(SETTSU MARU by Ueda Kihachiro)

IJN Landing Craft Depot Ship HYUGA MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2010-2011 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

15 May 1944:
Innoshima. Laid down at Hitachi Shipbuilding as a Standard Type 1 MA cargo vessel for Nippon Kaiun K. K., Tokyo. Requisitioned by the IJA while on the stocks and converted to a 9,687-ton landing craft depot ship.

18 October 1944:
Launched and named HYUGA MARU.

15 November 1944:

25 November 1944:
Departs Ujina.

1 December 1944:
Arrives at Fusan (Pusan), Korea.

3 December 1944:
Departs Fusan.

5 December 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

6 December 1944:
Departs Moji.

8 December 1944:
Arrives at Fusan.

9 December 1944:
Departs Fusan.

11 December 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

19 December 1944:
At 1330, HYUGA MARU departs Moji in convoy MOTA-38 also consisting of IJA landing craft carriers SHINSHU and KIBITSU MARUs and Army transport AOBASAN MARU and convoy HI-85 consisting of tankers SERIA MARU and SHINYU MARUs escorted by light cruiser KASHII, kaibokan DAITO, UKURU, CD-23, CD-27 and CD- 51. HYUGA MARU and the other ships of convoy MOTA-38 carry the IJA 19th Infantry Division recently released by the Kwantung (Manchuria) Army to reinforce the Philippines. The two convoys depart in tandem and head for the Jinsen Sea off western Korea and then hug the littoral coast in choppy wintery seas on the way south.

23 December 1944:
Arrives at Takao’s outer harbor.

25 December 1944:
At 1440, enters Takao port.

26 December 1944:
Before dawn, HYUGA MARU departs Takao for Manila in convoy TAMA-38 also consisting of IJA landing craft carriers SHINSHU and KIBITSU MARUs and Army transport AOBASAN MARU escorted by kaibokan MIYAKI, NOMI and CD-138. Anchors that night at Oluanpi on the SE tip of Formosa.

27 December 1944:
Departs for Batan Island, Philippines where it arrives at midday.

29 December 1944:
At 1900, convoy TAMA-38 departs Batan Island and later that day arrives at North San Fernando, Philippines. Begins unloading.

30 December 1944:
USAAF B-24 “Liberator” heavy bombers attack the convoy. At about 0700, AOBASAN MARU is hit amidships by one or more bombs, bursts in flames and sinks.

1 January 1945:
At 0345, HYUGA MARU and IJA landing craft depot ships KIBITSU and SHINSHU MARUs depart North San Fernando in convoy MATA-40 escorted by kaibokan KANJU, NOMI, MIYAKE, CD-112 and two unidentified warships.

2 January 1945:
S of Formosa Strait. At about 0700, Cdr Henry C. Stephenson’s USS ASPRO (SS-309) fires three torpedoes at SHINSHU MARU and gets one hit that damages her at 21-57N, 119-44E.

3 January 1945:
Formosa Strait. About 47 miles off Takao. At 1105 (JST), about 50 carrier aircraft of Vice Admiral John S. McCain’s Task Force 38 attack the convoy. SHINSHU MARU is hit by five bombs and explodes. Fires break out and she becomes unnavigable. At about 1135, Abandon Ship is ordered. All survivors transfer to the escorts, but 66 gunners, 33 crewmen and 283 soldiers are KIA.

HYUGA MARU suffers medium damage. KIBITSU MARU is heavily damaged and MIYAKE and CD-112 both suffer light damage. The surviving ships put into Takao for temporary repairs. That evening, SHINSHU MARU sinks.

6 January 1945:
Departs Takao.

18 January 1945:
Arrives at Moji.

19 January 1945:
Departs Moji.

24 January 1945:
Arrives at Fusan.

26 January 1945:
Departs Fusan.

31 January 1945:
Arrives at Kirin (Keelung), Formosa.

9 February 1945:
At 0700, HYUGA MARU and landing craft depot ship SETTSU MARU depart Kirin in convoy TAMO-41 escorted by kaibokan IKUNA, CD-67 and CD-76. At 1900, the convoy anchors at Mazu Shan.

10 February 1945:
At 0700, departs Mazu Shan.

11 February 1945:
At 1930, anchors off Hsiao Pan Island in Chou Shan (Chusan) island Group.

12 February 1945:
At 0230, departs Chou Shan Islands.

14 February 1945:
At 1815, arrives at Mutsure.

18 February 1945:
Arrives at Ujina.

17 March 1945:
Arrives at Fusan.

20 March 1945:
Departs Fusan.

22 March 1945:
Arrives at Moji.

23 March 1945:
Departs Moji.

24 March 1945:
Arrives at Fusan.

27 March 1945:
Departs Fusan.

29 March 1945:
Arrives at Tsuruga.

30 March 1945:
Departs Tsuruga.

4 April 1945:
Arrives at Fusan.

5 April 1945:
Departs Fusan.

8 April 1945:
Arrives at Moji.

9 April 1945:
Departs Moji and later that day arrives at Fusan.

22 May 1945:
Departs Fusan.

23 May 1945:
Arrives Tsuruga. Later proceeds to Moji.

30 May 1945:
Off Hakata, about 3.6 km SSE of Genka Jima, HYUGA MARU strikes a mine and is beached. Later, she is deemed a constructive total loss. [1]

Authors’ Note:
[1] In 1945, the U. S. Army Air Force launched “Operation Starvation” to mine Japan’s home waters. The USAAF used 80 to 100 B-29 “Super Fortress” heavy bombers of the 21st Bomber Command based at Tinian, Marianas.

The B-29s could carry seven 2,000 lb. or twelve 1,000 lb. mines. From 27 Mar - 5 Aug ‘45, B-29s flew 1,529 nighttime radar sorties and laid 4,900 magnetic, 3,500 acoustic, 2,900 pressure and 700 low-frequency mines for a total of more than 12,000 mines laid in Japanese waters. These mines sank 294 ships, damaged 137 beyond repair and damaged another 239 that could be repaired. The total was 1, 250,000 tons sunk or damaged or about 75 percent of Japanese shipping available in March 1945. Only 15 B-29s were lost during the mining campaign.

Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall