Sister ship CHERIBON MARU in wartime)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2012-2016 Bob Hackett and Erich Muehlthaler.
Revision 2

18 August 1920:
Kobe. Laid down at Mitsubishi Zosen Kaisha as a 4,026-ton cargo-passenger ship for Nanyo Yusen (South Sea Mail Steam Ship Co.), K. K., Kobe.

27 November 1920:
Launched and named MACASSAR MARU. [1]

24 December 1920:

1920 -1941:
MACASSAR MARU is placed in service on Nanyo Yusen's South Pacific route with service between Kobe ~ Surabaya, under government assistance. Ports of call include Moji, Kobe, Osaka, Yokohama, Hong Kong, Batavia, Samarang and Surabaya, Java, Macassar, Celebes and Balikpapan, Borneo.

11 October 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA). Alloted IJA No. 196.

13 December 1941 - Operation “E” – The Invasion of Malaya:
At 0830, MACASSAR MARU departs Camranh Bay in the Transportation Movement's 2nd landing. MACASSAR MARU is in TransDiv1 with DELAGOA, ORIDONO, KAMO, KUWAYAMA and SAMARAN MARUs. The movement carries the main body of the IJA 5th Infantry Division.

16 December 1941:
At 1900, arrives at Singora, Siam (now Songhkla, Thailand).

9 February 1942: Operation "L" - The Invasion of Palembang:
MACASSAR MARU departs Camranh Bay for Palembang in an invasion convoy also consisting of TSUSHIMA, HIROKAWA, RAKUYO, LIMA, KENZUI, SHINSEI, MEIGEN, BUYO, SINGAPORE (later renamed SHONAN), GINYO, INABASAN and ARGUN MARUS and supply ship NOJIMA escorted by light cruiser KASHII, DesDiv 20's ASAGIRI, and YUGIRI, kaibokan SHIMUSHU, minelayer HATSUTAKA, mineweeper W-6 and subchaser CH-9.

14 February 1942:
Six Bristol "Blenheim" light bombers of Royal Air Force No. 211 Squadron attack the convoy and sink transport INABASAN MARU and damage several others.

15 February 1942:
In the largest capitulation in British military history, the Straits Settlement of Singapore falls to the Japanese. LtGen Arthur E. Percival, RA, surrenders his numerically superior, but largely untrained, ill-equipped and poorly led force to LtGen Yamashita Tomoyuki and his victorious 25th Army.

16 February 1942:
Near Palembang, Sumatra. The invasion transports land elements of the IJA 16th Army’s 229th Infantry Regiment and a battalion of the 230th Infantry Regiment, five batteries of the 38th Mountain Artillery Battalion and one company each of the 38th Transport and 38th Engineer Regiments.

27 February 1942:
HIROKAWA MARU and the transport convoy depart Palembang for Singapore.

3 March 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

21 December 1942:
MACASSAR MARU arrives at Shanghai. That same day, the first section of convoy No. 6 Go (named after 6th infantry division) departs Shanghai for New Guinea consisting of troop convoys A, B and C.

25 December 1942:
MACASSAR MARU departs Shanghai in the third section consisting of HANYA (BANYA), NITTEI, SOMEDONO, TEIRYU and SURABAYA MARUs escorted by destroyer TSUGA.

20 January 1943:
At 0800, MACASSAR MARU departs Truk in convoy “D” also consisting of KAMO, TAIMEI, SHINRYU, MACASSAR and SHICHISEI MARUs escorted by destroyer HAMAKAZE, subchaser CH-12 and auxiliary gunboat CHOKO MARU No. 2.

22 January 1943:
Steffen Straits near Kavieng, New Ireland. Convoy "D" makes a rendezvous with subchasers CH-18 and CH-22 that escort the convoy to Rabaul.CH-12 and CHOKO MARU No. 2 are detached to escort an outbound convoy. [2]

24 January 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

28 April 1943:
MACASSAR MARU departs Saeki in convoy K-428 consisting of ARATAMA, DAINICHI, UME and ENGLAND MARUs and possibly others with an unidentified escort.

6 May 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

7 June 1943:
MACASSAR MARU departs Rabaul escorting convoy in O-704 consisting of HEIMEI, KINKASAN and KONAN MARUs escorted by subchasers CH-37 and CH-24.

13 June 1943:
Convoy O-704 is intercepted by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Edward S. Carmick's (USNA ’30) USS SARGO (SS-188) that begins tracking the convoy.

14 June 1943:
430 miles SE of Palau. That night, Carmick makes a submerged attack. He torpedoes and sinks passenger-cargo ship KONAN MARU at 06-05N, 138-25E. Four crewmen are KIA. The subchasers drop four DCs and cause some damage to SARGO, but later she arrives safely at Midway Island.

15 June 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

19 June 1943:
At 0545, MACASSAR MARU departs Palau in convoy TO-906 consisting of DELAGOA, DAINICHI, KAZAN, SAN FRANCISCO MARUs and EIKO MARU No. 2 escorted by PB-46 and minesweeper W-17.

E 20 June 1943:
At latitude 10N, W-17 is detached for Palau.

E 27 June 1943:
Minelayers NUWAJIMA and YURIJIMA join as additional escorts at 30-40N 134-50E.

28 June 1943:
At 1920, arrives at Saeki.

10 July 1943:
At 1500, MACASSAR MARU departs Moji in convoy No. 175 consisting of DAINICHI, FUSEI, KASHU, RAKUYO, TEIRITSU (ex-Vichy French LECONTE DE LISLE) and WAKATSU MARUs and tankers KOZUI, NITTASU and TATSUNO MARUs.

18 July 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

19 July 1943:
Departs Takao for Mako.

E 24 July 1943:
Arrives at Saigon.

26 September 1943:
MACASSAR MARU departs Batavia, Java (now Jakarta, Indonesia) for Singapore carrying about 3,500 Dutch prisoners-of-war (POWs). [2]

29 September 1943:
Arrives at Singapore. Transfers some POWs to Changi POW camp and takes on more cargo.

E October 1943:
Departs Singapore for Japan.

E October 1943:
Arrives at Japan.

13 November 1943:
At 1200, MACASSAR MARU departs Rabaul convoy O-305 also consisting of HOKKAI, TAISHO and LYONS MARUs and HOSHI MARU No. 7 escorted by subchasers CH-24 and CH-39. That evening, the convoy is shadowed by a USAAF B-24 “Liberator” heavy bomber. MACASSAR MARU carries nine Allied POWs including several USAAF POWs and a contingent of Gurkha POWs.

14 November 1943:
At 0003, the B-24 launches a slow low level attack and hits TAISHO MARU amidships in hold No. 3. TAISHO MARU is damaged but able to return to Rabaul arriving the following day.

20 November 1943:
Arrives at Palau. The Gurkha POWs are disembarked.

E December 1943:
Arrives at Moji. Disembarks Allied POWs.

25 January 1944:
At 1800, MACASSAR MARU departs Moji in convoy No. O-510 also consisting of MITO, YAGUMO, HINODE, KIBI, HASSHU, TASMANIA, KIZUGAWA and SANKO MARUs and SHINTO MARU No. 1 escorted by destroyer HARUKAZE subchaser CH-17 and auxiliary subchaser TAMA MARU No. 7. MACASSAR MARU carries the 52nd Field Construction Duty Company and probably other units. [3]

5 February 1944:
The convoy arrives at Palau.

20 March 1944:
Pusan, Korea. MACASSAR MARU embarks elements of the 9th Tank Regiment and departs.

21 March 1944:
Arrives at Ujina.

1 April 1944:
At 1100, 26-ship convoy Higashi-Matsu ("East Pine") No. 4 departs Tokyo Bay. The ships and their destinations are:
Saipan: MACASSAR, SHOUN, TOKO, TAKASAN, AKIKAWA, KOKO, SHIRAMINE, TAIKAI, KAKOGAWA MARUs. MACASSAR and KAKOGAWA MARUs carry elements of the IJA 9th Tank Regiment and 7th Independent Engineer Regiment.
Guam: MIMASAKA, TOAN, NISSHU, AZUCHISAN MARU s and UNYO MARU No. 8. NISSHU MARU carries Elements of the IJA 9th Tank Regiment.
Truk: Fleet supply ship KINESAKI, SHOZUI, KEMBU (TATEBE), HAVRE, SHIMA and,SHINYO MARUs. HAVRE MARU carries the IJA the 2nd EU and 9th Independent Engineer Regiment.
The commander of this large, important convoy is Rear Admiral Kiyota Takahiko (42) (former CO of NACHI) in destroyer SAMIDARE. The other escorts include destroyer ASANAGI, torpedo-boat HIYODORI, kaibokan AMAKUSA, MIKURA, FUKUE, OKI, CD-2, CD-3 and subchaser CH-50.

3 April 1944:
5 miles S of Tori-Shima. At about 1457, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Bafford E. Lewellen's (USNA ’31) USS POLLACK torpedoes and sinks TOSEI MARU carrying ammunition and rations, at 30-14N, 139-45E. One passenger is KIA. The escorts counter-attack POLLACK and drop 55 depth-charges unsuccessfully.

8 April 1944:
N of Saipan. At 0228 (JST), LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Frederick J. Harlfinger's (USNA ’37) USS TRIGGER (SS-237) fires four torpedoes at the convoy, but fails to get any hits. While the troopships are diverted to the west, OKI and SAMIDARE counter-attack with depth-charges. Harlfinger runs at 300 feet or more for 17 hours as six escorts dog his trail and rain down numerous depth charges. Six DCs explode extremely close by and damage TRIGGER

9 April 1944:
62 miles WNW of Saipan. At 1625, LtCdr (later Captain) Slade D. Cutter's (USNA ’35) USS SEAHORSE (SS-304) torpedoes and hits MIMASAKA MARU at 15-30N, 145-00E. MIMASAKA MARU is taken in tow by TOAN MARU. The escorts counterattack SEAHORSE unsuccessfully. Later that day, the convoy arrives at Saipan where it is split into four echelons bound for Truk, Guam, Yap and Palau.

10 April 1944:
At about 0100 (JST), MIMASAKA MARU founders. She is carrying over 1,000 Naval personnel, most of whom are rescued. The convoy arrives at Saipan, then is split into separate groups.

20 May 1944:
MACASSAR MARU departs Moji in convoy MOTA-20 also consisting of HAKUSHIKA, HIBI, HOKUSHIN, HOSEN, JUNPO, KAIKO (851 gt), KOSHIN, TATEBE (KEMBU), TATSUHATO, TEIFU (ex-Vichy French BOUGAINVILLE) and YAMAGIKU MARUs and four unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer KURETAKE. Convoy MOTA-20 joins convoy TE-07 consisting of HIDA and TEIKA MARUs (ex-Vichy French CAP VARELLA) and five unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan SHIMUSHU and FUKUE.

25 May 1944:
Convoy TE-07 is detached for Kirun (Keelung), arriving later that day.

26 May 1944:
Convoy MOTA-20 arrives at Takao.

12 June 1944:
At 0800, MACASSAR MARU departs Manila for Wasili, Halmahera Island in convoy H-29 also consisting of JUNPO, YAMAGIKU, FRANCE, KURAMASAN, HIBI and TAIYU MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD-10 and patrol boat PB-105.

17 June 1944:
HIBI MARU is detached for Zamboanga, Philippines.

23 June 1944:
At 1710, convoy H-29 arrives at Halmahera, Moluccas.

25 June 1944:
At 0550, MACASSAR MARU departs Wasili for Manila in convoy M-25 also consisting of JUNPO, YAMAGIKU, FRANCE and TAIYU MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD-10 and patrol boat PB-105.

28 June 1944:
Moro Gulf, 35 miles E of Zamboanga. At 0712, LtCdr Ian C. Eddy’s USS PARGO (SS-264) attacks the convoy. Eddy torpedoes and sinks YAMAGIKU MARU and damages CD-10 at 06-50N, 121-30E.

29 June 1944:
At 1550, the convoy departs Zamboanga with KASAGISAN MARU as an additional member.

1 July 1944:
Cebu Sea. FRANCE and TAIYU MARUs are detached. That same day, Lt Kosaka Minezo is posted CO.

3 July 1944:
The remainder of convoy M-25 arrives at Manila.

21 July 1944:
CD-10 joins convoy YUTA-09 near North San Fernando, Luzon. The convoy by this time consists of MACASSAR, TATSUWA, PACIFIC, MURORAN and JUNPO MARUs and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer KURETAKE and auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU.

At 2255, after leaving port PEKING MARU runs aground at 17-31N 120-22E and is left behind. At an unknown date the convoy is ordered to return to North San Fernando because of fear of submarines.

24 July 1944:
At North San Fernando HAKOZAKI MARU is coaled from TATSUWA MARU.

26 July 1944:
YUTA-09 departs North San Fernando Together with convoy MATA-25 consisting of HAKOZAKI, SEIGA, SHINFUKU MARUs, NISSHO MARU No. 18 and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by subchaser CH-48, auxiliary netlayer KISHIN MARU, auxiliary subchaser SHONAN MARU No. 8 and one unidentified warship.

28 July 1944:
At 1545 arrives at Takao.

11 September 1944:
At 1500, MACASSAR MARU departs Moji for Takao in convoy MOTA-26 also consisting of GASSAN, SEIZAN, HAKUSAN, HOTEN, MURORAN, MANILA, DAIKYO, DAIIKU, NANKING, FUYUKAWA, PEKING, DAIZEN, HIDA and JUNHO MARUs and NICHIYU MARU No. 2 and tanker DAISHO MARU escorted by destroyer HARUKAZE, kaibokan CD-9 and CD-26 and subchaser CH-56

16 September 1944:
GASSAN, SEIZAN and HAKUSAN MARUs split from the convoy and later that day arrive at Keelung, Formosa.

17 September 1944:
At 1300, arrives at Takao.

1 October 1944:
At 1700, MACASSAR MARU departs Takao in convoy TAMA-28 also consisting of TSUYAMA, CHOSAN, MURORAN, FUYUKAWA, SHINSEI and TAISEI MARUs escorted by kaibokan DAITO and YASHIRO, patrol boat PB-104 auxiliary gunboat KAZAN (HUSAHAN) MARU, subchaser CH-21 and auxiliary subchasers CHa-87 and CHa-92.

2 October 1944:
Luzon Strait. During a storm, LtCdr Frank C. Acker's USS POMFRET (SS-391) torpedoes and sinks TSUYAMA MARU at 20-50N, 121-31E. The ship is carrying 1600 men of the Mobile 18th Infantry Regiment. 1,273 men on board are KIA.

7 October 1944:
LtCdr Henry C. Stevenson's USS ASPRO (SS-309) torpedoes and sinks MACASSAR MARU at 17-46N, 119-40E. The ship is carrying aabout 400 Naval Shock Troops of the 100th Regiment and four of these, one gunner and three crewmen are killed.

Authors' Note:
[1] Also known as MAKASSAR MARU.

[2] MACASSAR MARU was classified as a "Hell Ship" by the Allies based on the conditions POWs were forced to endure by the Japanese.

[3] Convoy D was actually Part D (the equipment/baggage convoy) of Convoy No. 35 that departed Shanghai to transport the IJA’s 6th Infantry Division via Truk to Guadalcanal (after the decision is made to evacuate Guadalcanal, the convoy’s destination was changed to New Guinea). Part D departed Truk on 20 Jan '43 and arrived at Rabaul on 24 Jan '43 escorted by CH-18, CH-12 and CH-22 and CHOKO MARU No. 2 (and possibly destroyer HAMAKAZE part way).

Bob Hackett and Erich Muehlthaler.

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