(MADRAS MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2017-2018 Bob Hackett

25 September 1918:
Nagasaki. Laid down at Mitsubishi Zosenbu K.K. as Yard No. 285, a 3, 802-ton passenger-cargo ship for Osaka Mercantile Co., Ltd.

5 March 1920:
Launched and named MADRAS MARU.

31 March 1920:

April 1933:
Placed in OSK's South Sea route, the Nanyang Freedom Line.

6 September 1935:
Transferred to the Nanyo Shipping Co., Ltd. (Osaka).

10 October 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) and converted to a troop transport. Assigned IJA No. 884.

19 July 1942:
At 1900, MADRAS MARU departs Mako, Pescadores in convoy No. 236 also consisting of ARABIA, CHICAGO, GENOA, HIBARI, IKOMA, IKUSHIMA, ISUZU, KAISHO, KENZAN, KIYO, MANKO, MANSHU, NISHIYAMA (SEIZAN) and UMEKAWA MARUs, BANEI MARU No. 7, DAIGEN MARU No. 3 and tanker TAKASAGO MARU escorted by gunboat DELHI MARU.

26 July 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

18 December 1942:
MADRAS MARU departs Saeki in Military Movement No. 8's "O" convoy also consisting of HORAI, KAIFUKU, NICHIAI, ROKKOSAN and YUKI MARUs and FUKUEI MARU No. 9 escorted by minelayer YURIJIMA and patrol boat PB-46.

E 19 December 1942:
At 29N, the escorts are detached.

12 March 1943:
At 0600, MADRAS MARU departs Balikpapan in a convoy also consisting of SAMARANG and TOYOKAWA MARUs escorted by minelayer W-16.

E 13 March 1943:
SE Borneo. W-16 is detached.

9 April 1943:
MADRAS MARU departs Palau for Rabaul in a convoy also consisting of TAIRIN and YAMAFUKU MARUs escorted by subchaser CH-24.

14 April 1943:
Off Truk. MADRAS MARU is torpedoed by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Louis D. McGregor's (USNA ’30) old USS PIKE (SS-173) at 125N, 148-22E, but remains navigable.

16 April 1943:
At 1000, arrives at Rabaul.

20 April 1943:
Released by the IJA back to the OSK Line.

April-June 1943:
At Rabaul.

29 June 1943:
At 0440, MADRAS MARU departs Rabaul in convoy O-908 also consisting of transports CLYDE, NITTAI, PACIFIC and YAMAGATA MARUs, tug HOZU MARU and two unidentified vessels escorted by subchasers CH-22 and CH-24.

E 6 July 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

7 November 1943:
At 1225, MADRAS MARU departs Takao for Manila in convoy No. 776 also consisting of transports AKAGISAN, CHINKAI, ECHIZEN (2424 GRT), RIZAN, SHINKOKU, TOTTORI and TOYO (2704 GRT) and YOZAN (6487 GRT) MARUs, IJA LST BANRYU MARU (later SS-2) escorted by patrol boat PB-2.

11 November 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

18 November 1943:
At 1225, MADRAS MARU departs Manila for Kau, Halmahera Island, Moluccas in convoy H-5A also consisting of transports AKAGISAN, ECHIZEN, MATSUEI (SHOEI), RIZAN (ex-British MUNLOCK) and TOTTORI MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-2.

22 November 1943:
Auxiliary subchaser KYO MARU No. 2 joins the convoy.

23 November 1943:
At 0600, PB-2 is detached.

E November 1943:
Arrives at Kau.

26 November 1943:
At 0600, MADRAS MARU departs Wasile in a convoy also consisting of ECHIZEN MARU and one unidentified merchant escorted by minelayer WAKATAKA and auxiliary minesweeper CHa-9.

28 November 1943:
At 1700, the convoy arrives at Sorong.

19 Janary 1944:
MADRAS MARU is re-requisitioned by the IJA.

13 April 1944:
MADRAS MARU departs Ominato in a convoy also consisting of RIZAN, TENRYO, and TAIHEI MARUs escorted by destroyers AKEBONO and USHIO and kaibokan KUNASHIRI.

18 April 1944:
Arrives at Matsuwa Jima.

25 April 1944:
MADRAS MARU departs Matsuwa Jima escorted by kaibokan KUNASHIRI.

29 April 1944:
Arrives at Ominato.

31 May 1944:
MADRAS MARU departs Matsuwa-To for Otaru in convoy “HE” also consisting of cargo KOTO MARU and transport 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 crewmen are KIA. Zabriskie targets HOKUYO MARU. At 1220, he torpedoes and hits HOKUYO MARU which sinks rapidly about 48-00N, 151-00E. 38 crewmen are KIA.

About the same time, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Eugene B. Fluckey's (USNA '35) USS BARB ( SS-220) attacks the convoy. He targets the largest ship, MADRAS MARU and fires two torpedoes that hit and sink her at 48-21N, 151-20E. 45 crewmen, 31 gunners and 63 passengers are KIA; 161 survivors manage to reach two Daihatsu barges that had floated off.

At 1230, Fluckey targets the only 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 transport sinks bow first at 47-55N, 151-42E. 30 crewmen are KIA.

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

Bob Hackett

Back to IJA Transports