(POSEIDON pre-war )

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2012-2016 Bob Hackett
Revision 1

E 1913:
South Bank, Middlesbrough, England. Laid down at Smith's Dock Co. Ltd. as a 1,909-ton or tanker for Nederlandsche Indische Tankstoomboot (N.I.T.) Maatschappij lines of the Hague. [1]

E 1914:
Launched and named POSEIDON.


1918 – 1919:
Requisitioned by the United States Government.

Dutch East Indies. In N.I.T’s service.

8 December 1941:
The Pacific War begins.

15 February 1942:
Singapore falls to the Japanese.

6 March 1942:
Off Tjilatjap, Java. POSEIDON is scuttled by her crew to avoid capture.

Tjilatjap. The Imperial Army confiscates the hulk of POSEIDON and renames her HOSEI MARU. [2]

Tjilatjap. HOSEI MARU is refloated by the Japanese.

Singapore. HOSEI MARU is repaired and reconditioned by the Japanese. The vessel can load about 1,300 drums.

Mitsubishi Kisen, K. K. assumes management of HOSEI MARU.

3 August 1944:
At 0700, HOSEI MARU departs Laut Island, SE Borneo in a convoy also consisting of DAI MARU (ex-Dutch DUYMAER VAN TWIST), SUITEN MARU (ex-Dutch SCHOUTEN), ENOSHIMA MARU and Communication Boat No. 104 (Shuttleboat) escorted by minesweeper W-101 (ex-HMS TAITAM).

6 August 1944:
At 1530, the convoy arrives at Surabaya. Probably unloads fuel.

14 January 1945:
HOSEI MARU departs Surabaya in a convoy also consisting of DAI, SHOYU, KAKO, ANAN, EBISU and NITTEI MARUs and SANKO MARU No. 11 escorted by patrol boat PB -108, auxiliary minesweeper WA-103, and auxiliary subchaser CHa-106.

17 January 1945:
At 1350, subchaser CH-56 joins the convoy. At 2300, NITTEI MARU is detached for Bandjermasin.

18 January 1945:
At 1430, arrives at Dato Island. At 2330, PB-36 joins convoy.

19 January 1945:
At 0600, departs Dato Island.

20 January 1945:
At 0800, auxiliary minesweeper WA-3 joins the convoy.

21 January 1945:
At 1740, arrives at Macassar.

22 January 1945:
At 2200, HOSEI and ANAN MARUs depart Macassar escorted by patrol boats PB-36 and PB-108.

23 January 1945:
At 2210 auxiliary minesweeper SHONAN MARU No. 2 joins the convoy.

26 January 1945:
At 0910, arrives at Balikpapan.

5 April 1945:
In the afternoon, HOSEI MARU departs Singapore unescorted for Balikpapan via Batavia (Jakarta)with a cargo of 400 tons of paraffin filled in drums and 39 passengers.

10 April 1945:
Sunda Strait (Straat Soenda). In the morning, HOSEI MARU is approaching Djakarta when she is discovered by Dutch Lt Jacob F. Drijfhout van Hooff’s submarine O-19. At 1222, O-19 fires two bow torpedoes at the port side of HOSEI MARU from a distance of only 450 meters, but both torpedoes pass under the target without exploding. HOSEI MARU's lookouts see the torpedoes pass under the vessel. The ship desperately turns to port to prepare for another torpedo attack, but at 1225, O-19 surfaces abaft HOSEI MARU and makes ready for gun action. A Dutch flag is hoisted on the sub´s conning tower.

As she has no armament, HOSEI MARU replies with small arms. O-19's machine guns immediately silence resistance. At a range of only 250 to 300 meters, O-19´s gun crew fires 86 8.8 cm shells into the small coastal tanker before her deck gun jams. Due to the very short range, almost every shot hits home and sets the vessel afire. White smoke ascends from the hold where the paraffin is stored. Captain Muranaka Ribee orders “Abandon Ship”. As the only lifeboat was crushed and blown into the sea by shellfire, the men jump into the water. About 25 survivors cling to a capsized lifeboat and floating debris. A hail of machine gun fire sends off HOSEI MARU which drifts burning and sinking abaft O-19 that soon departs.

At about 1300, HOSEI MARU sinks bow first at 05-05S, 106-07E. About 1430, the survivors are sighted by a seaplane which radioes for assistance. In the evening, auxiliary subchaser KAIRYU MARU arrives and picks up 38 survivors including all 9 crew members, but 10 passengers are missing. At 1825, KAIRYU MARU sends message that among the 38 men picked up, four are seriously wounded and 10 slightly wounded. Of the nine crew members, Captain Muranaka and the 2nd Officer Takashima Nisaburo are seriously wounded. All survivors are landed at Djakarta. [3]

10 April 1945:
Sunda Strait (Straat Soenda). Dutch Lt J. F. Drijfhout van Hooff’s submarine O-19 sinks HOSEI MARU by gunfire at 05-25S, 106-39E.

Author's Notes:
[1] N.I. T. (Netherlands Indies Tank Steamboat Co.) was founded in 1904 for inter-island traffic in the Dutch East Indies.

[2] Also known as HOJYO MARU.

[3] Somes sources have the sinking position at at 05-25S, 106-39E.

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

- Bob Hackett

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