(Sister ORIDONO MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2017 Bob Hackett

19 July 1920:
Kobe. Laid down at Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. as a Yard No. 92, a 5, 324-ton cargo ship for Hirohata Shoji Co., K. K. of Tokyo.

30 January 1921:
Launched and named KOYU MARU.

29 April 1923:

4 October 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJA and converted to a troop transport. Allotted Army No. 270.

November 1941:
Transports troops from China to Camranh Bay, Indochina in preparation for the invasion of Malaya.

13 December 1941 - Operation “E” – The Invasion of Malaya:
At 0830, departs Camranh Bay in the IJA 5th Infantry Division Transportation Movement. KOYU MARU is in the 2nd Unit's TransDiv 2 with KAMOI, LONDON, SHINAI, TAIBUN and WAKATSU MARUs. The Movement carries the main body of the 5th Infantry Division.

16 December 1941:
At 1900, arrives at Singora, Siam (now Songhkla, Thailand) supporting the Singora Invasion Unit that landed on 8 December.

26 July 1942:
Released to her owners by the IJA.

15 August 1943:
KOYU MARU departs Moji in convoy No. 187 also consisting of ATAGO, CHOJO, HONAN, KIYO, KOFUKU and RAIZAN MARUs, fleet oiler SHIRIYA and four unidentified merchants escorted by destroyer KARUKAYA.

20 August 1943:
Arrives at Mako.

22 August 1943:
At 1000, KOYU MARU departs Takao in convoy No. 317 also consisting of IJA transports CHOJO, KACHOSAN, KAIKO and KISHU MARUs, IJA shared tanker (A/C-AO) YAMAMIZU MARU No. 3, IN auxiliary tanker KIYO MARU and three unidentified merchant ships escorted by patrol boat PB-2.

26 August 1943:
Arrives at Samah, Hainan Island, China.

13 November 1943:
KOYU MARU departs Singapore in convoy O-106 also consisting of BRAZIL, FRANCE, TEIYU, TOYOKAWA, UCHIDE and YAMAZURU MARUs and SHINTO MARU No. 1 with an unknown escort.

26 November 1943:
Arrives at Palau, Carolines.

2 December 1943:
KOYU MARU departs Palau in convoy SO-105 also consisting of BRAZIL, FRANCE, TEIYU, TOYOKAWA and UCHIDE MARUs, and SHINTO MARU No. 1 with an unknown escort.

E 9 December 1943:
FRANCE MARU is detached for Kavieng, New Ireland, Bismarks.

10 December 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

20 January 1944:
Palau Islands. At 0833, LtCdr (later Captain) George W. Lautrup's (USNA '34) USS GAR (SS -206) attacks KOYU MARU. GAR fires three torpedoe and gets two hits that set her afire. KOYU MARU sinks by the stern in two minutes. Four gunners and 35 crewmen are KIA.

Author’s Note:
Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

- Bob Hackett

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