ZATSUYOSEN!

(KENRYU MARU prewar)

IJN KENRYU MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2011-2015 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 1


4 May 1935:
Laid down by Mitsui Bussan K.K. Zosembu Tama Kojo shipyard as a 4,575-ton cargo ship for Inui Kisen K.K., Kobe.

12 October 1935:
Launched and named KENRYU MARU.

15 November 1935:
Completed and registered at Kobe.

6 December 1940:
Requisitioned by the IJN.

16 December 1940:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary transport, (Ko) category under internal order No. 980 and attached to the Maizuru Naval District. Her home port is the Maizuru Naval Base. [1]

E January 1941:
Attached to Third Fleet, Second Base Force as a special auxiliary transport vessel.

6 January 1941:
Begins conversion at Maizuru Naval Yard to her military auxiliary transport role.

23 March 1941:
Departs Saeki, Kyushu and operates in central China coast waters.

3 April 1941:
Arrives at Tachibana Wan (Bay), Kyushu.

E June 1941:
Departs Sasebo.

10 June 1941:
Arrives in southern China waters.

7 July 1941:
Departs southern China waters and arrives first at Mako, Pescadores then at Takao, Formosa (now Kaohsiung, Taiwan) at unknown dates.

E July 1941:
Departs Takao at an unknown date.

11 July 1941:
Operates in southern China waters.

29 August 1941:
Departs southern China waters and arrives at Osaka at an unknown date.

18 December 1941:
Departs Mako.

19 January 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

20 January 1942:
Departs Takao and arrives at Makassar, Celebes at an unknown date.

26 February 1942:
Comes alongside auxiliary gunboat KAMITSU MARU and transfers her some grain cargo.

E March 1942:
Departs Makassar.

E March 1942:
Arrives at Bangka Island anchorage, Celebes (now, Pulau Bangka, Sulawesi).

10 March 1942:
Assigned by Imperial Navy Ministry to Maizuru Naval District.

18 March 1942:
Comes alongside auxiliary gunboat TAIKO MARU and transfers her one soldier on special duty.

2 May 1942:
Maizuru. KENRYU MARU is to be equipped with telemeter equipment, binoculars and a rangefinder under internal instruction No. 5289.

E June 1942:
Departs Maizuru.

6 June 1942:
Arrives at Mako. Later departs and arrives at Sasebo at an unknown date.

E June 1942:
Departs Sasebo and arrives at Tamano at unknown dates. Docks Tamano shipyard for maintenance and repairs.

6 July 1942:
Maintenance and repairs are completed. Undocked.

E July 1942:
Departs Tamano and arrives at Sasebo at unknown dates.

15 July 1942:
Departs Sasebo and arrives at Rabaul at an unknown date.

E August 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

10 August 1942:
KENRYU MARU shifts category from Zatsuyosen (Ko) to Zatsuyosen (Otsu) under internal instruction No. 574 and Maritime Act No. 31, [1].

23 August 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

28 August 1942:
Assigned to a transport mission under Naval Transportation Station secret telegram No. 25180054. Departs Yokohama and calls at Yokosuka. At 1300, departs for Palau in a convoy also consisting of auxiliary oiler KYOKUYO MARU escorted by minesweeper W-17.

30 August 1942:
W-17 is detached from the convoy and returns to Japan. The two merchant ships proceed independently to Palau and then together to Rabaul.

5 September 1942:
Arrives at Palau.

6 September 1942:
At 1000, KYOKUYO and KENRYU MARUs depart Palau carrying 579 men of a navy construction unit.

11 September 1942:
The convoy arrives at Rabaul.

12 September 1942:
KENRYU MARU departs Rabaul for Shortland, Solomons.

13 September 1942:
Arrives at Shortland.

22 September 1942:
Departs Shortland for Rabaul.

23 September 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

25 September 1942:
Assigned to a transport mission under Naval Transportation Station secret telegram No. 28140976. Departs Rabaul for Ponape, Carolines (now, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia).

30 September 1942:
Arrives at Ponape.

1 October 1942:
Departs Ponape for Palau.

7 October 1942:
Arrives at Palau.

12 October 1942:
Departs Palau and arrives the same day at Angaur, Palaus.

13 October 1942:
Departs Angaur for Yokohama.

20 October 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

23 October 1942:
Ordered to enter Mitsubishi Heavy Industries K.K., Yokohama shipyard for a period of maintenance and repairs under Naval Transportation Station secret telegram No. 21182552.

6 December 1942:
Assigned to a transport mission under Naval Transportation Station secret telegram No. 01175814.

10 December 1942:
Departs Yokohama for Niihama, Shikoku in West Convoy No. 63 also consisting of GOYO, MIKAGE, IWASHIRO and WAZAN MARUs escorted by torpedo boat CHIDORI. The convoy assembles and at 0930 departs from Futtsu.

12 December 1942:
Arrives at Niihama.

16 December 1942:
Departs Niihama and arrives the same day at Mutsure.

17 December 1942:
Departs Mutsure in convoy No. 103 also consisting of TEIKAI MARU and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer SHIOKAZE.

22 December 1942:
Arrives at Mako.

23 December 1942:
Departs Mako and arrives the same day at Takao.

27 December 1942:
Departs Takao for Manila in convoy No. 732 also consisting of SHINWA MARU and two unidentified merchant ships without escort.

30 December 1942:
Arrives at Manila.

31 December 1942:
Departs Manila for Macassar, Celebes.

7 January 1943:
At 1600 arrives at Macassar.

9 January 1943:
Departs Makassar for Pomalaa, Celebes.

10 January 1943:
Arrives at Pomalaa.

17 January 1943:
Departs Pomalaa for Tarakan, Borneo.

22 January 1943:
Arrives at Tarakan.

25 January 1943:
Departs Tarakan for Balikpapan, Borneo.

27 January 1943:
Arrives at Balikpapan.

9 February 1943:
Assigned to a transport mission under Naval Transportation Station Secret telegram No. 23310. Departs Balikpapan for Macassar.

11 February 1943:
Arrives at Macassar and departs the same day for Pomalaa.

12 February 1943:
Arrives at Pomalaa.

20 February 1943:
Departs Pomalaa for Manila.

28 February 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

1 March 1943:
Departs Manila for Takao in convoy No. 836 also consisting of four unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU.

4 March 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

7 March 1943:
Departs Takao for Moji in convoy No. 238 also consisting of TOZAN MARU and three unidentified merchant ships, escorted by destroyer FUYO.

13 March 1943:
The convoy arrives at Moji.

14 March 1943:
Departs Moji for Niihama.

15 March 1943:
Arrives at Niihama. Assigned to a transport mission under Naval Transportation Station Secret order No. 389.

20 March 1943:
Departs Niihama and arrives the same day at Kure.

21 March 1943:
Departs Kure for Miike.

23 March 1943:
Arrives at Miike.

24 March 1943:
Departs Miike for Osaka.

26 March 1943:
Arrives at Osaka.

29 March 1943:
Departs Osaka for Saipan, Marianas.

5 April 1943:
Arrives at Saipan.

10 April 1943:
At 1400 departs Saipan for Truk with NANYO MARU No. 1 and NANKAI MARU No. 2 with auxiliary subchaser KYO MARU No. 10 as escort. At some point en route KYO MARU No. 10 is detached and returns to Saipan.

14 April 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

21 April 1943:
Departs Truk for Rabaul.

26 April 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

23 May 1943:
Assigned to a transport mission under Naval Transportation Station Secret order No. 328.

3 June 1943:
Departs Rabaul for Palau in a convoy also consisting of NAGANO, SAMARANG, DAINICHI, GLASGOW and GENMEI MARUs with an unknown escort.

11 June 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

14 June 1943:
Departs Palau and arrives the same day at Angaur, Palaus.

16 June 1943:
Departs Angaur and arrives the same day at Palau.

24 June 1943:
Departs Palau in convoy FU-405 also consisting of NISHIYAMA (SEIZAN), MOJI, SHICHISEI and CHINZEI MARUs, escorted by minesweeper W-18.

E 1 July 1943:
Minelayers NUWAJIMA and YURIJIMA, and auxiliary minesweepers TAKUNAN MARU No. 8 and TAMA MARU No. 6 join convoy FU-405 at 29N to provide additional escort.

2 July 1943:
Off Saeki the convoy is dissolved.

3 July 1943:
KENRYU MARU arrives at Wada-Misaki.

4 July 1943:
Departs Wada-Misaki for Yokohama.

6 July 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama.

12 July 1943:
Departs Yokohama and arrives the same day at Yokosuka.

14 July 1943:
Assigned to a transport mission under Naval Transportation Station Secret telegram No. 385. Departs Yokosuka and arrives the same day at Tokyo.

20 July 1943:
Departs Tokyo and arrives the same day at Yokosuka.

26 July 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Chichi Jima, Ogasawara Gunto (Bonins) in convoy 3726 also consisting of TSUNESHIMA and SANTO MARUs and EIKO MARU No. 2 GO escorted by patrol boat PB-101 and auxiliary gunboat EDO MARU.

29 July 1943:
At 1430 arrives at Chichi Jima. PB-101 is detached.

1 August 1943:
Departs Chichi Jima for Saipan.

5 August 1943:
Arrives at Saipan.

9 August 1943:
At 0830 departs Saipan for Truk still in convoy now escorted by auxiliary submarine chasers CHa-14, KYO MARU No. 8 and auxiliary gunboat EDO MARU. KYO MARU No. 8 is later detached.

12 August 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

19 August 1943:
Departs Truk for Kwajalein, Marshalls in convoy No. 5192 also consisting of one unidentified merchant ship escorted by auxiliary submarine chasers CHa-14 and SHONAN MARU No. 7.

24 August 1943:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

4 September 1943:
At 1000, departs Kwajalein for Nauru Island at nine knots escorted by torpedo boat HIYODORI and auxiliary gunboat HEIJO MARU. Soon after the convoy leaves port, LtCdr Oscar E. Hagberg's (USNA '31) USS ALBACORE (SS-218) torpedoes and sinks HEIJO MARU at 05-05N, 156-37E. Two crewmen are KIA.

7 September 1943:
Arrives at Nauru.

11 September 1943:
Departs Nauru for Kwajalein escorted by auxiliary subchasers TAKUNAN MARU No. 10 and KYO MARU No. 7.

14 September 1943:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

18 September 1943:
Departs Kwajalein for Truk in convoy No. 6188 also consisting of KEMBU, CHIHAYA, MINATO, MANJU, TSUNESHIMA, SHINAGOURA and MUKO MARUs, escorted by subchasers CH-28 and CH-31, auxiliary subchasers KYO MARU No. 6 and TAKUNAN MARU No. 10 and torpedo boat HIYODORI.

25 September 1943:
The convoy arrives at Truk.

26 September 1943:
Departs Truk for Saipan in convoy No. 4926 also consisting of auxiliary fleet replenishment vessel SANTO MARU, auxiliary transport MUKO MARU and TSUNESHIMA MARU escorted by destroyers IKAZUCHI and YUZUKI. [2]

29 September 1943:
About 10nms WNW Saipan. At 1000, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) William S. Post’s (USNA ‘30) USS GUDGEON (SS-212) launches a torpedo attack on the convoy at 15-28N, 145-58E. LtCdr Post hits and damages SANTO MARU. Listing and down by the stern, she is taken in tow by KENRYU MARU to Saipan where the convoy arrives later in the day. Auxiliary minesweeper SEKI MARU No.3 and auxiliary subchaser KYO MARU No. 10 depart from Saipan at 1205 to assist. Auxiliary minesweeper FUMI MARU No. 2 escorts the other ships. SANTO MARU is left moored off Garapan.

30 September 1943:
Departs Saipan for Yokosuka escorted by destroyers IKAZUCHI and YUZUKI.

6 October 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

11 October 1943:
Scheduled for hull maintenance and new weapons under Secret telegram No. 071859. Departs Yokosuka for Tama shipyard.

13 October 1943:
Arrives at Tama shipyard.

11 November 1943:
Assigned to a transport mission under Naval Transportation Station Secret telegram No. 411. Departs Tama shipyard for Tokuyama.

12 November 1943:
Arrives at Tokuyama. Probably refuels.

17 November 1943:
Departs Tokuyama for Wada Misaki.

18 November 1943:
Arrives at Wada Misaki.

19 November 1943:
Departs Wada Misaki for Yokosuka.

21 November 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

E November 1943:
Loads weapons, equipment, other military supplies and assorted goods.

28 November 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Truk in convoy No. 3128 also consisting of REIYO, SHOHO, NAGISAN and HARUNA MARUs escorted by kaibokan FUKUE.

29 November 1943:
About 15 nms NW of Hachijo-Jima, Izu Shoto (Izu Islands), the convoy is intercepted by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Merrill K. Clementson’s (USNA ‘33) USS SNAPPER (SS-185). At 0905, Clementson torpedoes and hits KENRYU MARU at 33-19N, 139-34E. She is set afire and settles down by the bows. Burning furiously, she is abandoned and sinks the next day at 33-16N, 139-35E. Four crewmen are KIA. KENRYU MARU is the only vessel sunk in convoy No. 3128.

12 December 1943:
Convoy No. 3128 arrives at Truk.

5 January 1944:
Removed from the Navy List under internal order No. 54.


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

[2] The Tokusetsu Unsokan class (converted auxiliary replenishment vessel) was newly set up in 1939. Its main role was to supply naval vessels with fuel. If necessary, they transported personnel and war supplies.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan.

-Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


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