(MYOKO MARU prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2011-2015 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 1

19 May 1937:
Tama. Laid down at Tama Zoshensho K.K. as a 5,080-ton cargo ship for Itaya Shosen K.K., Kobe, an affiliated company of Mitsui Bussan K.K.

10 November 1937:
Launched and named MYOKO MARU. [1]

24 December 1937:

6 February 1938:
Chartered to Mitsui Bussan K.K. and placed on their Kobe~New-York commercial service. Her gross registered tonnage increases to 5,086-tons.

15 October 1940:
Requisitioned by the IJN as an auxiliary transport under internal order No. 716 and attached to the Sasebo Naval District. Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Ishii Shizue (39)(former XO of AKAGI) is appointed Supervisor.

1 November 1940:
Kobe. Begins conversion at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries K. K. shipyard to her military auxiliary transport role.

9 December 1940:
The conversion is completed.

25 December 1940:
Captain Ishii is appointed Supervisor of KOMAKI MARU. Captain Narahashi Norimoto (39) (former CO of SETTSU) is appointed Supervisor.

22 March 1941:
Departs Suzaki, Kochi Prefecture. Operates in Korean waters and proceeds to Karatsu, NW Kyushu.

4 April 1941:
Arrives at Karatsu.

10 April 1941:
Attached to the Third Fleet, First Base Force. At an unknown date, departs Karatsu for Suzaki then operates in central China waters. Returns to Sasebo at an unknown date.

E June 1941:
Departs Sasebo.

10 June 1941:
Operates in southern China coastal waters.

17 July 1941:
Departs southern China for Mako. Arrives at an unknown date and proceeds to Takao.

E July 1941:
Departs Takao.

24 July 1941:
Operates in southern China waters.

7 September 1941:
Departs southern China for Sasebo. Arrival date is unknown.

20 September 1941:
Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Abe Koun (41)(former XO of repair ship AKASHI) is appointed Supervisor.

17 December 1941: The Invasion of Lamon Bay, Southern Luzon, Philippines:
Imperial General Headquarters launches the combined IJA and IJN Lamon Bay Operation. The Army force consists of Gen (later Field Marshal) Count Terauchi Hisachi’s Southern Expeditionary Army. Its 14th Army, under LtGen Homma Masaharu, fields MajGen Morioka Susumu's Invasion Unit of about 7,000 troops consisting of elements of the 16th Infantry division: 20th Infantry, 22nd Field Artillery, HQ and II Battalion, 16 HQ Coy, 16th Eng Battalion, 16th Recon Battalion, 3/45 AA Coy, 16th Transport, 16th Signal Coy, 16th Med Unit and 16th Vet Unit. Two AA and one Signals Regiment are stationed on IJA transports (Yusosen).


The naval force consists of Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake's (35)(former CO of KONGO) Southern Force, Philippines Invasion Group and includes units of Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo’s (35)(former CO of YAMASHIRO) Third Fleet. Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kubo Kyuji’s (38) (former CO of KAGA) Invasion Unit consists of his 1st Base Force HQ, in light cruiser NAGARA, 1st Quartermaster Ports and Docks Unit and 1st Naval Signal Unit, aboard HAKUSAN MARU, 1st Naval Guard Unit, aboard KIMISHIMA MARU, 1st Naval Survey Unit in SENKO MARU and Captain (later Vice Admiral) Mori Kunizo's (40)(former CO of SATA) Sasebo No. 1 and 2 Combined Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) aboard MYOKO MARU.

The convoy’s escort consists of light cruiser NAGARA (F), heavy cruiser ASHIGARA, destroyers TOKITSUKAZE, YUKIKAZE, KAWAKAZE, SUSUKAZE, UMIKAZE and YAMAKAZE, minelayer AOTAKA, minesweepers W-7 and W-8, auxiliary gunboat/minelayer IKUSHIMA MARU, auxiliary gunboats BUSHO, KEIKO, KANKO and MYOKEN MARUs, auxiliary subchasers SHONAN MARU No. 17 and TAKUNAN MARU No. 5 and auxiliary netlayer FUKUEI MARU No. 15.

The Invasion Force departs Koniya, Amami Oshima for Lamon Bay, Quezon, Philippines.

24 December 1941:
The Invasion Force arrives at Lamon Bay. The landings proceed without strong opposition.

25 December 1941:
Patrol boat PB-1 is stored by transport MYOKO MARU.

30 December 1941:
MYOKO MARU departs Lamon Bay for Takao.

4 January 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

5 January 1942:
Departs Takao for Legaspi, Albay Province, Philippines.

8 January 1942:
Arrives at Legaspi and departs the same day for Malalag, Davao Gulf.

10 January 1942:
Arrives at Malalag.

12 January 1942:
Departs Malalag and arrives the same day at Davao, Philippines.

23 January 1942:
Departs Davao for Bangka Island, Celebes (now Sulawesi), Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia).

25 January 1942:
Arrives at Bangka Island.

5 February 1942:
Departs Bangka Island for Camranh Bay, French Indochina.

9 February 1942:
Arrives at Camranh Bay.

18 February 1942:
Departs Camranh Bay.

1 March 1942:
Arrives at Bantam, Java, NEI.

8 March 1942:
Departs Bantam and arrives at Batavia (Jakarta), Java later that day.

10 March 1942:
Attached to the Second Southern Expeditionary Fleet.

15 March 1942:
Assigned to transport elements of IJA divisions to Java Island.

21 March 1942:
Departs Batavia.

22 March 1942:
Arrives at Surabaya, Java.

1 April 1942:
Departs Surabaya.

3 April 1942:
Arrives at Batavia.

10 April 1942:
MYOKO MARU’s role remains as IJN auxiliary transport, (Ko) category [2].

12 April 1942:
Departs Batavia for Surabaya.

13 April 1942:
Arrives at Surabaya.

15 April 1942:
Departs Surabaya for Bali.

16 April 1942:
Arrives at Bali.

22 April 1942:
Departs Bali for Makassar, Celebes, NEI.

24 April 1942:
Arrives at Makassar, Celebes.

29 April 1942:
Departs Makassar for Bali, NEI.

30 April 1942:
Arrives at Bali.

2 May 1942:
Departs Bali for Macassar.

3 May 1942:
Arrives at Macassar.

10 May 1942:
Departs Makassar for Kendari, Celebes.

12 May 1942:
Arrives at Kendari.

18 May 1942:
Departs Kendari for Macassar.

19 May 1942:
Arrives at Macassar.

21 May 1942:
Departs Makassar for Seletar Naval Base, Singapore, Malaya.

25 May 1942:
Arrives at Seletar.

27 May 1942:
Departs Seletar for Dungun (Dzungun), East Malaya.

28 May 1942:
Arrives at Dungun.

1 June 1942:
Departs Dungun for Hong Kong.

6 June 1942:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

9 June 1942:
Departs Hong Kong for Shibaura, Tokyo Port.

17 June 1942:
Arrives at Shibaura.

26 June 1942:
Departs Shibaura and arrives the same day at Yokosuka Naval Base. Undergoes repairs and maintenance at Yokosuka Naval Arsenal.

1 July 1942:
Repairs and maintenance are completed. Departs Yokosuka and arrives the same day at Shibaura Island.

7 July 1942:
Departs Shibaura for Guam (renamed Omiya Island after its capture).

14 July 1942:
Arrives at Guam and departs the same day for Truk, Carolines.

17 July 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

4 August 1942:
Departs Truk for Palau.

8 August 1942:
Arrives at Garasumao (Ngardmau), Palau. Departs and arrives the same day at Babelthuap, Palaus.

16 August 1942:
Departs Babelthuap for Moji.

20 August 1942:
An unknown civilian officer is appointed Captain as MYOKO MARU is scheduled to become a Zatsuyosen (Otsu) [2].

23 August 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

26 August 1942:
Departs Moji for Kure.

27 August 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

29 August 1942:
Departs Kure for Sasebo.

30 August 1942:
MYOKO MARU shifts category from Zatsuyosen (Ko) to Zatsuyosen (Otsu) [2].

31 August 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

1 September 1942:
Departs Sasebo for Kure.

3 September 1942:
Arrives at Kure. Captain Abe probably leaves the ship.

6 September 1942:
Departs Kure for Yokosuka.

8 September 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

13 September 1942:
Departs Yokosuka for Hakodate, Hokkaido.

15 September 1942:
Arrives at Hakodate.

18 September 1942:
Departs Hakodate and arrives the same day at Ominato.

21 September 1942:
Departs Ominato and arrives the same day back at Hakodate.

23 September 1942:
Departs Hakodate for Yokosuka.

26 September 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

29 September 1942:
Departs Yokosuka for Osaka.

30 September 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

1 October 1942:
Departs Osaka for Kure.

2 October 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

4 October 1942:
Departs Kure for Sasebo.

6 October 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

8 October 1942:
Departs Sasebo and arrives the same day at Nagasaki shipyard. Docks for maintenance, hull repairs and outfitting of new weapons (numbers and types unknown).

30 October 1942:
Maintenance, repairs and weapons outfitting are completed. Departs Nagasaki and arrives the same day at Sasebo.

1 November 1942:
Departs Sasebo for Kure.

2 November 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

5 November 1942:
Departs Kure for Moji.

6 November 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

10 November 1942:
Departs Moji for Kwajalein, Marshall Islands.

20 November 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

2 December 1942:
Departs Kwajalein for Jaluit Atoll, Marshall Islands.

3 December 1942:
Arrives at Jaluit Atoll.

6 December 1942:
Departs Jaluit Atoll for Mille (Mili) Atoll.

7 December 1942:
Arrives at Mille.

13 December 1942:
Departs Mille Atoll for Wake Island (renamed Otori Shima ("Bird Island") after its capture).

16 December 1942:
Arrives at Wake Island.

23 December 1942:
Departs Wake Island for Yokosuka.

30 December 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

7 January 1943:
Departs Yokosuka and arrives the same day at Yokohama. Under special order No. 25 she is assigned to transport the IJNs 8th Construction Unit to New Guinea. Embarks Navy and civilian personal and loads related materials.

13 January 1943:
Departs Yokohama, makes a call at Yokosuka. At Yokosuka, joins coastal convoy 7113A also consisting of KACHIDOKI (ex PRESIDENT HARRISON) and HAKUSAN MARUs escorted by torpedo boat CHIDORI and departs later in the day for Kure.

15 January 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

16 January 1943:
Departs Kure for Miike.

17 January 1943:
Arrives at Miike.

18 January 1943:
At 1800, departs Miike in a convoy consisting of MYOKO and HAKUSAN MARUs (10,380 tons) escorted by destroyer MINATSUKI.

24 January 1943:
At 0935, arrives at Palau.

3 February 1943:
At 1400, departs Palau for Manokwari, New Guinea in convoy “H” also consisting of HAKUSAN MARU with no initial escort.

4 February 1943:
Minesweeper W-20 meets the convoy at 00-50S, 150-00E and provides escort to its destination.

5 February 1943:
The convoy arrives safely at Manokwari. Troops and civilian personal disembark and materials unloaded.

17 February 1943:
Departs Manokwari for Hollandia (Jayapura).

19 February 1943:
Arrives at Hollandia and departs the same day for Wewak.

20 February 1943:
Arrives at Wewak.

23 February 1943:
Departs Wewak for Palau.

27 February 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

3 March 1943:
Departs Palau for Yokosuka.

10 March 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

19 March 1943:
Departs Yokosuka and arrives the same day at Yokohama. Probably embarks passengers and materials.

25 March 1943:
Departs Yokohama for Palau in convoy also consisting of KEISHO MARU, and possibly others, with an unknown escort.

2 April 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

6 April 1943:
Departs Palau for Wewak accompanying convoy “Wewak No. 2” also consisting of UGO and SHINSEI MARUs. [3]

E April 1943:
At an unknown point, subchaser CH-16, that departed Rabaul on 6 April, meets the convoy and escorts it to its destination.

11 April 1943:
The convoy arrives safely at Wewak. Passengers disembark and materials are unloaded.

20 April 1943:
Departs Wewak for Palau.

24 April 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

25 April 1943:
Departs Palau and arrives the same day at Angaur, Palaus.

28 April 1943:
Departs Angaur and returns the same day to Palau.

2 May 1943:
At 0650, departs Palau for Kobe in convoy No. P-502 also consisting of MITAKESAN, MUKO, NISSHO, SHICHISEI and MYOGI MARUs, escorted by patrol boat PB-46.

9 May 1943:
About noon, auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 3 joins the escort.

11 May 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

12 May 1943:
Departs Kobe and arrives the same day at Osaka.

16 May 1943:
Departs Osaka for Miike.

18 May 1943:
Arrives at Miike.

20 May 1943:
Departs Miike for Osaka.

22 May 1943:
Arrives at Osaka.

23 May 1943:
Departs Osaka and arrives the same day at Kobe.

25 May 1943:
Departs Kobe for Yokosuka.

27 May 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka, departs and arrives later in the day at Tokyo.

30 May 1943:
Departs Tokyo and arrives the same day at Yokosuka.

1 June 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Truk.

11 June 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

14 June 1943:
At 1000, departs Truk for Rabaul in convoy No. 1142 also consisting of YURI MARU escorted by destroyer ASANAGI.

17 June 1943:
About 150 miles NNE of Rabaul, At about 0200 (L), convoy No. 1142 is intercepted by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Bernard F. McMahon’s (USNA ‘31) USS DRUM (SS-228). At 0655-0656 McMahon fires four Mark 14-3A stern torpedoes and takes DRUM deep and begins evasive action. At 0657, two torpedoes hit MYOKO MARU’s stern. USS DRUM claims three hits (by sound) on "a large freighter" and successfully evades 11 DCs and four bombs dropped by an unseen plane. MYOKO MARU lists to port and sinks rapidly at 04-04S, 154-03E. 34 passengers and one crewman are lost. Destroyer ASANAGI rescues the survivors.

1 August 1943:
Removed from the Navy List under internal order No. 1573.

Authors Notes:
[1] Not to be confused with IJA Transport (IJA No. 910) MYOKO MARU, 1939, 4103 GRT.

[2] There were two categories of Zatsuyosen. (Ko) category with an IJN Captain as supervisor aboard and (Otsu) category without.

[3] MYOKO MARU was not officially a member of convoy Wewak No. 2, but steamed with the convoy for mutual protection.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan for information on Convoy No. 1142 and to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany for additional info on the Lamon Bay invasion convoy. Thanks also go to Sander Kingepp and Matthew Jones of Mississippi, USA.

-Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

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