ZATSUYOSEN!

(HIROTAMA MARU, prewar)

IJN HIROTAMA MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2012 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


E 1939:
Koyagijima. Laid down by Kawaminami Kogyo K.K. Zosensho shipyard for Tamai Shosen K.K. as a 1,911-ton cargo ship, part of the Peacetime Standard Ship (D) Type Program.

18 July 1939:
Launched and named HIROTAMA MARU.

26 December 1939:
Completed and registered in Tokyo.

3 December 1940:
Requisitioned by the IJN.

16 December 1940:
Uraga Dock K.K. shipyard. Begins conversion to military duty.

25 December 1940:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary gunboat and attached to the Yokosuka Naval District with Yokosuka as homeport under internal order No. 1020.

14 January 1941:
Conversion is completed.

8 February 1941:
Departs Yokosuka.

E February-July 1941:
Operates in South Seas District (Japanese mandated islands).

2 August 1941:
Arrives at Futami harbor, Chichi-Jima, Ogasawara Gunto (Bonins).

12 August 1941:
Departs Futami.

E August-October 1941:
Operates in South Seas District.

15 October 1941:
Assigned to 4th Fleet, 7th Gunboat Division under instruction No. 1250.

23 November 1941:
Departs Saipan, Marianas and arrives later that day at Rota, Marianas.

30 November 1941:
Transfers back to Saipan.

1 December 1941:
LtCdr Kawata Yoshio (48) is appointed Commanding Officer (CO). Assigned that same day to Guam Invasion Group.

4 December 1941:
Transfers to Rota.

9 December 1941:
Departs Rota.

10 December 1941:
Transports the 18th Artillery Battery from Cape Shirai to Guam.

12 December 1941:
Transfers back to Rota.

14 December 1941:
Detached from Guam Invasion Group and assigned to South Seas Forces under instruction No. 18.

15 December 1941:
Classified as gunboat No. 72.

25 December 1941:
Departs Saipan.

26 December 1941:
Arrives at Guam (renamed Omiya-Jima after its capture).

5 January 1942:
Assigned to provide support to Marianas based troops for the scheduled “R” Operation.

9 January 1942:
Departs Guam.

10 January 1942:
Arrives at Saipan.

11 January 1942:
Departs Saipan.

11-13 January 1942:
Patrols waters before the “R” Operation Invasion Group.

13 January 1942:
Arrives at Saipan.

31 January 1942:
Departs Saipan.

1 February 1942:
Arrives at Guam.

17 February 1942:
Departs Guam.

18 February 1942:
Arrives at Saipan.

21 February 1942:
Departs Saipan.

21-24 February 1942:
On patrol mission.

24 February 1942:
Arrives back at Saipan.

26 February 1942:
Departs Saipan.

21 February 1942:
Departs Saipan. Performs gunnery practice and returns to Saipan later in the day.

10 March 1942:
Departs Saipan for another gunnery drill and returns back to Saipan that same day.

13 March 1942:
Departs Saipan.

13-17 February 1942:
On patrol mission.

17 March 1942:
Arrives at Saipan.

20 March 1942:
Departs Saipan.

20-21 March 1942:
On gunnery practice exercise.

27 March 1942:
Arrives at Saipan.

10 April 1942:
The 7th Gunboat Division is dissolved under Instruction No. 652. Attached that same day to the 4th Fleet, 5th Base Force.

30 April 1942:
Departs Saipan.

1 May 1942:
Arrives at Guam.

5 May 1942:
Departs Guam.

6 May 1942:
Arrives at Saipan.

14 May 1942:
Departs Saipan.

15 May 1942:
Arrives at Saipan. Departs later that day for Japan.

22 May 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

16 June 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

18 June 1942:
Arrives at Futami harbor, Chichi-Jima.

19 June 1942:
Departs Futami.

23 June 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

10 July 1942:
Removed from the Navy list under instruction No. 1218. Registered again that same day in the IJN as an auxiliary transport, (Ko) category and attached to the Yokosuka Naval District with Yokosuka as homeport under internal order No. 1219. [1]

12 July 1942:
Starts conversion to her new military role at the Yokosuka Naval Yard.

13 August 1942:
Conversion is completed.

14 August 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

16 August 1942:
Arrives at Ominato, Aomori Prefecture.

20 August 1942:
Departs Ominato.

25 August 1942:
Attached to the Southwest Area Fleet.

13 September 1942:
Arrives at Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture. Departs later.

18 September 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

20 September 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

25 September 1942:
Departs Kure and arrives at Mutsure later in the day.

26 September 1942:
Departs Mutsure for Mako, Pescadores in convoy No. 167 also consisting of IJA transport HOUN MARU and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer WAKATAKE.

1 October 1942:
Arrives at Mako. Transfers later that same day to Takao, Formosa (now Kaohsiung, Taiwan).

3 October 1942:
Departs Takao.

14 February 1943:
Makassar Strait. About 73 nautical miles W of Cape Mandal, Celebes (now Mundala, Sulawesi), LtCdr (later Vice Admiral/MOH) Lawson P. Ramage's (USNA ’31) USS TROUT (SS-202) sights what he takes to be a tanker as it emerges from a rain squall. About 0800, Ramage makes a submerged attack and fires two torpedoes. The first torpedo hits and blows off HIROTAMA MARU’s bow, but the second is a dud. As the transport resumes course at eight knots, TROUT battle surfaces and opens fire with her deck guns, but soon seven of her men are wounded by the transport’s machine guns. Ramage then swings around and fires a stern torpedo that mortally hits HIROTAMA MARU. She slips under, stern straight up and screws still turning at 03-59S 117-30E taking down 29 crewmen.

1 April 1943:
Removed from the Navy’s list under internal order No. 587.


Authors' Notes:
[1] There were two categories of Zatsuyosen. (Ko) category with an IJN Captain as supervisor aboard and (Otsu) category without.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan.

Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


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