(KAZUURA MARU, prewar)

IJA Transport/Hospital Ship KAZUURA MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

©2015 Bob Hackett

4 May 1938:
Laid down at Mitsubishi Zosen Kaisha as Yard No. 733, a 6,804-ton passenger cargo ship for Mitsubishi Shoji, K. K.

12 October 1938:
Launched and named KAZUURA MARU.

20 December 1938:

Departs Sakhalin Island, Karafuto Prefecture.

24 September 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA). Assigned IJA No. 898.

October 1941:
Departs Ujina for Dairen, Manchuria (Dalian, China).

5 October 1941:
Departs Dairen.

13 October 1941:
Arrives at Saigon.

16 October 1941:
Departs Saigon.

17 October 1941:
Arrives at Van Dong at the mouth of the Soirap River.

18 October 1941:
Departs Van Dong.

21 October 1941:
Arrives at Saigon.

22 October 1941:
Departs Saigon.

10 November 1941:
Arrives at Ujina.

16 November 1941:
Departs Ujina.

20 November 1941:
Arrives at Takao.

1 December 1941:
Departs Takao.

7 December 1941:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores.

7 December 1941: Operation "M" - The Attack on the Southern Philippines:
At 1630, KAZAUURA MARU departs Mako for Aparri, Philippines in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hara Kensaburo's (37)(former CO of TAKAO) Fourth Surprise Attack Force with IJA transports AKIURA, ARIZONA, KEIYO, KURAMA, MATSUKAWA and YUZAN MARUs. Hara’s force is escorted by DesRon 5’s light cruiser NATORI (F), DesDiv 5's ASAKAZE, HARUKAZE, MATSUKAZE and HATAKAZE and DesDiv 22 ’s FUMIZUKI, MINIZUKI, NAGATSUKI and SATSUKI, minesweepers W-15, W-16 and W-19 and subchasers CH-1, Ch-2, Ch-3, CH-14 and CH-15.

10 December 1941:
At 0550, the invasion unit arrives off Aparri, N Luzon, Philippines and begins to land troops of the IJA 48th Infantry Division. The invasion unit's objective is the capture of the airfield at Vigan. NATORI provides fire support, bombarding the shoreline.

13 December 1941:
Off Aparri, KAZAUURA MARU receives four near-misses by shore artillery shells.

19 December 1941:
Arrives at Takao.

21 December 1941:
Departs Takao.

30 December 1941:
Arrives at Laoag, W coast of Luzon..

31 December 1941:
Arrives at Salomague Harbor, W coast of Luzon.

3 January 1942:
Arrives at Lingayan Bay and departs

13 January 1942:
Arrives at Vigan.

27 January 1942:
Arrives at Lingayan Bay.

28 January 1942:
Departs Lingayan Bay.

29 January 1942:
Arrives at Camranh Bay.

31 January 1942:
Departs Camranh Bay.

13 February 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

15 February 1942:
Departs Moji.

19 March 1942:
"U" transport operation to Burma (U Sakusen Yuso):

25 March 1942:
The First Burma Transport Convoy arrives at Rangoon.

26 March 1942:
Departs Rangoon.

31 March 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

12 May 1942:
Departs Takao.

18 May 1942:
Arrives at Moji

21 May 1942:
Departs Moji

13 June 1942:
Arrives at Palau

25 June 1942:
Departs Palau.

27 June 1942:
Arrives at Davao.

2 July 1942:
Departs Davao.

4 July 1942:
Arrives at Palau.

7 July 1942:
Departs Palau.

July 1942:
Arrives at Manila.

July 1942:
Departs Manila.

28 July 1942:
Arrives at Davao.

29 July 1942:
Departs Davao.

30 July 1942:
Arrives at Talomo, W of Davao..

8 August 1942:
Departs Talomo.

9 August 1942:
Arrives at Palau.

August 1942:
Departs Palau.

13 August 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

17 August 1942: Landings at Basabua:
KAZUURA MARU departs Rabaul for the Buna-Gona area in a convoy also consisting of transports RYOYO and KANYO MARUs transporting the 25th Air Flotilla's base supplies escorted by light cruiser TENRYU, subchasers CH-22, CH-23 and CH-24 and minesweeper W-20. The convoy also carries the main body of MajGen Horii Tomitaro’s IJA South Seas Detachment, (Nankai Shitai), Detachment Headquarters, 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 144th Infantry Regiment with attached gun company, signal unit, and ammunition sections; two companies of the 55th Mountain Artillery, 47th Field AAA Battalion, a company of 55th Cavalry with attached antitank gun section; part of the divisional medical unit, base hospital, collecting station and divisional decontamination and water-purification unit.

The convoy also includes a naval liaison detachment, a couple of hundred men of the No. 5 Sasebo Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF), 700 natives of Rabaul, 170 horses and a large tonnage of supplies.

18 August 1942:
At 1730, the transports reach Basabua beach undetected by Allied air units and are unloaded. The main force of the South Seas Detachment is landed.

19 September 1942:
At 0355, KAZUURA MARU and the convoy depart Rabaul escorted by minesweeper W-22.

21 August 1942:
Without having been attacked by Allied Air Units on its way back to Rabaul, the convoy arrives safely at its destination.

30August 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

31 August 1942:
Arrives at Basabua.

1 September 1942:
Departs Basabua.

4 September 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

9 September 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

10 September 1942:
Arrives at Basabua.

September 1942:
Departs Basabua.

19 September 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul

20 September 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

4 October 1942:
Arrives at Palau.

5 October 1942:
Departs Palau.

11 October 1942:
Arrives at Cebu.

19 October 1942:
Arrives at Manila.

20 October 1942:
Departs Manila.

23 October 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

26 October 1942:
Departs Takao.

27 October 1942:
Arrives at Kirun.

3 November 1942:
Departs Kirun.

3 November 1942:
Arrives at Moji

6 December 1942:
Departs Moji.

11 December 1942:
Shanghai .

14 December 1942:
Departs Shanghai.

December 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

27 December 1942:
Departs Ujina.

28 December 1942:
Pusan and departs.

28 December 1942:
Arrives at Moji and departs.

5 January 1943:
KAZUURA MARU is joined off Fukajima by subchaser CH-39 that escorts her south.

E 6 January 1943:
CH-39 is detached 90 degrees off Toi Misaki.

24 January 1943:
Arrives at Truk and departs.

January 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

1 February 1943:
Departs Rabaul.

1 February 1943:
Arrives at Palau and departs.

16 February 1943:
Arrives at Balikpapen, Borneo.

25 February 1943:
Departs Balikpapen.

1 March 1943:
Arrives at Singapore and departs.

5 March 1943:
Arrives at Djakarta, Java. (Jakarta, Indonesia).

31 March 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

10 April 1943:
Departs Palau.

15 April 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

16 April 1943:
Departs Manila.

19 April 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

9 May 1943:
Departs Takao.

13 May 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

6 June 1943:
Departs Moji for Pusan.

20 June 1943:
At 0630, KAZUURA MARU departs Saeki for Palau in convoy O-007 also consisting of, RYOYO, NISSHU, TOKO, SHOHO, TAIRIN and UMEKAWA MARUs escorted by kaibokan IKI, torpedo boat HATO and minesweeper W-18.

E 22 June 1943:
W-18 is detached at 29N.

29 June 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

6 July 1943:
KAZUURA MARU departs Palau in convoy FU-601 escorted by escort carrier KAIYO and kaibokan IKI

E 10 July 1943:
The convoy is joined by minelayer NUWAJIMA at 29-10N, 134-30E.

11 July 1943:
off Saeki. The escorts are detached, KAZUURA MARU proceeds unescorted.

12 July 1943:
Arrives at Ujina.

7 July 1943:
Departs Ujina.

12 August 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul

17 August 1943:
KAZUURA MARU departs Rabaul for Palau in convoy O-703 also consisting of SEIZAN MAR (NISHIYAMA MARU) and EHIME MARUs escorted by subchasers CH-17 and CH-16.

22 August 1943:
A 1138, SEIZAN MAU (NISHIYAMA MARU) is torpedoed and sunk by LtCdr Frank M. Parker’s USS SWORDFISH (SS-193).

24 August 1943:
The remainder of convoy arrives at Palau.

10 September 1943:
Departs Palau

6 October 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

11 October 1943:
Departs Singapore.

27 October 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

8 November 1943:
KAZUURA MARU departs Takao in convoy No. 217 consisting of TEISHO (ex-German HAVENSTEIN), KYOKUZAN and KOSEI MARUs and 13 unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOHAKUSAN MARU and one unidentified merchant ship.

11 November 1943:
Arrives at the Yangtse River mouth. Departs later that day.

13 November 1943:
The first part of the convoy arrives at Moji. KOSEI MARU is detached before arrival and heads to Sasebo, arriving later that day.

14 November 1943:
The second part of the convoy arrives at Moji.

19 November 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

31 December 1943:
Departs Moji.

1 January 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

6 January 1944:
At 0902, KAZUURA MARU departs Takao for Manila and Halmahera Island, Moluccas in the Rinji (Special) convoy "S" also consisting of SEINAN, KOSHIN, and YAMAMIYA MARUs escorted by minesweepers W-4 and W-5.

7 January 1944:
At 1057, W-4's cutter is damaged by heavy waves.

9 January 1944:
At 1000, arrives at Manila. SEINAN, KOSHIN and KAZUURA MARUs are detached.

12 January 1944:
At 0952, KAZUURA MARU departs Manila for Halmahera in convoy H-13 also consisting of YAMAMIYA MARU and SHINSEI MARU No. 5 escorted by minesweepers W-4 and W-5.

17 January 1944:
At 0704, arrives at Davao. SHINSEI MARU No. 5 is detached.

19 January 1944:
At 0900, departs Davao.

21 January 1944:
At 1230, arrives at Wasile, Halmahera.

30 January 1944:
At 0800, KAZUURA MARU departs Kau, Halmahera for Manila in an "M" convoy (number unknown) also consisting of ODATSUKI, TSUKIKAWA and YAMAMIYA MARUs escorted by minesweepers W-4 and W-5, patrol boat PB-103, subchaser CH-46 and auxiliary subchaser KYO MARU No. 13.

31 January 1944:
Arrives at Cebu.

1 February 1944:
Departs Cebu.

2 February 1944:
Arrives at Davao.

5 February 1944:
Arrives at Manila

February 1944:
Departs Manila.

27 February 1944:
Arrives at Palau.

5 March 1944:
Arrives at Truk.

17 March 1944:
KAZUURA MARU departs Truk in convoy 4304 also consisting of sub tender TSUKUSHI MARU and IMIZU MARUs escorted by kaibokan OKI and minelayer YURIJIMA.

24 March 1944:
Arrives at Saipan. Departs later that day.

30 March 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

1 April 1944:
Departs Yokosuka in the Take (“Bamboo”) No. 1 convoy for Tungchiaoshan (Tangjiqiozshan) (Raffles Island), Chushan Archipelago.

21 April 1944:
KAZUURA MARU departs Tungchiaoshan, SE of Shanghai in the Take (“Bamboo”) No. 1 convoy of 15 Army transports carrying the IJA's 32nd and 35th divisions (about 30,000 troops) to reinforce Biak and Hollandia, New Guinea.The convoy also consists of BRAZIL, MITSUKI and TENSHINZAN (AMATSUSAN) MARUs and YOSHIDA MARU No. 1 carrying the 32nd Division from China are bound for Mindanao, Philippines and ADEN, TAJIMA and YOZAN MARU, carrying the 35th Division's troops from China destined for Manokwari, New Guinea. MANSHU, FUKUYO, TEIKAI (ex-German FULDA), KANAN, TEIKO (ex-French D’ARTAGNAN), UNKAI MARU (No. unknown) and WALES MARU are destined for Manila.

The escorts include flagship SHIRATAKA, carrying Rear Admiral Kajioka Sadamichi (former CO of KISO), CO of the newly formed 6th Escort Convoy Command, destroyers ASAKAZE, SHIRATSUYU and FUJINAMI, kaibokan KURAHASI, CD-20 and CD-22, minesweeper W-22, subchasers CH-37 and CH-38 and gunboats UJI and ATAKA and auxiliary minesweeper TAMA MARU No. 7.

E 25 April 1944:
25 April 1944: CD-22 is detached from the convoy, probably off Takao.

26 April 1944:
Off NW Luzon, Philippines. LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Thomas M. Dykers' USS JACK (SS-259) intercepts the convoy. Dykers makes three separate radar-assisted attacks and fires 18 torpedoes at the convoy. At about 0600, from two to four torpedoes hit YOSHIDA MARU No. 1 portside. She breaks in two and sinks quickly at 18-06N, 119-40E. She takes down about 2,700 of the IJA's 210th Infantry Regiment of 3,189 men including its commander. Tokyo. Prime Minister and Army General Tojo Hideki learns of the losses inflicted upon convoy Take No. 1. Fearing further attacks by American skip-bombers, like those suffered earlier in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, Tojo orders the convoy diverted from Manokwari, New Guinea to Halmahera, Moluccas.

28 April 1944:
Arrives at Manila

1 May 1944:
Departs Manila.

7 May 1944:
Arrives at Bangka anchorage.

8 May 1944:
Departs Bangka anchorage.

9 May 1944:
Arrives at Halmahera, Moluccas.

13 May 1944:
Departs Halmahera.

14 May 1944:
Arrives at Lembeh Anchorage, N tip of Celebes.

20 May 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

30 May 1944:
Departs Manila.

13 June 1944:
Arrives at Yawata, Japan.

25 July 1944:
Arrives at Ujina.

1 August 1944:
At 0400, KAZUURA MARU departs Moji in convoy MO-05 consisting of ETAJIMA GYOKU, HIROTA, TATSUJU, TSUSHIMA, and YAMAHAGI MARUs escorted by W-20, minelayer SHIRATAKA, destroyer HIBIKI and auxiliary minesweeper Wa-2.

5 August 1944:
Arrives safely at Kinmu Bay, Okinawa.

6 August 1944:
At 0900 departs Kinmu Bay. At 1302, arrives at Nakagusuku Bay..

7 August 1944:
At 0800, departs Nakagusuku Bay. At 1305 arrives at Naha.

8 August 1944:
Departs Naha.

10 August 1944:
Arrives at Lu Hu Shan, China.

11 August 1944:
At 1108, arrives at Moji and later at Kure..

16 August 1944:
At 1835, KAZUURA MARU departs Kure for Naha, Okinawa in convoy No. 609 also consisting of TSUSHIMA and GYOKU MARUs escorted by destroyers TSUGA and HASU and kaibokan UJI. The convoy is carrying about 6,000 troops of the 62nd Infantry Division and over 900 horses for its Field Heavy Artillery.KAZUURA MARU carries 2,409 soldiers and 440 horses, TSUSHIMA MARU carries 3,339 soldiers and 449 horses and GYOKU MARU carries 3,175 soldiers and 40 horses.

19 August 1944:
Arrives at Naha.

21 August 1944:
At 1835, UJI departs Naha for Moji with destroyer HASU escorting convoy NAMO-103 consisting of KAZUURA, GYOKU and TSUSHIMA MARUs.

TSUSHIMA MARU is evacuating 826 school children from Okinawa and carrying another 1,529 passengers and crewmen.

22 August 1944:
Ryukyu Islands. Cdr John Corbus’ USS BOWFIN (SS-287) attacks the convoy. At 2212, Corbus torpedoes and sinks TSUSHIMA MARU at 29-32N, 129-33E. Fearing submarine attack, no ships in the convoy stop to rescue survivors in the water. Later, only 59 of the children are saved. Corbus makes four other attacks and fires numerous torpedoes. UJI and HASU do not counter-attack.

24 August 1944:
Arrives at Nagasaki.

31 August 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

1 September 1944:
Departs Ujina.

8 September 1944:
Arrives at Shanghai.

12 September 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

15 September 1944:
Departs Shanghai.

28 September 1944:
Arrives at Kirun.

1 October 1944:
Departs Kirun.

10 October 1944:
Arrives at Ujina.

10 November 1944:
Departs Ujina.

12 November 1944:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores.

17 November 1944:
Departs Mako.

18 November 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

19 November 1944:
Departs Moji.

20 November 1944:
Arrives at Pusan.

21 November 1944:
Departs Pusan.

23 November 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

30 November 1944:
At 0900, KAZUURA MARU departs Moji for Singapore in convoy MI-29 also consisting of AKIKAWA, CLYDE, BRAZIL, AKISHIMA, MEIRYU, HAWAII, ENOURA, DAII, SHINYU, and MARUs, HOSHI MARU No. 11 and KONAN MARU No. 1 and tankers ENGEN, ENCHO and ENKEI MARUs escorted by destroyer ASAGAO, kaibokan KANJU, IKUNA, SHINNAN and CD-41, CD-66, subchaser CH-28 and auxiliary subchaser CHa-223.

2 December 1944:
LtCdr (later Captain-Ret) Ralph C. Style's (USNA '33) USS SEA DEVIL (SS-400) torpedoes and sinks AKIKAWA MARU at 30-24N 128-17E. 18 crewmen, seven guards, 244 of 409 troops and one passenger are KIA and her cargo of structural steel and other materials is lost.

KONAN MARU No. 1 picks up 186 survivors. 79 others in No. 2 lifeboat drift ashore on Suwanose-Shima on 3 Dec. Later, two die on the island. SEA DEVIL torpedoes and hits HAWAII MARU in her No. 2 hold. She sinks at 30-24N 128-17E. All 1843 soldiers of the 23rd Division, 148 crewmen and 143 gunners are KIA.

BRAZIL MARU goes to Keelung. ENCHO, DAII and ENGEN MARUs and another ship go to Koniya, Amami-Oshima and CLYDE MARU, HOSHI MARU No. 11 with IKUNA go to Takao. Later, the Koniya ships rejoin at Takao, but at this point the convoy is officially dissolved.

December 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

5 December 1944:
At 1157, KAZUURA MARU departs Takao with escorting convoy TAMA-35 also consisting of NISSHO, ORYOKU, TEIHOKU(ex-Vichy French PIERRE L.D.) and ARIMASAN MARUs escorted by kaibokan DAITO, CD-1 CD-34 and CD-134. The ships carry the 13th Independent Field Artillery Battalion, Navy personnel, men from the 10th and 23rd Divisions and the 5th and 6th Medium Mortar Battalions. The ships also carry smooth bore 203mm Type 4 rocket launchers of the 845-man 3rd Rocket Launcher Battalion, 60 horses with 60 towed carts. A a ten-truck ammunition train carries the weapons and their fin-stabilized ammunition.

ORYOKU MARU carries 2,054 soldiers including the 558-man 4th Medium Mortar Battalion with twelve 150mm tubes and the unit’s ammunition, baggage and four trucks, a company of 23rd Division engineers and that regiment’s material platoon, Replacements for Luzon-based units such as the Army’s 10th Air Intelligence Regiment (observation and radar).

NISSHO MARU carries the regimental headquarters and the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 71st Infantry of the 23rd Division and Headquarters and Supply Company and thr 136th Airfield Battalion.

ARIMASAN MARU carries 10th Division headquarters, 39th Infantry, 2nd Battalion, 10th Artillery, reconnaissance engineer battalions, communications company and medical and transportation elements.

TEIHOKU MARU carries 1,216 Navy personnel and 4,700 tons of supplies and equipment. Some of that equipment belongs to the 328th Naval Construction Unit, a 450-man airfield unit with rollers, scrapers, and various trucks. CD-134 carries 100 soldiers.

Later that day, TAMA-35 anchors at Chechung.

6 December 1944:
At 0058 departs and, at 1815, anchors at Port San Pio Quinto, Camiguin Island.

8 December 1944:
At 0502, departs Port San Pio Quinto. At 1411, anchors at Calayan Island.

9 December 1944:
At 0817, departs Calayan Island.

11 December 1944:
At 2000, arrives Manila.

19 December 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

30 December 1944:
At 0800, KAZUURA MARU departs North San Fernando for Takao in convoy MATA-38 also consisting of MURORAN, NISSHO and TEIKAI (ex-German FULDA) MARUs escorted by destroyer KURETAKE, subchasers CH-21 and CH-18 and three unidentified escorts.

2.5 km N of Santiago Cove, Luzon, At 1310, the convoy undergoes a series of air attacks by 26 of Fifth Air Force's B-25 “Mitchell” medium bombers, A-20 “Havoc” light bombers and P-40 “Warhawk” fighters that skip bomb at low level. TEIKAI and MURORAN MARUs and CH-18 are hit by bombs and sink at 17-17N, 120-24E.

Near Lingayen, the planes also damage NISSHO MARU and KAZUURA MARU suffers a near miss bomb at the water line near the starboard No. 6 hold.

Arrives at Lapog Bay, W coast of Luzon, where temporary repairs are carried out.

31 December 1944:
Departs Lapog Bay.

2 January 1945:
Arrives at Takao.

15 January 1945:
Departs Takao.

18 January 1945:
Arrives at Kobe.

23 February 1945:
Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs notifies the belligerent powers that KAZUURA MARU has been designated a hospital ship.

9 March 1945:
Arrives at Moji.

129 March 1945:
Arrives at Kirun.

13 March 1945:
Departs Kirun.

25 March 1945:
Arrives at Saigon, Vichy French Indochina (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam).

26 March 1945:
Departs Saigon.

29 March 1945:
Off Vichy French Indochina, a USAAF Consolidated B-24 “Liberator” damages hospital ship KAZUURA MARU at 15-05N, 109-23E.

31 March 1945:
Arrives at Singapore.

2 April 1945:
Departs Singapore.

20 April 1945:
Arrives at Hong Kong and departs.

25 April 1945:
Arrives at Moji.

26 April 1945:
Departs Moji .

30 May 1945:
Arrives at Pusan.

2 June 1945:
Departs Pusan.

5 June 1945:
Arrives at Masan and departs.

7 June 1945:
Arrives at Moji.

15 June 1945:
Departs Moji.

16 June 1945:
Arrives at Pusan and departs.

21 June 1945:
Arrives at Hagi

15 July 1945:
Arrives at the south section of the port of Maizuru.

July 1945:
Departs Maizuru for Pusan.

20 July 1945:
Outside of the port of Pusan, KAZUURA MARU strikes a mine and is grounded on nearby reef at 35-05N, 129-10E.

15 August 1945:
Hostilities cease.

17 August 1945:
KAZUURA MARU is officially released from IJA service.

Salvaged and used as a South Korean government minesweeper.

Transferred to the Far Eastern Marine Transport Company of Inchon, Korea. Renamed KOREA.

Pusan, S. Korea. Scrapped.

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

Bob Hackett

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