Rare Japanese photo of HOSANG (later GYOZAN MARU) after having been scuttled.

GYOZAN MARU: Tabular Record of Movement

© 2014-2016 Bob Hackett

Londonderry, Ireland. Laid down at the North of Ireland Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. as a 5,698-ton cargo ship for the Indo-China Steam Navigation Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Hong Kong based Jardine, Matheson & Co.

E 1922:
Launched and named HOSANG.

March 1922:
Completed and placed in Indo-China Steam Navigation Co.’s service.

6 July 1922:
HOSANG departs Singapore for Hong Kong.

9 April 1934:
Calcutta, India. Customs officers search HOSANG on her arrival from Singapore and the Far East and discover eight pounds of cocaine, valued at £1000, concealed in hollowed bamboo bars of cages containing chickens and ducks.

29 October 1940:
HOSANG departs Bombay (Mumbai), India for Singapore in convoy BM-3 also consisting of AMRA, DEVONSHIRE, EL MADINA, JAPAPAMA, PUNDIT, RANEE and TALAMBIA escorted by armed merchant cruiser DANAE.

11 November 1940:
Arrives at Singapore.

10 January 1942:
HOSANG, YEUN SANG and TAI SANG depart Calcutta as convoy SS.1 HOSANG carries stores

20 January 1942:
At sea, YEUN SANG of convoy SS.1 joins convoy BM-10 that departed Bombay for Singapore on 8 January consisting of 18 British, French and American troop/cargo ships with a strong escort of 11 British cruisers, British and Dutch light cruisers and destroyers and British patrol boats. The convoy is carrying 6,000 men of the 44th Indian Infantry Brigade, vehicles, stores for the 18th division and carriers for the recon regiment.

22 January 1942:
At sea, HOSANG, American COLINGSWORTH and Dutch ROCHUSSEN also join convoy convoy BM-10.

25 January 1942:
Arrives in Singapore. That same day, HOSANG is damaged by Japanese bombs.

30 January 1942:
Singapore. HOSANG is again damaged by bombs.

2 February 1942:
Singapore. HOSANG is again damaged by bombs.

6 February 1942:
HOSANG departs Singapore for Palembang, Sumatra.

12 February 1942: Operation "L" (L Sakusen) -The Invasions of Muntok, Banka Island and Palembang, Sumatra, Netherlands East Indies (NEI):
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hashimoto Shintaro’s (41) DesRon 3 light cruiser SENDAI, DesDiv 11's FUBUKI, HATSUYUKI and SHIRAYUKI, DesDiv 20’s AMAGIRI, YUGIRI and ASAGIRI, MinSwpDiv 1’s W-1, W-2,W-3,W-4 and W-5 and SubChasDiv 11’s CH-7 and CH-8 departs Camranh Bay, Vichy French Indochina (Vietnam) escorting an invasion convoy consisting of transports ANYO, ALASKA, KINUGAWA, MANSEI, OYO,SADO, TACOMA and TAJIMA MARUs. Air cover is provided by floatplane fighters from seaplane tenders SAGARA and KAMIKAWA MARUs.

The convoy carries seven companies of the 229th Regiment of the IJA 38th Division, a mountain gun battery of the 10th Independent Mountain Artillery Battalion, an engineer company of the 38th Engineer Regiment and men of the 38th Medical Unit.

14 February 1942:
Palembang. Auxiliary patrol ship HUA TONG is sunk by Japanese bombing. HOSANG and auxiliary patrol ship KLIAS are damaged in the same attack. HOSANG is run aground in the Moesi River and abandoned.

15 February 1942:
At 0100, the invasion convoy arrives off Muntok, Bangka Stait and at 0130 successfully lands its troops on Bangka Island Sumatra. OYO MARU suffers slight damage in an air attack, probably by RAAF Lockheed “Hudson” light bombers.

16 February 1942:
Off Muntok. At 0940, HOSANG is captured by light cruiser SENDAI and destroyer FUBUKI and towed to Palembang.

Repaired at an unknown location, possibly Singapore.

16 February 1943:
Repairs are completed. Renamed GYOZAN MARU. Allotted IJA No. 2040.

15 July 1943:
GYOZAN SMARU departs Singapore in convoy No. 605 also consisting of JUNGEN GO, KIYO, NICHIWA, SAMARANG and TAMAHOKO MARUs and tankers TACHIBANA and SAN PEDRO MARUs and an unidentified merchant. The convoy is accompanied by Vichy French frigate LA PEROUSE.

18 July 1943:
Arrives St Jacques, Vichy French Indochina (Vung Tau, Vietnam).

3 August 1943:
Arrives at Mutsure.

16 August 1944:
At 0700, GYOZAN MARU departs Miri in convoy MI-12 also consisting of GYOKUYO, JUNGEN GO, KAITO, KINRYU, NORFOLK and UGA MARUs and and tankers TAKETOYO, TAIEI, SEISHIN and NANSEI MARUs escorted by kaibokan SHIMUSHU, CD-16, CD-28 and CH-41 and subchasers CH-30 and CH-33 which join en route

17 August 1944:
GYOZAN MARU is detached.

13 September 1944:
GYOZAN MARU departs Takao commercial port probably in convoy MI-12 then likely consisting of IJA tankers (A/C-AO) SEISHIN, ZUIYO and OYO MARUs, IJN cargo ship KAITO MARU and IJA transports TAIEI MARU and JUNGEN GO escorted by torpedo boat HIYODORI and destroyer HATSUHARU.

22 September 1944:
Arrives at Osaka.

17 November 1944:
At 0730, GYOZAN MARU departs Singapore for Manila in convoy No. 4118 also consisting of DOWA MARU.

19 November 1944:
Victoria Harbor, Labuan Island, occupied British Borneo.At 0145, three B-24 make a radar-controlled bombing attack against shipping off Labuan. Kaibokan OKINAWA sustains damage from a near miss. At 0558, damaged OKINAWA departs Labuan for Manila with kaibokan SHIMUSHU and CD-13 escorting convoy No. 4118 consisting of DOWA and GYOZAN MARUs.

20 November 1944:
At 1210, damaged OKINAWA is detached and proceeds independently toward Singapore.

21 November 1944:
W of Palawan Passage, Philippines. Cdr James E. Steven's (USNA ’30) leads a wolf pack consisting of USS FLOUNDER (SS-251), LtCdr Carl Tiedeman's (USNA '33) USS GUAVINA (SS-362) and LtCdr Richard E. Nichol's (USNA ’35) USS BASHAW (SS-241. The pack picks up convoy No. 4118 transiting Dangerous Ground. At 1844, in bad weather, Nichol's BASHAW torpedoes and damages disables GYOZAN MARU at 10-36N, 115-08E.

At about the same time, Steven's FLOUNDER fires six torpedoes and further damages and disables GYOZAN MARU at 10-36N, 115-08E, but she does not sink. 21 crewmen are KIA. Abandon Ship is ordered. An unknown number of survivors are taken by the escorts to Manila and landed five days later. Later, the flaming wreck drifts ashore in Dangerous Ground.

23 November 1944:
Tizard's Reef. At about 1500, Tiedeman's GUAVINA fires three torpedoes at the hulk of GYOZAN MARU and gets one hit. The hulk rolls over and sinks with its bow on the reef.

Author's Note:
[1] Also known as GYOSAN MARU.

Photo credit and thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

Bob Hackett

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