Islands, E of Shanghai.

14 November 1944:
155 miles E of Shanghai. About midnight, LtCdr Underwood’s SPADEFISH fires five torpedoes by radar bearings at GYOKUYO MARU being towed by kaibokan CD-8 towards Shanghai. Hit by several torpedoes, GYOKUYO MARU sinks at 31-04N, 125-58E. Casualties are unknown, but most passengers and crew were taken off before the sinking.

19 November 1944:
At 1200, the convoy arrives at Takao and is dissolved.

3 December 1944:
FUKUYO MARU departs Takao in convoy TAMA-34 consisting of KENJO, JINYO, YAMAKUNI, and YASUKUNI MARUs, BANSHU MARU No. 31 and SHINPUKU MARU escorted by destroyer KURETAKE, kaibokan CD-28, CD-54, subchaser CH-33 and two unidentified warships.

FUKUYO MARU carries 921 men of the 18th Sea Raiding Battalion in four parties and elements of the 34th Field Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion and 71st Mountain Artillery, 71st Division, KENJO MARU is carrying ammunition and 379 men of the Maritime Advance Unit and the Southern Area Special Communications Unit and elements of the 18th Sea Raiding Battalion (Maritime Advance Unit). JINYO Maru has aboard elements of the 18th and 19th Sea Raiding Battalions as well as 15 trucks, bombs, 50 horses, and 120 war dogs.

6 December 1944:
At 2147, a wolfpack attack begins by Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Roy M. Davenport's (USNA '33) USS TREPANG (SS-412) and LtCdr James D. Fulp's (USNA ’34) SEGUNDO (SS-398).

TREPANG torpedoes and sinks JINYO MARU at 18-30N 121-57E with 1,383 troops and 44 crewmen lost. At 2237, SEGUNDO torpedoes YASUKUNI MARU that runs aground and is later abandoned near 18-59N 120-56E.

At 2358, SEGUNDO torpedoes and hits FUKUYO MARU with three torpedoes. She blows up and sinks nearby. 913 troops, 66 gunners and 94 crewmen are KIA.

BANSHU MARU No. 31 is also sunk at 18-54N, 120-49E around this time. All 23 crewmen are KIA.

Authors' Note:
[1] Also known as HUKUYO MARU.

[2] One source says renamed FUKUYO MARU in 1938.

Bob Hackett

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