(ARGALIA (later MIYADONO MARU), prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

2013-2017 Bob Hackett

E 1917:
Stockton-On-Tees, England. Laid down at Craig, Taylor & Co. Ltd., as a 5,214-ton B-class standard cargo ship (WWI) for The Shipping Controller, London.

Launched and named WAR KESTREL.

July 1918:

Sold to the Donaldson Line (Donaldson Bros.), Glasgow, Scotland. Renamed ARGALIA.

Sold to Tatsuuma Kisen K. K., Nishinomiya. Renamed MIYADONO MARU.

3 July 1929:
At 0844, MIYADONO MARU departs Sydney, Australia for Port Lincoln.

21 September 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) for service as a troop transport. Alloted IJA No. 758.

18 December 1941: The Invasion of the Northern Philippines:
At 1200, MIYADONO MARU departs Mako, Pescadores for Lingayen Gulf, Philippines in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Rear Admiral Nishimura Shoji's (39)(former CO of HARUNA) 2nd Lingayen Invasion Unit with 27 other IJA transports carrying the 7th Tank Regiment and an infantry regiment of the 48th Infantry Division escorted by DesRon 2's light cruiser NAKA, DesDiv 9's ASAGUMO, MINEGUMO, NATSUGUMO, minesweepers W-9, W-10, W-11, W-12, W-17 and W-18 and subchasers CH-4, CH-5, CH-6, CH-10, CH-11, CH-12, CH-16 , CH-17 and CH-18.

The Japanese main invasion at Lingayen Gulf consists of three transport echelons. The first is composed of 27 transports from Takao under Rear Admiral Hara Kensaburo, the second of 28 transports under Rear Admiral Nishimura and the third of 21 transports from Keelung under Rear Admiral Hirose Sueto. This force of 76 transports carries the main part of LtGen Homma Masaharu's 80,000-man 14th Army.

24 December 1941:
MIYADONO MARU and Rear Admiral Nishimura's 2nd Lingayen Invasion Unit arrive at Caba, Lingayen Gulf between 0110 and 0430. At 0530, LtGen Dobashi's 2nd Lingayen Invasion Unit begins landing troops.

14 January 1942:
At 1700, MIYADONO MARU departs Moji for Takao in a convoy also consisting of ADEN, ASAKA, HAVRE, TAKAOKA and YAE MARUs escorted by minelayers HIRASHIMA and TSUBAME.

18 January 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

28 May 1942:
At 1200, MIYADONO MARU departs Mako for Ujina in convoy No. 216 also consisting of HOKUSHIN, IIDA, KENZAN, MIYADONO, PENANG, SAIHO, SANFUKU and SUEZ MARUs and FUKUEI MARU No. 2 escorted by destroyer SANAE and minelayer TAKASHIMA.

31 May 1942:
NW of Amami-O-Shima. The convoy detects an enemy submarine. Minelayer TSUBAME arrives on the scene and she and TAKASHIMA drop depth charges. No submarine attacks develop.

3 June 1942:
Arrives at Ujina, Hiroshima.

13 December 1942:
MIYADONO MARU departs Saeki in Military Movement No. 8s convoy H also consisting of KASHU, KIZAN, NANKING, TOMIURA and YAGUMO MARUs escorted by torpedo boat HATO and subchaser CH-36.

E 14 December 1942:
The escorts are detached at 29N.

9 March 1943:
At 1600, MIYADONO MARU departs Truk for Rabaul in a convoy also consisting of TAIKO and UJIGAWA MARUs escorted by minesweeper W-15.

11 March 1943:
At 0800, the convoy arrives at Shortland.

13 March 1943:
At 1530, MIYADONO MARU departs Shortland for Rabaul carrying Guadalcanal evacuees in a convoy also consisting of TAIKO MARU escorted by subchaser CH-28.

15 March 1943:
At 0500 arrives at Rabaul.

1 May 1943:
MIYADONO MARU departs Palau in convoy No. 3206 also consisting of ADEN, ASO, BENGAL, KIZAN and TOYAMA MARUs escorted by destroyer ASAGAO.

6 May 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

15 May 1943:
At 1435, MIYADONO MARU departs Rabaul for Palau in convoy R-515 also consisting of ADEN and KIZAN MARUs and two unidentified merchants bound escorted by subchaser CH-39. At an unknown point, CH-39 is detached.

21 May 1943:
At 0430 arrives at Rabaul.

14 June 1943:
MIYADONO MARU departs Palau for Rabaul in convoy P-514 consisting of HAKUTETSU and NICHIRYU MARUs and TAGANOURA MARU No. 13 escorted by subchaser CH-22.

19 June 1943:
250 nms N of Manus Island, Admiralties, Papua New Guinea. At 1514, LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Arnold F. Schade's (USNA 33) USS GROWLER (SS-215) torpedoes MIYADONO MARU at 01-52N, 148-03E. Three passengers and five crewmen are KIA. About midnight, after the survivors had been rescued, CH-22 scuttles badly damaged MIYADONO MARU by gunfire.

Author's Note:
Thanks to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany and the late John Whitman.

Bob Hackett

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