ZATSUYOSEN!

(HOKUSHO MARU prewar)

IJN HOKUSHO MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2012-2015 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 1


16 October 1936:
Uraga. Laid down by Uraga Dock K.K. shipyard as No. 47 ship for Kita Nihon Kisen K.K., a 4,211-tons cargo ship.

9 February 1937:
Launched and named HOKUSHO MARU.

19 June 1937:
Completed and registered in Otaru, Hokkaido.

25 June 1937:
Departs Osaka.

E 1937-1941:
Placed on the Hokkaido route.

1941:
Her port of registry is changed to Tokyo.

19 April 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN as a general transport (Ippan Choyosen).

15 October 1941:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary transport, (Otsu) category and attached to the Yokosuka Naval District with Yokosuka as homeport under internal order No. 1256. [1]

21 October 1941:
Begins conversion to her military duty at the Yokosuka Naval Yard.

1 December 1941:
The conversion is completed. Departs Yokosuka.

3 December 1941:
Arrives at Chichi Jima, Ogawasara Gunto (Bonins).

5 December 1941:
Comes alongside auxiliary gunboats YOSHIDA and MAGANE MARUs and supplied with coal and boiler water.

15 December 1941:
Departs Chichi Jima and arrives that same day at Haha Jima, Ogawasara Gunto (Bonins).

16 December 1941:
Departs Haha Jima.

17 December 1941:
Arrives at Iwo Jima, Ogawasara Gunto (Bonins).

23 December 1941:
Departs Iwo Jima.

24 December 1941:
Arrives at Chichi Jima.

25 December 1941:
Comes alongside auxiliary gunboat MAGANE MARU and supplied with coal.

27 December 1941:
Comes alongside auxiliary gunboat YOSHIDA MARU and supplied with boiler water. Departs later in the day for Japan.

29 December 1941:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

11 January 1942:
Departs Yokosuka, calls later that day at Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture and departs later in the day for Ogawasara Gunto.

14 January 1942:
Arrives at Chichi Jima. Departs later in the day for Marcus Island (Minami Torishima).

17 January 1942:
Arrives at Marcus Island.

26 January 1942:
Departs Marcus Island.

29 January 1942:
Arrives at Chichi Jima.

2 February 1942:
Comes alongside auxiliary gunboat MAGANE MARU and supplied with boiler water.

7 February 1942:
Departs Chichi Jima. Calls later in the day at Haha Jima. Departs that same day for Iwo Jima.

8 February 1942:
Arrives at Iwo Jima.

9 February 1942:
Departs Iwo Jima.

10 February 1942:
Arrives at Chichi Jima.

12 February 1942:
Departs Chichi Jima.

15 February 1942:
Arrives at Tateyama.

16 February 1942:
Departs Tateyama and arrives later that day at Yokosuka.

21 February 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

2 March 1942:
Arrives at Ponape, Eastern Carolines.

4 March 1942:
Departs Ponape.

5 March 1942:
Arrives at Truk, Central Carolines.

24 March 1942:
Departs Truk.

26 March 1942:
Arrives at Woleai, Central Carolines. Departs later in the day for Fais, Eastern Carolines.

27 March 1942:
Arrives at Fais.

1 April 1942:
Departs Fais.

8 April 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Departs and arrives later that day at Yokohama.

12 April 1942:
Departs Yokohama.

15 April 1942:
Arrives at Otaru.

20 April 1942:
Departs Otaru.

23 April 1942:
Arrives at Tokyo.

27 April 1942:
Departs Tokyo.

29 April 1942:
Arrives at Muroran, Hokkaido.

30 April 1942:
Departs Muroran.

3 May 1942:
Arrives at Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture.

6 May 1942:
Departs Yokkaichi.

12 May 1942:
Arrives at Saigon, Indochina (now Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam).

13 May 1942:
Departs Saigon.

19 May 1942:
Arrives at Tinian, Marianas.

20 May 1942:
Departs Tinian and arrives later that day at Saipan, Marianas.

21 May 1942:
Departs Saipan.

23 May 1942:
Arrives at Fais.

28 May 1942:
Departs Fais.

5 June 1942:
Arrives at Moji. Departs later in the day for Konan, Chosen (now North Korea).

9 June 1942:
Departs Konan.

12 June 1942:
Arrives at Otaru.

17 June 1942:
Departs Otaru.

19 June 1942:
Arrives at Horokishi, Karafuto (now Sakhalin).

23 June 1942:
Departs Horokishi.

25 June 1942:
Arrives at Otaru.

26 June 1942:
Departs Otaru.

29 June 1942:
Arrives at Tokyo.

6 July 1942:
Departs Tokyo.

9 July 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

14 July 1942:
Departs Kure.

15 July 1942:
Arrives at Tokuyama, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

17 July 1942:
Departs Tokuyama.

18 July 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

19 July 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

25 July 1942:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores.

29 July 1942:
Departs Mako in convoy No. 712 also consisting of IJA transport KANJO MARU and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer SATSUKI.

2 August 1942:
Arrives at Manila, Luzon.

5 August 1942:
Departs Manila.

11 August 1942:
Arrives at Balikpapan, Borneo.

12 August 1942:
Departs Balikpapan.

13 August 1942:
Arrives at Macassar, Celebes (now Sulawesi).

15 August 1942:
Departs Macassar.

17 August 1942:
Arrives at Kendari, Celebes.

20 August 1942:
Departs Kendari.

22 August 1942:
Arrives at Kupang, Timor.

4 September 1942:
Departs Kupang.

6 September 1942:
Arrives at Kendari.

8 September 1942:
Departs Kendari.

10 September 1942:
Arrives at Macassar.

11 September 1942:
Departs Macassar.

12 September 1942:
Arrives at an unidentified location.

20 September 1942:
Departs the unidentified location.

21 September 1942:
Arrives at Macassar.

23 September 1942:
Departs Macassar.

24 September 1942:
Arrives at Balikpapan.

28 September 1942:
Departs Balikpapan in convoy No. 008 also consisting of one unidentified merchant ship escorted by destroyer FUYO.

E 1 October 1942:
FUYO is detached from the convoy.

3 October 1942:
Arrives at Manila.

8 October 1942:
Departs Manila in convoy No. 817 also consisting of IJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) TOTTORI MARU and one unidentified merchant ship escorted by destroyer FUYO.

11 October 1942:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa (now Kaohsiung, Taiwan).

12 October 1942:
Departs Takao and arrives later in the day at Mako.

15 October 1942:
Departs Mako in convoy No. 277 also consisting of auxiliary transport KOSEI MARU and one unidentified merchant ship escorted by destroyer MINAZUKI.

20 October 1942:
12.6 nautical miles SW of Futaojima, Yamaguchi Prefecture. Detonates a mine after having fired 212 rifle rounds and 224 machine-gun rounds. Arrives later that same day at Moji.

21 October 1942:
Departs Moji.

22 October 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

26 October 1942:
Departs Osaka.

27 October 1942:
Arrives at Niihama, Shikoku.

29 October 1942:
Departs Niihama.

31 October 1942:
Arrives at Miike, Fukuoka Prefecture.

2 November 1942:
Departs Miike.

3 November 1942:
Arrives at Tokuyama.

6 November 1942:
Departs Tokuyama.

7 November 1942:
Off Fukujima, subchaser CH-36 joins HOKUSHO MARU and escorts her south.

E 8 November 1942:
CH-36 is detached 90 degrees off Toi Misaki.

15 November 1942:
Arrives at Palau, Western Carolines.

16 November 1942:
In the morning, departs Palau for Rabaul carrying elements of the IJA’s 21st Independent Mixed Brigade (IMB), in convoy “Y” also consisting of IJA transports BOSTON, HOKKO, SANKO, JOHORE and FUSHIMI MARUs escorted by destroyer OITE. At 1115 (JST), a submarine is discovered. At about 1500 (JST), BOSTON MARU is hit by two torpedoes at 06-16N, 135-19E. At about 1600 (JST), she sinks taking down 16 crewmen, two gunners and 228 soldiers. There are 472 survivors, but all their equipment is lost. The 170th Infantry Regiment’s colors are also lost to the sea. Distraught over this, the regimental commander attempts suicide on OITE, but the destroyer's “suicide prevention duty surveillance officer” foils his efforts.

Seconds after firing her torpedoes, LtCdr Kenneth C. Hurd‘s (USNA '25) USS SEAL (SS-183) is rammed by FUSHIMI MARU which sustains light damage. USS SEAL’s periscopes and adjacent conning tower areas are damaged and she is forced to terminate her war patrol.

22 November 1942:
The remainder of the convoy arrives at Rabaul, New Britain.

13 December 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

18 December 1942:
Arrives at Fais.

22 December 1942:
At 1600, departs Fais.

31 December 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

11 January 1943:
Docks at Osaka Tetsu kosho K.K. shipyard for maintenance and repairs.

16 January 1943:
Undocked.

22 January 1943:
Departs Osaka.

23 January 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

24 January 1943:
Departs Moji.

25 January 1943:
Arrives at Tamano, Okayama Prefecture.

27 January 1943:
Departs Tamano.

28 January 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

2 February 1943:
Departs Kobe.

4 February 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama.

8 February 1943:
Departs Yokohama.

15 February 1943:
At 1100, arrives at entrance to Malakal channel, Palau.

18 February 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

24 February 1943:
Departs Palau.

E 2 March 1943:
Arrives at Babo, New Guinea.

7 March 1943:
Departs Babo.

10 March 1943:
Off Berau, Papua. Sustains damage from an unidentified submarine. Arrives later at Berau for emergency repairs. [2]

27 March 1943:
Departs Ambon, Moluccas.

30 March 1943:
Arrives at Berau.

6 April 1943:
Departs Berau.

7 April 1943:
Arrives at Ambon. Departs later.

19 April 1943:
Departs Berau.

28 April 1943:
Arrives at Macassar.

8 May 1943:
Departs Macassar.

19 May 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

20 May-17 June 1943:
Undergoes extensive repairs at Seletar.

18 June 1943:
Departs Singapore and arrives later that day at Kijang (S of Singapore) to load bauxite.

19 June 1943:
Departs Kijang.

20 June 1943:
At 1430, arrives at Singapore.

26 June 1943:
Departs Singapore in convoy No. 699 also consisting of IJA tanker RIKKO MARU, IJA transport KONAN MARU No. 1 and one unidentified merchant ship escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOJUSAN MARU.

28 June 1943:
At 1100 KONAN MARU No. 1 breaks down with engine trouble and eventually returns to Singapore.

29 June 1943:
Arrives at St. Jacques, Indochina (now Vung Tau, Vietnam).

1 July 1943:
Departs St. Jacques in convoy No. 407 also consisting of two unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOJUSAN MARU.

2 July 1943:
Auxiliary transport KOSEI MARU joins the convoy.

6 July 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

10 July 1943:
At 1200, departs Takao in convoy No. 280 also consisting of IJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) SHIGANOURA MARU and five unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU. Later that day IJA transport TAIAN MARU (3,670 GRT) joins the convoy from Kirun.

15 July 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

16 July 1943:
Departs Moji.

17 July 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

18 July 1943:
Departs Kobe.

20 July 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama.

24 July 1943:
Departs Yokohama.

25 July 1943:
Arrives at Yokkaichi.

30 July 1943:
Departs Yokkaichi.

31 July 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

12 August 1943:
Departs Yokosuka in a convoy with IJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) CHIYO MARU with auxiliary submarine chasers CHa-14 and CHa-19 as escorts.

20 August 1943:
Arrives at Saipan.

22 August 1943:
At 0815 departs Saipan with auxiliary storeship HOKO MARU having joined the convoy toogether with auxilary submarine chaser KYO MARU No. 8 and auxiliary netlayer SHUKO MARU. Both of these escorts detach a few days later.

26 August 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

2 September 1943:
Departs Truk.

5 September 1943:
About 200 nautical miles WSW Kusai (Kusaie, now Kosrae), Eastern Carolines. At 0500, LtCdr Oscar E. Hagberg’s (USNA ’31) USS ALBACORE (SS-218) torpedoes and hits HOKUSHO MARU at 03-48N, 160-38E. The torpedo however is a dud and the transport resumes its course.

6 September 1943:
Arrives at Kusai.

8 September 1943:
Departs Kusai with a cargo of provisions for the Nauru Defense Unit, in convoy escorted by auxiliary subchaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 10. It is probable that at some point torpedo boat HIYODORI joins the escort.

11 September 1943:
About three nautical miles NW of Nauru Island. At dawn, LtCdr (later Cdr, KIA on USS LAGARTO (SS-371) Frank D. Latta’s (USNA ’32) USS NARWHAL (SS-167) intercepts the convoy. About 0605, he torpedoes and hits HOKUSHO MARU, setting her afire. At 0613, the transport sinks at 00-28S, 166-52E taking down 32 of her crew. Escorts detect USS NARWHAL and subject her to a severe counter attack with depth charges but the submarine manages to escape the area.

1 November 1943:
Removed from the Navy’s list under internal order No. 2288.


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

[2] No record of this attack in allied files.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan. Thanks also go to the late John Whitman for the anecdote about the 170th Infantry Regiment and its colors.

Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


Back to IJN Transports Page

Authors Notes :
Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan.

Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


Back to IJN Transports Page

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