(Getsuyo (later Mogamigawa) Maru)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2007-2018 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Revison 12

2 October 1933:
Nagasaki. Laid down at Mitsubishi shipbuilding’s shipyard for Toyo Kisen.

16 March 1934:
Launched and named GETSUYO MARU.

4 June 1934:

Chartered by Kawasaki Kisen and placed on their New York route.

Sold to Taiyo Kogyo K.K., but remains under Toyo's effective control.

15 January 1937:
Sold to Toyo Kaiun K. K. (Oriental Marine Transport of Tokyo).

In cargo service with Toyo Kaiun K. K.

Serves on India-South America service and later that year on Dairen, Manchuria-Europe service.

17 April 1940:

29 November 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN. Armed with a 4.7-inch (120-mm) gun and fitted with minelaying equipment.

3 December 1941:
Harima. Begins conversion to an auxiliary minelayer at Harima Zosensho, K. K.

10 December 1941:
Rated a specially installed auxiliary minelayer and assigned to the Kure Naval District. Captain Koyama Taiji (34)(former CO of ITSUKUSHIMA) is appointed CO.

26 December 1941:
The conversion is completed.

31 December 1941:
Assigned to Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Inoue Shigeyoshi's (37) Fourth Fleet in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Shima Kiyohide's (39) Mine Division 19 with minelayer OKINOSHIMA and auxiliary minelayers TENYO MARU and TOKIWA.

9 January 1942:
Departs Kure for Truk.

16 January 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

18 January 1942:
At 0400 departs Truk.

20 January 1942: Operation "R" - The Invasions of Rabaul, New Britain and Kavieng, New Ireland:
MOGAMIGAWA MARU and Mine Division 19's TSUGARU, OKINOSHIMA and auxiliary minelayers TENYO MARU and TOKIWA participate in the invasion of Rabaul with DesRon 6's YUBARI, DesDiv 30's MUTSUKI, MOCHIZUKI, YAYOI, DesDiv 29's OITE, ASANAGI and YUNAGI and auxiliary seaplane tender KIYOKAWA MARU. While attached to the operation nominally, MOGAMIGAWA MARU appears to take no part and was en route from Truk to Kure.

23 January 1942:
The invasion forces swiftly overcome light Australian opposition and occupy both Rabaul and Kavieng.

25 January 1942:
Arrives at Kurahashi Jima.

26 January 1942:
Arrives back at Kure. Undergoes reconversion to an aircraft transport.

10 February 1942:
Rerated an auxiliary aircraft transport and attached to the Kure Naval District. Reassigned to Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Goto Eiji's (37)(former CO of MUTSU) 24th Air Flotilla of Vice Admiral Inoue's Fourth Fleet. Departs Kure for Nagoya.

10 February 1942:
Departs Kure and arrives at Nagoya. Probably loads fighter aircraft at the Mitsubishi Aircraft and Engine plant.

February 1942:
Departs Nagoya for Wake Island and Roi, Kawajalein. Probably unloads fighters then returns to Yokosuka.

12 March 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

19 March 1942:
Arrives at Wake Island.

22 March 1942:
Departs Wake Island.

25 March 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

4 April 1942:
At 1200 departs Wotje Atoll.

10 April 1942:
Reassigned to Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Tsukahara Nishizo’s (36) 11th Air Fleet in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Yamada Sadayoshi's (42)(former CO of KAGA) 25th Air Flotilla based at Rabaul.

14 April 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul. Probably delivers Mitsubishi A6M "Zeke" fighter aircraft.

23 April 1942:
Operation “MO” – The Invasion of Port Moresby, New Guinea:
MOGAMIGAWA MARU is attached to Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kajioka Sadamichi's (39) (former CO of KISO) Port Moresby Attack Force as a Special Duty Force to transport supplies and provisions.

4 May 1942:
At 1600, Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kajioka Sadamichi's (39) (former CO of KISO) Port Moresby Attack Force departs Rabaul towards the Jomard Pass, Louisiade Archipelago, with minelayer TSUGARU, DesRon 6's light cruiser YUBARI, DesDiv 29’s ASANAGI, OITE, DesDiv 30’s MUTSUKI, MOCHIZUKI and YAYOI and a patrol boat escorting Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Koso's (40) (former CO of HIEI) Transport Force's IJN MOGAMIGAWA, AKIBASAN, SHOKA, GOYO and CHOWA MARUs, and IJA transports MATSUE, TAIFUKU, MITO, CHINA and HIBI MARUs, fleet salvage and repair ship OJIMA, tanker HOYO MARU, fleet oiler IRO (at anchor at Shortland area with destroyer UZUKI) minesweeper W-20, and auxiliary minesweepers HAGOROMO MARU, NOSHIRO MARU No. 2, FUMI MARU No. 2 and SEKI MARU No. 3. The convoy’s cruising speed only is 6.5 knots.

IJA transport ASAKASAN MARU is delayed at Rabaul. The Transport Force is carrying the bulk of the 3rd Kure Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF), the 10th Naval Construction Unit and the South Seas Detachment consisting of the 144th Infantry Regiment.

Tulagi, Solomons. Rear Admiral (MOH '14/later Admiral) Frank J. Fletcher’s (USNA ’06) (former CO of USS VERMONT, BB-20) Task Force 17 attacks Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Shima Kiyohide’s (39) (former CO of OI) Tulagi Invasion Force. Douglas SBD “Dauntless” dive-bombers and TBD “Devastator” torpedo-bombers from USS YORKTOWN (CV-5) sink a destroyer, three minesweepers and damage four other ships.

5 May 1942:
At 1600, ASAKASAN MARU departs Rabaul and chases after the Transport Force.

Fletcher's force turns north to engage Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Takagi Takeo’s (39) (former CO of MUTSU) Carrier Strike Force's SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU. SBDs and TBDs from USS YORKTOWN and USS LEXINGTON (CV-2) sink Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Goto Aritomo’s (38) (former CO of MUTSU) light carrier SHOHO off Misima Island. In turn, Japanese planes damage oiler USS NEOSHO (AO-23) and sink destroyer USS SIMS (DD-409).

6 May 1942:
At 2200, ASAKASAN MARU finally rejoins the Transport Force.

8 May 1942:
Planes from the USS LEXINGTON sight Takagi's Strike Force. SBDs from USS YORKTOWN and USS LEXINGTON damage SHOKAKU and force her retirement. ZUIKAKU’s air group suffers heavy losses. Takagi's bombers and attack planes strike Task Force 17 and damage USS YORKTOWN and USS LEXINGTON. Gasoline vapors ignite, triggering massive explosions that cause USS LEXINGTON to be abandoned. Later, she is scuttled by destroyer USS PHELPS (DD-360).

9 May 1942:
After order was given to the Transport Force to reverse its course, MOGAMIGAWA MARU arrives back at Rabaul.

16 May 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

25 May 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

2 June 1942:
Arrives at Yokkaichi.

4 June 1942:
Departs Yokkaichi. Probably loaded aircraft and/or spare aircraft engines from Mitsubishi's Nagoya plant for transport.

5 June 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

13 June 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

23 June 1942:
Arrives at Kavieng.

24 June 1942:
Departs Kavieng.

25 June 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

29 June 1942:
Departs Rabaul with KINRYU MARU escorted by destroyer AKIKAZE.

1 July 1942:
Arrives at Tulagi.

5 July 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul. Probably delivers A6M fighter aircraft.

23 July 1942:
Departs Rabaul with AKIKAZE to Lae, New Guinea on an aircraft transport run, probably delivering Mitsubishi A6M "Zeke" fighter aircraft to elements of the Tainan Naval Air Group based there.

25 July 1942:
Arrives at Lae and departs later that day.

27 July 1942:
Arrives back at Rabaul.

1 August 1942:
Departs Rabaul with AKIKAZE to Kavieng, New Ireland on an aircraft transport run, probably delivering A6M fighter aircraft for the 253rd Naval Air Group scheduled to be based there in September.

2 August 1942:
Arrives at Kavieng.

3 August 1942:
Departs Kavieng.

4 August 1942:
Arrives back at Rabaul.

23 August 1942:
At 1400 departs Rabaul.

2 September 1942:
Arrives at Yokkaichi. Probably loads aviation gasoline at the refinery.

4 September 1942:
Departs Yokkaichi.

5 September 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

13 September 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

23 September 1942:
Arrives at Kavieng.

25 September 1942:
Departs Kavieng.

26 September 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

3 October 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

12 October 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

19 October 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

22 October 1942:
Arrives at Kure. Drydocked.

23 October 1942:
Captain Goda Kiichiro (35) (former CO of TSUGA) is appointed CO.

26 October 1942:
Captain Koyama departs the ship.

26 November 1942:
Departs Kure.

28 November 1942:
Arrives at Yokkaichi. Probably loads aviation gasoline at the refinery.

30 November 1942:
Departs Yokkaichi.

1 December 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

6 December 1942:
Departs Yokosuka and the same day arrives at Kisarazu. Probably loads fighter aircraft.

8 December 1942:
Departs Kisarazu.

16 December 1942:
Arrives at Roi, Kwajalein Atoll and discharges some cargo. Receives raw food product from store ship KITAKAMI MARU.

20 December 1942:
Departs Roi.

21 December 1942:
Arrives at Taroa and discharges remaining cargo.

24 December 1942:
Reassigned directly to the 11th Air Fleet.

25 December 1942:
Departs Taroa.

26 December 1942:
Arrives at Mille.

27 December 1942:
Departs Mille.

29 December 1942:
Arrives at Roi.

3 January 1943:
Departs Roi.

6 January 1943:
Arrives at Otorijima (Wake Island) and departs later that day.

14 January 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

28 January 1943:
Captain Mori Ryozo (former CO of KATSURAGI MARU)(39) is appointed CO.

11 February 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

12 February 1943:
Arrives back at Yokosuka.

13 February 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

15 February 1943:
Arrives at Tokuyama. Probably refuels at the Naval Fuel Supply Depot.

18 February 1943:
Departs Tokuyama and sails via Kii Suido.

27 February 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

3 March 1943:
At 1600 departs Truk on an aircraft transport run to Rabaul with destroyers FUMIZUKI and NAGATSUKI, probably delivering A6M fighter aircraft for the Tainan Naval Air Group based there.

6 March 1943:
Arrives at Kavieng.

13 March 1943:
Departs Kavieng, New Ireland for Rabaul escorted by subchaser CH-31.

14 March 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

23 March 1943:
Departs Rabaul.

24 March 1943:
Arrives at Kavieng.

25 March 1943:
Departs Kavieng with TONEI MARU escorted by cable layer escorts TATEISHI and HASHIMA.

28 March 1943:
At 1200 arrives at Truk.

4 April 1943:
Tanker HOYO MARU and transport TONEI MARU and aircraft transport MOGAMIGAWA MARU depart Truk at 0600. HOYO and TONEI MARUs are bound for Kure. MOGAMIGAWA MARU is bound for Yokosuka. The ships are escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOAN MARU No. 2.

13 April 1943:
At 1200 in position 32-00N 137-10E MOGAMIGAWA MARU is due to separate from the convoy.

14 April 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

20 April 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Rabaul with the 251st Naval Air Group's ground personnel, supplies and equipment in convoy No. 3420 also consisting of SHIN YUBARI MARU and SHINKO MARU escorted by kaibokan OKI.

30 April 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

3 May 1943:
Departs Truk in a convoy consisting of MOGAMIGAWA, SHINYUBARI and HOKKAI MARUs with destroyer ONAMI as escort.

7 May 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

15 May 1943:
Departs Rabaul in convoy No. 2152 consisting of MOGAMIGAWA, HOKKAI, AZUMA, NOTO and YAMAGIRI MARUs escorted by destroyer YUZUKI.

19 May 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

21 May 1943:
Departs Truk for Yokosuka in convoy No. 4521 also consisting of ONOE, NICHIRO, TATSUMIYA, NICHIZUI and YAMAGIRI MARUs escorted by destroyer YUZUKI.

25 May 1943:
Nearing Saipan, auxiliary netlayer SHUKO MARU joins the escort. Detaches from the convoy and arrives at Saipan with BURYO MARU.

26 May 1943:
Saipan. MOGAMIGAWA MARU joins convoy No. 4526 enroute from Truk to Yokosuka consisting of NOTO MARU escorted by kaibokan OKI, minelayer TOKIWA and repair ship HAKKAI MARU.

29 May 1943:
Convoy No. 4526 departs Saipan escorted by subchaser CH-11.

3 June 1943:
In the late afternoon, LtCdr Nicholas J. Nicholas' (USNA ’32) USS SALMON (SS-182) attacks the convoy. He fires seven torpedoes and claims hits on HAKKAI and MOGAMIGAWA MARUs, but in reality his attacks are unsuccessful.

5 June 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

15 June 1943:
Captain Nakazato Ryuji (39) (former CO of NAKA) is appointed CO.

19 June 1943:
At 1300, departs Yokosuka for Truk in convoy No. 3619 consisting of MOGAMIGAWA aand KEISHO MARUs escorted by destroyer INAZUMA.

24 June 1943:
At 1800 auxiliaruy minesweeper SEKI MARU No. 3 departs Saipan to meet the convoy and escort MOGAMIGAWA MARU.

25 June 1943:
MOGAMIGAWA MARU is detached and arrives at Saipan.

11 July 1943:
At 0405 departs Saipan escorted by auxiliary netlayer SHUKO MARU and auxiliary minesweeper SEKI MARU No. 3 that both return to Saipan later that day.

16 July 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

19 July 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

24 July 1943:
MOGAMIGAWA MARU departs Yokosuka for Truk in convoy No. 3724 consisting of SEIKO and YAMAGIRI MARUs escorted by kaibokan FUKUE. MOGAMIGAWA MARU carries 700 men from the 802nd Naval Air Group and the 552nd Naval Air Group, torpedoes, A6M fighter aircraft and spare engines for IJNAF units deployed in Southwest Asia, rice and assorted goods.

31 July 1943:
South China Sea. N of Truk. At 2307, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) George H. Wales’s (USNA ’29) USS POGY (SS-266) torpedoes and sinks MOGAMIGAWA MARU by the stern at 11-04N, 153-18 E. One crewman and about 130 passengers are KIA. Captain Nakazato survives the sinking. FUKUE briefly counter-attacks, dropping only three depth charges.

A few hours later, FUKUE and SEIKO MARU return to the scene of the sinking. SEIKO MARU rescues about 600 survivors from about 730 passengers and crew aboard MOGAMIGAWA MARU, but at 0610, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) David L. Whelchel's (USNA ’30) USS STEELHEAD (SS-280) torpedoes SEIKO MARU. The rescue ship is carrying a cargo of timber and does not sink. FUKUE counter-attacks, dropping a dozen depth charges, but without effect.

15 October 1943:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Note:
Photo credit and general thanks goes to Gilbert Casse of France. Thanks also to Mr. Matthew Jones of Missisippi, USA for help in identifying CO's.Thanks also to the late Mr. John Whitman of Virginia, USA and Gengoro Toda of Japam for info on store ship KITAKAMI MARU.

- Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.

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