KYUTANYUSEN!

(KORYU MARU, prewar at Vancouver)

IJN KORYU MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement


© 2016 Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall


11 October 1930:
Nagasaki. Laid down by Mitsubishi Zosen K.K. shipyard for Hiroumi Shoji K.K. as a 6,680-tons cargo ship.

30 August 1931:
Launched and named KORYU MARU.[1]

2 December 1931:
Completed and registered at Kobe.

3 December 1931:
Departs Nagasaki.

6 December 1931:
Arrives at Kobe.

E 1932:
Chartered by Daido Kaiun K.K and placed on Australia route.

23 July 1935:
Collides with an American freighter and sustains bow damage 10 nautical miles S of San Francisco.

16 November 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN.

20 November 1941:
Assigned to Malaya Sakusen (Operation) to transport reinforcement troops.

November 1941:
Transport 7,000-tons of coal and 2,500-tons of fuel to South forward base.

1 December 1941:
Assigned to Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo’s (37) Southern Expeditionary Fleet.

4 December 1941 ~ 10 February 1942:
Executes reinforcement troops transport missions to Malaya.

8 December 1941:
Conversion to military duty is completed at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries K.K, Nagasaki shipyard.

10 December 1941:
Registered as an auxiliary collier/oiler attached to the Kure Naval District with Kure as homeport under Navy’s instruction No. 1623. Assigned directly to the Combined Fleet as an auxiliary collier (Otsu) category. That same day, Captain Mizuno Kokichi (37) is appointed supervisor. [2]

10 January 1942:
Assigned to Anambas Islands Sakusen (Operation) to provide support of invasion troops, occupation, construction and water base construction.

14 January 1942:
Arrives at Pulo Condor, French Indochina (now Vietnam).

24 January 1942:
Departs Pulo Condor.

26 January 1942:
Arrives at Anambas (Anambas Islands) following Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo’s (37) Western Invasion Group.

27 January 1942:
Assigned to Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hiraoka Kumeichi’s (39) 9th Base Force. Departs Anambas later that day.

29 January 1942:
Arrives at Saint Jacques (now Vung Tau), French Indochina.

30 January 1942:
Departs Saint Jacques.

31 January 1942:
Arrives at Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), French Indochina. Departs later.

20 February 1942:
Assigned to patrol and supply missions in Singapore waters.

23 February 1942:
Assigned to resupply mission bound for Penang, Malaya, Sabang, Sumatra and in the Andamans area.

25 February 1942:
Assigned to Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hiraoka Kumeichi’s (39) 9th Special Base Force.

8 March 1942: Operation "T" - The Seizure of North Sumatra (Sabang/Idi and Koetaradja)
At 1600 (JST), the northern Sumatra invasion convoy departs Singapore consisting of auxiliary transports HEITO and TATSUMIYA MARUs transporting the Kobayashi Detachment of the Imperial Guards Division and IJA transports ANYO, ALASKA, RAKUYO and KINUGAWA MARUs transporting other elements of the same division. KORYU and KISOGAWA MARUs also steam in this convoy, but are later detached and head separately to Penang.

The convoy is escorted by DesRon 3 light cruiser SENDAI (F), DesDiv 19 ISONAMI, URANAMI and AYANAMI, DesDiv 20 AMAGIRI, ASAGIRI and YUGIRI, MineDiv 1 W1, W3, W4 and W5, SC-Div 11 CH-8 and CH-9, Escort No. 1 Force light cruisers KASHII and YURA, kaibokan SHIMUSHU and MineDiv 41's REISUI and TAKAO MARUs.

Distant cover is provided by Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo’s (37) heavy cruiser CHOKAI (flagship), CruDiv 7’s MOGAMI, MIKUMA, KUMANO and SUZUYA, DesDiv 11 FUBUKI, HATSUYUKI and SHIRAYUKI and DesDiv 12 MURAKUMO and SHIRAKUMO. Light aircraft carrier RYUJO, seaplane tender SAGARA MARU and aircraft from the 40th Naval air Group, Seletar airfield and from the Bihoro Naval Air Group, Penang airfield provide air cover.

10 March 1942:
Arrives at Penang.

18 March 1942:
Departs Penang.

19 March 1942:
Arrives at Sabang.

23 March 1942:
Departs Sabang.

24 March 1942:
Arrives at Port Blair, Andamans following Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo’s (36) Invasion Unit.

28 March 1942:
Departs Port Blair.

4 April 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

7 April 1942:
Departs Saigon.

10 April 1942:
Assigned to South Indian Ocean Sakusen (Operation).

13 April 1942:
Arrives at Sabang.

15 April 1942:
Departs Sabang.

18 April 1942:
Arrives at Port Blair.

21 April 1942:
Departs Port Blair.

24 April 1942:
Arrives at Penang.

3 May 1942:
Departs Penang.

5 May 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

11 May 1942:
Departs Singapore.

14 May 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

16 May 1942:
Departs Saigon.

17 May 1942:
Arrives at Cam Ranh, French Indochina.

22 May 1942:
Departs Cam Ranh.

24 May 1942:
Arrives at Samah, Hainan Island, China.

30 May 1942:
Departs Samah.

31 May 1942:
Arrives at Port Campha, French Indochina. Departs later.

5 June 1942:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores.

7 June 1942:
Departs Mako.

12 June 1942:
Arrives at Osaka. Enters drydock.

12 June ~ 19 July 1942:
Undergoes maintenance and repairs.

10 July 1942:
Captain Mizuno is relieved by Captain Nishio Fujihiko (40).

20 July 1942:
Undocked.

21 July 1942:
Departs Osaka and calls at Kure. Departs there for Singapore later that day.

15 February 1943:
At 1200 arrives at Truk. (NB: may be a different KORYU MARU).

25 May 1943:
Captain Nishio is appointed to the Yokosuka Naval District.

1 June 1943:
Arrives at Penang.

E June ~ early July 1943:
Executes resupply mission bound for Penang, Malaya, Sabang, Sumatra and in the Andamans area.

13 July 1943:
At 0755, departs Balikpapan, Borneo in a convoy also consisting of auxiliary transports SHOHEI and TARUSHIMA MARUs escorted by minesweeper W-16 and auxiliary gunboat OKUYO MARU.

E 14 July 1943:
SHOHEI MARU and OKUYO MARU are detached for Surabaya.

E 15 July 1943:
At some point detached from the convoy and sails independently to Singapore.

16 July 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

12 October 1943:
At 1430, arrives at Padang. (NB: could be a different KORYU MARU).

28 October 1943:
Reported at Singapore. (NB: could be a different KORYU MARU).

15 November 1943:
At 1500, arrives at Macassar. (NB: could be a different KORYU MARU).

1 January 1944:
At Penang. Currently assigned to Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Takasu Shiro’s (35) Southwest Area Fleet.

1 ~ 7 January 1944:
Unloads 1,300-tons of coal and 4-tons of other sundries. Loads 720-tons of tin and 5,256 empty cans.

7 January 1944:
Departs Penang.

9 January 1944:
Arrives at Keppel Harbour (Singapore commercial port).

9 ~ 11 January 1944:
Unloads 250-tons of tin, 6-tons of other sundries and 750-tons of coal.

11 January 1944:
Departs Keppel Harbour and arrives later that day at Seletar Naval Base, Singapore.

11 ~ 15 January 1944:
Unloads 370-tons of tin, 1,000-tons of cement, 6,526 empty cans and 1,660-tons of coal.

16 January 1944:
Enters drydock.

16 ~22 January 1944:
Undergoes maintenance and repairs.

22 January 1944:
Undocked.

23 ~31 January 1944:
Loads aviation fuel and other sundries.

February 1944:
At Padang, Sumatra.

February ~ 1 March 1944:
Loads 5,206-tons of coal, 2,000-tons of cement, eight cars, one tractor, 1,600 empty cans and other sundries.

12 March 1944:
Embarks 26 passengers.

13 March 1944:
At 0945, departs Padang escorted by minelayer HATSUTAKA.

15 March 1944:
At 1400, arrives at Sabang. Disembarks 12 passengers.

16 ~ 23 March 1944:
Unloads 1,000-tons of coal, 2,000-tons of cement and 2,065 empty cans. Loads 60-tons of other sundries.

March 1944:
A new 7.7mm MG mount is fitted.

23 March 1944:
Embarks 67 passengers and departs Sabang at 1234 escorted by subchaser CH-9.

24 March 1944:
At 1920, arrives at Penang.

25 March 1944:
Disembarks 81 passengers.

25 ~ 31 March 1944:
Unloads 1,000-tons of coal and 15-tons of other sundries. Loads 6,109 empty drums, 1,502 empty cans, 100-tons of tin and 33-tons of other sundries. Departs later.

19 April 1944: Departs Singapore for Saigon with a cargo of 1,000-tons of coal, 1,300-tons of gasoline and 1,600-tons of heavy oil, in convoy SHISA-17 also consisting of civilian tanker NISSHIN MARU, auxiliary transport NAGATA MARU carrying 101 passengers and a cargo of 3,110-tons of nickel ore as well as 117 articles of entrusted private property, IJA tanker YAMAMIZU MARU No. 3 carrying a full cargo of light and heavy oils and IJA transport LONDON MARU loaded with 400 troops, 1,000-tons of mixed goods and 7,500-tons of bauxite escorted by subchaser CH-9.

22 April 1944:
About two nautical miles NE of Cape St. Jacques lighthouse, Indochina. At 1945, seven B-24 "Liberator" heavy bombers of the 14th Air Force's 308th Bomb Group make a low-level attack on anchored convoy SHISA-17. The B-24s sink KORYU MARU taking down 43 crewmen and 38 soldiers, NAGATA MARU with the loss of seven crewmen, 19 soldiers and 27 passengers, LONDON MARU with the loss of two crewmen and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 3 taking down 18 crewmen. They also slightly damage NISSHIN MARU. One B-24 is damaged. Only CH-9 escapes without damage.

10 June 1944:
Removed from the Navy’s list under instruction No. 752.


Authors' Notes:
[1] Not to be confused with IJA transports No. 527 (623 GRT, ’40), No. 599 (780 GRT, ’42), IJA shared transport No. 5534 (2,170 GRT, ’19), auxiliary minelayer (873 GRT, ’44) or auxiliary oiler (974 GRT, ’41).

[2] There were two categories of Kyutanyusen. (Ko) category with an IJN Captain as supervisor aboard and (Otsu) category without.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan.

- Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall.


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