RIKUGUN BYOINSEN

(Sister HAVRE MARU, prewar)

IJA Hospital/Cargo Ship HOKUSHIN (ex-HONOLULU) MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2013-2016 Bob Hackett


1919:
Innoshima. Laid down at Osaka Iron Works as a 5,751-ton cargo ship for the Osaka Shosen Kaisha (OSK) Line, Osaka.

28 June 1920:
Launched and named HONOLULU MARU.

31 July 1920:
Completed and registered in the port of Osaka.

22 September 1920:
Departs Kobe for New York.

21 October 1921:
Departs Kobe for New York.

7 April 1922:
Departs Kobe for Bombay, India.

February 1923:
Arrives at Australia.

6 April 1921:
HONOLULU MARU departs Kobe for Hong Kong via Dairen, Manchuria (Dalian, China) and Shanghai.

22 April 1921:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

9 August 1927:
Arrives at Singapore.

12 August 1927:
Departs Singapore for Colombo, Ceylon, and Bombay, India and Karachi India. (Pakistan) India.

11 November 1930:
Departs Kobe for Bombay.

10 May 1930:
Departs Kobe for Calcutta, India.

15 November 1933:
Departs Yokohama for India via Hong Kong, Shanghai, Moji, Kobe and Osaka.

24 December 1933:
Departs Kobe for Calcutta.

25 March 1934:
Sold to Nippon Nippon Godo Kosen, K. K. and renamed HOKUSHIN (North Star) MARU.

16 September 1936:
Sold to joint fishing industry Ai Kai corporation

31 March 1937:
Sold to Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd., K. K.

7 July 1937: The "First China Incident" and the Beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War:
Hun River, Lukuokiao, China. Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) troops on night maneuvers at the Marco Polo Bridge fire blank cartridges. Chinese troops across the river think they are under attack. They fire live round back, but do not cause injuries. At morning roll call, the Japanese discover a soldier missing and assume the Chinese have captured him. The Japanese demand entry to the Peiping (Beijing) suburb of Wanping to look for the soldier, but the Chinese refuse. The Japanese then shell the city. An undeclared war on China begins.

July 1937: Second Sino-Japanese War:
HOKUSHIN MARU is chartered by the Imperial Army (IJA) as a troop ship.

3 August 1937:
HOKUSHIN MARU departs Moji carrying the IJA the 23rd Infantry Regiment of the 36th Infantry Brigade, 6th Division.

5 August 1937:
Arrives at at Pusan, Korea. Disembarks troops.

6 September 1937:
HOKUSHIN MARU departs Osaka for secret location "B" in a convoy also consisting of transports CALIFORNIA, FUKUYO and CHIAI MARUs. HOKUSHIN MARU carries 1,357 men and 138 horses including the 16th Divisionís 33th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Brigade HQ, 1st Battalion and 1 company, 3rd Battalion,

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

9 November 1937:
Departs Ujina.

10 November 1937:
Arrives at Moji and departs.

13 November 1937:
Arrives at Shanghai.

15 November 1937:
Departs Shanghai.

18 November 1937:
Arrives at Moji and departs.

198 November 1937:
Arrives at Ujina.

30 November 1937:
Departs Ujina.

1 December 1937:
Arrives at Moji and departs.

4 December 1937:
Arrives at Shanghai.

8 December 1937:
Departs Shanghai.

11 December 1937:
Arrives at Moji and departs.

12 December 1937:
Arrives at Ujina.

E 1938:
HOKUSHIN MARU is released back to her owners.

September 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) and converted to a Byoinsen (hospital ship). Assigned IJA No. 346.

1 October 1941:
Departs Ujina.

6 October 1941:
Arrives at Shanghai and departs.

10 October 1941:
Arrives at Ujina.

19 November 1941:
Departs Ujina.

22 December 1941: Operation "M" (M Sakusen) -The Invasion of the Northern Philippines:
HOKUSHIN MARU arrives at Damortis, Lingayen Gulf, Philippines.

22 December 1941:
Departs Lingayen.

6 January 1942:
Arrives at Lingayen.

7 January 1942:
The 55th hospital group embarks patients for transport and HOKUSHIN MARU departs Lingayen.

8 January 1942:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa.

15 January 1942:
Departs Takao.

17 January 1942:
Arrives at Lingayen.

26 January 1942:
Departs Lingayen.

28 January 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

1 February 1942:
Departs Takao.

3 February 1942:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

8 February 1942:
Departs Hong Kong.

10 February 1942:
Arrives at Lingayen and departs for Saigon, Vichy French, Indochina (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam).

6 March 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

7 March 1942:
Departs Saigon.

10 March 1942:
Arrives at Singapore, Malaya (now Republic of Singaore).

18 March 1942:
The 55th hospital group embarks patients for transport and HOKUSHIN MARU departs Saigon.

26 March 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

28 March 1942:
Departs Takao.

3 April 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

5 April 1942:
Departs Ujina.

9 April 1942:
Arrives at Shanghai.

10 April 1942:
Departs Shanghai.

14 April 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

18 April 1942:
Departs Ujina.

20 April 1942:
The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs notifies the warring parties that HOKUSHIN MARU is a designated hospital ship.

25 May 1942:
Arrives at Kirun, Formosa (Keelung, Taiwan).

26 May 1942:
Departs Kirun.

4 June 1942:
Arrives at Kobe.

8 June 1942:
Departs Ujina.

12 June 1942:
Arrives at Dairen, Manchuria (Dalian, China).

15 June 1942:
Departs Dairen.

17 June 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

29 June 1942:
Departs Ujina.

3 July 1942:
Arrives at Tsingtao (Qingdao), China and departs.

6 July 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

20 July 1942:
Departs Ujina.

30 July 1942:
Arrives at Kirun and departs.

31 July 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

15 August 1942:
Departs Moji.

25 August 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

27 August 1942:
Departs Takao.

30 August 1942:
Arrives at Manila.

2 September 1942:
Departs Takao.

6 September 1942:
Arrives at Kirun and departs,

10 September 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

13 September 1942:
Departs Moji.

17 September 1942:
Arrives at Chongjin, Korea.

18 September 1942:
Departs Chongjin.

20 September 1942:
Arrives at Pusan, Korea.

26 September 1942:
Departs Pusan.

30 September 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

2 October 1942:
Departs Moji.

6 October 1942:
Arrives at Shanghai

8 October 1942:
Departs Shanghai.

13 October 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

14 October 1942:
Departs Moji.

17 October 1942:
Arrives at Dairen.

19 October 1942:
The 26th hospital group embarks patients for transport and HOKUSHIN MARU departs Dairen.

22 October 1942:
Arrives at Moji

23 October 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

25 October 1942:
Departs Ujina and arrives at Pusan.

28 October 1942:
The 26th hospital group embarks patients for transport and HOKUSHIN MARU departs Pusan.

29 October 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

31 October 1942:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

2 November 1942:
Departs Hong Kong.

6 November 1942:
Arrives at Canton (Guangdong).

7 November 1942:
The 25th hospital group embarks patients for transport and HOKUSHIN MARU departs Canton.

8 November 1942:
Arrives at Huangpu (near Shanghai).

17 November 1942:
Arrives at Ujina (Hiroshima).

19 November 1942:
Departs Osaka.

1 December 1942:
Arrives at Kirun.

2 December 1942:
Departs Kirun.

8 December 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

10 December 1942:
Departs Moji.

21 December 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

23 December 1942:
Departs Saigon.

31 December 1942:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

1 January 1943:
Departs Hong Kong.

9 January 1943:
Arrives at Ujina.

15 January 1943:
Departs Moji.

20 January 1943:
Arrives at Qinhuangdao.

21 January 1943:
Departs Qinhuangdao.

25 January 1943:
Arrives at Ujina.

31 January 1943:
Departs Moji.

19 February 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul, New Britain and departs.

3 March 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

7 March 1943:
Departs Manila and departs.

13 March 1943:
Arrives Palau.

23 March 1943:
Arrives at Ereventa, Bougainville and departs.

31 March 1943:
Sold to Japan Marine Fisheries Control Co., Ltd.

4 April 1943:
Arrives at Manila and departs.

11 April 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

11 April 1943:
Arrives at Ereventa and departs.

12 May 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

17 May 1943:
Departs Manila.

1 June 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

2 June 1943:
Departs Takao.

3 June 1943:
Arrives at Shanghai and departs.

12 June 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

17 July 1943:
Departs Ujina.

26 July 1943:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

31 July 1943:
Departs Hong Kong.

10 August 1943:
Arrives at Ujina.

29 August 1943:
Departs Ujina.

24 October 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

25 November 1943:
Departs Singapore.

27 November 1943:
Arrives at Palembang, Sumatra.

29 November 1943:
Departs Palembang

1 December 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

2 December 1943:
Departs Singapore.

6 December 1943:
Arrives at Java (Indonesia).

7 March 1944:
Arrives at Takao and departs.

8 March 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

15 April 1944:
At 0600, HOKUSHIN MARU departs Tokyo in convoy Higashi-Matsu No. 6 also consisting of AWA, AWAJI, BATAVIA, HAKUBA, KATSUKAWA and, TAKAOKA MARUs bound for Saipan, CHOAN MARU No. 2 and MIKAGE MARU No. 1 bound for Truk, BISAN, JINSAN, and JOKUJA MARUs bound for Palau, KAMISHIMA and SHOZAN MARUs bound for Wolei, INARI and TONEGAWA MARUs bound for Guam and TAMAHOKO and TATSUAKI MARUs bound for Chichi-Jima. The escort consists of destroyers HOKAZE, YUNAGI, UZUKI, kaibokan MIYAKE and CD-6, minelayers SARUSHIMA, KYOSAI and YURISHIMA, minesweepers W-20 and W-28 and subchasers CH-10 with CH-12.

23 April 1944:
At 0600, arrives at Saipan.

27 April 1944:
Departs Saipan.

4 May 1944:
Arrives at Yokohama.

6 May 1944:
Departs Yokohama.

20 May 1944:
HOKUSHIN MARU departs Moji in convoys MOTA-20 and TE-07 also consisting of HAKUSHIKA (HAKUROKU), HIBI, HOSEN, JUNPO, KAIKO (851 GRT), KOSHIN, MACASSAR, TATSUHATO, TATEBE (KEMBU), TEIFU (ex-Vichy French BOUGAINVILLE) and YAMAGIKU MARUs and four unidentified merchant ships (MOTA-20) and HIDA and TEIKA (ex-Vichy French CAP VARELLA) MARUs and five unidentified merchant ships (TE-07). Destroyer KURETAKE escorts MOTA-20 and kaibokan SHIMUSHU and FUKUE escort TE-07.

26 May 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

31 May 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

10 June 1944:
Departs Manila.

22 June 1944:
Arrives at Cebu and departs.

23 June 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

3 July 1944:
HOKUSHIN MARU departs Manila for Yulin in convoy MAYU-04 also consisting of PACIFIC MARU and four unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer ASAGAO and KURETAKE and kaibokan CD-2.

7 July 1944:
Arrives at Yulin, Hainan Island, China.

7-8 July 1944:
HOKUSHIN MARU loads 7.777 tons of iron ore.

9 July 1944:
20 km S of Yulin at the anchorage NW of Belier Island. At about 0300, in Typhoon conditions, heavily loaded HOKUSHIN MARU drifts aground and starts settling as far as the stern. That same night, she sustained an air attack by 14th AF bombers and sinks at about 18-00N, 109-30E. Six crewmen are KIA.

11 August 1944:
The Hainan garrison office reports that it is beyond the scope of their office to undertake salvaging and restoration of HOKUSHIN MARU.

5 April 1945:
HOKUSHIN MARU's crew is reassigned indicating her final constructive total loss.


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

Bob Hackett


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