(KOSHIN MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2013 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

E 1937:
Innoshima. Laid down by Osaka Machinery Works K.K. shipyard for Okada Gumi K.K. as a 6,530-ton cargo ship.

16 June 1938:
Launched and named KOSHIN MARU. [1]

27 September 1938:
Completed and registered in Osaka.

Chartered to Kansai Kisen K.K.

30 September 1938:
Departs Kobe.

E November 1938:
Arrives at New York.

6 November 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN.

8 November 1941:
Arrives at Kure. Docks at the Naval Yard and starts conversion to military duty.

20 November 1941:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary transport, (Otsu) category and attached to the Kure Naval District with Kure as homeport under internal order No. 1495. [2]

23 November 1941:
The conversion is completed. Undocked. Departs Kure later in the day.

24 November 1941:
Arrives at Sasebo.

17 December 1941:
Departs Sasebo.

24 December 1941:
Arrives at Palau, Western Carolines.

Her owners are restyled to Okada Shosen K.K and her registry port to Tokyo.

1 January 1942:
Departs Palau.

4 January 1942:
Arrives at Davao, Mindanao. Assigned to transport elements of a Special Navy Landing Force (SNLF) as part of the Menado, Celebes invasion group.

9 January 1942: The Invasion of Menado, Northern Celebes (now Sulawesi):
NE Davao Gulf. An 8-ship occupation force convoy assembles at Magnaga Bay and is organized into two echelons carrying Captain (later Vice Admiral) Mori Kunizo's (40) (former CO of AO SATA) Sasebo No. 1 Combined Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) and Rear Admiral Kubo Kuiji's (38) 1st Base Force.

At 0100, the 1st echelon departs consisting of supply ships OHA (later IJN KURASAKI) and SHINKO (545 GRT) MARUs accompanying transports SHOKA (4,467 GRT), KOSHIN and CHOWA MARU. The 1st echelon’s speed of advance is 9 knots.

At 1000, the 2nd echelon departs consisting of transports NANKAI, KINAI, HOKUROKU, AMAGISAN and KATSURAGI MARUs. The 2nd echelon’s speed of advance is 12 knots. The escort consists of light cruiser NAGARA, SubChasDiv 1's CH-3, CH-1 and CH-2, patrol boats P-1, P-2, P-34 and MineSweepDiv 21's W-7, W-8, W-9, W-11 and W-12. 11 January 1942:
At 0110, the Menado occupation force with KOSHIN (6,530 GRT), KINAI, SHOKA (4,467 GRT), NANKAI, CHOWA and AMAGISAN MARUs arrives at No.1 landing operation floating anchorage (Menado Roadstead) and prepares for landing troops N and S of Menado port. At 0315, the first landing forces depart transports and land at 0400.

At 0310, the Kema (small port on NE coast of Minahasa Peninsula, SE of Menado) occupation force, with HOKUROKU and KATSURAGI MARUs, arrives at No.1 landing operation floating anchorage (Kema Roadstead). At 0345, the first landing troops depart transports and land at 0420. Later, 334 men of Cdr (later Captain) Horiuchi Toyoaki's (50) (later XO of TAKAO) Yokosuka No. 1 SNLF (Air) are dropped successfully from Mitsubishi G3M1-L Nell converted transport aircraft in the Menado-Kema area. The paratroops seize Langoan airfield.

At 1540, AMAGISAN MARU receives slight damage by a near miss during an attack by three Dutch aircraft.

20 January 1942:
Departs Menado.

31 January 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

2 February 1942:
Departs Kure.

4 March 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

7 March 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

14 March 1942:
Arrives at Saipan, Marianas.

15 March 1942:
Departs Saipan.

18 March 1942:
Arrives at Woleai, Central Carolines.

20 March 1942:
Departs Woleai.

22 March 1942:
Arrives at Truk, Central Carolines.

10 April 1942:
Removed from the Navy’s list under instruction No. 662. Departs Truk that same day.

12 April 1942:
Arrives at Ponape, Eastern Carolines.

21 April 1942:
Departs Ponape.

1 May 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

5 May 1942:
Starts conversion to new role.

13 May 1942:
Released to her owners.

21 December 1942:
Arrives at Tokyo Bay in East convoy No. 51 also consisting of auxiliary transports KANAYAMASAN and DAICHO MARUs, IJN requisitioned (B-AK) TOYU MARU, IJA transport TAIKYU MARU and one unidentified merchant ship escorted by torpedo boat MANAZURU. KOSHIN MARU is bound for Yokohama.

26 December 1942:
Departs Tokyo Bay in West Convoy No. 83 also consisting of IJA transport HINODE MARU escorted by torpedo boat CHIDORI. KOSHIN MARU is bound for Hakata.

30 January 1943:
Assigned to transport landing craft No. 5,163 and 5,154 under Sasebo Naval District secret instruction No. 43.

3 February 1943:
Requisitioned again by the IJN as a general transport (Ippan Choyosen) attached to the Kure Naval District.

4 February 1943:
Departs Osaka.

8 February 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

E 9-11 February 1943:
Embarks the 24th Naval Construction Unit.

12 February 1943:
At 1200, departs Sasebo in an unnumbered convoy with auxiliary collier/oiler ASAKAZE MARU escorted by minelayer HIRASHIMA.

E 15 February 1943:
At 24 degrees north HIRASHIMA detaches.

21 February 1943:
Arrives at Ambon, Moluccas.

1 June 1943:
Departs Osaka.

E June~August 1943:
Calls at Yokohama ~ Yokosuka ~ Ominato, Aomori Prefecture ~ Otaru, Hokkaido ~ Odomari, Mie Prefecture and Sakito, Kyushu.

6 August 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

12 August 1943:
Departs Sasebo and possibly joins convoy No. 186 consisting of IJA transport MAEBASHI and HIROTA MARUs and five unidentified merchant ships escorted by patrol bBoat PB-2.

14 August 1943:
A rrives at Ssu Chiao Shan (now Sijiao Island), Shengsi Archipelago, China.

15 August 1943:
Departs Ssu Chiao Shan.

16 August 1943:
Arrives off Mazu Shan near Fuchow (now Fuzhou) coast.

17 August 1943:
Departs the area and arrives at Hotei anchorage, Formosa (now Taiwan), west coast.

18 August 1943:
Departs Hotei anchorage and arrives at Mako, Pescadores later that same day.

23 August 1943:
Departs Mako with IJA converted tanker ATAGO MARU.

29 August 1943:
Arrives at St. Jacques, Vichy French Indochina (now Vung Tau, Vietnam).

30 August 1943:
Departs St. Jacques.

2 September 1943:
NE Tokaya Island, collides with IJN requisitioned (B-AK) RAKUZAN MARU. Arrives that same day in Singapore’s vicinity, Malaya.

3 September 1943:
Arrives at Seletar Naval Base, Singapore.

6 September 1943:
Departs Seletar.

7 September 1943:
Arrives in Malacca Straits.

13 September 1943:
Departs Malacca Straits waters in six ship convoy also consisting of auxiliary transport KUNITSU MARU and four unidentified Army ships escorted by auxiliary minesweepers KYO MARU No. 1 and CHOUN MARU No. 7.

14 September 1943:
Arrives at Penang, Malaya.

18 September 1943:
Departs Penang.

19 September 1943:
Arrives at Olehleh (now Olele), Sumatra.

27 September 1943:
At 2200, departs Olehleh.

29 September 1943:
Arrives off Batu Pahat, Malacca Straits.

30 September 1943:
Departs Batu Pahat and arrives at Seletar, Singapore at 1600.

7 October 1943:
Departs Seletar and at 1430, arrives at Bingtang Island, S of Singapore to load bauxite.

8 October 1943:
At 1600, departs Bingtang and arrives at Singapore east anchorage later that same day.

9 October 1943:
Departs Singapore east anchorage and arrives at Singapore later in the day.

12 October 1943:
Departs Singapore in convoy No. 627 also consisting of auxiliary tanker KYUEI MARU and one unidentified merchant ship escorted by subchaser CH-19.

14 October 1943:
KYUEI MARU is hit by two dud torpedoes at 06-00N, 104-10E.

16 October 1943:
Arrives at St. Jacques.

20 October 1943:
At 1400, departs St. Jacques in convoy No. 435 also consisting of auxiliary transport TATSUWA MARU and 14 unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer FUYO and auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU. The convoy splits in two parts and each steams separately.

27 October 1943:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa (now Kaohsiung, Taiwan).

1 November 1943:
Departs Takao in convoy No. 216 also consisting of three unidentified ships escorted by destroyer KURETAKE.

8 November 1943:
Arrives at Osaka.

9 November 1943:
Departs Osaka.

12 November 1943:
Arrives at Shimizu, Shizuoka Prefecture.

14 November 1943:
Departs Shimizu.

15 November 1943:
Arrives at Osaka.

11 December 1943:
Departs Osaka.

December 1943:
Calls at Moji ~ Tokuyama, Yamaguchi Prefecture ~ Kure and Kobe.

28 December 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

7 January 1944:
Departs Yokosuka in convoy No. 3107 also consisting of IJA transport GOSEI MARU escorted by kaibokan FUKUE and auxiliary netlayer KOGI MARU. The convoy sails at 9.5 knots.

24 January 1944:
Arrives at Truk.

14 February 1944:
Loads avgas drums and 733rd Air Force personnel transferred from auxiliary transport AMAGISAN MARU that arrived earlier that day.

17 February 1944: American Operation "Hailstone" - The Attack on Truk:
Beginning at dawn, Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher’s (USNA ’10) Task Force 58's five fleet carriers and four light carriers, supported by six battleships, ten cruisers and 28 destroyers, launch air attacks on airfields, shore installations and ships in the lagoon. Mitscher launches 30 strikes of at least 150 aircraft each. The strikes are launched about every hour.

18 February 1944:
In two days of raids, Task Force 58 sinks 31 transports and 10 naval vessels (two cruisers, four destroyers and four auxiliary vessels, destroys nearly 200 aircraft and damages severely about 100 more. Truk is eliminated as a major fleet anchorage for the IJN. KOSHIN MARU probably sustains only light if any damage.

26 February 1944:
Departs Truk.

28 February 1944:
Arrives at Woleai.

4 March 1944:
Departs Woleai.

5 March 1944:
Arrives at Guam (renamed Omiya Island after its capture), Marianas.

6 March 1944:
Departs Guam and arrives at Saipan later in the day.

9 March 1944:
Departs Saipan in a convoy also consisting of IJA shared tanker (A/C-AO) TOHO MARU, IJA shared transport (A/C-AK) ENJU MARU, IJN requisitioned (B-AK) KASHIMASAN MARU and possibly others with an unknown escort.

15 March 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

E 16~30 March 1944:
Undergoes hull repairs.

31 March 1944:
Departs Yokosuka.

2 April 1944:
Arrives at Muroran, Hokkaido.

5 April 1944:
Departs Muroran.

7 April 1944:
Arrives at Tokyo.

11 April 1944:
Departs Tokyo.

25 April 1944:
Arrives Off Kisarazu, Chiba Prefecture.

28 April 1944:
At 0600, departs Kisarazu and joins "Higashi Matsu" Convoy No.7 (outbound) consisting of auxiliary transports TATSUHARU, MITAKESAN and ASAHISAN MARUs, IJN requisitioned (B-AK) OKINAWA, MEIRYU, YAMATAMA and MIHO MARUs, civilian (C-AK) BINGO MARU and IJA transport MOJI MARU bound for Saipan; auxiliary transport (ex-AMC) ASAKA MARU and landing ships T.128 and T.150 for Palau; KOSHIN MARU and requisitioned (B-AK) BOKUYO MARUs for Yap and auxiliary transport TAITO MARU for Chichi-Jima. Escort is provided by kaibokan NOMI, CD-12, CD-18, CD-22 and subchasers CH-16 and CH-18. The convoy arrives safely at these destinations.

6 May 1944:
Arrives at Saipan.

8 May 1944:
Departs Saipan in “Asaka Maru” convoy also consisting of auxiliary transport (ex-AMC) ASAKA MARU, requisitioned (B-AK) BOKUYO MARU and landing ships T.128 and T.150 escorted by subchaser CH-34, auxiliary subchaser ZUIYO MARU and possibly others.

12 May 1944:
Arrives at Yap, Western Carolines.

18 May 1944:
Departs Yap.

19 May 1944:
Arrives at Palau.

26 May 1944:
Departs Palau.

28 May 1944:
Arrives at Davao.

30 May 1944:
Departs Davao.

2 June 1944:
Arrives at Sanbalanga, Luzon. Departs later that day for Manila.

4 June 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

7 June 1944:
Departs Manila in convoy MATA-22A consisting only of KOSHIN MARU escorted by kaibokan KASADO.

9 June 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

16 June 1944:
Departs Takao.

23 June 1944:
Arrives at Osaka.

13 July 1944:
Departs Osaka.

16 July 1944:
Arrives at Yokohama.

21 July 1944:
Departs Yokohama.

24 July 1944:
Arrives at Kure.

31 July 1944:
Departs Kure.

1 August 1944:
Arrives at Wakamatsu, Fukuoka Prefecture.

4 August 1944:
Departs Wakamatsu and joins convoy MOTA-22 bound for Takao that departed Moji earlier that day also consisting of auxiliary transport RAKUTO MARU, IJA shared tankers (A/C-AO) KENJO and TACHIBANA MARUs and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2, IJA shared (A/C-AK) GASSAN, HAKUSAN (carrying the 5th Independent Field Artillery Battalion), TEIKA (ex-Vichy French CAP VARELLA), TERUKUNI (carrying the 406th and 407th Independent Infantry Battalions, 61st Independent Mixed Brigade), TEIHOKU (ex=Vichy French PERSEE), MANSHU MARUs and DAIBOSHI MARU No. 6, IJA transports NANREI, GENKAI and SHIRANESAN MARUs, IJN shared (B/C-AC) HIOKI MARU, IJN shared (B/C-AK) TEISHO (ex-German HAVENSTEIN) MARU, civilian ore carrier (C-AC) SHONAN MARU, and four unidentified ships escorted by gunboat UJI, minelayer TAKASHIMA, kaibokan HIBURI, FUKUE, ETOROFU, CD-8, CD-10, CD-25 and CD-32 and subchaser CH-49.

6 August 1944:
Off SW Kyushu. At 0411, LtCdr (later Admiral/CINCPACFLT) Bernard A. Clarey’s (USNA ’34) USS PINTADO (SS-387) torpedoes and sinks SHONAN MARU at 30-53N, 129-45E. She was carrying general cargo and four Daihatsu landing craft. Three ship's gunners and two crewmen are KIA.

9 August 1944:
About 100 nautical miles N of Ishigakijima. At 1310, KOSHIN MARU carrying elements of IJA's 25th Tank Regiment redeploying from Baotau, North China sustains a fire aboard. Her cargo suddenly explodes and the ship sinks at 26-10N, 124-15E. 28 crewmen are KIA.

30 September 1944:
Removed from the general requisitioned list.

Authors’ Notes:
[1] Not to be confused with these KOSHIN MARUs: auxiliary emergency tanker (5,485 GRT/24), IJN shared tanker (975 GRT/41), IJA shared tanker No. 5139 (2,855 GRT/44), small IJA tanker No. 765 (420 GRT/39) and two civilian cargo ships (1,358 GRT/42 and 1,868 GRT/17).

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

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan.

Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

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