(HOTEN MARU, prewar)
IJA HOTEN MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement
© 2014-2017 Bob Hackett
15 September 1927:
Kobe. Laid down at Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. as Yard No. 185, a 3,975-ton passenger-cargo ship for Dalian K. K. (DKK Line) of Kobe
25 February 1928:
Launched and named HOTEN MARU.
31 May 1928:
Completed. HOTEN MARU can accommodate 1 first, 65 second, 27 third-class and 200 steerage passengers. Placed on DKK’s Dalian ~ Tsingtao ~ Shanghai route.
Controlled and operated by the Senpaku Un´eikai (Civilian Shipping Administration) as a shared employment Army/Civilian (A/C) Haitosen. Alloted IJA No. 5047.
1 May 1942:
HOTEN MARU departs Ssu Chiao Shan for Jigujiao with transports HYAKUFUKU MARU and UNKAI MARU No. 10.
2 May 1942:
Departs and arrives at Wusong.
3 May 1942:
Departs Wusong and arrives at Shanghai.
21 June 1943:
At 1200, HOTEN MARU departs St Jacques, Vichy French, Indchina in a convoy also consisting of ATLAS, AKASHI and TEIBI MARU (ex-Vichy French BERNARDIN DE ST PIERRE) MARUs and possibly others escorted by subchaser CH-21.
27 June 1943:
At 1900, arrives at Singapore.
26 November 1943:
HOTEN MARU departs Takao in convoy No. 222 also consisting of AKITSU, HAKONE, HAWAII, NITTATSU, SHUNKO, and ROKKO MARUs and tankers SEINAN MARU and OGURA MARU No. 2 escorted by torpedo boat TOMAZURU.
7 November 1943:
SE of Foochow, China. Three B-25 “Mitchell' medium bombers attack the convoy and sink HAKONE MARU carrying 9,500-tons of important raw materials. No casualties are sustained.
Arrives at Moji.
26 November 1943:
HOTEN MARU departs Takao in convoy No. 222 also consisting of AKITSU, HAKONE, HAWAII, NITTATSU, ROKKO, SEINAN and SHUNKO MARUs and OGURA MARU No.2 escorted by torpedo boat TOMOZURU.
27 November 1943:
Formosa Strait. At 0800, the convoy is attacked by China based North American “Mitchell” B-25s that badly damage HAKONE MARU at 25-04N 119-40E. TOMOZURU is also strafed and damaged. NITTATSU and HAWAII MARUs assist and NITTATSU MARU attempts to tow HAKONE MARU, but she sinks at 1715 without casualties.
3 December 1943:
Arrives at Moji.
11 September 1944:
At 1500, HOTEN MARU departs Moji for Takao in convoy MOTA-26 also consisting of DAIKYO, DAIKU, DAIZEN, FUYUKAWA, GASSAN, HAKUSAN, HIDA, JUNHO, MACASSAR, MANILA, MURORAN, NANKING, PEKING and SEIZAN MARUs and NICHIYU MARU No. 2 and tanker DAISHO MARU escorted by destroyer HARUKAZE, kaibokan CD-9 and CD-26 and subchaser CH-56.
16 September 1944:
GASSAN, HAKUSAN and SEIZAN MARUs are detached for Kirun (Keelung).
17 September 1944:
At 1300, arrives at Takao. CH-20 is detached.
18 September 1944:
At 2056, HOTEN MARU departs Takao in convoy TAMA-26 also consisting of also ARABIA, AWAJI, EIMAN, MIZUHO, NICHINAN, SHIRANESAN, TEMPI and TSINGTAO MARUs and TOYO MARU No. 3 escorted by minesweepers W-17 and W-20 and subchasers CH-20, CH-41 and CH-63. That same day, TAMA-26 anchors off Daibanratsu, Nan Wan (South Bay), Formosa.
19 September 1944:
Departs Daibanratsu. At 2130, convoy TAMA-26 anchors at Sabtang Channel.
20 September 1944:
At 0300, departs Sabtang Channel. At 2000, the convoy anchors at Fuga Island, Musa Bay.
21 September 1944:
At 0300, HOTEN MARU has engine trouble and remains at Musa.
10 October 1944:
At 0100, HOTEN MARU departs North San Fernando, Philippines for Takao in convoy MATA-29 also consisting of transports OMINE (TAIHO), TERUKUNI and TSINGTAO MARUs escorted by minesweepers W-38 and W-39, auxiliary subchaser CHa-95 and two unidentified warships. The convoy shelters at Calayan Island because of the risk of air attacks.
18 October 1944:
Off Camiguin, northern Luzon. At 0955, carrier aircraft of Rear Admiral Gerald F. Bogan’s Task Group 38.2 attack the ships at anchor. They sink HOTEN, OMINE (TAIHO), TERUKUNI and TSINGTAO MARUs and auxiliary subchaser CHa-95 at 18-54N, 121-51E. 
 It is unclear if W-38 and W-39 were present during these attacks. In any case, they were not damaged.
Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.