(GINYO MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2013-2016 Bob Hackett

16 December 1920:
Tsurimi. Laid down by Asano Shipbuilding Co., as a 8,613-ton ocean liner for Toyo Kisen K. K. (Oriental Steamship Co.) of Yokohama.

21 May 1921:
Launched and named GINYO MARU.

14 August 1921:
Completed and placed in Toyo Kisen's service.

30 December 1924:
NW of Acapulco, Mexico. A fire starts aboard GINYO MARU, en route to Manzanillo, Mexico. The fire burns halfway down the hull. Two children are killed and two other passengers hurt. The No. 4 hold is loaded with nitrates and fear of an explosion leads to launching the lifeboats. Seventy-nine passengers and most of the crew of 103 take to the life boats from which they are rescued by freighter JULIA LUCKENBACH. Later, GINYO MARU is towed to Manzanillo for emergency repairs by Panamanian-flagged CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO.

January 1925:
Preliminary repairs are carried out in San Francisco, California. Thereafter, GINYO MARU returns to Japan for permanent repairs.

11 March 1926:
Transferred to the Nippon Yusen Kaisha, K. K.(NYK) Line.

August 1926-March 1927:
In NYK’s service with ports of call at Hong Kong, Kobe, Yokkaichi, Yokohama, Honolulu, Hilo, Los Angeles, Manzanillo, Balboa, Callao, Pisco, Mollendo, Arica, Iquique, Valparaiso. Calls at Moji and San Francisco on most voyages and at La Libertad and Buenaventura, Balboa and Nagasaki on some voyages.

January 1930-March 1931:
In NYK’s service with ports of call at Hong Kong, Kobe, Yokkaichi, Yokohama, Honolulu, Hilo, Los Angeles, Manzanillo, Balboa, Callao, Pisco, Mollendo, Arica, Iquique, Valparaiso. Called at Moji and San Francisco on most voyages and at La Libertad and Buenaventura, Balboa and Nagasaki on some voyages.

1 September 1930:
GINYO MARU arrives at Ventura, California.

18 August 1936:
GINYO MARU arrives at Singapore Harbor.

Arrives at Peru.

2 October 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA). Converted to a cargo/troop transport. Probably painted grey overall and fitted with AAA guns. Assigned Army No. 347.

9 February 1942: Operation "L" - The Invasion of Palembang, Sumatra, Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia):
GINYO MARU departs Camranh Bay for Palembang in an invasion convoy consisting of ARGUN, BUYO, HIROKAWA, KENZUI, NABASAN, LIMA, MACASSAR, MEIGEN, RAKUYO, SHINSEI, SINGAPORE (later SHONAN) and TSUSHIMA MARUS and supply ship NOJIMA escorted by light (training ) cruiser KASHII (F), DesDiv 20's ASAGIRI and YUGIRI, kaibokan SHIMUSHU, minelayer HATSUTAKA, mineweeper W-6 and SubChasDiv 11's CH-9.

14 February 1942:
Six Bristol "Blenheim" light bombers of Royal Air Force No. 211 Squadron attack the convoy and sink transport INABASAN MARU and damage several others.

15 February 1942:
In the largest capitulation in British military history, the Straits Settlement of Singapore falls to the Japanese. LtGen Arthur E. Percival, RA, surrenders his numerically superior, but ill-equipped and poorly led, force to LtGen Yamashita and his victorious 25th Army.

16 February 1942:
Near Palembang. The invasion transports land elements of the IJA 16th Army’s 229th Infantry Regiment and a battalion of the 230th Infantry Regiment, five batteries of the 38th Mountain Artillery Battalion and one company each of the 38th Transport and 38th Engineer Regiments.

Kaibokan SHIMUSHU embarks the entire staff of the IJA's 38th Infantry Division from GINYO MARU and proceeds up the Palembang River, landing its passengers at 1435.

27 February 1942:
GINYO MARU and the transport convoy depart Palembang for Singapore.

3 March 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

14 April 1942: Transport Operation U - transport of troops and material from Singapore to Rangoon:
GINYO MARU departs Singapore as part of Transport Unit No. 3 consisting of 32 marus including ANYO, BRAZIL, BUYO, ENGLAND, HAMBURG, HAVRE, HOKUROKU, KUWAYAMA, KOCHI, KENKOKU (3377 grt), MONTREAL, PENANG, SAMARANG, SUEZ, TAIKAI, TAIZAN, TEIKAI (ex-German FULDA), YAWATA and YONEYAMA MARUs and seven unidentified merchant also escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOSA MARU and other unidentified escorts. The 3rd Transport Unit carries the 56th Mixed Brigade and other units.

15 April 1942:
At 0830, minelayer HATSUTAKA departs Penang, Malaya and joins the escort of Transport Unit No. 3.

19 April 1942:
At 0138 arrives at the Rangoon, Burma (now Myanmar) river mouth.

27 July 1942:
Released from IJA service. Thereafter, GINYO MARU is civilian operated and under direct control of NYK.

12 September 1942:
Under control of the Senpaku Uneikai (Shipping Control Authority) and remains in civilian use and operated by NYK until the time of her sinking.

11 February 1943:
At 1200, GINYO MARU departs Yokohama in convoy No. 7211 also consisting of two sail training ships KAIO and NIPPON MARUs escorted by subchaser CH-32.

13 February 1943:
Off Owase. At 1200, CH-32 is detached.

10 April 1943:
GINYO MARU departs Yawata in convoy No. 7415 also consisting of cargo ship HEIWA MARU and transports RYOTOKU, RYUA and TAISHO (4,815 GRT) MARUs and SEIZAN MARU No. 2 escorted by subchaser CH-40.

13 April 1943:
Arrives at Tokyo Wan (Bay) and later in the day at Yokosuka.

15 April 1943:
Arrives at Tokyo Bay from the Inland Sea in convoy 7415 consisting of GINYO, HEIWA, RYOTOKU, RYUA and TAISHO MARUs and SEIZAN MARU No. 2 and an unidentified merchants escorted by subchaser CH-40.

27 May 1943:
GINYO MARU departs s Takao in convoy No. 266 also consisting of JUYO and KIYO MARUs and IJA tankers HAKUBASAN MARU and OGURA MARU No. 1 and seven unidentified merchants escorted by patrol boat PB-2.

28 May 1943:
SHOKO (MATSUE) MARU departs Kirun (Keelung) for Yawata and joins convoy No. 266.

29 May 1943:
East China Sea, night. At 2245, LtCdr Anthony H Dropp's (USNA ’32) USS SAURY (SS-189) torpedoes and sinks SHOKO MARU, loaded with 7,250 tons of iron ore, at 29-50N 129-35E. All 57 crewmen and four watchmen are KIA.

1 June 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

10 August 1943:
At 1400, GINYO MARU departs Moji in convoy No. 185 consisting of passenger-cargo ships KACHIDOKI (ex-American PRESIDENT HARRISON), NICHIRIN, and TEIBI (ex-Vichy French BERNARDIN DE SAINT-PIERRE) MARUs, cargo ship ASUKA MARU and tankers MATSUMOTO, SAN RAMON, TACHIBANA, TONAN and YAMAMIZU MARUs and three unidentified ships escorted by kaibokan SADO.

15 August 1943:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores.

11 September 1943:
GINYO MARU departs St Jacques in convoy No. 425 also consisting of HOKUYO, KIYO, TEIKA (ex-Vichy French CAP VARELLA), SHOYO MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 2 and seven unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer ASAGAO.

18 September 1943:
At 0620, GINYO MARU reports an unsuccesful torpedo attack. Later, the convoy arrives at Mako.

7 December 1943:
At noon, GINYO MARU departs Cap St. Jacques for Takao in convoy No. 447 consisting of TEIKO (ex-Vichy French D’ARTAGNAN) MARUs and tankers CHIHAYA and HOKUAN MARUs escorted by kaikoban MATSUWA. GINYO MARU is carrying 195 passengers, 6,800-tons of corn, 600-tons of rice and 50-tons of green beans.

10 December 1943:
At 2000, TEIKO MARU is detached from the convoy and sails for Manila.

16 December 1943:
50 km SW of Takao. At 0447, LtCdr (later Captain) Robert D. Risser's (USNA ‘34) USS FLYING FISH (SS-229) torpedoes and sinks merchant GINYO MARU at 22-14N, 120-06E. 118 passengers, three gunners and 66 crewmen are KIA.

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

-Bob Hackett

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