RIKUGUN YUSOSEN

(KATORI MARU, sister of HOZUKAWA MARU, prewar)

HOZUKAWA MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

2013-2017 Bob Hackett


E 1940:
Koyagijima, Nagasaki. Laid down at Kawaminami Kogyo, K. K. as a 1,925 ton, Peacetime Standard Type D cargo ship for Toyo Kaiun K.K., Tokyo.

27 June 1941:
Launched and named HOZUKAWA MARU.

16 August 1941:
Completed and registered in the port of Tokyo.

13 October 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) and converted to a troop transport. Alotted Army ship No. 689.

8 December 1941:
The Pacific War begins.

18 December 1941: The Invasion of the Philippines -M Operation (M Sakusen):
HOZUKAWA MARU paricipates in the Invasion of Lingayen Gulf, Philippines consisting of 72 transports in three echelons carrying the main part of LtGen Homma Masaharu's 80,000-man 14th Army. The first echelon is composed of 27 transports from Takao under Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hara Kensaburo, the second echelon of 28 transports under Rear Admiral Nishimura and the third echelon of 21 transports from Keelung under Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hirose Sueto.

21 December 1941:
Lands troops at Lingayen Gulf.

4 July 1943:
At 0700, HOZUKAWA MARU departs Saeki for Palau in convoy O-404 also consisting of KAYO, MEXICO and TAIKO MARUs escorted by minesweepers W-17 and W-18. The convoy is carrying troops and equipment of the 51st Army Division.

E 8 July 1943:
W-18 is detached from convoy O-404.

11 July 1943:
At 0758, LtCdr Charles H. Andrews' (USNA 30) USS GURNARD (SS-254) torpedoes and sinks TAIKO MARU at 12-45N, 131-50E. Two gunners and 10 crewmen are KIA.

13 July 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

24 July 1943:
HOZUKAWA MARU arrives at Rabaul in a convoy consisting of HAVRE, MEXICO and KAYO MARUs and Army landing craft depot ship NIGITSU MARU escorted by subchasers CH-37, CH-38 and CH-39.

18 August 1943:
HOZUKAWA MARU departs departs Palau for Ujina in convoy FU-806 also consisting of DAIFUKU (TAIFUKU), MEXICO, TOYOKAWA, TOUN and KAYO MARUs escorted by minesweeper W-17.

E 27 August 1943:
At 31-50N, 133-58E, YURIJIMA joins convoy FU-806 then escorted by minesweeper W-17, auxiliary minesweepers TAMA MARU No. 7 and TAMA MARU No. 6 (the latter two from 30-30N, 134-05E).

At 0258, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Bafford E. Lewellen's (USNA 31) USS POLLACK (SS-180) makes a visual surface attack on convoy FU-806. Lewellen torpedoes DAIFUKU (TAIFUKU) MARU carrying passengers and ashes of 137 dead. W-17 opens fire on POLLACK, but Lewellen evades and escapes. In the morning, DAIFUKU MARU sinks at 32-28N, 132-23E taking down 14 of 160 passengers and 14 crewmen.

28 August 1943:
At 0700, arrives at Ujina.

21 September 1943:
HOZUKAWA MARU departs Saeki in convoy O-209 also consisting of BRAZIL, DAKAR, ERIE, FUKUYO, KANAYAMASAN, KAYO and NITTAI MARUs and SHINTO MARU No. 1 escorted by kaibokan IKI and auxiliary minesweepers AOI, KOZAN and YACHIYO MARUs and TAKUNAN MARU No. 3 and TOKUHO MARU No. 10.

E 22 September 1943:
Auxiliary minesweepers KOZAN MARU and TOKUHO MARU No. 10 are detached at 30N.

E 23 September 1943:
Auxiliary minesweepers AOI and YACHIYO MARUs are detached at 28N.

2 October 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

8 October 1943:
HOZUKAWA MARU departs Palau in convoy SO-806 also consisting of KANAYAMASAN, KAZAN, KIBI, KOSEI and NITTAI MARUs and SHINTO MARU No. 1 escorted by subchasers CH-23 and CH-24.

15 October 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

31 October 1943:
At 0600, HOZUKAWA MARU departs Saeki for Palau in convoy O-112 also consisting of CHIHAYA, DELAGOA, EHIME, KANJO, MOJI, ICHIAI, TENCHO, YAMAGATA, YAWATA, UME and UMEKAWA MARUs escorted by minesweepers W-17, W-18, auxiliary minesweepers AOI MARU and TAKUNAN MARU No. 3, TOKUHO MARU No. 10 and auxiliary subchasers CHIYO MARU No. 8 and TAKUNAN MARU No. 8.

That night, the convoy is attacked by LtCdr (later Captain) Robert E. Dornin's (USNA 35) USS TRIGGER (SS-237). Dornin claims two sinkings, but, in fact, scores no hits. The escorts counterattack, but are also unsuccessful.

2 November 1943:
At 0048, LtCdr (later Captain) Slade D. Cutter's (USNA 35) USS SEAHORSE (SS-304) torpedoes and sinks YAWATA MARU at 28-20N, 135-20E. Four gunners and 64 of the crew are KIA.

At 0220, Dornin's TRIGGER attacks the convoy again, this time sinking DELAGOA MARU. The ship was carrying men of the 248th Squadron some of whom with 12 Army civilian employees, seven gunners and 68 crewmen are KIA. At 0321, Dornin torpedoes and sinks UME MARU at 28-40N, 135, 25E. 36 passengers, 25 gunners and 24 crewmen are KIA. At 0418, Cutter's SEAHORSE attacks again, This time Cutter sinks CHIHAYA MARU (ex-Dutch TJISAROEA) at 29-31N, 134, 50E. Six crewmen are KIA.

Finally, at 0845, Cdr (later Admiral) I. J. Galantin's (USNA 33) USS HALIBUT (SS-232) torpedoes and sinks EHIME MARU at 28-20N, 134-48E. Five gunners and all 79 of the crew are KIA.

19 November 1943:
HOZUGAWA departs Palau in an unknown SO series convoy also consisting of KENZAN, RYUKO and TASMANIA MARUs escorted by subchasers CH-37 and CH-38. RYUKO MARU is towing a midget supply submarine. During the voyage south the convoy is harrassed by submarine attacks.

25 November 1943:
At 1025, LtCdr Oscar Hagberg's (USNA 31) USS ALBACORE (SS-218) torpedoes and sinks KENZAN MARU at 00-51N, 146-00E. Seven crewmen are KIA.

28 November 1943:
The convoy and RYUKO MARU towing her midget supply submarine arrive at Rabaul.

30 November 1943:
At 0700, HOZUKAWA MARU departs Palau for Saeki in convoy FU-008 also consisting of HAVRE, IKOMA, MAYA, SHINRYU, TESHIO and YASUKUNI MARUs and DAIGEN MARU No. 3 escorted by patrol boat PB-31.

4 December 1943:
High seas force TESHIO MARU to detach for Manila.

9 December 1943:
Auxiliary subchaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 8 joins the escort.

11 December 1943:
At 0100, arrives at Saeki.

E 13 January 1944:
HOZUKAWA MARU departs Truk for Rabaul in convoy O-905 also consisting of KOSEI, MEISHO and SHUNKO MARUs escorted by CH-24.

16 January 1944:
45 miles NW of New Hanover. At about 0230, nine USN PBY "Catalina" flying boats attack convoy O-905 with bombs and torpedoes. They sink HOZUKAWA MARU (three crewmen KIA) and SHUNKO MARU (30 passengers and 20 crewmen KIA) at 02-30S, 149-42E and sink MEISHO MARU (12 crewmen KIA) at 02-20S, 149-42E. KOSEI MARU and CH-24 escape undamaged.


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

- Bob Hackett


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