ZATSUYOSEN!

(KOWA MARU similar to KOTO MARU)

IJN KOTO MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2013 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 1


E 1939:
Osaka. Laid down by Nakata Zosen Tekkosho K.K. shipyard for Sanko Kisen K.K., as a 1,053-tons cargo ship.

8 July 1939:
Launched and named KOTO MARU.

November 1939:
Completed and registered in Amagasaki.

4 June 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN as a general requisitioned transport (Ippan Choyosen).

5 September 1941:
Assigned to transport military personnel to a base in the Kuriles under Ominato District instruction No. 224.

15 September 1941:
First of five transport missions is to deliver transport military personnel to Tennei base, Etorofu-To, Kuriles (now Burevestnik, Iturup).

15 October 1941:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary transport, (Otsu) category and attached to the Yokosuka Naval District with Yokosuka as homeport under internal order No. 1256. [1]

17 November 1941:
Departs Ominato, Aomori Prefecture.

November 1941:
Operates in the Kuriles (as scheduled).

1 December 1941:
Attachment is changed to Ominato Naval District with Ominato as homeport under Ominato Naval District secret instruction No. 6.

2 December 1941:
Departs Onekotan-To (now Ostrov Onekotan), Kuriles and calls at Harumukotan-To (now Ostrov Kharimkhotan). Departs later that day for Matsuwa-To (now Ostrov Matsua).

3 December 1941:
Arrives at Matsuwa-To.

4 December 1941:
Departs Matsuwa-To and arrives later that day at Shimushiru-To, (now Ostrova Ushishir) Kuriles.

5 December 1941:
Departs Shimushiru-To and arrives at Uruppu-To, (now Ostrov Urup) Kuriles later in the day.

6 December 1941:
Departs Uruppu-To and arrives that same day at Hittokappu Wan (Tankan), Etorofu-To (now Zaliv Kasatka, Iturup).

7 December 1941:
Departs Hittokappu Wan.

10 December 1941:
Arrives at Kushiro, Hokkaido.

11 December 1941:
Departs Kushiro.

13 December 1941:
Arrives at Ominato.

15 December 1941:
Assigned to transport food rations to Tennei to be delivered to auxiliary gunboat SHINKO MARU No. 2 under Ominato Naval District telegram No. 335.

17 December 1941:
Assigned to transport construction materials and fuel to Matsuwa-To and rations, clothing, anchor, anchor chain and other sundries to be delivered to IJA transport MITSUKI MARU under Ominato Naval District telegram No. 342. That same day, according to instructions, departs Ominato and arrives at Hakodate, Hokkaido.

18 December 1941:
Departs Hakodate.

20 December 1941:
Arrives at Tennei.

22 December 1941:
Departs Tennei.

24 December 1941:
Arrives at Matsuwa-To.

25 December 1941:
Departs Matsuwa-To.

27 December 1941:
Arrives at Tennei. Departs later.

31 December 1941:
Arrives at Ominato.

15 January 1942:
Graduated to transport troops under Ominato Naval District secret order No. 17.

21 January 1942:
Departs Ominato.

29 January 1942:
Arrives back at Ominato.

12 February 1942:
Assigned to replacement and replenishment mission to the Fifth Fleet at Akkeshi, Hokkaido. Departs Ominato.

13 February 1942:
Arrives at Akkeshi.

15 February 1942:
Departs Akkeshi.

16 February 1942:
Arrives at Muroran, Hokkaido.

17 February 1942:
Departs Muroran and arrives at Hakodate later in the day.

19 February 1942:
Departs Hakodate.

20 February 1942:
Arrives at Ominato.

28 February 1942:
Departs Ominato.

17 March 1942:
Arrives back at Ominato.

22 March 1942:
Departs Ominato and arrives at Muroran later that same day.

1 April 1942:
Departs Muroran and arrives at Hakodate later in the day.

3 April 1942:
Departs Hakodate and arrives at Ominato later that day.

10 April 1942:
Departs Ominato.

15 April 1942:
Attachment confirmed to Ominato under Ominato Naval District secret order No. 24.

2 May 1942:
Departs Otaru.

3 May 1942:
Arrives at Odomari, Mie Prefecture.

7 May 1942:
Departs Odomari.

8 May 1942:
Arrives at Hakodate.

10 May 1942:
Departs Hakodate.

11 May 1942:
Arrives at Ominato.

15 May 1942:
Departs Ominato.

16 May 1942:
Arrives at Akkeshi.

19 May 1942:
Departs Akkeshi and arrives at Muroran later in the day.

21 May 1942:
Departs Muroran and arrives at Hakodate that same day.

22 May 1942:
Departs Hakodate and arrives at Ominato later that day.

1 June 1942:
Departs Ominato and arrives at Hakodate later in the day.

2 June 1942:
Departs Hakodate.

3 June 1942:
Arrives at Kushiro.

5 June 1942:
Departs Kushiro.

6 June 1942:
Runs aground off Uruppu-To southeast tip, Kuriles (now Ostrov Urup) about 45-30N, 150-00E. Kaibokan HACHIJO is ordered to assist KOTO MARU under Ominato Naval District telegram No. 97.

10 June 1942:
Small harbor vessel YODOBASHI is also ordered to assist KOTO MARU under Navy telegram No. 58.

12 June 1942:
Small vessel NAGAYASU is also ordered to assist KOTO MARU under Ominato Naval District secret instruction No. 59. (from 13 ‘til 19 Jun)

22 June 1942:
Kaibokan HACHIJO is ordered to abort rescue mission under secret instruction No. 202.

26 August 1942:
KOTO MARU is successfully refloated.

7 September 1942:
Arrives at Kushiro.

9 September 1942:
Departs Kushiro.

12 September 1942:
Arrives at Hakodate.

E 13 September-27 October 1942:
Undergoes emergency repairs.

28 October 1942:
Departs Hakodate.

30 October 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

25 November 1942:
Graduated to troops convoy missions under Ominato Naval District secret instruction No. 36.

1 December 1942:
Undergoes extensive repairs.

4 February 1943:
Enters dock.

March 1943:
Under repair at Hikoshima port shipyard.

15 May 1943:
Repairs are completed.

16 May 1943:
Departs Hikoshima.

17 May 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

May 1943:
Assigned to transport fuel and ammunition to Ominato with two other vessels.

22 May 1943:
Departs Sasebo.

23 May 1943:
Arrives at Reisui, Chosen (now South Korea).

25 May 1943:
Departs Reisui.

29 May 1943:
Arrives at Ominato.

31 May 1943:
Departs Ominato.

1 June 1943:
Arrives at Kushiro.

4 June 1943:
Departs Kushiro.

7 June 1943:
Hit by a dud torpedo at 45-48N, 148-12E. No damage is sustained. That same day, graduation to troops convoy missions is confirmed by Ominato Naval District secret instruction No. 44 [2]

8 June 1943:
Arrives at Suribachi Wan (Bay), Paramushiro, Kuriles (now Bukhta Okeanskaya, Ostrov Paramushir).

E 8-13 June 1943:
Unloads firewood and ammunition.

13 June 1943:
Departs Suribachi Wan.

18 June 1943:
Arrives at Otaru.

23 June 1943:
Departs Otaru escorted by auxiliary minesweeper Wa-17.

26 June 1943:
Arrives at Musashi Wan, Paramushiro (now Zaliv Vasil’yeva, Ostrov Paramushir).

2 July 1943:
Departs Musashi Wan.

6 July 1943:
Arrives at Otaru.

7 July 1943:
Departs Otaru.

8 July 1943:
Arrives at Ominato.

10 July 1943:
Assigned to transport 323 military personnel and 500M3 of goods from Kushiro to Musashi Wan.

14 July 1943:
Departs Ominato.

15 July 1943:
Arrives at Kushiro.

16 July 1943:
Departs Kushiro.

19 July 1943:
Mission is changed to 322 military personnel and 600M3 of timber and destination to Matsuwa-To.

20 July 1943:
Arrives at Matsuwa-To.

27 July 1943:
Departs Matsuwa-To.

29 July 1943:
Arrives at Otaru.

30 July 1943:
Departs Otaru.

31 July 1943:
Arrives at Ominato.

4 August 1943:
Departs Ominato.

5 August 1943:
Arrives at Kushiro. That same day, assigned to transport one Type 151 equipment to Musashi Wan.

6 August 1943:
Departs Kushiro.

10 August 1943:
Arrives at Musashi Wan. Departs later.

E 11 August 1943:
Arrives at Kataoka Wan, Shimushu-To (now Zaliv Kozyrevskogo, Ostrov Shumushu).

15 August 1943:
Departs Kataoka Wan.

20 August 1943:
Arrives at Otaru.

29 August 1943:
At 0700, departs Otaru in a convoy also consisting of civilian fishing crab factory ship (C-Crab) TOTEN MARU, IJA transport HOKUYU MARU and IJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) OKINAWA MARU. The convoy sails at 8 knots.

30 August 1943:
Arrives at Ominato.

2 September 1943:
Departs Ominato.

6 September 1943:
Arrives at Tennei.

11 September 1943:
Departs Tennei.

13 September 1943:
Arrives at Otaru.

14 September 1943:
Departs Otaru.

15 September 1943:
Arrives at Ominato.

23 September 1943:
Departs Ominato.

25 September 1943:
Arrives at Otaru.

29 September 1943:
Departs Otaru alone with indirect escort from destroyer KASUMI.

4 October 1943:
Arrives at Suribachi Wan.

10 October 1943:
Departs Suribachi Wan.

18 October 1943:
Arrives at Otaru.

20 October 1943:
Departs Otaru.

21 October 1943:
Arrives at Aomori.

22 October 1943:
Departs Aomori and arrives at Ominato later that same day.

26 October 1943:
Departs Ominato.

31 October 1943:
Arrives at Tennei.

4 November 1943:
Departs Tennei.

9 November 1943:
Arrives at Wakkanai, Hokkaido.

14 November 1943:
Departs Wakkanai.

15 November 1943:
Arrives at Otaru.

19 November 1943:
Departs Otaru.

22 November 1943:
Arrives at Ominato.

3 December 1943:
Departs Ominato.

6 December 1943:
Arrives at Otaru.

11 December 1943:
Departs Otaru.

12 December 1943:
Arrives at Maoka, Karafuto (now Kholmsk, Sakhalin).

14 December 1943:
Departs Maoka.

15 December 1943:
Arrives at Otaru.

18 December 1943:
Departs Otaru.

29 December 1943:
Arrives at Niigata.

30 December 1943:
Departs Niigata.

3 January 1944:
Arrives at Masan, Chosen (now part of Changwon City, South Korea).

5 January 1944:
Departs Masan.

7 January 1944:
Arrives at Kure.

11 January 1944:
Departs Kure and arrives at Wakamatsu, Fukuoka Prefecture that same day.

15 January 1944:
Departs Wakamatsu.

16 January 1944:
Arrives at Chinkai, Chosen (now Changwon City [ex-Jinhae], South Korea.

23 January 1944:
Departs Chinkai.

24 January 1944:
Arrives at Kure.

27 January 1944:
Departs Kure and arrives at Wakamatsu later that day.

29 January 1944:
Departs Wakamatsu and arrives back at Kure later in the day.

31 January 1944:
Departs Kure and arrives at Wakamatsu later that day.

2 February 1944:
Departs Wakamatsu and arrives back at Kure later in the day.

15 February 1944:
Scheduled to be fitted with two Type 96 25mm guns under Navy’s secret order No. 969.

22 February 1944:
Departs Kure.

28 February 1944:
Arrives at Ominato.

2 March 1944:
Departs Ominato and arrives at Aomori later in the day.

E 3-5 March 1944:
Operates in Hokkaido District waters.

6 March 1944:
Arrives at Ominato.

9 March 1944:
Departs Ominato.

E 10-24 March 1944:
Operates in Hokkaido District waters.

25 March 1944:
Arrives at Ominato.

3 April 1944:
Departs Ominato in a convoy also consisting of IJA transports SHONAN, KOAN (4305 grt) and SAMARANG MARUs escorted by destroyer NOKAZE.

10 April 1944:
Arrives at Kataoka Wan.

15 April 1944:
Departs Kataoka Wan.

22 April 1944:
Arrives at Ominato.

25 April 1944:
Enters dock.

5 May 1944:
Undocked.

18 May 1944:
Departs Ominato.

20 May 1944:
Arrives at Odomari.

24 May 1944:
Departs Odomari.

28 May 1944:
Arrives at Matsuwa-To.

31 May 1944:
Departs Matsuwa-To for Otaru in convoy “HE” also consisting of IJA transport MADRAS MARU and civilian (C-AK) HOKUYO MARU escorted by kaibokan ISHIGAKI.

70 miles W of Matsuwa-To. At 1130, LtCdr David J. Zabriskie’s (USNA ’36) USS HERRING (SS-233) attacks the convoy and hits ISHIGAKI with a torpedo that blows her bow off, but she manages to drop several depth-charges before sinking at 48-30N, 151-30E. 167 sailors are lost.

Then, Zabriskie targets another merchant ship. At 1220, he torpedoes and hits HOKUYO MARU which sinks rapidly about 48-00N, 151-00E taking down 38 crewmen. At the same time, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Eugene B. Fluckey's (USNA '35) USS BARB ( SS-220) also attacks the convoy. He first targets the largest merchant ship; MADRAS MARU is hit by two torpedoes and sinks at 48-21N, 151-20E with the loss of 45 crewmen, 31 gunners and 63 passengers; 161 survivors manage to reach two Daihatsu barges that floated off.

Finally, at 1230, Fluckey targets the only merchant ship still afloat. KOTO MARU evades the first two torpedoes but is hit by the next two on the front starboard side. At 1235, the auxiliary transport sinks bow first at 47-55N, 151-42E taking down 30 crewmen. Convoy “HE” has been annihilated.

10 August 1944:
Removed from the Navy’s list under internal order No. 949.


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

[2] No submarine attack is listed in Allied records.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan.

Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


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