(ITALY MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

2012-2014 Bob Hackett
Revision 4

28 June 1919:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki Zosensho, K. K. as yard No. 466, a 5,859-ton cargo ship for Kawasaki Kisen (K Line), K.K., Kobe.

10 September 1919:
Launched and named ITALY MARU.

11 October 1919:
Completed and placed on K Line's "Around-the-World" service.

8 May 1923:
Arrives at Ellis Island, New York from Algiers, Algeria via Genoa, Italy.

3 August 1923:
Arrives at Ellis Island, New York from Genoa.

Placed on K Line's Kobe ~ Bombay (now Mumbai), India route.

14 November 1935:
Arrives at Singapore.

15 November 1935:
Departs Singapore for Bombay, India and Karachi, India (now Pakistan) via Penang, Malaya (now Malaysia) and Columbo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

15 April 1936:
Sold to Tamai Shosen, K. K. (later part of Mitui OSK Lines), Kobe, and placed in their service with ports of call at Osaka, Yokohama, Vancouver, Canada, Singapore and Bombay, India.

12 January 1937:
Arrives at Singapore and departs that day for Yokohama via Kobe, Osaka, Yokkaichi and Nagoya.

27 July 1941;
ITALY MARU embarks the 25th Army's 25th Field Operations Meteorological Unit consisting of three companies of about 700 men. Departs Mako. Pescadores in convoy 321.

28 July 1941:
Arrives at St Jacques, Indochina (now Vung Tao, Vietnam).

4 August 1941:
Arrives at Saigon.

16 November 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJA and converted to a troop transport. Assigned Army No. 650.

16 April 1942: The Capture of Panay, Island, Philippines:
BORNEO MARU and probably ITALY MARU land troops of the Kawamura Detachment's 9th Infantry Brigade HQ and 41st Infantry Regiment covered by light cruisers KUMA, DesDiv 24's KAWAKAZE, UMIKAZE and YAMAKAZE and torpedo boat KIJI. Air cover is provided by seaplane tender SANUKI MARU.

21 July 1942:
ITALY MARU embarks the 25th Army's 25th Field Operations Meteorological Unit consisting of three companies of about 700 men and departs Mutsure in convoy No. 136.

21 July 1942:
ITALY MARU departs Mako, Pescadores in convoy No. 321 also consisting of TACOMA, TEIYO (ex-German SAARLAND), TOYAMA, WALES MARUs and four unidentified ships escorted by minelayer HOKO MARU and subchaser CH-9.

27 September 1942: Oki Transportation Movement:
ITALY MARU departs Saeki for Rabaul, New Britain in convoy Oki Part 2, 1st echelon also consisting of transport BRAZIL MARU and two unidentified ships escorted by destroyer ASASHIO. The convoy carries troops of the IJA's 17th Army.

E 7 October 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

26 December 1942:
Fifteen USAAF B-24 and six B-17 heavy bombers begin to take off from Port Moresby, New Guinea to attack the Japanese base at Rabaul, but one of the bombers crashes at the end of the runway, blocking many of the bombers from launching.

27 December 1942:
Near Lakunai airfield. The B-17s that were able to take off reach Rabaul. They bomb and sink ITALY MARU and damage destroyer TACHIKAZE at 04-21S, 142-17E.

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

Bob Hackett

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