(GM POOLSTER prewar)

IJN Salvage and Repair Vessel HOREI MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2009-2018 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Revision 1

26 May 1938:
Tandjong Priok, Batavia’s (now Jakarta's) harbor. Laid down at Droogdok Maatschappij as a 1,565-ton salvage vessel.

3 February 1939:
Launched and named POOLSTER.

1 September 1939: Hitler invades Poland and World War II Begins:
Following the mobilization in the Netherlands, Dutch East Indies Governor-General Alidius W. L. Tjarda van Starkenborgh-Stachouwer decides to militarize some ships of the Gouvernementsmarine (GM) and they become part of the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNN). The patrol boats are put under the RNN's East Indies Squadron.

6 September 1939:
POOLSTER and large patrol boats AREND, BELLATRIX, FAZANT, MEREL, REIGER and VALK are converted to seaplane tenders and assigned to the MLD.

23 October 1939:

Supports patrol boat and coastal lighthouse operations.

24 September 1941:
GM POOLSTER is ordered to the Marine Lucht Dienst (MLD)(RNN Air Service) base at Pontianak, Borneo to support Groep Vliegtuigen (GVT)(Aircraft Group) 7’s reconnaissance missions.

6 December 1941:
POOLSTER and GVT.7 are transferred to Tarakan, Borneo.

17 December 1941:
Ternate, Moluccas. POOLSTER is bombed by an IJN Kawanishi H6K "Mavis" flying boat, but both bombs she drops miss. As the Mavis departs, she is engaged by an MLD Dornier Do-24K-1 flying boat. Both machines damage each other with cannon and machine gun fire, but each returns to their base.

December 1941-January 1942:
Operates from western Borneo.

February-March 1942:
POOLSTER functions as a motor torpedo boat tender.

1 March 1942:
POOLSTER’s captain requests permission to evacuate his ship to Australia, but the request is denied. Instead, he is ordered to scuttle POOLSTER and release her Javanese crew. He and his officers are ordered to report to Bandung, central Java, for further orders.

Tandjong Priok. POOLSTER is scuttled by naval gunfire as a blockship. FAZANT, MEREL and REIGER and other ships are similarly scuttled.

8 March 1942:
Bandung. Governor General Tjarda van Starkenborgh-Stachouwer surrenders the Dutch East Indies. POOLSTER’s hulk comes under Japanese control.

24 April 1942:
The Japanese begin work to raise POOLSTER.

1 September 1943:
Tandjong Priok. POOLSTER is raised by a detachment of the IJN's No. 102 Repair Unit based at Surabaya. Renamed HOREI MARU. Towed to Surabaya.

15 November 1943:
Registered as an auxiliary salvage ship in the Sasebo Naval District.

22 November 1943:
Outfitting work is completed.

23 November 1943:
Departs Surabaya.

26 November 1943
Arrives at Batavia, Java.

27 November 1943:
Arrives at Tjilatjap (now Cilacap).

3 January 1944:
At 1130, HOREI and KAINAN MARUs depart Surabaya at 8.5 knots in a convoy for Phuket, Siam (Thailand).

6 January 1944:
At 2030, HOREI MARU arrives at Phuket. The vessel probably is there to inspect the wrecks of various Italian ships scuttled on 8 December 1941 to avoid Royal Navy capture.

15 April 1944:
Attached to the 11st Special Repair Unit at Surabaya.

1 May 1944:
At Surabaya. Lt (jg) Choshoin Hiro is in charge. The salvage gear is landed; at 1710 shifts to different wharf thereafter.

13 May 1944:
At 0910 loads water from a barge.

14-15 May 1944:
Surabaya. At 1045 shifts to a different wharf off the harbor office. Continues to unload salvage gear.

16 May 1944:
Surabaya. Begins repairs to her steering engine.

17 May 1944: Operation TRANSOM:
Surabaya. British Admiral (later Admiral of the Fleet, Sir) James F. Somerville’s Allied Task Force launches planes from carriers HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and USS SARATOGA (CV-3) that from 0859 bomb shipping and harbor installations. The planes sink a transport and damage several warships, cargo ships and a tanker. During the attack, she fires 28 13-mm and 60 7.7-mm rounds. HOREI MARU is not damaged. Shifts to a different wharf thereafter.

18 May 1944:
Surabaya. HOREI MARU undergoes another air attack, but is not damaged.

22-23 May 1944:
Alongside an unidentified cargo ship. Unloads salvage materials.

24-25 May 1944:
Surabaya. Alongside harbor office quay. Unloads salvage materials.

26 May 1944:
Alongside an unidentified cargo ship. Loads salvage materials.

28 May 1944:
Alongside an unidentified cargo ship. Loads depth charges, machine guns and ammunition.

29-39 May 1944:
Receives salvage gear from an unidentified transport. One type 93 13-mm machine gun and one Type 93 7.7-mm machine gun are fitted. Alongside an unidentified cargo ship. Loads salvage materials.

30 October 1944:
Arrives at Balikpapan and departs later that day apparently escorted by submarine chaser CH-4.

2 November 1944:
At 1704 temporarily anchors 1 km south of Rangasa Island.

3 November 1944:
At 0700 departs anchorage. At 1246, attacked by aircraft off Endhill Point. At 1251, a near miss disables the rudder. After repairs are completed by 1310, proceeds to Dent Haven, and arrives at 1530 and leaves soon after at 1558.

4 November 1944:
At 0515 arrives at Tarakan Island and departs later that day, at 1102.

6 November 1944:
At 2214 arrives at Cabulauan Island and anchors 78 degrees to south about 2 nautical miles off the island.

7 November 1944:
At 0455 departs Cabulauan Islands apparently still with CH-4 as escort.

8 November 1944:
At 0425 arrives at Manila. Berths at the U1 anchorage. Begins repair of main engine.

9 November 1944:
Shifts to the S4 anchorage.

11 November 1944:
Unloads salvage materials.

12 November 1944:
Undergoes communication and weapons repairs.

13 November 1944:
Manila. Rear Admiral Frederick C. Sherman’s carrier task groups TG 38.1, TG 38.3, and TG 38.4 of TF 38 attack Manila. TF 38’s planes sink several warships and merchant ships and damage others. HOREI MARU is not damaged.

14 November 1944:
Admiral Sherman continues air strikes against the Philippines. TF 38’s planes sink several more merchant ships in Manila and damage others, but again HOREI MARU is not damaged.

15-17 November 1944:
Unloads salvage materials.

18 November 1944:
Embarks four 25-mm AA guns.

19 November 1944:
HOREI MARU undergoes an air attack. Vice Admiral John S. McCain’s Task Force 38’s aircraft attack shipping off Luzon. During the attack, HOREI MARU fires 360 13-mm and 401 7.7-mm, but is not damaged.

Begins installation of four Type 96 25-mm AA guns.

20-24 November 1944:
Unloads salvage materials.

25 November 1944:
Rear Admiral Gerald F. Bogan’s TG 38.2 and Rear Admiral Frederick C. Sherman’s TG 38.3’s planes attack central Luzon and sink several warships and merchant ships and damage others. During the attack, HOREI MARU fires 330 13-mm and 286 7.7-mm rounds, but is not damaged.

7 December 1944:
Installation of additional armament is completed consisting of four Type 96 25-mm AA guns, one Type 93 13.2-mm and one Type 92 7.7-mm machine gun.

4 April 1945:
Mako, Pescadores. HOREI MARU is anchored at the main pier in the harbor next to small tanker KINYU MARU No. 2 that is unloading fuel oil when they are attacked by USAAF B-25 medium bombers of the 498th and 500th Bomb Squadrons of the 345 Bomb Group.

The bombers hit and set KINYU MARU No. 2 afire. The blaze also engulfs HOREI MARU. She sinks at 23-32N, 119-39E.

10 August 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Notes:
Thanks go to Jan Visser "Visje" of the Netherlands.

- Bob Hackett Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

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