KOKUKI-UMPANSEN!

(GOSHU MARU, prewar)


IJN GOSHU MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement



© 2007-2014 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.
Revision 5


27 December 1938:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki Heavy Industries' shipyard for Goyo Shosen K. K., a subsidiary of Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Co., Ltd.

14 October 1939:
Launched and named GOSHU MARU.

27 February 1940:
Completed. Chartered to Kawasaki Kisen K.K. and employed on their westerly global service.

14 September 1940:
GOSHU MARU is requisitioned by the IJN as a general transport and allocated to the Yokosuka Naval District.

23 October 1940:
Departs Yokosuka for the South Seas (now Micronesia), probably calling at Truk.

16 December 1940:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Begins conversion to an armed auxiliary aircraft transport. 4.7-inch guns are installed at the bow and the stern.

18 December 1940:
Transfers to Yokohama. Continues conversion at Mitsubishi's dockyard.

25 January 1941:
The conversion is complete.

5 February 1941:
Departs Tateyama for the South Seas, probably calling at Truk and Kwajalein, Marshalls.

9 April 1941:
Arrives back at Kisarazu, Tokyo Bay.

28 May 1941:
Departs Muroran, Hokkaido for the South Seas, probably calling at Truk and Kwajalein.

28 August 1941:
Arrives back at Yokosuka.

4 October 1941:
Departs Muroran for the South Seas, probably calling at Truk and Kwajalein.

November 1941:
Arrives at Truk carrying personnel of one unit of the Chitose Naval Air Group, but not their aircraft.

30 November 1941:
Departs Truk.

2 December 1941:
Arrives at Kapingamaringa.

3 December 1941:
Departs Kapingamaringa.

5 December 1941:
Arrives at Roi, Kwajalein, Marshall Islands.

8 December 1941:
GOSHU MARU is based at Roi in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Eiji Goto’s (37) 24th Naval Air Group with seaplane tender KAMOI of Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Inoue Shigeyoshi’s (37) 4th Fleet.

25 December 1941:
Departs Roi.

26 December 1941:
Arrives at Emidji.

29 December 1941:
Departs Emidji.

2 January 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

20-23 January 1942: - Operation "R" - The Invasions of Rabaul and Kavieng:
Japanese forces overwhelm light Australian opposition and seize Rabaul and Kavieng.

9 March 1942:
Departs Roi, Kwajalein.

12 March 1942:
Arrives at Wake Island. Unloads six Type 96 A5M Claude fighter aircraft.

18 March 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

26 March 1942:
Departs Nagoya. Probably loads aircraft and/or spare aircraft engines from Mitsubishi's Nagoya plant for transport.

4 April 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul carrying 20 Mitsubishi A6M Zeke fighter planes for the 25th Air Flotilla.

10 April 1942:
Assigned to Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Tsukahara Nishizo’s (36)(former CO of AKAGI) 11th Air Fleet’s 24th Air Flotilla with KAMOI based at Kwajalein.

4 May 1942:
Departs Roi.

5 May 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein and departs that same day.

6 May 1942:
Arrives at Emidj, Kwajalein Atoll, and is unloaded.

10 May 1942:
Departs Emidj.

11 May 1942:
Arrives at Wotje, Marshalls.

13 May 1942:
Departs Wotje. That same day at Honolulu, Hawaii, the USN's Communications-Intelligence unit intercepts and decodes an IJN cipher that instructs "GOSHU MARU to put ashore at Imieji (Marshall Islands, near Jaluit) all the freight on board and to load air hose equipment and munitions of Imieji's seaplane unit and proceed to Saipan by Soneka." The cipher further orders "the Third Air will load its base equipment and ground crews and advance to AF (Midway) ground crews. Parts and munitions will be loaded on GOSHU MARU as soon as that vessel arrives."

14 May 1942:
Arrives at Emidj.

19 May 1942:
Departs Emidj.

25 May 1942:
Arrives at Saipan, Marianas.

28 May 1942: Operation “MI” -The Battle of Midway:
In the evening, GOSHU MARU departs Saipan in Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake's (35)(former CO of KONGO) Midway Occupation Force with Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Tanaka Raizo's (41)(former CO of KONGO) Transport Group’s TOA MARU No. 2, KIYOSUMI, ZENYO, ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, AZUMA, HOKUROKU, KANO, KEIYO, KIRISHIMA and NANKAI MARUs, oiler AKEBONO MARU and Tanaka's DesRon 2’s light cruiser JINTSU with DesDiv 15’s KUROSHIO, OYASHIO, DesDiv 16’s AMATSUKAZE, HATSUKAZE, TOKITSUKAZE, YUKIKAZE and DesDiv 18’s destroyer-transports ARARE, KASUMI and SHIRANUHI. Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Fujita Ruitaro's (38)(former CO of FUSO) Seaplane Tender Division 11’s CHITOSE and KAMIKAWA MARU provide air cover.

GOSHU MARU carries the equipment of a seaplane unit, base equipment, munitions, and ground crews.

3 June 1942:
At about 1700, the convoy is attacked by LtCol (later General) Walter C. Sweeney's nine Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortress" heavy bombers from Midway, but they score no hits.

4 June 1942:
About 2354 (JST), the convoy is attacked by four torpedo-carrying Consolidated PBY-5A "Catalina" amphibious patrol planes of Patrol Squadron 24 from Midway. Lt William L. Richards, the flight leader of the mission, scores a hit on AKEBONO MARU's bow with an obsolete Mark-XIII Mod 1 torpedo at 26-34N, 174-14W. The torpedo hit detonates AKEBONO MARU's AA shell magazine and tears a 10-meter long gash in her side. KIYOSUMI MARU is strafed, but GOSHU MARU is undamaged.

13 June 1942:
Arrives at Truk, Carolines.

15 June 1942:
Departs Truk.

16 June 1942:
Arrives at Guam, Marianas. Departs the same day.

21 June 1942:
Arrives at Yososuka.

19 July 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

24 July 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

8 August 1942:
Arrives at Roi. Unloads 15 A6M Zekes.

12 August 1942:
Departs Roi.

21 August 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

30 September 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

8 October 1942:
Arrives at Roi. Unloads five A6M Zekes and construction staff for the 24th Air Flotilla.

13 October 1942:
Arrives at Taroa (Maloelap Atoll).

15 October 1942:
Departs Taroa.

20 October 1942:
Arrives at Ulithi and departs later that day.

24 October 1942:
Arrives at Roi.

27 October 1942:
Departs Roi.

1 November 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

9 November 1942:
Reassigned to No. 4 Kuryu Butai.

10 November 1942:
Departs Rabaul. [1]

15 November 1942:
Arrives at Roi.

16 November 1942:
Departs Roi.

22 November 1942:
Arrives at Taroa.

26 November 1942:
Departs Taroa.

27 November 1942:
Arrives at Mille.

28 November 1942:
Departs Mille.

30 November 1942:
Arrives at Taroa.

6 December 1942:
Departs Roi.

18 December 1942:
Arrives at Kisarazu, Tokyo Bay.

20 December 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

24 December 1942:
Reassigned directly to the 11th Air Fleet.

20 December 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

15 January 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

16 January 1943:
Arrives at Osaka.

23 January 1943:
Departs Osaka.

18 February 1943:
Departs Rabaul with armed merchant cruiser GOKOKU MARU for Gasmata, New Britain escorted by DesDiv16's YUKIKAZE and TOKITSUKAZE and DesDiv 19's SHIKINAMI.

19 February 1943:
Arrives at Gasmata.

20 February 1943:
Departs Gasmata.

21 February 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul from Gasmata.

15 March 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

21 March 1943:
Departs Takao.

26 March 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

2 April 1943:
Departs Kobe.

3 April 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

8 May 1943:
Departs Yokosuka in convoy No. 3508 also consisting of KENSHO and FUKUYAMA MARUs escorted by destroyer ASANAGI.

16 May 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

17 May 1943:
Departs Truk escorted by submarine chaser CH-32.

20 May 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

31 May 1943:
Rabaul. Submarine I-38 loads cargo from GOSHU MARU and later transports it to Lae, New Guinea.

13 June 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

21 June 1943:
Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Kase Saburo (44) assumes command.

24 June 1943:
Departs Yokosuka

1 July 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

10 July 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

6 August 1943:
Departs Rabaul as sole ship in convoy No. 2161 escorted by torpedo boat HIYODORI.

9 August 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

10 August 1943:
GOSHU MARU departs Truk for Yokosuka in convoy No. 4810 consisting of KEISHO and MOMOYAMA MARUs escorted by kaibokan FUKUE.

18 August 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

29 August 1943:
At 1420, arrives at Truk escorted by destroyer FUMITSUKI.

28 September 1943:
At 1600, GOSHU MARUs departs Truk's Kimishima channel then the South channel in fleet convoy No. 1292 consisting of KUNIKAWA MARU and possibly fleet oiler TSURUMI escorted by subchaser CH-28 and torpedo boat HIYODORI.

1 October 1943:
Re-rated a converted transport (misc). Assigned directly to the Combined Fleet and attached to the Kure Naval District. Captain Kase is the Supervisor.

4 October 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

12 October 1943:
Rabaul. LtGen (later General) George C. Kenney’s 5th Air Force hits Rabaul with the largest raid made up to then in the Pacific war. 349 aircraft, including 87 B-17 and B-24 "Liberator" bombers, 114 B-25 "Mitchell" strafers, 12 RAAF “Beaufighters” and 125 P-38 “Lightnings” and others from New Guinea and Australia hit Rabaul’s airfields and Simpson harbor. GOSHU MARU is not damaged in this raid.

16 October 1943:
Departs Rabaul in convoy No. O-602B with KUNIKAWA MARU escorted by destroyer TACHIKAZE.

21 October 1943:
SE of Ulithi. At about 0200, LtCdr (later Captain) David L. Whelchel's (USNA ’30) USS STEELHEAD (SS-280) torpedoes and damages GOSHU MARU at 08-16N, 141-53E. Two torpedoes hit holds No. 1 and No. 2 and she catches fire. Her crew extinguishes the fire, but GOSHU MARU can only make about 3 knots. She heads for Ulithi escorted by TACHIKAZE. KUNIKAWA MARU continues alone at high speed.

1 November 1943:
Arrives at Palau escorted by TACHIKAZE.

11 March 1944: Palau. GOSHU MARU receives fresh provisions from stores ship KITAKAMI MARU.

30-31 March 1944: American Operation “Desecrate One”:
At 0500, prepares to depart Palau in convoy PATA-07, probably a refugee convoy fleeing possible air attack. PATA-07 consists of GOSHU, RAIZAN, KIBI, TESHIO, HOKUTAI and RYUKO MARUs and tanker AKEBONO MARU escorted by destroyer WAKATAKE, patrol boat PB-31 and auxiliary subchaser CHa-26.

Fifty minutes after departing Malakal Harbor the first US carrier strikes begin and the convoy immediately puts about and heads back to the anchorage where the ships disperse.

The anchorage is attacked by F6F "Hellcat", SBD "Dauntless", TBF "Avenger" and SB2C "Helldiver" carrier aircraft of Task Group 58. 1's USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6), USS BELLEAU WOOD (CVL-24) and USS COWPENS (CVL-25), TG 58. 2's USS BUNKER HILL (CV-17), USS HORNET (CV-12), USS MONTEREY (CV-26) and USS CABOT (CVL-28) and TG 58. 3's USS YORKTOWN (CV-10), USS LEXINGTON (CV-16), USS PRINCETON (CVL-23) and USS LANGLEY (CVL-27). Over this day and the next, TF 58’s planes sink GOSHU MARU with the loss of 45 of her crew and many other ships.

21 April 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors' Note:
[1] 8 November in some records.

Photo credit and thanks go to Gilbert Casse of France. Also thanks go to Mr. Luca Ruffato of Italy.

Thanks to Johm Whitman and Gengoro Toda of Japan for info about stores ship KITAKAMI MARU.

- Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.


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