(LIVERPOOL MARU, prewar)
Tabular Record of Movement
© 2013-2016 Bob Hackett
15 January 1919:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki Dockyard Co. Ltd. as Yard No. 440, a 5,864-ton passenger-cargo ship for Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd., Kobe.
31 March 1919:
Launched and named LIVERPOOL MARU.
18 April 1919:
Sold to Kokusai Kisen K. K. (International Steamship Co.), Tokyo.
1920 - 1937:
In International Steamship Co.'s service.
28 January 1932 - 1 February 1932: The "First Shanghai Incident":
At dawn, the Japanese men-of-war at Shanghai take up stations alongside Japanese wharves and other interests. The Shanghai Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) is dispatched to evict two divisions of the Chinese 19th Route Army from Shanghai. The Chinese unify against the Japanese who are unable to capture Shanghai. Large-scale fighting breaks out. The Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) brings its heavy naval guns to bear on the Chinese. The Imperial Army (IJA) is called in to assist the badly outnumbered Shanghai SNLF. By the end of the month, IJA troops number 50,000 men under General Shirakawa Yoshinori. 
4 June 1932:
Arrives at Osaka. Colonel (later Gen/War Minister) Anami Korechika, aide-de-camp to Emperor Hirohio (Showa), attends a luncheon reception held in LIVERPOOL MARU's salon to honor the return of LtGen (later Gen) Ueda Kenkichi, CG, IJA 9th Division from China. 
7 July 1937: The "First China Incident" and the Beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War:
Hun River, Lukuokiao, China. Japanese troops on night maneuvers at the Marco Polo Bridge fire blank cartridges. Chinese troops across the river think they are under attack. They fire live rounds back, but do not cause injuries. At morning roll call, the Japanese discover a soldier missing and assume the Chinese have captured him. The Japanese demand entry to the Peiping (Beijing) suburb of Wanping to look for the soldier, but the Chinese refuse. The Japanese then shell the city. An undeclared war on China begins.
E 1937: Second Sino-Japanese War:
Chartered by the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) to transport troops to China.
Released by the IJA and returned to her owners.
14 August 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJA and converted to a troop transport. Alloted IJA No. 322.
16 December 1941: The Occupation of Davao, Mindanao, Philippines:
LIVERPOOL MARU is assigned to the Philippines Invasion Group under command of
Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo’s (36) Third Fleet as part of the Davao Invasion Unit
under command of Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Irifune Naosaburo (39).
The occupation of Davao is a combined IJN/IJA operation which involves
Gen (later Field Marshal) Count Terauchi Hisachi’s command’s Southern
Expeditionary Army. The 16th Army, under LtGen (later General) Imamura Hitoshi
fields MajGen (later LtGen) Sakaguchi Shizuo's “Sakaguchi” Detachment of about
6,000 troops consisting of the 56th Infantry Division's 56 Hq Company, 146th Infantry
Regiment, 2nd Battalion of 56 Artillery Regiment with 12 75mm field guns, one tank company, one engneer company ,
one Transport company, one signal unit platoon, 56th medical Unit, field hospital
unit and the “Miura” Detachment of about 1,200 troops of the 16th Infantry Division, the
16 Infantry Division’s heavy weapons company of the 33th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Battalion and two engneer platoons
of the 56th Infantry Division. Two AA and one signals regiment are stationed on the IJA
transports. The invasion units are embarked on eight IJA transports: LIVERPOOL, HANKOW,
HAVANA, HITERU, KANKO, KURETAKE, TEIRYU (ex-German AUGSBURG) and
The Navy force consists of Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake's
(35) (former CO of KONGO) Southern Force, Philippines Invasion Group that
includes Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo’s (36) (former CO of YAMASHIRO) Third Fleet.
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Irifune Naosaburo's (39) Invasion Unit
consists of his 32st Special Base Force aboard TONAN MARU No 2, elements of
103rd Aerial Field Repair Shop and a detachment of 3rd Munitions Unit aboard
KINUGASA MARU, a company of the No. 1 Kure Special Naval Force (SNLF) aboard
AMAGISAN MARU, 2nd Construction Unit Rgt aboard TAITO MARU and 3rd Construction
Unit Rgt aboard KOSHIN MARU. Other transports are EIKO MARU No. 2 GO, KIRISHIMA,
TATSUKAMI and TENRYU MARUs carrying equipment and material for the future Davao
and Jolo airbases.
The convoy’s close escort consists of minelayer SHIRITAKA and patrol boats PB-36 and PB-37. Cover is provided by Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Tanaka Raizo's (41) light cruiser JINTSU, DesDiv 15’s HAYASHIO, NATSUSHIO, OYASHIO and KUROSHIO and DesDiv 16's YUKIKAZE, HATSUKAZE and AMATSUKAZE. Rear Admiral (Admiral posthumously) Takagi Takeo's (39) (former CO of MUTSU) CruDiv
5's NACHI, MYOKO and HAGURO provide distant cover. Air cover is provided by light carrier RYUJO and seaplane carrier CHITOSE.
The convoy is subdivided in three divisions:
1st subdivision: IJA transport YAMATSUKI MARU and IJN transports AMAGISAN, KINUGASA, KIRISHIMA and TAITO, MARUs.
2nd subdivision: IJA transports TEIRYU (ex-German AUGSBURG) (carrying elements of the 3rd Munitions Unit & the 103rd Aerial Field Repair Shop) and KURETAKE MARUs and IJN transports TENRYU MARU and TONAN MARU No. 2 escorted by minelayer SHIRATAKA and destroyers AMATSUKAZE and OYASHIO.
3rd subdivision: IJA transports HANKOW and HAVANA MARUs and IJN transports TATSUKAMI and KOSHIN MARUs and EIKO MARU No. 2 GO.
16 December 1941:
At 1600, the 3rd subdivision departs Palau.
17 December 1941:
At 0700, the 2nd subdivision departs Palau.
17 December 1941:
At 1300, the 1st subdivision departs Palau.
19 December 1941:
200 miles E of Davao. In the afternoon, RYUJO launches six planes to attack the radio station at Cape San Augustin, at the
eastern tip of Davao Gulf, while seaplane carrier CHITOSE launches planes to reconnoiter Davao.
20 December 1941:
The transports arrive off Davao after midnight. At 0145, the 1st subdivision arrives at Tibungko Anchorage (15 km NNE of Davao). At 0320, the 3rd subdivision arrives at Talomo Anchorage (6 km SW of Davao). At 0440, the 2nd subdivision arrives at Tibungko Anchorage At 0500, troops of LtCol Miura Toshio's 33rd Infantry Regiment's detachment, covered by RYUJO's aircraft, begin landing in the northern section of Davao while elements of the Sakaguchi Detachment come ashore along the coast SW of the city. Resistance by the garrison of some 3,500 Filipino-American troops is quickly overcome and, by 1500 that same day, Davao and its airfield are occupied. That evening, a seaplane base is established S of the city.
22 December 1941:
LIVERPOOL MARU departs Davao in the Jolo Occupation Convoy also consisting of IJA transports, HAVANA, KURETAKE, TEIRYU (ex-German AUGSBURG) and TSURUGA MARUs and IJN transports KOSHIN and NICHIAI MARUs and EIKO MARU No. 2 and an unidentified transport. The convoy carries about 4,000 men consisting of the Sakaguchi Detachment (56th Mixed Infantry Corps, Matsumoto Detachment of the 146th Infantry Regiment, 1st Field Artillery Battalion, the Miura Detachment of the 16th Army Division, IJN 3rd Airfield Construction Unit, engineer and communications units and the Kure No. 1 Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF). The convoy is escorted by DesRon 2's light cruiser JINTSU and DesDiv 15's HAYASHIO, KUROSHIO, NATSUSHIO and OYASHIO. Carrier RYUJO and seaplane tenders CHITOSE and SANUKI MARU provide air cover.
24 December 1941: The Invasion of Jolo, Philippines.
At 2000, the landings on Jolo, Philippines begin.
25 December 1941:
At 1030, Jolo, including its airfield, is secured. Jolo provides a forward base for supporting the attacks on Borneo.
26 December 1941:
The first IJN fighters land on Jolo. Later, another seaplane base is also set up at Jolo.
6 January 1942: The Invasion of Tarakan, Dutch Borneo:
At 1100, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hirose Sueto´s (39) Tarakan Occupation Force Convoy departs Daliao (13 km SW of Davao).
The convoy is organized into two subdivisions:
1st subdivision (right wing unit) consists of Army transports LIVERPOOL, EHIME. HANKOW, HITERU, HANKOW and TSURUGA MARUs and Navy transports KUNIKAWA and KANO MARUs carrying MajGen Sakaguchi Shizuo’s 56th Mixed Infantry Group (Sakaguchi Detachment) right wing forces and the No. 2 Kure Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF).
2nd subdivision (left wing unit) consists of Army transports HAVANA, TEIRYU, KURETAKE, NICHIAI MARUs and Navy transports KAGU, KUNITSU and RAKUTO MARUs and carrying the Sakaguchi Detachment 's left wing forces, 5th Construction Unit and 2nd Defense Unit.
The escort is provided by Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Nishimura Shoji’s DesRon 4’s light cruiser NAKA with DesDiv 2’s HARUSAME, SAMIDARE, YUDACHI and MURUSAME, DesDiv 9’s ASAGUMO and MINEGUMO, NATSUGUMO and DesDiv 24’s UMIKAZE, KAWAKAZE, YAMAKAZE and SUZUKAZE. 21st Air Flotilla seaplane tenders SANUKI and SANYO MARUs provide air cover.
Hirose's force also includes MineSweepDiv 11’s W-16, W-15, W-13, W-14, MineSweepDiv 30’s W-17 and W-18, SubChasDiv 31’s CH-10, CH-11 and CH-12, patrol boats P-36, P-37 and P-38 and other auxiliary ships.
10 January 1942:
At 1900, both subdivisions arrive at No. 1 Anchorage. At 2215, the 2nd subdivision including TEIRYU MARU departs No. 1 Anchorage.
11 January 1942:
At 0100, arrives at No. 2 Anchorage At 0220, the landing barges cast off from the transport ships and head towards the landing zone on the SE coast of Tarakan.
21 January 1942: The Invasion of Balikpapan, Dutch Borneo:
At 1700, Rear Admiral Hirose's Balikpapan Invasion Convoy departs Tarakan, Borneo carrying the Balikpapan Invasion Force consisting of the Sakaguchi Detachment (56th Regimental Group) and Kure No. 2 SNLF escorted by patrol boats PB-36, PB-37, PB-38, minesweepers W-15, W-16, W-17, W-18 and SubChasDiv 31's CH-10, CH-11 and CH-12.
The convoy is organized into two subdivisions:
1st subdivision consists of Army transports LIVERPOOL, TSURUGA, HITERU and EHIME MARUs (Sakaguchi Detachment), Navy transports ASAHISAN and NITTEI MARUs (2nd Construction Unit), KUMANOGAWA MARU (1st Base Force auxiliary ammunition ship) and SUMANOURA MARU (1st Base Force auxiliary netlayer).
2nd subdivision consists of Army transports HAVANA, HANKOW, TEIRYU and KURETAKE MARUs (Sakaguchi Detachment), Navy transports KANAYAMASAN MARU (2nd Construction Unit), FUJIKAGE (TOEI) MARU (1st Defense Unit) and NANA MARU (11th
Air Fleet Transport).
Cover is provided by light cruiser NAKA with DesDiv 2's YUDACHI, SAMIDARE, MURASAME, HARUSAME, DesDiv 9's ASAGUMO, MINEGUMO, NATSUGUMO and DesDiv 24's KAWAKAZE and UMIKAZE. Seaplane tenders SANUKI and SANYO MARUs provide air cover.
Poor weather hampers air reconnaissance by ABDA (American-British-Dutch-Australian) forces, but ABDA Air finally locates the
invasion force. Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) William A. Glassford's Task Force 5's light cruisers USS MARBLEHEAD (CL-12), BOISE (CL-47) and Cdr Paul H. Talbot's DesDiv 59's old destroyers USS PARROTT (DD-218), POPE (DD-225), JOHN D. FORD (DD-228) and PAUL JONES (DD-230) are ordered to stop the invasion force, but BOISE runs aground and MARBLEHEAD develops engine trouble. DesDiv 59 is detached and increases speed to arrive at Balikpapan at midnight on January 23rd.
17 February 1942:
At night, transports SAGAMI and SASAGO MARUs carrying part of the IJA's 48th Infantry Division depart Makassar, Celebes (now Sulawasei) for Bali, Java (now Indonesia) escorted by DesDiv 8's ASASHIO, OSHIO, ARASHIO and MICHISHIO.
19 February 1942: The Invasion of Eastern Java:
Jolo, Philippines. At 0800, the Eastern Java Invasion Convoy (Toho Koryaku Butai) consisting of 39 troop transports departs the anchorage carrying the IJA’s 48th Infantry Division in seven sections:
1st Section consisting of: HAGUE, YAMAGIKU, KENKON, NANKO, ADEN and KONAN MARUs,
2nd Section consisting of: HOLLAND, JOHORE, TAKAOKA, HOKKO, KYOKUSEI and TAEI MARUs,
3rd Section consisting of: KENZAN, HIMALAYA, HAVRE, ARIZONA, ANZAN and CHOKO MARUs (6783/20),
4th Section consisting of: NISSHU, BIYO, ITALY, ASAKA, KASHU and YONEYAMA MARUs,
5th Section consisting of: HAKUSHIKA (HAKUROKU), TEIYO, HAMBURG, DENMARK, ARABIA and TOKUSHIMA MARUs,
6th Section consisting of: MIYADONO, JINZAN (JINSAN), WALES, SUEZ, TAMON and YASUKAWA MARUs, and the
7th Section consisting of: SATSUMA, MINRYU and HOZUGAWA MARUs.
The convoy is escorted by Rear Admiral Nishimura's heavy cruisers NACHI and HAGURO, DesRon 2's light cruisers NAKA and JINTSU and DesDiv 16's YUKIKAZE, TOKITSUKAZE, AMATSUKAZE and HATSUKAZE and DesDiv 7's USHIO, SAZANAMI, YAMAKAZE
and KAWAKAZE and DesRon 4's light cruiser NAKA, DesDiv 2's YUDACHI, SAMIDARE, HARUSAME, DesDiv 9's ASAGUMO, MURASAME, MINEGUMO and NATSUGUMO.
E 21 February 1942:
Makassar Strait. SAGAMI and SASAKO MARUs join the main convoy and steam with it.
22 February 1942:
At 1200, LIVERPOOL and EHIME MARUs join the Eastern Java Invasion Convoy north of Aru Bank. The same day, HITERU and TEIRYU MARUs depart Palau carrying elements of the Sakaguchi Detachment.
23 February 1942:
HITERU and TEIRYU MARUs join the Eastern Java Invasion Convoy.
27 February 1942: The Battle of the Java Sea:
At 1547, HAGURO and NACHI, DesRon 2's JINTSU with DesDiv 16's
YUKIKAZE, TOKITSUKAZE, AMATSUKAZE and HATSUKAZE and DesDiv 7's USHIO, SAZANAMI, YAMAKAZE and KAWAKAZE engage Dutch Rear Admiral Karel W. F. M. Doorman's Strike Force's light cruiser Hr.Ms. DE RUYTER (F), heavy cruisers HMS EXETER and USS HOUSTON (CA-30), light cruisers HMAS PERTH and Hr.Ms. JAVA, destroyers HMS
ELECTRA, ENCOUNTER, JUPITER, Hr.Ms. KORTENAER and WITTE de WITH and old destroyers USS ALDEN (DD-211), JOHN D. EDWARDS (DD-216), JOHN D. FORD (DD-228) and PAUL JONES (DD-230).
During this day and the next day’s engagements, Doorman's Strike Force loses HMS EXETER and USS HOUSTON (CA-30), light cruisers HMAS PERTH, HrMs DE RUYTER, Hr.Ms. JAVA, destroyers HMS ELECTRA, ENCOUNTER, JUPITER and Hr.Ms. KORTENAER to superior Japanese forces. The Allies also lose old four stack USS POPE (DD-225).
1 March 1942: Operation "J" - The Invasion of Java, Netherlands East Indies:
At 0120, 100 miles W of Surabaya, Java. The Eastern Java Invasion Force now consisting of 43 transports including HAGUE MARU enters the roadstead
off Kragan village, East Java.
Just before dropping anchor, the ships suffer a fierce air attack. JOHORE MARU is hit and suffers many KIA and WIA. TOKUSHIMA MARU is also hit and has to be beached at 0200. Despite the air attacks, at 0015, the convoy lands
the 48th Infantry Division at Kragan village, East Java. Their main objectives are the Surabaya Naval Base on the eastern coast and Tjilatjap harbor on the southern coast.
13 June 1942:
Released by the IJA and returned to her owners.
25 December 1942:
LIVERPOOL MARU departs Muroran, Hokkaido for Yokosuka in convoy No. 83 also consisting of civilian cargo ship (C-AK) HOKUTO MARU, IJA transport SHOZAN MARU and IJN transport YOKO MARU escorted by minesweeper W-18.
28 December 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.
4 June 1943:
LIVERPOOL MARU departs St Jacques in convoy No. 401 also consisting of AMAGI and RAKUYO MARUs and tankers KOKUEI, SEIAN and KOSHIN MARUs and four unidentified merchant ships escorted by subchaser CH-9.Shortly after departure, the convoy splits into two sections.
9 June 1943:
The first section arrives at Takao.
10 June 1943:
The second section arrives at Takao.
15 June 1943:
LIVERPOOL MARU departs Takao in convoy No. 272 also consisting of AMAGI and KOZUI MARUs and three unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan ETOROFU.
20 June 1943:
Arrives at Moji.
2 July 1943:
At 0100, LIVERPOOL MARU departs Miike in convoy No 172 also consisting of KOKI, KASHIMA, HAKUBASAN, ATLANTIC, KENWA, TAIKOKU MARUs escorted by destroyer KARUKAYA. Later that day, MANKO MARU joins the convoy from Sasebo.
4 July 1943:
20 km NW of Naha, Okinawa. LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Charles O. Triebel’s (USNA '29) USS SNOOK (SS-279) intercepts the convoy. At 0230, Triebel torpedoes and gets three hits on LIVERPOOL MARU. Triebel also torpedoes and gets two hits on KOKI MARU in her No. 2 hold. KOKI MARU sinks in seven minutes with the loss of one crewman at 28-29N, 124-15E.
At 0340, Triebel torpedoes and damages ATLANTIC MARU at 28-40N, 124-10E. TAIKOKU MARU takes the ship in tow and later arrives at Shanghai. The convoy scatters.
At about 0600, LIVERPOOL MARU sinks by the stern at 28-29N, 124-15E. Three crewmen are KIA.
 On 29 April 1932, 10,000 Japanese troops celebrated Emperor Hirohito's birthday with a military parade in Lu Xun Park, Shanghai. In the reviewing stand were many of the Japanese Army and Navy’s highest ranking officers including LtGen Ueda, Vice Admiral (later Ambassador to the U.S.) Nomura Kichisaburo, Commander of the Shanghai fleet; Gen Shirakawa Yoshinori, Commander-in-Chief of the Army in Shanghai and Minister to China Mamoru Shigemitsu. A Korean activist threw a bomb into the reviewing stand that exploded and blew off three of Ueda’s toes, seriously injured Gen Shirakawa Yoshinori who later died of his wounds, Vice-Admiral Nomura right eye is lost as is Shigemitsu's right leg. He walked with an artificial leg and cane for the rest of his life. Shigemitsu signed the instrument of surrender on 2 Sep ‘45 aboard USS MISSOURI (BB-63).
Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany, Gilbert Casse of France and John Whitman of Virginia.
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