(FUKU MARU prewar, later HOKURYU MARU)
Tabular Record of Movement
© 2018 Bob Hackett
Innoshima Plant (Hiroshima). Laid down at Osaka Iron Works Co., Ltd. as a 4,379-ton cargo ship for Kobe Pier Co., Ltd. of Sumiyoshi.
18 July 1917:
Launched and named FUKU MARU.
Sold to Taisho Kisen K. K. of Kobe.
Sold to Kyoritsu Kisen K. K. of Kobe.
Sold to Daiko Kisen K. K.
1 March 1938:
Sold to Kita Nippon Kisen (Northern Japan Steamship) K. K. of Otaru.
12 April 1938:
Renamed HOKURYU MARU.
6 June 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJA. Allotted Army No. 784.
15 April 1942: - “U” Sakusen (Operation “U”) – The Invasion of Burma:
HOKURYU MARU departs Singapore in the 3rd Invasion Convoy also consisting of ANYO, ARGUN, BRAZIL, BUYO, ENGLAND, GINYO, HAMBURG, HAVRE, HOKUROKU, KENKOKU, KOCHI, KUWAYAMA, MEIGEN, MONTREAL, PENANG, TAIKAI, TAIZAN, TEIKAI, SAMARANG, SUEZ, YAWATA and YONEYAMA MARUs, SHINTO MARU No. 1 and five unidentified merchants escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOSA MARU and other unidentified escorts.
19 April 1942:
At 0138 arrives at the Rangoon rivermouth.
9 July 1942:
Released by the IJA back to her owners.
21 February 1943:
HOKURYU MARU departs Muroran in convoy No. 2221 also consisting of transports FRANCE, KINSEN and SHINFUKU MARUs, cargo JUZAN MARU, civilian cargo ships ATAKA (ex-Italian ADA) MARU and BANEI MARU No. 2 escorted by auxiliary gunboat HIYOSHI MARU No. 2 GO.
24 February 1943:
Arrives at Tokyo Wan (Bay).
18 August 1943:
At 1030, HOKURYU MARU departs Muroran in convoy No. 2818 also consisting of MIYAZAKI, TAISEI and TAMA MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-101.
21 August 1943:
At 0750, arrives at Uraga. At 1108, departs Uraga. At 1255, arrives at Yokosuka.
16 November 1943:
Following a merger, HOKURYU MARU is transferred to Osaka Shosen K. K. (OSK Line), Osaka.
31 December 1943:
At 1000, HOKURYU MARU departs Yokosuka in convoy No. 1231 also consisting of transports SHINFUKU MARU, cargo ship TATSUTAGAWA MARU and one unidentified merchant ship with an unknown escort.
3 January 1944:
Arrives at Muroran.
1 April 1944:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Navy (IJN) as an Ippan Choyosen shared employment Haitosen (B-AK).
9 April 1944:
Released by the IJN back to her owners.
19 October 1944:
Arrives at Yamada.
16 October 1944:
Departs Maoka, West coast of Karafuto (South Sakhalin).
22 October 1944:
HOKURYU MARU is in convoy No. 2018 also consisting of KATSURAGAWA and SHINSEN MARUs escorted by minesweeper W-1. Later, HOKURYU MARU is detached escorted by minesweeper W-1.
23 October 1944:
Arrives at Onagawa.
20 December 1944:
While en route to Otaru, Hokkaido, HOKURYU MARU encounters a blinding blizzard (typhoon) and runs aground. She sinks about 250 meters off the SE coast of Teuri-To (Island) at 44-25N, 141-18E). Two crewman are lost.
Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.
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