(Sister SHANGHAI MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2014 Bob Hackett

3 March 1919:
Kobe. Laid down as a stock boat at Kawasaki Dockyard, as yard No. 416, a 4,104-ton passenger-cargo ship.

15 May 1919:
Launched and named HANKOW MARU.

7 June 1919:

1 August 1919:
Transfered to Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. (K-Line) and placed in service on their London and Gibraltar to New York route.

4 November 1920:
HANKOW MARU arrives at Ellis Island, New York from Gibraltar.

8 March 1927:
HANKOW MARU arrives at Singapore from China and Japan.

July 1937: Second Sino-Japanese War:
Chartered by the Imperial Army (IJA) as a troop transport.

2 August 1937:
The second echelon of China Emergency troop carriers arrives at Pusan, Korea to load. HANKOW, HIDE, HOKUSHO, MIKASA, SINGAPORE, TASMANIA and TOKYO MARUs and YOSHIDA MARU No. 1 all from the second echelon arrive this day.

13 September 1937:
HANKOW MARU departs Moji for secret location "A" in a convoy also consisting of transports GYOKO, KIMI, MEIGEN, OME, SAMARANG, TAKAO, TATESHI, TONE, UGO, UME and YUKI MARUs. HANGKOW MARU carries 282 men and 280 horses of the Transport Unit HQ, 6th Field Medium Artillery Brigade, most of 1st Company, Transport Unit, 6th Field Medium Artillery Brigade and most of the horses for 5th Company, Transport Unit, 6th Field Medium Artillery Brigade.

14 September 1937:
Arrives at secret location "B" and begins unloading.

24 May 1938:
HANKOW MARU departs Shanghai carrying the 3rd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 9th Division.

29 May 1938:
Arrives at Osaka. Disembarks troops.

E 1938:
Returned to her owners.

15 March 1938:
Sold to the Yamashita Steamship Co. of Kobe.

14 January 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army and converted to a troop transport. Assigned Army No. 30.

16 December 1941: The Occupation of Davao, Mindanao, Philippines:
HANKOW MARU is assigned to the Philippines Invasion Group under command of Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo’s (36) Third Fleet as part of the Davao Invasion Unit under command of Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Irifune Naosaburo (39).

The occupation of Davao is a combined IJN/IJA operation which involves Gen (later Field Marshal) Count Terauchi Hisachi’s command’s Southern Expeditionary Army. The 16th Army, under LtGen (later General) Imamura Hitoshi fields MajGen (later LtGen) Sakaguchi Shizuo's “Sakaguchi” Detachment of about 6,000 troops consisting of the 56th Inf Div's 56 Hq Company, 146th Inf Regiment, 2nd Battalion of 56th Artillery Regiment with 12 75mm field guns, one tank company, one Engineer Company, one Transport Company, one Signal unit platoon, 56th medical Unit, Field Hospital Unit and the “Miura” Detachment of about 1,200 troops of the 16th Inf Div's the 16 Inf Div’s Heavy weapons Company, of 33th Inf Regiment, 3rd Inf Bn and two Eng platoons of the 56th Inf Div. Two AA and one Signals Regiment are stationed on IJA transports.

The invasion units are embarked on eight IJA transports: HANKOW, HAVANA, HITERU, KANKO, KURETAKE, LIVERPOL, TEIRYU (ex-German AUGSBURG) and YAMAZUKI MARUs.

The Navy force consists of Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake's (35)(former CO of KONGO) Southern Force, Philippines Invasion Group that includes Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo’s (36)(former CO of YAMASHIRO) Third Fleet. Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Irifune Naosaburo's (39) Invasion Unit consists of his 32st Special Base Force aboard TONAN MARU No 2, elements of 103rd Aerial Field Repair Shop and a detachment of 3rd Munitions Unit aboard KINUGASA MARU, a company of the No. 1 Kure Special Naval Force (SNLF) aboard AMAGISAN MARU, 2nd Construction Unit Rgt aboard TAITO MARU and 3rd Construction Unit Rgt aboard KOSHIN MARU.

Other transports are EIKO MARU No. 2 GO, KIRISHIMA, TATSUKAMI and TENRYU MARUs carrying equipment and material for the future Davao and Jolo airbases. The convoy’s close escort consists of minelayer SHIRITAKA and patrol boats PB-36 and PB-37. Cover is provided by Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Tanaka Raizo's (41) light cruiser JINTSU, DesDiv 15’s HAYASHIO, NATSUSHIO, OYASHIO and KUROSHIO and DesDiv 16's YUKIKAZE, HATSUKAZE and AMATSUKAZE. Rear Admiral (Admiral posthumously) Takagi Takeo's (39)(former CO of MUTSU) CruDiv 5's NACHI, MYOKO and HAGURO provide distant cover. Air cover is provided by light carrier RYUJO and seaplane carrier CHITOSE.

The convoy is organized into three subdivisions:
The 1st subdivision consists of IJN transports KIRISHIMA, TAITO, KINUGASA and AMAGISAN MARUs and IJA transport YAMATSUKI MARU.
The 2nd subdivision consists of IJA transports KURETAKE, TEIRYU (ex-German AUGSBURG) and TENRYU MARUs, carrying elements of the 3rd Munitions Unit & the 103rd Aerial Field Repair Shop) and TONAN MARU No. 2 MARU escorted by destroyers AMATSUKAZE and OYASHIO and minelayer SHIRATAKA.
The 3rd subdivision consists of IJN transports HANKOW and HAVANA MARUs and IJN transports KOSHIN and TATSUKAMI KOSHIN MARUs and EIKO MARU No. 2 GO.

16 December 1941:
At 1600, the 3rd subdivision departs Palau.

17 December 1941:
At 0700, the 2nd subdivision departs Palau.

17 December 1941:
At 1300, the 1st subdivision departs Palau.

19 December 1941:
200 miles E of Davao. In the afternoon, RYUJO launches six planes to attack the radio station at Cape San Augustin, at the eastern tip of Davao Gulf, while seaplane carrier CHITOSE launches planes to reconnoiter Davao.

20 December 1941:
The transports arrive off Davao after midnight. At 0145, the 1st subdivision arrives at Tibungko Anchorage (15 km NNE of Davao). At 0320, the 3rd subdivision arrives at Talomo Anchorage (6 km SW of Davao). At 0440, the 2nd subdivision arrives at Tibungko Anchorage At 0500, troops of LtCol Miura Toshio's 33rd Infantry Regiment's detachment, covered by RYUJO's aircraft, begin landing in the northern section of Davao while elements of the Sakaguchi Detachment come ashore along the coast SW of the city. Resistance by the garrison of some 3,500 Filipino-American troops is quickly overcome and, by 1500, that same day, Davao and its airfield are occupied. That evening a seaplane base is established S of the city.

6 January 1942: The Invasion of Tarakan, Dutch Borneo:
At 1100, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hirose Sueto´s (39) Tarakan Occupation Force Convoy departs Daliao, Philippines. The convoy is organized into two subdivisions:
The 1st subdivision consists of IJA transports HANKOW, EHIME, HITERU, LIVERPOOL and TSURUGA MARUs and IJN transports KANO and KUNIKAWA MARUs carrying elements of the Sakaguchi Detachment and the No. 2 Kure SNLF.
The 2nd subdivision consists of IJA transports HAVANA, KURETAKE, NICHIAI, TEIRYU (ex-German AUGSBURG) MARUs and IJN transports KAGU, KUNITSU and RAKUTO MARUs carrying elements of the Sakaguchi Detachment, 5th Construction and 2nd Defense Units

10 January 1942:
At 1900, both subdivisions arrive at No. 1 Anchorage. At 2215, the 2nd subdivision departs No. 1 Anchorage.

11 January 1942:
At 0100, arrives at No. 2 Anchorage At 0220, the landing barges cast off from the transports and head towards the landing zone on the SE coast of Tarakan.

21 January 1942: The Invasion of Balikpapan, Dutch Borneo:
At 1700, the Balikpapan Invasion Force departs Tarakan carrying the Sakaguchi Detachment (56th Regimental Group), 2nd Construction, 1st Defense and 11th Air Fleet units consisting of Army transports HANKOW, EHIME, HAVANA, HITERU, KURETAKE, LIVERPOOL, NISSHO, TEIRYU and TSURUGU MARUs and Navy transports ASASHISAN, FUJIKAGE (TOEI), KANAYAMASAN, KUMANOGAWA, NANA, NITTEI, SUMANOURA and TATSUGAMI MARUs.

22 December 1942:
HANKOW MARU departs Osaka in convoy East No. 54 also consisting of IJN transports TAIRYU MARU and HAKUTETSU MARU No. 15, IJA transports CHIYO and TEIBI (ex French BERNARDIN DE ST PIERRE) MARUs and civilian cargo ship RYOGA MARU, escorted by torpedo boat CHIDORI.

24 December 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

E 25 December 1942:
Arrives at Tokyo.

17 March 1943:
HANKOW MARU departs Saeki in Military Movement No. 8’s "H2" convoy also consisting of MEIZAN, NIKKI MARUs escorted by minelayer YURIJIMA and patrol boat PB-31.

E 18 March 1943:
The escorts are detached at 29N.

26 April 1943:
At 0830, HANKOW MARU departs Palau in convoy departs Palau in convoy "Wewak No. 3" also consisting of BUNZAN, HOFUKU and SAN FRANCISCO MARUs, HAKUTETSU MARU No. 13 and SHINSEI MARU No. 1 escorted by destroyers AMATSUKAZE and URAKAZE and subchasers CH-26 and CH-34. The convoy is carrying 6,000 soldiers of the 41st Infantry Division and ammunition, provisions, aircraft and supplies.

30 April 1943:
At 2205, SAN FRANCISCO MARU and CH-34 are detached for Kairiru Island.

18 May 1943:
HANKOW MARU departs Hollandia in a convoy also consisting of TAIRIN MARU escorted by subchaser CH-26.

22 May 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

20 July 1943:
At 0800, HANKOW MARU departs Palau in convoy "Hansa No. 5" also consisting of ADEN, DENMARK, NAGANO and YUBAE MARUs and SHINTO MARU No. 1 escorted by minelayer SHIRATAKA and subchaser CH-34.

25 July 1943:
At 0125, arrives at Hansa Bay, New Guinea.

31 July 1943:
At 1151, arrives at Palau.

20 August 1943:
HANKOW (KANKO) MARU departs Palau in convoy "Wewak No. 7" also consisting of ADEN, NAGANO, NAGATO, SHINYU and YUBAE MARUs escorted by subchasers CH-26 and CH-34.

3 August 1943:
The convoy is ordered back to Palau because of increased Allied air activity over Wewak.

28 August 1943:
At 0945, convoy "Wewak No. 7" again departs Palau, less YUBAE MARU.

2 September 1943:
At 0045, the convoy anchors at Wewak, New Guinea. Later that day, the convoy is attacked by about 30 B-25 “Mitchell” medium bombers escorted by P-38 “Lightning” fighters. HANKOW MARU, carrying troops and war supplies, is bombed and sunk. NAGATO MARU is also sunk.

ADEN and NAGANO MARUs are damaged.

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

Bob Hackett

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