(Drawing of HENRY KESWICK later KEISHU MARU, as completed)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2015 Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall

E 1920:
Hong Kong, British Crown Colony. Laid down by Hongkong & Whampoa Dock Co. Ltd. Kowloon Dock, for their own service as a 671-tons ocean-going tug and salvage vessel.

May 1921:
Launched and named HENRY KESWICK.

Completed and registered at Hong Kong.

Call sign is VPBT.

4 December 1941:
Requisitioned by the British Ministry of War Transport.

5 December 1941:
Departs Hong Kong towing cargo ship TANTALUS.

December 1941:
Arrives at Singapore, Malaya. Departs later.

11 December 1941:
Arrives at Manila, Luzon, P.I. Departs later.

22 December 1941:
Requisitioned by the US Army as a USAT (US Army Tug).

December 1941:
Departs Manila. Calls at Bataan and Corregidor.

9 April 1942:
Off Corregidor North Dock, Bataan. USAT HENRY KESWICK is shelled and sunk in shallow waters by IJA artillery guns. Her CO, Lt (jg) Trose E. Donaldson (DSC) is KIA after he ordered his crew to abandon ship.

6 September 1942:
Refloated by the Japanese.

19 January 1943:
Navy’s Maintenance directive No. 227 is implemented.

E February 1943:
Renamed KEISHU MARU. Call sign is changed to JWNY.

15 March 1943:
Conversion to military duty is completed by the 103rd Naval Construction Unit.

20 April 1943:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary transport attached to the Sasebo Naval District with Sasebo as home port under Navy’s instruction No. 764.

E April 1943:
Assigned directly to the Navy Department as an auxiliary transport (Otsu) category. Scheduled to be operated by Osaka Shosen K.K. (OSK) personnel. [1]

E August 1943:
Tows DOSEI MARU (ex-Philippine DON JOSE) from Manila to Hong Kong for repair.

3 September 1943:
At 1754, departs Hong Kong escorted by patrol boat No. 103 (ex-USS FINCH (AM-9).

7 September 1943:
At 0918, arrives back at Hong Kong but departs again at 1839.

10 September 1943:
At 1539, arrives at Manila.

September 1943:
Departs Kirun, Formosa (now Keelung, Taiwan) on rescue mission of IJA transport GYOKU (ex-British EMPIRE LANTERN) MARU.

10 October 1943:
Departs Takao (now Kaohsiung), Formosa.

E 12 October 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

23 July 1944:
Engages in rescue mission of auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU. [2]

9 September 1944:
At 1600, departs Manila in convoy MI-14 also consisting of auxiliary oiler OGURA MARU No. 2, IJA oiler ATAGO MARU, civilian tanker (C-AO) TOKUWA MARU, IJA transports TOKUSHIMA and ENOSHIMA MARUs, IJA shared transport (A/C-AK) KENSEI MARU and IJN requisitioned (B-AK) MIHO MARU escorted by kaibokan CD-14, subchaser CH-20 and patrol boat PB-38. Enroute north the convoy is joined by minesweepers W-38 and W-39 off Musa Bay, Fuga Island.

16 September 1944:
At 0440, departs Basco Bay, Batan Island, Philippines. At 1355, TOKUSHIMA MARU carrying 112 passengers and 5,400-tons of chrome ore, is torpedoed and sunk by LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Glynn R. Donaho‘s (USNA ’27) USS PICUDA (SS-382) in the Bashi Channel at 21-57N, 121-35E. 82 passengers, one Communications Officer, 44 gunners and 52 crewmen are KIA. TOKUSHIMA MARU’s explosion damages nearby oiler OGURA MARU No. 2. She stops for repairs, but at 1515, is torpedoed and sunk by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Louis D. McGregor's (USNA ’30) USS REDFISH (SS-395) at 21-42N, 121-41E. In the course of these actions 23 passengers, three guards and 15 crewmen are KIA.

17 September 1944:
Arrives at Takao and is detached from the convoy.

21 September 1944:
On rescue mission for IJA transport MIZUHO MARU [3].

27 September 1944:
Assigned to depart port as soon as possible on rescue mission for auxiliary oiler (ex-seaplane tender) KAMOI under HIB radio transmission No. 65. [4]

23 October 1944:
Engages in rescue mission for heavy cruiser AOBA. [5]

8 January 1945:
Departs Manila for French Indochina.

12 January 1945: Operation "Gratitude"- Task Force 38's Strikes on Indochina:
About 15 nautical miles E of Cape St. Jacques, French Indochina (now Vung Tau, Vietnam), KEISHU MARU is bombed and heavily damaged by Vice Admiral (Admiral posthumously) John S. McCain's (USNA ’06) Task Force 38 carrier-based aircraft. She is beached without casualties.

3 May 1947:
Removed from the IJN Navy’s list under instruction No. 327/2.

Authors' Notes :
[1] There were two categories of Zatsuyosen. (Ko) category with an IJN Captain as supervisor aboard and (Otsu) category without.

[2] PEKING MARU ran aground off Lingayen Gulf coast, Leyte, P.I. 21 Jul ‘44. She was torpedoed and sunk 28 Jul ’44 by LtCdr Henry C. Stevenson’s (USNA ’30) USS ASPRO (SS-309) with unknown casualties.

[3] MIZUHO MARU was torpedoed and sunk earlier that same day by Cdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Louis D. McGregor's (USNA ’30) USS REDFISH (SS-395). 1,313 passengers, 81 crewmen and three gunners of the 2,150 troops and 3,029 civilian employees she was carrying are lost with her. Minesweeper W-17 counterattacks while the other vessels pick up survivors. CH-22 rescues 622 survivors, CH-63 rescues 150 men, W-20 rescues 370 men, TOYO MARU No. 3 rescues 980, tug/rescue vessel KEISHU MARU (ex British HENRY KESWICK) rescues 1630 men and motorized sailboats BANGI and SAROMAGE rescue 268 survivors.

[4] KAMOI was attacked earlier that same day 240 miles SW of Manila by LtCdr (later Cdr) Lawrence L. Edge's (USNA '35) USS BONEFISH (SS-223). Hit by one of four torpedoes, she suffered medium damage.

[5] AOBA was attacked earlier that same day off Luzon by Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Wreford G. Chapple's (USNA '30) USS BREAM (SS-243). Hit by one of six torpedoes, she took on a 13° list to starboard and was subsequently towed to the Cavite Naval yard for repairs.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan.

Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall.

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