(GOYO MARU's sister GOSHU MARU prewar)


Tabular Record of Movement

© 1998-2018 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

Revision 8

2 March 1938:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki Dockyard as a 8, 469-ton merchant transport for Goyo Shosen Kaiun Kaisha, Kobe.

25 August 1938:
Launched and named GOYO MARU.

17 April 1939:
Completed and immediately chartered to Kawasaki Kisen.

19 April 1939:
Departs Kobe for Dairen, Manchukuo.

17 May 1939:
Departs Kobe for New York.

20 December 1940:
Switches to the Kawasaki's Kobe-South/Central America service.

16 October 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN and registered in the Maizuru Naval District as a general transport. Assigned directly to the Combined Fleet.

20 November 1941:
Osaka. Conversion to a Navy transport begins at Fujinagata Zosen's shipyard.

9 December 1941:
The conversion is completed.

10 December 1941:
Departs Osaka with AZUMASAN MARU.

11 December 1941:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

14 December 1941:
Transfers from Yokosuka to Shibaura.

15 December 1941:
Departs Shibaura for the South Seas with AZUMASAN MARU.

3 January 1942:
At 0705 auxiliary gunboat CHOAN MARU No. 2 GO meets up with the convoy.

4 January 1942:
At 1620 GOYO, AZUMASAN and KOZUI MARUs arrive at Truk from Saipan escorted by CHOAN MARU No. 2 GO and picket boat KOKAI MARU No. 1 GO.

20 January 1942: Operation "O"- The Invasions of Rabaul, New Britain and Kavieng, New Ireland:
Troop transports GOYO, KINRYU and AZUMASAN MARUs depart Truk escorted by CruDiv 18's TENRYU and TATSUTA and DesDiv 23's KIKUZUKI, UZUKI and YUZUKI. They are screened by CruDiv 6's AOBA, KINUGASA, KAKO and FURUTAKA and CarDiv 11's seaplane carrier CHITOSE. Distant cover is provided by CarDiv 1's AKAGI and KAGA, CarDiv 5's SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU, BatDiv 3/2's HIEI and KIRISHIMA and CruDiv 8's TONE and CHIKUMA.

23 January 1942:
About midnight, the transports land three companies of the No. 2 Maizuru Special Naval Landing Force. By 0335, they capture Kavieng's airfield.

28 January 1942:
At 2130 arrives at Rabaul. Later departs for Truk escorted by destroyer ASAKAZE.

4 May 1942: Operation “MO” – The Invasions of Tulagi and Port Moresby:
At 1600, Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kajioka Sadamichi's (39) (former CO of KISO) Port Moresby Attack Force departs Rabaul towards the Jomard Pass in the Louisiade Archipelago with DesRon 6’s light cruiser YUBARI, DesDiv 29’s OITE, ASANAGI, DesDiv 30’s MUTSUKI, MOCHIZUKI and YAYOI escorting Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Koso's (40) (former CO of HIEI) Transport Force of IJN, GOYO, MOGAMIGAWA, SHOKA, AKIBASAN and CHOWA MARUs and IJA MATSUE, TAIFUKU, MITO, CHINA and HIBI MARUs, tanker HOYO MARU, fleet oiler IRO (at anchor at Shortland area with destroyer UZUKI), minelayer TSUGARU, minesweeper W-20, auxiliary minesweepers HAGOROMO MARU, NOSHIRO MARU No. 2 and FUMI MARU No. 2 and fleet salvage and repair tug OJIMA (OSHIMA). The convoy’s cruising speed only is 6.5 knots.

IJA transport ASAKASAN MARU is delayed at Rabaul. The Transport Force is carrying the bulk of the 3rd Kure Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF), the 10th Naval Construction Unit and the South Seas Detachment consisting of the 144th Infantry Regiment.

4 May 1942: The Battle of the Coral Sea:
Tulagi, Solomons. Rear Admiral (MOH '14/later Admiral) Frank J. Fletcher’s (USNA ’06) (former CO of VERMONT, BB-20) Task Force 17 attacks Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Shima Kiyohide’s (39) (former CO of OI) Tulagi Invasion Force. SBD dive-bombers and TBD torpedo-bombers from USS YORKTOWN (CV-5) sink a destroyer, three minesweepers and damage four other ships.

5 May 1942:
At 1600, ASAKASAN MARU departs Rabaul and chases after the Transport Force.

Fletcher's force turns north to engage Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Takagi Takeo’s (39) (former CO of MUTSU) Carrier Strike Force's SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU. SBDs and TBDs from USS YORKTOWN and USS LEXINGTON (CV-2) sink Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Goto Aritomo’s (38) (former CO of MUTSU) light carrier SHOHO off Misima Island. In turn, Japanese planes damage oiler USS NEOSHO (AO-23) and sink destroyer SIMS (DD-409).

6 May 1942:
At 2200, ASAKASAN MARU finally rejoins the Transport Force.

8 May 1942:
Planes from the USS LEXINGTON sight Takagi's Strike Force. SBDs from USS YORKTOWN and USS LEXINGTON damage SHOKAKU and force her retirement. ZUIKAKU’s air group suffers heavy losses. Takagi's bombers and attack planes strike Task Force 17 and damage USS YORKTOWN and USS LEXINGTON. Gasoline vapors ignite, triggering massive explosions that cause USS LEXINGTON to be abandoned. Later, she is scuttled by destroyer USS PHELPS (DD-360).

9 May 1942:
After order was given to the Transport Force to reverse its course, GOYO MARU arrives back at Rabaul.

13 May 1942:
The Battle of the Coral Sea halts the Japanese thrust toward Port Moresby and they are forced to cancel Operation MO.

May 1942:
Arrives at Kavieng, New Ireland.

16 May 1942:
S of Truk. LtCdr (later Cdr) Joseph H. Willingham’s (USNA ’26) USS TAUTOG (SS-199) is on station awaiting Japanese ships returning from the Coral Sea. Willingham sights GOYO MARU. He sets up and fires two torpedoes in a submerged attack. One torpedo makes a circular run and drives TAUTOG deep, but the second torpedo hits GOYO MARU and causes heavy damage. Her captain beaches her on Royalist Reef off Truk to prevent sinking. Later, she is salvaged.

17 May 1942:
Auxiliary gunboat HEIJO MARU is dispatched from Truk to assist GOYO MARU and tow the damaged vessel back to Truk.

18 May 1942:
Auxiliary gunboat CHOAN MARU No. 2 GO is also dispatched from Truk to assist GOYO MARU and tow the damaged vessel back to Truk.

19 May 1942:
HEIJO MARU returns briefly to Truk then sets out again to the disaster site.

22 May 1942:
Arrives Truk. Undergoes temporary repairs.

22 July 1942:
YAMAFUKU MARU departs Truk towing damaged GOYO MARU to Yokosuka for permanent repair. The tow has to be aborted because of difficult conditions.

10 August 1942:
After making a return trip to Saipan, YAMAFUKU MARU sets out from Truk again towing GOYO MARU. The ships are escorted by destroyer ASANAGI and later auxiliary gunboat CHOUN MARU and auxiliary minelayer MA-3.

23 August 1942:
Arrives Yokosuka.

25 August 1942:
Removed from the Navy List under Internal order No. 1581. Returned to her owners. She remains under civilian control until her loss.

12 October 1942:
Asano Dockyard, Yokohama. GOYO MARU, undergoing repairs from the 16 May torpedo attack, is designated for urgent conversion to an oiler. The conversion begins.

17 April 1943:
Conversion to an 8,469-ton oiler is completed. GOYO MARU is re-registered in the IJN as a general requisitioned ship (B-AO).

19 May 1943:
Departs Yokohama and later that day arrives at Yokosuka.

21 May 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

22 May 1943:
Arrives at Yokkaichi.

25 May 1943:
Departs Yokkaichi.

26 May 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

6 June 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

11 June 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

14 June 1943:
Departs Moji for Sasebo.

15 June 1943:
At 0650, GOYO MARU departs Sasebo in convoy No. 166 consisting of tankers TACHIBANA, KIYO, HAKKO, CHIYODA, CHIHAYA and NICHIRIN MARUs and transports CEYLON, NORFOLK, SHOGEN, TAIAN and ISUZU MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-36.

18 June 1943:
At 1000, TAIAN MARU is detached for Kirun (Keelung), Formosa.

20 June 1943:
At 1400, arrives at Takao, Formosa.

21 June 1943:
Arrives at Mako.

23 June 1943:
GOYO MARU departs Mako in convoy No. 302 also consisting of tankers OGURA MARU No. 1, CHIYODA and KIYO MARUs and cargo ships KOSEI, RYUKO, YASUKUNI, NORFOLK and two unidentified merchant ships. KOSEI and YASUKUNI MARUs are detached en route off Hainan Island.

29 June 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques.

30 June 1943:
Departs St Jacques. For unexplained reason turns back.

1 July 1943:
Arrives back at St Jacques.

4 July 1943:
At 1100 departs St Jacques in convoy with tankers CHIYODA, SEINAN MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 1.

7 July 1943:
Arrives at Miri.

12 July 1943:
Departs Miri.

15 July 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques.

17 July 1943:
GOYO MARU departs St Jacques in convoy No.411 also consisting of tankers CHIYODA, SEINAN MARUs and SUZAN (SUNGSHAN), HAKUSHIKA, BISAN (MIYAMA) MARUs and one unidentified merchant ship escorted by Submarine Chaser CH-19.

20 July 1943:
At 0730 CH-19 detaches from the convoy.

22 July 1943:
At 1700, BISAN (MIYAMA) MARU and SUZAN (SUNGSHAN) MARU are detached for Amoy at 22-42N, 119-11E. At 2359, arrives at Takao.

26 July 1943:
GOYO MARU departs Takao in convoy No. 286 also consisting of nine unidentified merchant ships escorted by the destroyer ASAGAO.

31 July 1943:
Arrives at Mutsure and leaves later that day.

1 August 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

2 August 1943:
Departs Kobe.

3 August 1943:
Arrives at Yokkaichi.

8 August 1943:
Departs Yokkaichi and later that day arrives at Yokosuka.

12 August 1943:
Transfers from Yokosuka to Yokohama.

21 August 1943:
Departs Yokohama.

22 August 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

25 August 1943:
At 0900, GOYO MARU departs Moji in convoy HI-07 consisting of tankers ITSUKUSHIMA, NAMPO, OMUROSAN and NANEI MARUs and cargo-passenger ship USSURI MARU escorted by kaibokan ETOROFU.

29 August 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

30 August 1943:
Arrives at Mako. ETOROFU is detached and replaced by kaibokan SADO.

8 September 1943:
Arrives at Saigon, delayed by the slow speed of NANEI MARU.

9 September 1943:
Departs Saigon.

12 September 1943:
Convoy HI-07 arrives at Singapore.

19 September 1943:
GOYO MARU departs Singapore in convoy SA-11 also consisting of HOKKAI, KACHIDOKI (Ex PRESIDENT HARRISON) and TATSUHARU MARUs. At some point TATSUHARU MARU detaches.

30 September 1943:
Arrives at Moji. Departs later that day.

1 October 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

4 October 1943:
Departs Kobe.

5 October 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

11 October 1943:
GOYO MARU comes off official charter. On this sames day, she is requisitioned again by the IJN and registered in the Yokosuka Naval District.

20 November 1943:
At 1800, GOYO MARU departs Moji in convoy HI-21 consisting of tanker ICHIYO MARUs and army cargo-passenger ship NEKKA MARU escorted by kaibokan WAKAMIYA.

23 November 1943:
East China Sea, S of Shushan Island. At 0330, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral William S. Post’s (USNA ’30) USS GUDGEON (SS-212) launches an attack on the convoy at 28-38N, 122-05E. Post fires torpedoes at either GOYO MARU or NEKKA MARU (similar profiles), but hits WAKAMIYA. She blows up and sinks immediately, only four of her 161 crewmen survive.

Shortly thereafter, LtCdr Post fires four more torpedoes, but the convoy avoids three. The fourth torpedo strikes NEKKA MARU's portside coal bunker, but fails to explode. At 0458, USS GUDGEON attacks again and hits NEKKA MARU starboard amidships. Twenty minutes later, Post makes a follow-up attack that results in two more hits. NEKKA MARU sinks. The ship was carrying 985 passengers and 410 military personnel. 79 crewmen and 308 passengers are KIA. GOYO MARU fires at USS GUDGEON as the ship tails the ship off the port side, driving the submarine away. At 0400, undamaged GOYO and ICHIYO MARUs seek refuge in Taichow Bay. Later, they return to the scene to rescue survivors, then proceed to Micao Bay. At 1530 they are met by Naval tug KASASHIMA that conveys the ships to Chikou Yang, arriving at 2015.

25 November 1943:
At 0700 KASASHIMA is detached. The ships leave Chikou Yang. At 1230, kaibokan KANJU arrives to take up escort.

26 November 1943:
At 1230, arrives at Kirun.

27 November 1943:
At 1430, departs Kirun still in convoy.

28 November 1943:
At 1421, arrives at Takao.

7 December 1943:
GOYO MARU departs Takao in convoy HI-23 consisting of ICHIU, AKI, ITSUKUSHIMA, TATEKAWA, BOKURI, ASASHIO, RYUEI, NOSHIRO and OMUROSAN MARUs and Naval tankers TAKASAKI, OSE and SUNOSAKI escorted by destroyer NAMIKAZE and kaibokan KANJU. [1]

10 December 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques, Indochina. The rest of the convoy is detached.

14 December 1943:
Arrives at Singapore still escorted by KANJU.

19 December 1943:
At 1200 GOYO MARU departs Singapore in HI-24 also consisting of ASAHIO, ARABIA, BOKUEI, ICHIYO, ASAHI, ASAHISAN, RYUEI MARUs, escorted by kaibokan KANJU.

28 December 1943:
Arrives at Takao. ASAHISAN, GOYO and RYUEI MARUs are detached.

4 January 1944:
At 1600, convoy HI-29 arrives at Takao. GOYO MARU joins the convoy then consisting of KACHIDOKI, ASOSAN, and KUROSHIO MARUs escorted by kaibokan SADO.

6 January 1944:
At 1500, departs Takao.

9 January 1944:
At 1530, convoy HI-29 arrives at Manila.

10 January 1944:
At 1200, departs Manila still in convoy.

15 January 1944:
At 2000, convoy HI-29 arrives at Singapore.

19 January 1944:
GOYO MARU departs Singapore in convoy HI-30 consisting of tanker ARIAKE MARU and two unidentified ships escorted by kaibokan SADO.

28 January 1944:
At 1100, arrives at North San Fernando, Philippines. Departs that same day at 1800.

30 January 1944:
At 1200, the convoy arrives at Takao.

31 January 1944:
Departs Takao for Moji in convoy HI-30.

2 February 1944:
LtCdr Russell Kefauver’s (USNA ’33) USS TAMBOR (SS-198) sights the convoy and begins tracking the three ships. TAMBOR begins an "end-around" run to get ahead of the convoy.

3 February 1944:
East China Sea, 200 miles SE of Shanghai, China. At about 0400, TAMBOR makes a flooded-down approach and closes for the attack. LtCdr Kefauver and his Executive Officer Lt Edward Spruance, (son of Admiral Raymond A. Spruance), are on the bridge. As the radar range closes, the freighter and oiler come into view, but the kaibokan is obscured by haze.

Kefauver makes a visual attack on the surface. He fires three torpedoes at ARIAKE MARU and gets one hit amidships. At about 0415, ARIAKE MARU sinks at 28-53N, 124-19E. Kefauver fires three more torpedoes at GOYO MARU. At 0416, he gets two hits in her engine room and she erupts in brilliant flames. Fifteen crewmen and three passengers are killed. Abandon Ship is ordered.

TAMBOR's SJ radar picks up the relative position of the escorting kaibokan at 90 degrees starboard. She becomes visible in the brightness of exploding GOYO MARU. Kefauver crash dives. He takes TAMBOR to the bottom and remains there at 268 feet under depth charge attack from 0418 to 1315. TAMBOR survives more than 70 depth charges, then slips away.

GOYO MARU drifts away blazing and disappears into a rain squall.

5 February 1944:
GOYO MARU is presumed sunk at about 28-44N, 123-38E from this date. [2]

At 1110, USN codebreakers at Fleet Radio Unit, Melbourne, Australia (FRUMEL) intercept and decode two messages from destroyer ASAKAZE that read "ARIAKE MARU sank soon after being torpedoed" and "GOYO MARU hit twice in 18-32N, 124-04E and is sinking."

Authors' Notes:
[1] Unconfirmed, but probable movement.

[2] Another source gives the location as 29-11N, 124-45E.

Photo credit and general thanks goes to Gilbert Casse of France.

Thanks go to Toda Gengoro of Japan for information in Revision 1.

Special thanks go to Hans Mcilveen of the Netherlands for info on FRUMEL intercepts.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

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