Tabular Record of Movement

2017-2018 Bob Hackett

Laid down by the Superior Shipbuilding Company, Wisconsin as WAR CHANT, a 1,893-ton cargo Ship for the Cunard Steamship Company.

6 April, 1917:
The United States enters World War I.

31 July 1917:
Launched and renamed LAKE CHAMPLAIN.

September 1917:
Completed for the United States Shipping Board, Washington, D.C.

19 January 1918:
Acquired by the United States Navy.

24 January 1918:
Boston, MA. Commissioned as a World War I temporary auxiliary ship USS LAKE CHAMPLAIN.

March 1918 ~ January 1919:
After initial service transporting coal along the U.S. east coast, she makes four round-trip voyages across the Atlantic to Europe carrying ammunition and other cargo.

February~ March 1919:
USS LAKE CHAMPLAIN travels to Cuba carrying mines and coal.

March 1919:
Decommissioned and returned to the U.S. Shipping Board.

Sold to Lloyd Royal Belge, Antwerp, Belgium. Renamed NIPPONIER.

Sold to Armement Gylsen SA, Antwerp. Renamed FRUITHANDEL.

Sold to Hiyoshi Shipping Co., Ltd., Kobe. Renamed MEISEI MARU. [1]

Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA). Allotted IJA No. 423.

Released by the IJA back to her owners.

31 March 1944:
Sold to Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Kobe.

9 January 1945:
Re-requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA). Allotted IJA No. 1337.

20 February 1945:
At 1600, MEISEI MARU departs Hong Kong in convoy HOMO-02 also consisting of six unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan AGUNI and CD-40.

3 March 1945:
At 1730, arrives at Moji.

8 June 1945:
MEISEI MARU, under IJA charter, departs Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture for Rashin, Chosen (Korea).

11 June 1945:
26 kilometers off the coast of Rashin. At 0140, LtCdr (later Captain) Robert D. Risser's (USNA '34) USS FLYING FISH ( SS-229), on the surface, fires three torpedoes by SJ radar and gets two hits starboard side that sink MEISEI MARU at 41-47N, 130-38 E. 42 crewmen are KIA. FLYING FISH captures one prisoner-of-war who identifiies the ship as IJA No. 1337.

Author's Note:
[1] Not to be confused with 6,886-ton MEISEI MARU.

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

Bob Hackett

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