KYURYOKAN

(MUROTO in 1932)

IJN MUROTO:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2007-2014 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.

Revision 3


16 July 1918:
Kobe. Laid down at Mitsubishi shipbuilding as a transport (collier) for Nippon Yusen K. K.

23 October 1918:
Launched.

7 December 1918:
Completed.

1 April 1920:
MUROTO is designated an auxiliary transport (coaling) warship.

6 April 1921: Captain (later Rear Admiral) Hitsuda Kesaichi (29) (former CO of AKITSUSHIMA) assumes command.

17 September 1921:
An unknown officer assumes command. Captain Hitsuda is appointed the CO of KANTO.

10 November 1923:
Cdr (later Vice Admiral) Ono Hiroshi (32) (former XO of YAMASHIRO) assumes command.

1 December 1924:
An unknown officer assumes command. Cdr Ono is promoted Captain and transferred to the Naval Gunnery School as instructor.

20 April 1927:
Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Nagoya Juro (34) (former CO of MATSUE)assumes command.

1 December 1927:
Cdr (later Vice Admiral) Wada Senzo (34) (former XO of FUSO) is promoted Captain and assumes command the same day.

29 October 1928:
An unknown officer assumes command. Captain Wada is later posted CO of SENDAI.

10 March 1929:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Araki Sadaaki (35) (former gunnery officer of NAGATO) assumes command.

30 November 1929:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Takahashi Hideo (36) (former XO of HAGURO) assumes command.

1 May 1930:
An unknown officer assumes command. Cdr Takahashi is later posted CO of HAYATOMO.

20 January 1932:
Shanghai. The Chinese boycott the import and sale of Japanese goods in protest over the Kwantung Army's occupation of Manchuria. The Japanese retaliate by burning factories and shops.

28 January 1932: The "First Shanghai Incident":
The Shanghai Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) of about 2,500 troops is dispatched to evict two divisions of the Chinese 19th Route Army from Shanghai.

29 January 1932:
Large-scale fighting breaks out as the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) relieves the surrounded small SNLF contingent. The IJN brings its heavy naval guns to bear on the Chinese. The fighting results in a heavy loss of civilian lives and property and causes the Chinese to unify against the Japanese who are unable to capture Shanghai.

1 February 1932:
Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Yamada Mitsuru (37) (former XO of AOBA) assumes command.

23 February–5 March 1932:
Kure Arsenal. MUROTO is remodeled to an auxiliary hospital ship. The ship is rearmed two 3rd Year Type 3-in AA guns during the rebuild.

July 1932:
Arrives at Shanghai. Participates in relief work. The ship makes made several trips to Shanghai and back, evacuating wounded and injured to Japan and shipping SNLF and their equipment to Shanghai.

20 October 1932:
Cdr (later Vice Admiral) Hiraoka Kumeichi (39) (former XO of ASAMA) assumes command.

25 August 1933:
Cdr (later Vice Admiral) Kishi Fukuji (40) (former XO of YAKUMO) assumes command.

15 November 1933:
Cdr Kishi is promoted Captain.

20 October 1934:
An unknown officer assumes command. Captain Kishi is later posted CO of NATORI.

7 July 1937: The First "China" Incident:
Lugouqiao, China. Japanese troops are on night maneuvers at the Marco Polo Bridge. They fire blank cartridges. Chinese troops fire back, but do not cause injuries. The Japanese discover a soldier missing and demand entry to a suburb of Peking (Beijing) to look for him, but the Chinese refuse. The Japanese shell the city and an undeclared war begins.

10 May 1938:
MUROTO participates in an amphibious assault on Amoy (Xiamen) with Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Koichi Shiozawa’s (32)(former CO of FURUTAKA) 5th Fleet consisting of CruDiv 9's MYOKO (F) and light cruiser TAMA, CruDiv 10's light cruisers TATSUTA and TENRYU, DesRon 5's light cruiser NAGARA, DesDiv 3’s NADAKAZE, SHIMAKAZE, SHIOKAZE and DesDiv 16’s FUYO, ASAGAO and KARUKAYA, CarDiv 1's KAGA, DesDiv 29’s HAYATE and OITE, SORYU with DesDiv 30’s YAYOI and KISARAGI, auxiliary seaplane tender KAMIKAWA MARU, collier MUROTO, CarDiv 3's KAMOI, auxiliaries SHURI, CHOJU, DELHI, EIKO, IKUTA, KAZAN, KURI, HAYA MARUs and DAIICHI MARU No. 8, NANSHIN MARU No. 8, NANSHIN MARU No. 31, TAIKO, YODATI and auxiliary minelayers ENOSHIMA and ENTO (MAROSHIMA).

At dawn, the 5th Fleet’s warships, including DesDiv 16, bombard Ho-tsu, Ni-chin, and Wu-tung and cover an amphibious assault landing by more than 2,000 troops of the Yokosuka, Kure and Sasebo Special Naval Landing Forces (SNLF). At the same time, NE of Xiamen (Amoy), Japanese aircraft from KAMOI and KAMIKAWA MARU bomb bridges, roads, ferries and ships. The poorly equipped Nationalist Chinese 75th Division defenders suffer heavy casualties, are overrun by the SNLFs and withdraw.

12 May 1938:
That night, Chinese forces abandon Amoy to the Japanese.

15 December 1938:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Komazawa Katsumi (42) (former XO of ASAMA) assumes command.

15 November 1939:
Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Kobe Yuji (45) (former CO of HISHI) is promoted Captain and assumes command the same day.

10 March 1940:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Miura Tomosaburo (38) (former CO of SATA) assumes command.

15 November 1940:
Cdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Yamataka Matsujiro (44) (former XO of IWATE) is promoted Captain and assumes command the same day.

1941:
MUROTO is refitted as a supply ship. Assigned directly to the Combined Fleet.

17 April 1941:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Itakura Tokushi (42) (former XO of OKINOSHIMA) assumes command.

1 May 1941:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Togo Minoru (40) (former XO of KASUGA) assumes command.

28 October 1941:
Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Kishi Yoshiyuki (former CO of SETA) (47) assumes command.

8 December 1941:
MUROTO is with the Combined Fleet's Supply and Support Unit.

1 February 1942:
Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Yamagata Masaji (43) (former CO of KOMAHASHI) assumes command.

29 May 1942: Operation "AL" - The Seizure of Attu and Kiska:
MURUTO departs Mutsu Bay in Vice Admiral Hosogaya Boshiro's (36) (former CO of MUTSU) Northern Force with Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Omori Sentaro's (41)(former CO of ISE) Adak-Attu Invasion Force: DesRon 1's light cruiser ABUKUMA, DesDiv 21's HATSUHARU, HATSUSHIMO, WAKABA and NENOHI, transport KINUGASA MARU and minelayer MAGANE MARU.

Admiral Omori’s Adak-Attu Invasion Force accompanies Captain (later Rear Admiral) Ono Takeji's (44) Kiska Invasion Force: CruDiv 21’s TAMA and KISO, destroyers HIBIKI, AKATSUKI and HOKAZE, auxiliary cruiser ASAKA MARU and transports HAKUSAN and KUMAKAWA MARUs.

CruDiv 21 is accompanied by the Main Body's CruDiv 5's NACHI (F), destroyers INAZUMA and IKAZUCHI, oilers FUJISAN MARU and NISSAN MARU, three cargo ships and Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kakuta Kakuji's (former CO of NAGATO) Carrier Striking Force's CarDiv 4's JUNYO (F) and RYUJO, CruDiv 4/2's TAKAO and MAYA, DesDiv 3's SHIOKAZE and DesDiv 7's AKEBONO, SAZANAMI and USHIO.

1 June 1942:
The Invasion Force arrives at Paramushiro. Departs the same day.

7 June 1942:
Vice Admiral Hosogaya's Fifth Fleet captures Attu and Kiska.

14 July 1942:
MUROTO remains assigned directly to the Combined Fleet.

24 August 1942:
Arrives at Maizuru.

19 September 1942:
Departs Maizuru.

6 November 1942:
Arrives at Maizuru accompanied by the destroyer HATSUHARU.

13 November 1942:
Departs Maizuru.

23 November 1942:
Arrives at Maizuru.

5 March 1943:
Kashiwabara Bay, Shimushu Island, Kuriles. Undergoes repairs after a collision with Army Transport SAKITO MARU. [1]

15 March 1943:
Reassigned to the Navy Ministry Supply Force.

23 March 1943:
Arrives at Maizuru.

12 April 1943:
Arrives at Kure. Undergoes repairs.

22 May 1943:
Repairs are completed.

28 May 1943:
MUROTO departs Maizuru.

10 August 1943:
Departs Sasebo.

11 August 1943:
Arrives at Imari Bay.

20 August 1943:
Captain Furutani Keiji (43) (former CO of GOSHU MARU) is appointed the CO.

7 November 1943:
Departs Kobe.

9 November 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

11 November 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

26 February 1944 :
Departs Moji in convoy MOTA-06 consisting of GOZAN, SAN PEDRO MARUs and seven unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan AWAJI.

29 February 1944:
Anchors at Ssu Chiao Shan.

1 March 1944:
Departs Ssu Chiao Shan.

4 March 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

23 March 1944:
At 1600, MUROTO departs Hong Kong in convoy No. 76 consisting of SHINAI (ex British SHINAI) and KINMON MARUs (ex British KIANGSU) escorted by torpedo boat HATSUKARI.

26 March 1944:
At 1000, arrives at Takao.

21 October 1944:
At 1200, MUROTO departs Kagoshima, Kyushu for Naha, Okinawa in convoy KATA-916 consisting of CHOJUSAN, TOMITSU, EDOGAWA, BANSEI, TENSHO, AMAKUSA, SHINTON, SANKA, SANJIN, HAKKA, HAYAMA, TORAI, TAIKYU, SAKISHIMA, RYUKYU, KANKYO and AMOY MARUs and fleet stores ship KINESAKI escorted by torpedo boat MANAZURU, CD-30, subchaser CH-49, minesweeper W-15, auxiliaries KIKU MARU No. 7, HIMESHIMA MARU and auxiliary minesweeper SHONAN MARU No. 16.

22 October 1944:
At 0730, LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Vernon L. Lowrance’s (USNA ‘30) USS SEA DOG (SS-401) torpedoes MUROTO at 29-18N, 129-44E. She sinks at 0748. Lowrance also torpedoes and damages TOMITSU MARU. The convoy’s escorts and aircraft subject USS SEA DOG to a long and heavy counter-attack in which 109 depth-charges are dropped, but Lowrance evades and USS SEA DOG escapes. Captain Furutani survives and is later posted CO of HOSHO.

10 December 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors' Notes:
[1] The extent of damage to MUROTO is unknown; however, the damage to SAKITO MARU was probably superfical because two days later she departed Paramushiro for Attu with ASAKA MARU escorted by cruisers NACHI and MAYA, light cruisers TAMA and ABUKUMA and five destroyers.

Thanks to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France. Thanks also to Mr. Matthew Jones of Missisippi, USA for help in identifying COs.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.


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