(Nagoya Maru in peacetime ISK service)

IJN Submarine Tender
NAGOYA MARU: Tabular Record of Movement

© 1998-2016 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.

Revision 9

1 September 1931:
Laid down as a 6,049-ton cargo-passenger ship for Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha (ISK) Ltd. of Fuchu, Japan.

5 May 1932:
Launched and named NAGOYA MARU.

5 August 1932:

6 July 1935:
Under Government pressure, ISK, Nanyo Yusen and the Japan-Netherland East Indies services of Osaka Shosen and Nippon Yusen are amalgamated to form a new company, the Nanyo Kaiun K. K. (South Seas Shipping). The previous owners all take a share of the new company. NAGOYA MARU is one of the assets transferred to the new company (on 22 June 1935) and her port of registry is changed to Tokyo.

20 January 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN.

1 March 1941:
Registered (commissioned) in the Kure Naval District as a submarine tender. Captain Hashimoto Aiji (39) (former CO of KINU) assumes command.

14 March 1941:
Kobe. Begins conversion at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard. Six single mount 152-mm/45 41st Year Type guns, two dual 13.2-mm Type 93 machine guns, one 1100-mm diameter search light and one 900-mm search light are fitted.

9 April 1941:
Completes conversion to a submarine tender.

18 August 1941:
Captain Kanda Kaho (35) assumes command.

1 November 1941:
NAGOYA MARU is assigned to Rear Admiral Yoshitomi Setsuzo's (39) SubRon 4 of Vice Admiral Shimizu Mitsumi's (36) (former CO of ISE) Sixth Fleet based at Kure. NAGOYA MARU is the tender for SubDiv 18 (I-53, I-54, I-55), SubDiv 19 (I-56, I-57, I-58) and SubDiv 21 (RO-33, RO-34).

19 November 1941:
Departs Sasebo for the southern Chinese coast.

2 December 1941:
Receives the coded signal "Niitakayama nobore (Climb Mt. Niitaka) 1208" from the Combined Fleet. It signifies that hostilities will commence on 8 December (Japan time).

6 December 1941:
At 1905 departs Sana (Samah) with auxiliary oiler TONAN MARU No. 3.

10 February 1942:
Camranh Bay. Transfers cargo to auxiliary ammunition ship KOTOKU MARU tied up alongside.

17 February 1942:
Departs Camranh Bay, Indochina escorted by SubRon 4's flagship, light cruiser KINU.

24 February 1942:
Arrives at Staring Bay, Celebes.

8 March 1942: Operation "T" - The Seizure of North Sumatra (Sabang/Idi and Koetaradja) :
At 1600 (JST), the northern Sumatra invasion convoy departs Singapore consisting of Navy transports HEITO and TATSUMIYA MARUs transporting the Kobayashi Detachment of the Imperial Guards Division and Army transports ANYO, ALASKA, RAKUYO and KINUGAWA MARUs transporting other elements of the same division. KORYU and KISOGAWA MARUs also steam in this convoy, but are later detached and head separately to Penang.

The convoy is escorted by DesRon 3 light cruiser SENDAI (F), DesDiv 19 ISONAMI, URANAMI and AYANAMI, DesDiv 20 AMAGIRI, ASAGIRI and YUGIRI, MineDiv 1 W1, W3, W4 and W5, SC-Div 11 CH-8 and CH-9, Escort No. 1 Force light cruisers KASHII and YURA, kaibokan SHIMUSHU and MineDiv 41's REISUI and TAKAO MARUs.

Distant cover is provided by Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo’s (37) heavy cruiser CHOKAI (flagship), CruDiv 7’s MOGAMI, MIKUMA, KUMANO and SUZUYA, DesDiv 11 FUBUKI, HATSUYUKI and SHIRAYUKI and DesDiv 12 MURAKUMO and SHIRAKUMO. Light aircraft carrier RYUJO, seaplane tender SAGARA MARU and aircraft from the 40th Naval air Group, Seletar airfield and from the Bihoro Naval Air Group, Penang airfield provide air cover.

10 March 1942: Operation T”- The Invasion of Northern Sumatra (Labuhanruku):
West Harbor, Singapore. NAGOYA MARU departs for Labuhanruku (now Laboehanroekoe), Sumatra eastern coast with seven unidentified transports carrying the main body of the Imperial Guards Division escorted by minelayer HATSUTAKA, subchaser CH-7 and the 1st Section, 44th Minesweeper Division consisting of auxiliary minesweepers CHOUN MARU No. 6 and CHOUN MARU No. 7.

That same day SubRon 4 is disbanded.

11 March 1942:
At 2030 (JST), the six transports of the Northern Sumatra invasion convoy are divided into the Sabang/Idi Group: TATSUMIYA, KINUGAWA and HEITO MARUs and the Koetaradja Group: ANYO, ATLAS and RAKUYO MARUs.

12 March 1942:
At 0005 (JST), the two groups enter their assigned landing places. Unopposed landings begin at 0100 (JST). About the same time, NAGOYA MARU lands troops at Labuhanruku without opposition.

23 March 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

10 April 1942:
Transferred to the Kure Naval District for conversion to an aircraft transport.

1 May 1942:
Kure. Begins conversion.

13 June 1942:
Completes conversion. Reassigned to Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Tsukahara Nishizo's (36) (former CO of AKAGI) 11th Air Fleet, Combined Fleet.

17 June 1942:
Departs Tokuyama.

13 July 1942:
Departs Taroa.

25 July 1942:
Arrives at Yokkaichi. Probably loads aviation gasoline at the refinery.

30 July 1942:
Departs Yokkaichi.

31 July 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

18 August 1942:
Transfers from Yokosuka to Kisarazu.

19 August 1942:
Departs Kisarazu. Probably loads aircraft for transport.

1 September 1942:
Arrive at Kavieng.

7 September 1942:
Departs Kavieng.

8 September 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

17 September 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

18 September 1942:
Arrives Kavieng and departs later the same day.

25 September 1942:
Arrives at Saipan.

26 September 1942:
Departs Saipan.

3 October 1942:
Arrives at Kisarazu.

4 October 1942:
Transfers from Kisarazu to Tokyo Bay.

8 October 1942:
Transfers from Tokyo Bay to Yokosuka.

23 October 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

24 October 1942:
Arrives at Yokkaichi.

27 October 1942:
Departs Yokkaichi.

28 October 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

31 October 1942:
Departs Yokosuka and transfers to Kisarazu.

1 November 1942:
Transfers from Kisarazu to Yokosuka.

2 November 1942:
Departs Yokosuka in convoy with TOKYO MARU (as far as Truk) with unknown escort.

14 November 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

22 November 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

29 November 1942:
Arrives at Saipan.

8 December 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

13 December 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

16 December 1942:
Arrives at Muroran.

19 December 1942:
Captain-Retired (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kusakawa Kiyoshi (38) (former CO of SATA) is posted the Commanding Officer.

23 December 1942:
Departs Muroran.

25 December 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

14 January 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

15 January 1943:
Arrives at Yokkaichi.

17 January 1943:
Departs Yokkaichi.

29 January 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

5 February 1943:
Departs Rabaul.

14 February 1943:
Arrives at Balikpapan.

17 February 1943:
Departs Balikpapan.

19 February 1943:
Arrives at Macassar.

22 February 1943:
Departs Macassar.

24 February 1943:
Arrives at Surabaya.

1 March 1943:
Departs Surabaya.

3 March 1943:
Arrives at Balikpapan.

10 March 1943:
Departs Balikpapan.

19 March 1943:
Arrives at Kavieng.

25 March 1943:
Departs Kavieng.

26 March 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

14 April 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

26 May 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Truk in convoy No. 3526A also consisting of MUKO MARU escorted by destroyer INAZUMA.

5 July 1943:
Departs Palau escorted by submarine chaser CH-4.

10 July 1943:
At 0900 arrives at Balikpapan.

12 August 1943:
Rabaul. Transfers cargo to submarine I-38 that later makes a supply run to Kolombangara Island, New Georgia.

27 August 1943:
Departs Truk in convoy No. 4827 also consisting of TAGONOURA MARU and ammunition ship NICHII MARU escorted by kaibokan OKI and auxiliary submarine chaser KYO MARU No. 10. The convoy sails at 11 knots.

30 August 1943:
At 0835 minesweeper FUMI MARU No. 2 departs Saipan to assist after NAGOYA MARU reports an unsuccesful torpedo attack. Later that day the ships arrive at Saipan. (KYO MARU No.10 arrives the next day)

6 September 1943:
At 0430 NAGOYA MARU, auxiliary minesweeper SEKI MARU No. 3 and destroyer TACHIKAZE depart Saipan. At 1550 SEKI MARU No. 3 returns to Saipan having been detached.

11 September 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

5 October 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

15 October 1943:
At 1800 departs Takao in convoy No. 773 also consisting of PANAMA, MINRYO and SHONAN (ex SINGAPORE) MARUs and YOSHIDA MARU No. 3 escorted by torpedo boat TOMOZURU and auxiliary submarine chaser CHa-42.

19 October 1943:
At 1400 arrives at Manila.

21 October 1943:
Departs Manila in a convoy consisting of NAGOYA, and KOGYO MARUs and ammunition ship ARATAMA MARU escorted by torpedo boat HAYABUSA initially to Cebu, Philippines, then to Palau.

2 November 1943:
At 1600, departs Palau in convoy SO-205 consisting of NAGOYA, ARATAMA, SHICHISEI, TESHIO and KOGYO MARUs and DAIGEN MARU No. 3 escorted by subchasers CH-22, CH-24 and CH-39.

4 November 1943:
At 1700 in 05-20N 140-00E two torpedoes miss KOGYO MARU. The escorts counter-attack and the convoy continues.

9 November 1943:
At 1940 a B-25 attacks the convoy without causing damage.

10 November 1943:
At 1200, arrives at Rabaul.

15 November 1943:
Departs Rabaul in convoy No. 2152 consisting of NAGOYA MARU and auxiliary submarine depot ship HIE MARU escorted by subchasers CH-29 and CH-30.

16 November 1943:
Transport TAMASHIMA MARU departs Kavieng and joins at some point convoy No. 2152.

17 November 1943:
385 miles SW of Truk. At 1245, HIE MARU is torpedoed in hold No. 3 in a submerged attack by LtCdr Delbert F. Williamson's (USNA ’27) USS DRUM (SS-228) at 01-45N, 148-45E. The escorts counter-attack, but USS DRUM slips away. HIE MARU does not sink until about 1730. Her CO, Captain Harada Bunichi (35) is the only casualty.

19 November 1943:
Convoy No. 2152 arrives at Truk.

1 December 1943:
Departs Truk in convoy No. 1013 consisting of NAGOYA MARU, transport YAMAKUNI MARU (ex-YAMAKAZE MARU) and aircraft transport KEIYO MARU escorted by subchasers CH-16, CH-20, CH-29 and CH-40.

5 December 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

22 December 1943:
At 1000 departs Truk in fleet convoy No. 4222 for Yokosuka consisting of NAGOYA MARU and transports KOKAI and REIYO MARUs escorted by kaibokan FUKUE and an unidentified subchaser. Destroyer IKAZUCHI also joins the convoy as an escort.

1 January 1944:
Off Aogashima. At 0258, LtCdr Raymond W. Johnson’s (USNA ’30) USS HERRING (SS-233) attacks the convoy. Johnson sets up for a visual attack on the surface. He fires three torpedoes at a large transport and gets a hit in NAGOYA MARU's port quarter causing flooding in holds No's 1 and 2. IKAZUCHI counter-attacks USS HERRING, but her efforts are unsuccessful.

The weather is stormy and heavy seas make damage control difficult. Nevertheless, the crew manages to secure the compartments areas aft of hold No. 2. Later, damage control efforts fail and Captain Kusakawa orders Abandon Ship. IKAZUCHI rescues the survivors.

Coincidentally, that same day, the IJN rerates NAGOYA MARU as a transport in the Kure Naval District.

2 January 1944:
NAGOYA MARU becomes increasingly unstable, upends and finally sinks at 32-15N, 138-02E. 120 passengers and one crewman are killed. All or nearly all, probably were killed by the torpedo explosion. Captain Kusakawa survives, but is KIA as a Rear Admiral and CO of HYUGA at Kure on 24 Jul ’45.

10 March 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Note:

- Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.

Thanks to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France and Mr Matthew Jones of USA.

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