RIKUGUN YUSOSEN

(Sister WASHIN MARU, prewar)

IJA MIYAURA MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

2018 Bob Hackett


19 September 1918:
Laid down by Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., Tokyo as Yard No. 325, 1,856-ton cargo ship for stock.

23 December 1918:
Launched and named MIYAURA MARU.

22 January 1919:
Completed.

December 1923:
Sold to Kinkai Yusen K. K., Tokyo.

7 July 1937: The Marco Polo Bridge Incident ("First China Incident"):
Hun River, Lukuokiao, China. Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) 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.

16 July 1937:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) and assigned IJA No. 35.

E 1938:
Released by the IJA back to her owners.

8 September 1939:
Transferred to Nippon Yusen Kaisha K.K. (NYK Line), Tokyo following a merger.

12 November 1942:
MIYAURA MARU departs Saeki in Military Movement No. 8's convoy B also consisting of LIMA and MARU escorted subchasers CH-37 and CH-39.

E 13 November 1942:
The escorts are detached at 29N.

20 March 1943:
At 1500, TATEISHI MARU arrives at Rabaul from Palau in a convoy also consisting of ADEN, KANJO, KENKOKU, MILAN, MIYAURA, HAKUSAN (2197 grt), ROKKOSAN and SORACHI MARUs escorted by minesweeper W-20 and probably subchaser CH-16.

18 February 1943:
MIYAURA MARU departs Moji in Military Movement No. 8's convoy "C2" also consisting of ADEN, HAKUBASAN, HAKUSAN, ROKKOSAN and TATEISHI MARUs.

21 February 1943:
Convoy C2 departs Saeki escorted by patrol boat PB-31 and minelayer NASAMI.

E 23 February 1943:
The escorts are detached at 28-30N.

E 4 March 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

E 13 March 1943:
MIYAURA MARU departs Palau for Rabaul in a convoy also consisting of ADEN, HAKUSAN, KANJO, KENKOKU, MILAN, ROKKOSAN, SORACHI and TATEISHI MARUs escorted by minesweeper W-20 and subchaser CH-16.

20 March 1943:
At 1500, the convoy arrives at Rabaul from Palau.

25 April 1943:
At 1440, MIYAURA MARU departs Rabaul for Palau in a convoy also consisting of cargo ships HOKO, RISSHUN, ROKKOSAN and TOUN MARUs and tanker SAN CLEMENTE MARU escorted by subchasers CH-16 and CH-18. Later, the escort is joined by CH-37 and CH-16 is detached.

26 April 1943:
Cargo RAKUTO MARU departs Kavieng and joins the convoy for Palau.

E 3 May 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

19 May 1943:
MIYAURA MARU departs Palau in convoy No. 2502 also consisting of MILAN and YONEYAMA MARUs and BANSHU MARU No. 15 and an unidentified merchant escorted by subchaser CH-4.

26 May 1943:
Arrives at Balikpapan, Borneo.

17 May 1944:
MIYAURA MARU departs Ambon for Halmahera Island, Moluccas carrying avgas, bombs and 113 passengers.

20 May 1944:
Northernmost Moro Tai Strait. At 1623, LtCdr (later Captain) Eric L. Barr, Jr.'s (USNA '34) USS BLUEGILL (SS-242) fires 4 torpedoes at MIYAURA MARU and gets 3 hits, two of which destroy the engine room.

MIYAURA MARU explodes, breaks in half and sinks 3 minutes later at 02-14N, 128-05E. 96 passengers and 45 crewmen are KIA.


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

Bob Hackett


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