(KONAN MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2012-2013 Bob Hackett

30 May 1918:
Nagasaki. Laid down at Mitsubishi Zosensho, K. K. as Yard No. 277, a 5,177-ton passenger-cargo ship for Kobe Sanbashi, K. K. (Kobe Pier Co., Ltd.).

5 November 1918:
Launched and named KONAN MARU. [1]

25 November 1918:

E October 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) and converted to a troop transport.

8 December 1941:
The Pacific War begins.

18 December 1941: The Invasion of the Philippines -“M” Operation (M Sakusen):
KONAN MARU paricipates in the Invasion of Lingayen Gulf, Philippines consisting of 72 transports in three echelons carrying the main part of LtGen Homma Masaharu's 80,000-man 14th Army. The first echelon is composed of 27 transports from Takao under Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hara Kensaburo, the second echelon of 28 transports under Rear Admiral Nishimura and the third echelon of 21 transports from Keelung under Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hirose Sueto.

24 December 1941:
Lingayen Gulf. Between 0110 and 0430, the Lingayen Invasion Convoy lands troops at Lingayen.

19 February 1942:
At 0800, 39 transports of Vice Admiral Takahashi's Third Fleet, Eastern Java Invasion Force (Toho Koryaku Butai) depart the anchorage at Jolo Island, Philippines for Java carrying the IJA’s 48th Infantry Division. En route, four more transports carrying the Sakaguchi Detachment (assigned to capture Tjilatjap) join the invasion convoy.

The convoy is escorted by Rear Admiral Nishimura's heavy cruisers NACHI and HAGURO, DesRon 2's light cruisers NAKA and JINTSU and DesDiv 16's YUKIKAZE, TOKITSUKAZE, AMATSUKAZE and HATSUKAZE and DesDiv 7's USHIO, SAZANAMI, YAMAKAZE and KAWAKAZE and DesRon 4's light cruiser NAKA, DesDiv 2's YUDACHI, SAMIDARE, HARUSAME, DesDiv 9's ASAGUMO, MURASAME, MINEGUMO, NATSUGUMO.

1 March 1942: Operation "J" - The Invasion of Java, Netherlands East Indies:
At 0120, 100 miles W of Surabaya, Java. The Eastern Java Invasion Force now consisting of 43 transports including KONAN MARU enters the roadstead off Kragan village, East Java.

Just before dropping anchor, the ships suffer a fierce air attack. JOHORE MARU is hit and suffers many KIA and WIA. TOKUSHIMA MARU is also hit and has to be beached at 0200. Despite the air attacks, at 0015, the convoy lands the 48th Infantry Division at Kragan village, East Java. Their main objectives are the Surabaya Naval Base on the eastern coast and Tjilatjap harbor on the southern coast.

May 1942:
Probably released by the IJA and returned to her owners.

23 April 1943:
KONAN MARU departs Ujina for Palau in convoy P-512 also consisting of ENGLAND, DAINICHI and NAGANO MARUs escorted by subchaser CH-22.

6 May 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

12 May 1943:
At 1100, KONAN MARU departs Palau for Rabaul.

17 May 1943:
NE of the Admiralty Islands. At about 1800, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Edward C. Stephan's (USNA ’29) USS GRAYBACK (SS-208) torpedoes and sinks troop transport ENGLAND MARU at 00-45S, 148-30E. 232 of the 1,500 troops aboard and 13 crewmen are KIA.

19 May 1943:
KONAN MARU and the other two marus arrive at Rabaul.

7 June 1943:
KONAN MARU departs Rabaul in convoy in O-704 also consisting of HEIMEI, KINKASAN and MAKASSAR MARUs escorted by subchasers CH-24 and CH-37.

13 June 1943:
Convoy O-704 is intercepted by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Edward S. Carmick's (USNA ’30) USS SARGO (SS-188) that begins tracking the convoy.

14 June 1943:
430 miles SE of Palau. That night, Carmick makes a submerged attack. Hew fires two torpedoes and sinks KONAN MARU at 06-05N, 138-25E. Four crewmen are KIA. The subchasers drop four DCs and cause some damage to SARGO, but she arrives safely at Midway Island.

Author’s Note:
[1] Not to be confused with the smaller troop transport KONAN MARU of 2,627-tons built 1915, tanker KONAN MARU or railway ship KONAN MARU or many other numerically suffixed KONAN MARUs.

No data were found on KONAN's movements from May '42 to Apr '43. Readers with access to such data are requested to post the information on the Discussion and Questions board or j-aircraft.org's IJN Ship Message Board

Bob Hackett

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