(NAGATA MARU prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2012-2018 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 3

30 July 1936:
Yokohama. Laid down by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries K.K. shipyard for Kinkai Yusen K.K., as a 2,969-tons cargo ship.

27 November 1936:
Launched and named NAGATA MARU [1].

15 February 1937:
Completed and registered in Tokyo.

Placed on the Hokkaido route.

16 August 1939:
Her owners are changed to Nippon Yusen K.K.

14 September 1940:
Requisitioned by the IJN.

15 October 1940:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary gunboat and attached to the Yokosuka Naval District with Yokosuka as homeport under internal order No. 716. That same day, begins her conversion to her military duty at Yokosuka Naval Yard.

14 November 1940:
The conversion is completed.

19 November 1940:

E December 1940:
Attached to the 8th Gunboat Division.

7 December 1940:
Departs Yokosuka.

December 1940:
Operates in the South Seas District (Japanese mandated islands).

15 January 1941:
Attached to Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Takasu Shiro ‘s (35) 4th Fleet, in Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral posthumously) Yatsushiro Sukeyoshi ‘s (40) 6th Base Force, 8th Gunboat Division.

4 February 1941:
Registered as the No. 81 gunboat.

29 July 1941:
At Kwajalein, Marshalls storeship TAIYO MARU provisons NAGATA MARU with 3,9-ton fresh food, 10,3-ton supplies and 0,3-ton taste food.

15 October 1941:
Attachment confirmed to 8th Gunboat Division under internal order No. 1250.

1 December 1941:
Jaluit Atoll, Marshalls. NAGATA MARU is attached to Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Inoue Shigeyoshi ‘s (37) 4th Fleet, in Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral posthumously) Yatsushiro Sukeyoshi ‘s (40) 6th Base Force, 8th Gunboat Division also consisting of auxiliary gunboats CHOKAI, DAIDO and IKUTA MARUs, 1st Squadron as No. 81 gunboat. Her Commanding Officer is Navy Reserve LtCdr Shinoda Yoshitomo.

That same day, NAGATA MARU is assigned to transport IJNAF Recon Personnel and related equipment to Makin, Gilberts to establish a seaplane base there to conduct raids on Howland, Phoenix Islands, under Navy secret instruction No. 2.

1-2 December 1941:
Loads aviation gasoline.

3-4 December 1941:
Loads aircraft instrumentation and other spare parts.

4-5 December 1941:
Loads Type 95 depth-charges (DCs).

5 December 1941:
Loads seaplane base and construction materials. Embarks naval aviation base personnel and laborers.

8 December 1941: Operation "GI" - The Invasion of the Gilbert Islands:
Departs Jaluit in a convoy also consisting of IJN requisitioned storeship (B-AG) CAROLINE MARU loaded with construction materials, MinDiv 19’s minelayer OKINOSHIMA (F) with a Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) party consisting of 1st Company from OKINOSHIMA and 2nd Company from the 51st Guard Unit and auxiliary minelayer TENYO MARU. At 1330, the Invasion Force is joined by DesDiv 29/Section 1’s ASANAGI and YUNAGI also carrying 30 SNLF personnel.

9 December 1941:
At 1445, W of Makin, DesDiv 29/Sec 1 is detached from the Invasion Force and makes for Tarawa.

10 December 1941:
At 0045, the Invasion Force arrives at Makin. Between 0130 and 0200, OKINOSHIMA disembarks a total of 178 SNLF troops. By 0515, the island is secured. At 0841, NAGATA MARU enters the Makin lagoon and unloads seaplane construction materials. Within two days a flying boat facility is completed.

11 December 1941:
Supports the Howland Air Raids conducted from Makin.

12-17 December 1941:
Unloads construction materials and aircraft parts.

14 December 1941:
Comes alongside TENYO MARU and loads aviation gasoline.

16 December 1941:
Unloads aviation gasoline.

28 December 1941:
Dispatches a shipwreck that hinders flying boat landings.

29 December 1941:
Undergoes hull coating.

30 December 1941:
Comes alongside auxiliary storeship CHICHIBU MARU and loads fresh raw food and other sundries.

31 December 1941:
Attachment confirmed to 4th Fleet, 6th Base Force, 8th Gunboat Division, 1st Squadron as No. 81 gunboat.

6 January 1942:
Undergoes steam pipes maintenance.

8 January 1942:
At 0400 departs Makin.

9 January 1942:
At 0615 arrives at Jabot, Marshalls.

9-11 January 1942:
Loads coal.

10-11 January 1942:
Loads boiler water.

12 January 1942:
At 0800 departs Jabot and arrives later in the day at 0925 at Emiedj anchorage, Jaluit.

14 January 1942:
At 0500 departs Emiedj.

15 January 1942:
Ar 1355 arrives at Makin.

16-18 January 1942:
Unloads provisions and fuel.

19 January 1942:
Unloads bombs.

26 January 1942:
Undergoes hull coating.

1 February 1942:
Vice Admiral (later Fleet Admiral) William F. Halsey Jr.’s (USNA ’04) TF 8, formed around carrier USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6) and Rear Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher’s (USNA ’06) TF 17, formed around carrier USS YORKTOWN (CV-5), raid the Marshall and Gilbert Islands. TF 17 targets enemy installations on Jaluit, Makin, and Mili. VS-5’s Douglas SBDs “Dauntless” bomb and strafe NAGATA MARU. One bomb hits the gunboat amidships causing moderate damage. NAGATA MARU fires with her 20cm/12 (8'') deck gun against the attacking aircraft. Undergoes emergency repairs.

2 February 1942:
Shifts to another anchorage location.

3-6 February 1942:
Undergoes emergency repairs.

8 February 1942:
Shifts to another anchorage location.

9 February 1942:
Supplied with assorted foods products by auxiliary gunboat SEIKAI MARU.

11 February 1942:
Shifts to another anchorage location.

13 February 1942:
Undergoes maintenance.

14 February 1942:
Undergoes emergency repairs.

15-16 February 1942:
Loads coal.

17 February 1942:
Comes alongside auxiliary gunboat DAIDO MARU and loads boiler water. Supplied later that day by auxiliary storeship CHICHIBU MARU with raw food and other sundries.

18-25 February 1942:
Undergoes emergency repairs.

20 February 1942:
Attached to Marshalls Guard Unit under telegram No. 74.

26 February 1942:
Comes alongside auxiliary gunboat DAIDO MARU and loads boiler water.

27 February 1942:
At 0450 departs Makin.

1 March 1942:
At 0855 arrives at Emiedj anchorage.

2 March 1942:
Departs Emiedj.

3 March 1942:
At 1040 arrives at Kwajalein, Marshalls.

4 March 1942:
Loads boiler water.

8-18 March 1942:
Undergoes further repairs by auxiliary repair ship URAKAMI MARU.

18 March 1942:
Repairs are completed.

20 March 1942:
Departs Kwajalein accompanied by auxiliary submarine chaser SHONAN MARU No. 11. Undergoes trials and arrives back at Kwajalein later in the day.

22 March 1942:
Loads coal.

26 March 1942:
At 0600 departs Kwajalein with auxiliary submarine chaser SHONAN MARU No. 11.

1 April 1942:
At 0910 arrives at Saipan, Marianas. Loads coal and boiler water.

3 April 1942:
At 1430 departs Saipan with auxiliary submarine chaser SHONAN MARU No. 11.

5 April 1942:
Assists drifting auxiliary transport KEISHO MARU that sustained engine breakdown.

7 April 1942:
Auxiliary gunboat SHOTOKU MARU departs Saipan to assist KEISHO MARU.

9 April 1942:
Assistance is completed. Separates from KEISHO MARU. The following day SHOTOKU MARU takes KEISHO MARU under tow. Sails on to Yokosuka with SHONAN MARU No. 11.

10 April 1942:
Attached to Jaluit Guard Unit by internal order No. 18.

13 April 1942:
At 1600 arrives at Yokosuka and tethers to buoy No. 14.

E 14-30 April 1942:
Undergoes extensive repairs.

1 May 1942:
Comes alongside water-barge and loads boiler water.

8 May 1942:
Makes preparation for docking.

9 May 1942:
Tethers to buoy No. H 10.

10-13 May 1942:
Makes preparation for docking.

14 May 1942:
Loads assorted goods.

15 May 1942:
At 0825 departs Yokosuka and arrives later in the day at Yokohama.

16 May-7 June 1942:
Undergoes extensive repairs at Asano K.K. shipyard.

June 1942:
Navy Reserve LtCdr Suzuki Mori is appointed Commanding Officer.

7 June 1942:
Docks at Asano K.K. shipyard.

12 June 1942:
Attached to Marshalls Guard Unit by telegram No. 106.

17 June 1942:
LtCdr Suzuki embarks.

18 June 1942:
LtCdr Shinoda disembarks.

20 June 1942:
Scheduled to be fitted by the end of the month with six US M721 dollies delivered by Amagasaki Dock under Navy secret telegram No. 125. Undocked that same day and towed to eastern pier for further repairs.

20-30 June 1942:
Under repairs.

22 June-10 July 1942:
Undergoes modifications to be fitted with two single Type 93 13mm MGs.

30 June 1942:
Tethered to buoy.

2-3 July 1942:
Undergoes full hull coating.

9 July 1942:
At 0900 departs Yokohama. Undergoes speed trials. Arrives later in the day at 1225 back at Yokohama.

10 July 1942:
Detached from the 8th Gunboat Division by internal order No. 1215. Removed from the IJN Gunboat list by internal order No. 1218. Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary transport, (Ko) category and attached to the Yokosuka Naval District with Yokosuka as homeport under internal order No. 1219. [2]

12 August 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

23 August 1942:
Arrives at Attu, Aleutians. Unloads food and construction materials.

27 August 1942:
Departs Attu.

28 August 1942:
Arrives at Kiska. Embarks 97 personnel of a transport detachment advance party. Departs later.

10 September 1942:
Departs Attu escorted by destroyer HATSUSHIMO.

11 September 1942:
Arrives at Kiska. Embarks personel of the North Sea Detachment transport company and AA guns.

13 September 1942:
Departs Kiska escorted by destroyer HATSUSHIMO.

14 September 1942:
Arrives at Attu.

17 September 1942:
Departs Attu escorted by destroyer HATSUSHIMO.

18 September 1942:
Arrives at Kiska. Embarks North Sea Detachment transport personnel main body. Departs later.

27 September 1942:
Arrives at Otaru, Hokkaido.

1 October 1942:
Departs Otaru.

6 October 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

12 October 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

28 October 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

17 November 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

4 December 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

9 December 1942:
Departs Kure.

19 December 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

22 December 1942:
Departs Kure.

31 December 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

8 January 1943:
Departs Kure.

1 February 1943:
Departs Kobe in convoy No. 8201 also consisting of auxiliary oiler SAN LUIS MARU, auxiliary collier SHINYUBARI MARU, auxiliary transport (ex Harbor Affairs Vessel) HAKOZAKI MARU, IJA transport KANSEISHI MARU, IJN cargo ships (B-AK) KOJUN and ISSEI MARUs and civilian cargo ship (C-AK) KIYOTADA (SEICHU), MARU escorted by auxiliary gunboat KEISHIN MARU from the Omaezaki area to Tokyo Bay.

23 March 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

26 March 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

8 April 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

13 April 1943:
Departs Kure.

19 April 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka in convoy 8419A also consisting of auxiliary distilling ship NIPPO MARU, IJA transport TAIKO MARU and one unidentified merchant ship escorted by auxiliary gunboat HIYOSHI MARU No. 2 GO.

31 May 1943:
Arrives at Nemuro, Hokkaido.

1 June 1943:
Departs Nemuro.

26 June 1943:
Arrives at Otaru.

30 June 1943:
Departs Otaru.

1 August 1943:
Arrives at Otaru.

2 August 1943:
Departs Otaru.

5 August 1943:
Assigned to transport self-propelled submergible transports No. 5168 and No. 5169 to Musashi Wan (Bay), Paramushiro-To, Kuriles under Order No 29.

1 September 1943:
Arrives at Kushiro, Hokkaido.

2 September 1943:
Departs Kushiro.

18 September 1943:
At 0900, departs Otaru in convoy [?]-902 also consisting of IJA transport TAIHEI MARU and one unidentified merchant ship escorted by destroyer NOKAZE. The convoy steams at 9.5 knots. [3]

23 September 1943:
At 0500, due to arrive at Kashiwabara, Paramushiro-To, Kuriles (now Severo-Kurilsk, Paramushir).

14 October 1943:
Arrives at Otaru.

19 October 1943:
Departs Otaru.

28 October 1943:
Departs Odomari, Mie Prefecture for Kuriles in northbound convoy also consisting of civilian cargo (C-AK) EIHO MARU escorted by subchaser CH-15.

29 October 1943:
About 85 nautical miles N of Rurui-misaki, Kunashiri-To (now Kounashir), Kuriles. At LtCdr Nicholas J. Nicholas’s (USNA ’32) USS SALMON (SS-182) intercepts the convoy. At 0120, he fires three torpedoes and scores two hits on NAGATA MARU at 45-30N, 146-00E but both Mark XIV torpedoes hits are duds. A plane bombs USS SALMON without effect. CH-15 counterattacks and drops 11 depth-charges on the submarine*, but Nicholas evades without damage. Small ship NAGAYASU MARU comes to assist NAGATA MARU’s crew to repair the holes punched in their ship's side. Anchors later in the day at Abashiri, Hokkaido and makes emergency repairs.

At 0150, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message from CH-15 that reads: “At 0130, received enemy submarine attack. Position ---- E, 45-32 N.” E

October-November 1943:
Calls at Wakkanai, Hokkaido ~ Otaru and Ominato, Aomori Prefecture.

12 November 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama.

1 December 1943:
LtCdr Hirano Soma is appointed CO.

8 December 1943:
At 1000 docks at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries K.K. shipyard for extensive repairs.

16 December 1943:
Repairs are completed.

17 December 1943:
At 1000 undocked.

18 December 1943:
At 0900 departs Yokohama and arrives at Yokosuka later in the day.

20 December 1943:
At 0800 departs Yokosuka.

22 December 1943:
Arrives at Osaka.

23 December 1943:
At 0800 departs Osaka.

24 December 1943:
Arrives at Yawata, Fukuoka Prefecture.

27 December 1943:
At 0600 departs Yawata at 10 knots.

30 December 1943:
Arrives at Dairen, Manchuria (now Dalian, China).

4 January 1944:
At 1400 departs Dairen.

10 January 1944:
Departs Inland Sea in convoy No. 8110 also consisting of IJA shared tankers (A/C-AO) ZUIYO, TACHIBANA and SHINCHO MARUs, IJA transport WAKATAKE MARU and auxiliary transport HOKI (ex HAURAKI) MARU.

12 January 1944:
Arrives at Yokohama.

E 13-21 January 1944:
Equipped with Type 93 13mm MGs.

22 January 1944:
At 0800 departs Yokohama.

E 24 January 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

27 January 1944:
At 1200, departs Moji for Takao in convoy No. 132 also consisting of IJA shared transport (A/C-AK) TEIKA (ex-French CAP VARELLA) MARU, government transport BOKO (ex British SAGRES) MARU and nine unidentified ships escorted by destroyer KURETAKE.

1 February 1944:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa (now Kaohsiung, Taiwan).

6 February 1944:
At 0800 departs Takao in TAMA-02 convoy also consisting of IJA tankers TACHIBANA and KIKUSUI (ex-Dutch IRIS) MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 1 escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOJUSAN MARU.

9 February 1944:
Arrives at Manila, Luzon.

11 February 1944:
At 0600 departs Manila.

14 February 1944:
Departs Cebu in H-17 convoy also consisting of IJA transports ODATSUKI and CHOJO MARUs escorted by auxiliary subchaser KYO MARU No. 2.

15 February 1944:
LtCdr Donald F. Weiss’s (USNA ’29) USS TINOSA (SS-283) intercepts the convoy. At 2102, Weiss torpedoes and sinks ODATSUKI MARU carrying war supplies at 09-15N, 127-00E. Six crewmen and four passengers are KIA. NAGATA MARU is ordered to detach and rescue survivors.

16 February 1944:
USS TINOSA continues to chase the convoy. At 0250, Weiss torpedoes and sinks CHOJO MARU at 08-30N, 126-58E carrying more than 800 soldiers and sailors. 748 passengers, 17 gunners, three armed guards, 15 lookouts and 72 crewmen are killed.

17 February 1944:
Minesweeper W-5 meets up with NAGATA MARU.

18 February 1944:
Arrives at Kau, Halmahera Island, Moluccas.

23 February 1944:
At 0800 departs Kau escorted by auxiliary netlayer HINOKI MARU.

26 February 1944:
At 0630 arrives at Kokas, New Guinea.

27 February 1944:
At 1300 departs Kokas still escorted by HINOKI MARU.

29 February 1944:
At 1500 arrives at Ambon, Moluccas.

5 March 1944:
At 1800 departs Ambon.

7 March 1944:
Arrives at Kokas.

8 March 1944:
At 1350 departs Kokas.

10 March 1944:
Arrives at Ambon.

11 March 1944:
At 1400 departs Ambon.

14 March 1944:
Arrives at Pomalaa, Celebes.

E 15-18 March 1944:
Loads nickel ore.

19 March 1944:
At 0600 departs Pomalaa.

E 22 March 1944:
Arrives at Laut Island, Borneo.

25 March 1944:
At 1200, departs Laut Island in an unnumbered convoy also consisting of auxiliary gunboat TAIKO MARU escorted by patrol boat PB-104 (ex-Dutch Hr.Ms. VALK).

27 March 1944:
At 1530, arrives at Surabaya, Java.

2 April 1944:
At 0700 departs Surabaya.

7 April 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

19 April 1944:
At 0800 departs Singapore carrying 101 passengers and a cargo of 3,110-tons of nickel ore as well as 117 articles of entrusted private property, for Saigon in convoy SHISA-17 also consisting of civilian tanker NISSHIN MARU, auxiliary collier/oiler KORYU MARU carrying 1,600-tons of fuel oil, 1,300-tons of gasoline and 1,000-tons of coal, IJA tanker YAMAMIZU MARU No. 3 carrying a full cargo of light and heavy oils and IJA transport LONDON MARU loaded with 400 troops, 1,000-tons of mixed goods and 7,500-tons of bauxite escorted by subchaser CH-9.

22 April 1944:
About two nautical miles NE of Cape St. Jacques lighthouse, Indochina. At 1945, seven B-24 "Liberator" heavy bombers of the 14th Air Force's 308th Bomb Group make a low-level attack on anchored convoy SHISA-17. The B-24s sink NAGATA MARU with the loss of seven crewmen, 19 soldiers and 27 passengers, KORYU MARU taking down 43 crewmen and 38 soldiers, LONDON MARU with the loss of two crewmen and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 3 taking down 18 crewmen. They also slightly damage NISSHIN MARU. One B-24 is damaged. Only CH-9 escapes without damage.

10 June 1944:
Removed from the Navy’s list under internal order No. 752.

Authors Notes:
[1] Not to be confused with (2,211 GRT ’44) or (479 GRT ’34) cargo ships

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

[3] Possibly Ki-902 convoy.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan. Thanks also go to the late John Whitman for info on CNO intercepts of Japanese messages and for the anecdote about the 170th Infantry Regiment and its colors and to Allan Alsleben for “GI” Operation details.

Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Back to IJN Transports Page