© 1998-2014 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp
2 April 1942:
Launched and named GOKOKU MARU. It is planned to use the ship on the Japan-Africa route with her two sister ships, AIKOKU and HOKOKU MARUs, but she never enters this service.
27 July 1942:
Requisitioned by the IJN.
10 August 1942:
Tama. Vessel is still incomplete, but begins conversion by Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding to an armed merchant cruiser. Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Mizuno Kokichi (37) is posted as her Chief Equipping Officer.
2 October 1942:
21 October 1942:
30 October 1942:
Arrives at Singapore. Assigned the dual responsibility as a resupply ship for SubRon 8 and a commerce raider.
2 December 1942:
Departs Singapore carrying the 6th Naval Air Group's engineers and communications station personnel and equipment accompanied by AMCs AIKOKU and KIYOSUMI MARUs and destroyer SHIOKAZE.
12 December 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.
16 December 1942:
GOKOKU MARU is attached to Vice Admiral Mikawa Gunichi's Eighth Fleet. As a part of preparations for the capture of Madang, New Guinea, she embarks the 21st and 42nd Infantry Regiments, 58th Field AA Artillery Batallion, 6th Airfield Construction Unit, road construction and communications units; a total of 3,724 men.
18 December 1942:
LtCdr Richard C. Lake in USS ALBACORE (SS-218) receives an "Ultra" message alerting him of the Attack Force's movements based on U.S. Navy codebreakers' decryption of Japanese radio traffic.
Off Madang. At 0732, the Attack Force is bombed unsuccessfully. The Attack Force lands two battalions of men under LtCol Hanawa of the 5th Division and an airfield construction unit.At 1744, GOKOKU MARU is hit in the bow area by a bomb from Boeing B-17E "Flying Fortresses" of the 43rd Bomb Group, Fifth Air Force that starts a small fire. At 1800, that same day, TENRYU departs Madang Roads with ARASHIO, SUZUKAZE, ISONAMI and INAZUMA. LtCdr Lake sets up on what he takes to be a transport escorted by a "destroyer." He fires three torpedoes at each. Lake's torpedoes miss the GOKOKU MARU, but TENRYU is hit in the stern and sinks. SUKUKAZE and ISONAMI unsuccessfully counterattack Lake's ALBACORE. 19 December 1942: Operation C (HEI-GO) - The Reinforcement of New Guinea:
28 January 1943: Operation HINOE-GO-3 ("C-3") - The Reinforcement of New Guinea:
GOKOKU MARU arrives at Tsingtao. Later that day, she departs Tsingtao, in the 2nd echelon of transport group HINOE-GO No. 3 The 2nd echelon also consists of KIYOSUMI, AIKOKU MARUs escorted by destroyers ASAGUMO and SAMIDARE. The 2nd echelon carries elements of the IJA's 239th Infantry Regiment. GOKOKU MARU carries the 3rd Battalion, 239th Infantry Regiment. KIYOSUMI MARU carries the 2nd Battalion (less 7th and 8th Companies) and AIKOKU MARU carries HQ and the 1st Battalion. Aircraft from carrier ZUIHO provide air cover.
E 18 February 1943:
The 2nd echelon arrives at Palau. Refuels and replenishes.
19 February 1943:
At 1300, GOKOKU, KIYOSUMI and AIKOKU MARUs depart Palau.
At 1440 (I) LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Frank W. Fenno's's USS RUNNER (SS-275) sights the masts of freighters in Toagel Melungui Pass. At 1455 (I), Fenno fires his four stern torpedoes at destroyer SAMIDARE, but does not score a hit. At 1456 (I), Fenno fires one torpedo at a freighter. Immediately thereafter, a depth charge, dropped by an E13A1 "Jake" of the 902nd NAG based at Palau, explodes close to RUNNER. Fenno, nevertheless, fires two more torpedoes and claims a hit on the freighter, but it was not.
The single 250-kg dropped by the Jake knocks out both of RUNNER's periscopes, her sound gear and magnetic and gyro compasses. The damage forces Fenno to terminate the patrol and return to Pearl Harbor.
26 February 1943:
The 2nd echelon arrives at Wewak, New Guinea:. Later that day, GOKOKU MARU departs Wewak for Surabaya, Java.
28 February 1943:
Arrives at Surabaya.
5 March 1943:
Departs Surabaya on a transport run to Babo, New Guinea.
9 March 1943:
Arrives at Ambon, Moluccas.
10 March 1943:
11 March 1943:
Arrives at Babo on the southern shore of Maccluer Gulf.
12 March 1943:
17 March 1943:
Arrives at Surabaya.
23 March 1943:
27 March 1943:
Arrives at Ambon.
28 March 1943:
30 March 1943:
Arrives at Surabaya.
4 May 1943:
7 April 1943:
Arrives at Ambon.
8 April 1943:
9 April 1943:
Arrives at Babo.
10 April 1943:
15 April 1943:
Arrives at Surabaya.
17 April 1943:
20 April 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.
6 May 1943:
1 July 1943:
3 July 1943:
Immediately prior to arrival at Saigon collides with HAKKO MARU. Later that day berths at No. 2 Customs Wharf at Saigon.
5 July 1943:
7 July 1943:
Arrives at Sana.
9 July 1943:
11 July 1943:
Arrives at Mako and moors at No. 3 buoy.
12 July 1943:
15 July 1943:
East China Sea. Minelayer NUWAJIMA joins GOKOKU MARU as escort at 28-54N, 132-41E.
16 July 1943:
Off Okinoshima. NUWAJIMA is detached. GOKOKU MARU proceeds to Kure.
20 July 1943:
The collision damage to the port side bow of the ship is repaired and the ship departs Kure and arrives at Ujina the same day.
22 July 1943:
Departs Ujina and later that day arrives at Kure and moors at No. 5 buoy.
27 July 1943:
Departs Kure escorted by destroyer USHIO.
3 August 1943:
Arrives at Truk. Later, departs and arrives at Sukumo.
2 September 1943:
Arrives at Kure.
16 September 1943:
18 September 1943:
Arrives at Shanghai.
1 October 1943:
Rerated a transport assigned to the Kure Naval District.
1 November 1943:
3 November 1943:
GOKOKU MARU and destroyer URAKAZE are bombed by USAAF B-24s while en route to Rabaul. GOKOKU MARU is not damaged.
4 November 1943:
At 1020, arrives at Rabaul.
5 November 1943:
Departs Rabaul to seek refuge in safe anchorage during USAAF attack. Later returns to Rabaul.
6 November 1943:
9 November 1943:
Arrives at Truk.
18 November 1943:
25 November 1943:
Arrives at Kure.
26 November 1943:
Kure Navy Yard. Begins repairs and modifications of equipment to increase her carrying capability.
20 December 1943:
23 December 1943:
24 December 1943:
Arrives at Tsukumi.
25 December 1943:
Departs Tsukumi. While at sea observes the sinking of the small ship DAIKAMI MARU (no details available) and rescues 2 survivors.
26 December 1943:
Arrives at Yura.
27 December 1943:
Departs Yura. SE of Honshu. That evening, LtCdr Charles H. Andrews' USS GURNARD's (SS-254) SJ radar picks up a single large merchant with ten escorts. Andrews makes several attempts to pierce the escort's screen and finally succeeds. At 2350, he fires his last four torpedoes and scores two hits at 34-23N, 138-24E. GOKOKU MARU goes dead in the water, but 15 minutes later begins to limp slowly away. 
28 December 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka. At 1043, USN codebreakers intercept a message from the CO of GOKOKU MARU that says: “Arrived Yokuska at 1043. Because of damage from torpedo attack (31 hold ---- from deck to waterline) cannot ----.”
Later, transfers to Yokohama for repairs.
3 February 1944:
Transfers from Yokosuka to Yokohama.
18 February 1944:
Docked at Asano Dockyard for repairs.
22 May 1944:
Undocked and berthed at nearby Chuo Choyo Wharf.
2 June 1944:
Transfers from Yokohama to Yokosuka and moors at No. 11 Buoy.
5 June 1944:
Transfers from Yokosuka to Yokohama and moors at No. 9 wharf.
12 June 1944:
Repairs are completed. Departs Yokohama. Later that day arrives at Tateyama.
13 June 1944:
Departs Tateyama and later that bay arrives at Owase Bay.
14 June 1944:
Departs Owase Bay and later that day arrives at Hiroshima Wan.
15 June 1944:
Departs Hiroshima Bay and shortly afterwards arrives at Kure.
19 June 1944:
Departs Kure and later that day arrives off Mutsure.
20 June 1944:
Departs Moji at 1930 in convoy HI-67 for Singapore. HI-67 consists of transports GOKOKU, MANJU, NANKAI, KINUGASA, ASAKA, ASAHISAN and HAKOZAKI MARUs and oilers MIRI, OTORISAN, NICHINAN No. 2, SARAWAK and SHINEI MARUs escorted by minelayer SHIRATAKA, submarine chaser CH-61, destroyers ASAGAO and KURETAKE and kaibokan HIRADO, KURAHASHI and CD-5 and 13.
E 26 June 1944:
CD-2 and destroyer ASAGAO join convoy HI-67.
29 June 1944:
Near dawn, LtCdr Anton W. Gallaher's USS BANG (SS-385) picks up convoy HI-67. Gallaher makes a long "end-around" in daylight. At about 1500, he fires all ten torpedoes in his bow and stern tubes at three ships. He damages MIRI and SARAWAK MARUs. Both oilers are hit in the bow, but each manages to proceed to Manila.
30 June 1944:
The main convoy arrives at Manila. GOKOKU, SARAWAK and MIRI MARUs are detached.
6 July 1944:
7 July 1944:
Near Davao GOKOKU MARU bunkers minesweeper W-28.
9 July 1944:
Near Davao. 1450, LtCdr (later Captain) Bladen D. Claggett's USS DACE (SS-247) fires six Mark 14 torpedoes at GOKOKU MARU at 06-18N, 126-13E. Two hit, but are duds. GOKOKU MARU returns fire and drops two depth charges. Later that day arrives at Davao.
10 July 1944:
At Davao GOKOKU MARU bunkers minesweeper W-28.
13 July 1944:
Hold No. 3 cargo catches fire but extinguished two hours later.
19 July 1944:
20 July 1944:
A further submarine attack takes place and a single depth charge is dropped. Later that day arrives at Zamboanga.
21 July 1944:
Shifts to an unnamed nearby anchorage.
23 July 1944:
Departs Zamboanga area and later that day arrives at Manila,
25 July 1944:
Departs Manila with escort carrier KAIYO and transport ASAMA MARU in convoy MAMO-01 escorted by destroyers AKIKAZE, HATSUSHIMO and TSUGA and minesweeper W-28.
27 July 1944:
The convoy arrives at Takao at 1400 and departs later that day.
31 July 1944:
The convoy departs Takao.
3 August 1944:
Anchors off Mutsure Jima.
4 August 1944:
Transfers from Mutsure Jima to nearby Moji. Then departs Moji and arrives at nearby Hesaki.
5 August 1944:
Departs Hesaki and returns to Moji and moors at No.9 Buoy. Later enters the port.
6 August 1944:
Departs Moji and later that day arrives at Kure and moors at No. 16 Buoy.
10 August 1944:
Arrives at Kure.
13 August 1944:
18 August 1944:
Arrives at Kure.
21 August 1944:
Departs Kure and later that day arrives at Hesaki.
22 August 1944:
Departs Hesaki, presumably near midnight.
23 August 1944:
Arrives at Moji. Transit time from Hesaki to Moji is about 1 hour. Later that day departs Moji and arrives off Mutsure.
25 August 1944:
At 0630, departs Moji after arriving earlier that day from the Mutsure anchorage. GOKOKU MARU is part of fast convoy HI-73 consisting of IJA landing ship KIBITSU MARU, ex-seaplane tenders SANUKI and KAGU MARUs, tankers TOHO, OMUROSAN, OTOWASAN, TAIHO, FUJISAN, HAKKO, AMATO, TOA and KUROSHIO MARUs and fleet storeship IRAKO escorted by escort carrier UNYO, light cruiser KASHII, kaibokan CHIBURI CD-13, CD-19, CD-21 and CD-27. Later that day, the convoy is joined briefly by transports MIZUHO, ARABIA and KOKURYU MARUs and tanker MANEI MARU that all depart the following day.
26 August 1944:
At 0900, MIZUHO, ARABIA and KOKURYU MARUs are ordered to detach because of excessive smoke. MANEI MARU remains at Kyushu because of engine problems.
29 August 1944:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa. Departs that same day and arrives at Tsoying (near Takao).
30 August 1944:
Off Saei. The convoy splits. GOKOKU, KIBITSU and KAGU MARUs (and probably IRAKO) head for Manila. The remaining ships head for Singapore.
10 September 1944:
Departs Manila in fleet convoy MAMO-03 for Moji with KAGU and KIBITSU MARUs escorted by minesweeper W-21 and kaibokan CD-10 and CD-20.
11 September 1944:
S China Sea. 100 miles NE of the Paracel Islands. Convoy MAMO-03 joins fleet convoy HI-72 that departed Singapore on 6 September for Moji. HI-72 includes the ASAKA, NANKAI, KIMIKAWA , RAKUYO, ZUIHO , KIBITSU and KACHIDOKI MARUs (ex-PRESIDENT HARRISON). HI-72 carries oil, drummed aviation gasoline, bauxite, mercury and rubber. RAKUYO MARU also carries 1,317 Allied POWs and KACHIDOKI MARU carries another 950 POWs. Destroyer SHIKANAMI and kaibokan MIKURA and KURAHASHI are in the escort.
12 September 1944:
At 0200, HIRADO is torpedoed by Cdr Thomas B. Oakey’s GROWLER (SS-215). The frigate blows up and sinks. Rear Admiral Kajioka, victor of Wake Island, now CO of the 6th Escort Convoy Command is killed. He is promoted Vice Admiral, posthumously.
At 0500, the RAKUYO MARU is torpedoed by LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Eli T. Reich's USS SEALION and hit in the No. 1 hold and engine room. RAKUYO MARU takes down 1,159 POWs. About the same time, SEALION also torpedoes NANKAI MARU. She is hit in Hold Nos. 3 and 6 and sinks about 0800. 
240 miles south of Hong Kong. Just before 0700, SHIKANAMI is torpedoed by GROWLER and sinks at 18-16 N, 114-40 E. Eight officers and 120 men rescued by MIKURA. At 2300, KACHIDOKI MARU is hit by USS PAMPANITO (SS-383) and sinks. More than 400 POWs perish. 
15 September 1944:
The remainder of the convoy arrives at Yulin, Hainan Island.
16 September 1944:
20 September 1944:
Formosa Strait. The convoy is attacked by USAAF Consolidated B-24 "Liberator" bombers. GOKOKU MARU is hit in the stern. The bomb damages her hull and port propeller shaft. KAGU, ASAKA and SHINSHO MARUs are also damaged in the bombing attack. GOKOKU MARU is towed to Mako, Pescadores.
21 September 1944:
At 1950, USN codebreakers intercept a message from GOKOKU MARU that says “Arrived at Takao at 1430, 21 September.”
25 September 1944:
Arrives at Kure. Undergoes temporary repairs.
29 September 1944:
Departs Kure for Kirun Naval Base, near Keelung, Formosa for repairs to her hull.
7 November 1944:
At 0700, departs Kirun for Sasebo with the destroyer HIBIKI. GOKOKU MARU carries 400 Formosan volunteers for the Navy, 600 tons of sugar and 300 tons of aluminum ingots.
9 November 1944:
At 1400, GOKOKU MARU is joined by an unidentified kaibokan and at 1800 by another unidentified kaibokan.
Off Goto Retto. At 2200, heavy seas so slow the kaibokans that GOKOKU MARU is forced to abandon them. Captain Mizuno increases speed to 15 knots on his starboard propeller and heads for the Sasebo Channel.10 November 1944:
10 January 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.
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