RIKUGUN YUSOSEN

(Visigoth, later Nanka Maru)

NANKA MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

2017-2018 Bob Hackett


E 1905:
Dumbarton, Scotland. Laid down by Archibald McMillan & Son Ltd., as Yard No. 404, a 4,095-ton cargo ship for Nomadic Steamship Co., London - Joss, Sons & Co., Southampton.

28 February 1906:
Launched and named VISIGOTH.

1906:
Completed.

1915:
Sold to Helmsdale S. S. Co. Ltd, J. A. Roxburgh, Glasgow, Scotland.

1922:
Sold to Yamamoto Kisen Shokai Goshi Kaisha of Dairen, Manchuria. Renamed NANKA MARU. [1]

1924:
Transferred to Yamamoto Kisen K.K., Kobe.

1925:
Sold to Kotani Mokonosuke, Kobe.

28 April 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Navy (IJN) as a "Haitosen", a Navy/Civilian (B/C) shared employment vessel.

5 August 1941:
Released by the IJN back to her owners.

1941:
In all probability, NANKA MARU must have been requisitioned by IJA before the outbreak of Pacific War, but no data are available.

27 January 1942:
NANKA MARU departs Kendari for Banka in Invasion Convoy No. 1 also consisting of AMAGISAN, HAKUSAN, HOKUROKU and KINAI MARUs escorted by minelayers AOTAKA and SHIRATAKA and Subchaser Division No. 2.

29 January 1942:
Arrives at Banka.

28 December 1942:
At 1500, NANKA MARU departs the coast of Futtsu in West convoy No. 86 also consisting of transport/cargo ships DAICHO, KIZUGAWA and KOJUN MARUs and tanker KYOEI MARU No. 6 escorted by destroyer HATAKAZE.

3 May 1943:
At 0600, NANKA MARU departs Imari Bay in convoy SA-14 also consisting of DOWA, HIDAKA, JUNYO, SHOKO (MATSUE), TAMAHOKO, YASUKUNI and UGA MARUs escorted by minelayer KAMOME.

5 May 1943:
At about 0600, arrives at Hua Niao Shan.

24 June 1943:
NANKA MARU departs Nagasaki and joins convoy Shi-414 off Tomie, Goto Retto also consisting of DAIYA, JUNYO, KINRYO, KITSURIN, KOKKO, MALAY, MISAKI, NICHINAN, SAINEI, TOTAI, TAITO, TOYOURA and TSUSHIMA MARUs escorted by destroyer MINEKAZE and minelayer TAKASHIMA. At 1630, the convoy departs Tomie.

26 June 1943:
At about 1430, arrives at Hua Niao Shan, China. MISAKI, NICHINAN, SAINEI and TSUSHIMA MARUs are detached.

30 June 1943:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores.

31 July 1943:
At 1200, NANKA MARU departs Imari Wan in convoy Shi-113 also consisting of AWA, DAISHU, ENJU, HENGSHAN (KOZAN), HOKUJU, KTOYO, NICHIAN, NIKKYO, SHOTAI (ex-Philippine REGULUS), TOAN, URATO and WAKAMATSU MARUs escorted by minelayers TAKASHIMA and TSUBAME .

2 August 1943:
At about 2200, arrives at Hua Niao Shan. Some merchants are detached.

16 August 1943:
At about 0800, NANKA MARU departs Shanghai for northern Kyushu in convoy MO-603 also consisting of HOKUJU and URATO (ex-Greek ERATO) MARUs escorted by minelayer TAKASHIMA.

7 November 1943:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA). Allotted Army No. 126.

2 January 1944:
At 0600, NANKA MARU departs Manila in an "H" convoy also consisting of ADEN, JINJU, NISHI (ex-British KALGAN), and KOHOKU MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-105.

4 January 1944:
Arrives at Cebu. NISHI MARU is detached.

7 January 1944:
Departs Cebu.

10 January 1944:
Arrives at Davao. Later, the convoy proceeds to Halmahera Island.

12 January 1944:
Arrives at Kau Bay, Halmahera.

15 January 1944:
At 1350, NANKA MARU departs Kau for Manokwari, New Guinea in convoy No. 14 also consisting of TAISOKU MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 17 escorted by minelayer WAKATAKA .

17 January 1944:
NANKA MARU is detached and arrives at Sorong that same day. Later that day, NANKA MARU is damaged in an air attack and undergoes repairs.

27 January 1944:
At Sorong NANKA MARU is damaged in a series of attacks by six Consolidated B-24D "Liberator" heavy bombers of the 380th BG's 529th BS.

28 January 1944:
At 2150, NANKA MARU departs Sarmi, New Guinea for Halmahera in convoy A also consisting of transports TAISOKU MARU and SHINSEI MARU No. 5 and SHINSEI MARU No. 17 escorted by minelayer AOTAKA and auxiliary minesweeper Wa-10. Later, AOTAKA is detached for Sorong.

30 January 1944:
TACOMA and NANKA MARUs and minelayer AOTAKA depart Sarmi. Later that day, they arrive at Sorong, New Guinea.

31 January 1944:
At 1530, convoy A is joined by TACOMA MARU escorted by minelayer AOTAKA. Minelayer WAKATAKA also joins the escort.

1 February 1944:
E of Cape Gamtjaka, Halmahera. At 0225, as convoy A nears Halmahera, LtCdr John C. Broach's (USNA 27) USS HAKE (SS-256) launches six bow torpedoes and gets two hits in TACOMA MARU's No. 1 and No. 3 holds. Two men in TACOMA MARU's engine room are KIA, but all other seamen are rescued. At about 0315, she sinks.

HAKE also torpedoes and sinks NANKA MARU at 01-35N, 128-58E. 258 Formosa Giyu Corps troops, 6 crewmen and one gunner are KIA.

The remaining ships arrive at Kau, Halmahera later that day.


Author's Note:
[1] Also known as NANKWA MARU.

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

Bob Hackett


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