(KOZAN MARU,prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2013-2016 Bob Hackett

E 1934:
Kobe. Laid down at Mitsubishi Jukogyo K. K. as a 4,180-ton cargo ship for the Yamamoto Kisen K. K. Line of Osaka.

Launched and named KOZAN MARU.


1935 ~ 1941:
In service on Yamamoto Kisen’s routes to Australia, New Zealand, Noumea, India and Goa.

19 July 1937 ~ 15 May 1940:
Calls at Auckland, New Zealand nine times.

10 December 1941:
Requistioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) and converted to a troop transport. Alloted IJA No. 211.

18 February 1942: Operation "J" - The Invasion of Java, Netherlands East Indies:
KOZAN MARU is attached to Vice Admiral Takahashi's Third Fleet, Southern Force, Netherlands East Indies Force in Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo’s Western Java Seizure Force.

Departs Camranh Bay in a convoy comprised of 56 troop transports carrying the 2nd Infantry Division for the invasions of Merak, Bantam Bay and Eretan, Java. Forty-five transports go to Merak and Bantam Bay and six go to Eretan Wetan. Escort is provided by light cruisers NATORI, and YURA and DesDivs 5, 6, 11, 12 and 22. Seaplane tender SANYO MARU provides air cover.

KOZAN MARU carries elements of Colonel Shoji Toshishige’s Detachment (“Shoji Detachment”) consisting of the 38th Infantry Division’s 230th Infantry Regiment, • (less Battalion), one Mountain Artillery Battalion (less one battery), one Engineer Company (less two platoons), one Anti-Tank Battalion (less two batteries), one Light Tank Company, one AA Battery, two Independent Engineer Companies (less three platoons), one platoon of the Bridge Material Company, one Motor Transport Company, part of the 40th Anchorage Headquarters and part of the Airfield Battalion.

1 March 1942:
The transports arrive at Eretan Wetan, Java and land troops.

5 March 1942:
The transports depart Eretan Wetan for Singapore and arrive that day.

19-23 December 1942:
KOZAN MARU departs Rabaul via Shortlands to Munda escorted by destroyers ARIAKE and KAWAKAZE. KOZAN MARU is lifting 1,300 troops and munitions.

24 December 1942:
Rabaul. KOZAN MARU is damaged by USAAF B-17 “Flying Fortresses” that bomb Simpson harbor. They also damage transport KAGU MARU. Probably undergoes repairs by repair ship YAMABIKO MARU.

Early 1943:
KOZAN MARU's weight is remeasured at 4186grt.

21 April 1943:
At 0600, KOZAN MARU departs Imari Wan (Bay) in convoy SA-9 also consisting of CHUKA, FUKUEI, MIIKESAN, MURORAN, NARUO, RYOYO and UJINA MARUs escorted by minelayer KAMOME. KOZAN MARU carries elements of the IJA 54th Division’s 121st Infantry Regiment including Regiment HQ, 3rd Battalion, part of the Regiment Gun Company, most of the Rapid Fire Gun Company and most of the Signal Company. RYOYO MARU carries the 1st and 2nd Battalions.

23 April 1943:
Arrives at Hua Niao Shan, China where some merchants are detached. Later that day, the remainder of the convoy arrives at Shanghai.

1 May 1943:
KOZAN MARU departs Takao in convoy No. 747 also consisting of ERIE, RYOYO and ZUISHO MARUs escorted by kaibokan SANAE.

5 May 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

15 July 1943:
At 0930, KOZAN MARU departs Saeki in convoy O-505 also consisting of BRAZIL, CHINZEI, RYUKO and SAIPAN MARUs escorted by torpedo boat HATO, minesweeper W-18, subchaser CH-10 and auxiliary minesweeper TAMA MARU No. 7.

16 July 1943:
At about noon, W-18 and TAMA MARU No. 7 are detached at 29-N and return to Saeki.

21 July 1943:
At about 1230, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Roy M. Davenport's (USNA ’33) USS HADDOCK (SS-231) torpedoes and sinks SAIPAN MARU at 16-29N, 123-57E. The ship is loaded with 422 passengers and 3,270 tons of military cargo, coal and fuel oil. 33 passengers and two crewmen are KIA.

24 July 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

28 July 1943:
KOZAN MARU departs Palau in convoy So-807 also consisting of EHIME and KAZAN MARUs and two unidentified merchants escorted by subchasers CH-10, CH-18 and CH-23.

5 August 1943:
At 0825, arrives at Rabaul.

September 1943:
At 1500, KOZAN MARU departs Manila for Takao, Formosa (Kaohsiung, Taiwan) with TOHO MARU escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOHAKUSAN MARU.

4 September 1943:
90 km. SW of Takao. At 0115, LtCdr Richard W Petersen’s (USNA ‘31) USS SUNFISH (SS-281) fires four torpedoes and gets a hit in KOZAN MARU's No. 3 hold. Thirteen passengers and crewmen are KIA.

5 September 1943:
63 Km. off Takao Lighthouse. At 0120, KOZAN MARU is taken in tow by CHOHAKUSAN MARU, but flooding increases, so at 0235 she is run aground at 22-06N, 119-50E. Deemed a comprehensive total loss (CTL).

Author’s Note:
[1] Not to be confused with KOZAN MARU (ex-British LOONG WO)(3,923 grt/06), KOZAN MARU (ex-HENG SHAN) or auxiliary minesweeper KOZAN MARU.

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

Bob Hackett

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