( MONTREAL MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2012-2016 Bob Hackett

24 November 1921:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki Dockyard Co. K. K. as Yard No. 483, a 6,577-ton passenger-cargo ship for Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), K. K. of Kobe.

6 September 1922:
Launched and named named MONTREAL MARU.

13 June 1921:
Completed and placed on K Linesís North Pacific Express Line.

Transferred to K Lineís Lisbon, Portugal ~ New York service.

27 November 1923:
Arrives at Ellis Island, New York from Lisbon, Portugal.

30 September 1931:
Captain Imalzumiís MONTREAL MARU arrives on her malden voyage to Brisbane, Australia.

28 July 1932:
Arrives in Brisbane, Australia carrying a load of wheat, concentrates and wool from S Australia.

30 July 1932:
Departs for Yokohama.

1 May 1933:
Arrives in Brisbane.

2 May 1933:
At 1500, departs for Yokohama carrying approximately 3600 bales of wool, 55 tons of tallow, and 30 tons of tin clippings, and other sundries. This is the final visit of MONTREAL MARU in Australian waters,

17 May 1933:
Arrives in Yokohama.

23 April 1938:
MONTREAL MARU departs Melbourne, Australia without a cargo of tin clippings which the longshoremen refuse to load.

11 September 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) and converted to a troop transport. Alloted IJA No. 276.

8 December 1941:
The Pacific War begins.

17 December 1941: Operation "M" (M Sakusen) -The Invasion of the Northern Philippines:
At 0900, MONTREAL MARU departs Kirun, Formosa (Keelung, Taiwan) for Lingayen Gulf, Philippines in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Rear Admiral Hirose Sueto (39)(former CO of HARUNA) 3rd Lingayen Invasion Unit with 21 other IJA transports escorted by DesDiv 9's YAMAGUMO, minelayer WAKATAKA and four smaller warships.

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 under Rear Admiral Hirose. This force of 76 transports carries the main part of LtGen Homma Masaharu's 80,000-man 14th Army.

24 December 1941:
Between 0110 and 0430, the transports land their troops at Lingayen.

28 March 1942:
At 0800, MONTREAL MARU departs Mako for Camranh Bay in a convoy also consisting of FUKKAI, HINAN KOCHI, PENANG, SAMARANG,TAIKAI, TEIKAI, TETSUYO, RYUZAN MARUs and YOSHIDA MARU No. 1 escorted by minelayer SOKUTEN and auxiliary gunboat CHOHAKUSAN MARU.

1 April 1942:
Arrives at Camranh Bay, Vichy French, Indochina.

3 April 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

5 April 1942:
Departs Saigon.

13 April 1942:
Arrives at Singapore, Malaya.

14 April 1942: Transport Operation U - transport of troops and material from Singapore to Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar):
MONTREAL MARU departs Singapore as part of Transport Unit No. 3 also consisting of 32 marus including ANYO, BRAZIL, BUYO, ENGLAND, GINYO, HAMBURG, HAVRE, HOKUROKU, KUWAYAMA, KOCHI, KENKOKU, PENANG, SAMARANG, SUEZ, TAIKAI, TAZAN, TEIKAI (ex-German FULDA), YAWATA and YONEYAMA MARUs. The 3rd Transport Unit carries the 56th Mixed Brigade and other units.

19 April 1942:
Arrives at Rangoon.

22 April 1942:
Departs Rangoon.

28 April 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

24 November 1942:
Kashiwabara Army Staging Area, Paramushiro Island, Kuriles. The Japanese decide to build an airfield on Shemya Island, western Aleutians. A force of 1,279 officers and men, including the 303rd Independent Infantry Battalion and 303rd Independent Engineer Company and supporting troops, embark aboard MONTREAL and YAWATA MARUs and depart toward Shemya escorted by light cruiser TAMA and destroyer HATSUSHIMO.

November 1942:
The C-in-C, Fifth Fleet, Vice Admiral Hosogaya Boshiro (36)(former CO of MUTSU) orders the force to return to the Kuriles because of the presence of American warships and bombers.

2 December 1942:
Arrives at Paramushiro.

9 December 1942:
MONTREAL MARU departs Otaru, Hokkaido for Kiska Island, Aleutian Islands unescorted.

12 December 1942:
Arrives at Paramushiro.

28 December 1942:
Departs Paramushiro for Kiska unescorted carrying 831 passengers including 216 soldiers of the IJA 302 Independent Battalion, 76 engineers, 23 field hospital men, 64 gunners and 93 crewmen.

6 January 1943:
Bering Sea. Off Kiska, Aleutians. At about 0700, MONTREAL MARU is attacked by a USN PBY "Catalina" patrol bomber that bombs and sinks her at 53-28N, 177-52E. There are no survivors in the rough, frigid waters. [1] Released by the IJA back to her owners as of this date.

Author's Note:
[1] Author Komamiya claims MONTREAL MARU was bombed and sunk by a USAAF B-17 heavy bomber, but there is no USAAF record to subtantiate.

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

Bob Hackett

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