RIKUGUN YUSOSEN

(NAPLES MARU, prewar)

NAPLES MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2014 Bob Hackett


30 April 1919:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki Dockyard Co., Ltd. as Yard No. 460, a 5,860-ton passenger-cargo ship for Kokusai Kisen ("K" Lines) K. K. of Tokyo.

28 June 1919:
Launched and named NAPLES MARU.

17 July 1919:
Completed.

1919-1941:
In service on "K" Linesís routes.

20 January 1924:
NAPLES MARU arrives at Ellis Island New York from Lisbon, Portugal.

4 August 1924:
Arrives at Ellis Island New York from Hamburg, Germany.

4 August 1924:
Arrives at Ellis Island New York from Leghorn, Italy.

14 March 1933:
Indian Ocean. 300 nms off Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Norwegian cargo ship HINNEY explodes due to unknown causes and sink at 07-30N, 75-00E. 15 men of her crew 28 are killed. NAPLES MARU rescues the survivors.

October 1933:
NAPLES MARU departs Yokohama for Manila, Philippines.

25 October 1933:
At 2200, NAPLES MARU experiences bad weather. All hatches and ventilators are closed and battened down.

25-31 October 1933:
Heavy weather continues for 7 days, with a 65 mph gale (force 10 on the Beaufort scale)

November - December 1933:
Loads a cargo of 64,000 bags of sugar at Iloilo, Hinigaran, Mombagid and Manila, Philippines. Departs Manila for San Pedro, California and Philadelphia and New York via the Panama Canal. The sugar arrives in a damaged condition leading to litigation that lasts four years.

15 May 1934:
Arrives at Vancouver, B. C., Canada.

24 November 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) and converted to a troop transport. Allotted IJA No.172,

8 December 1941:
The Pacific War begins.

18 February 1942:
At 0800, NAPLES MARU departs Mutsure in the 56th Army Divisionís Convoy No. 2 Section also consisting of HIBURI, KOTOHIRA, KAZUURA, KEIFUKU, MYOKO and SANKO MARUs escorted by destroyer FUYO, auxiliary gunboat TOMITSU MARU and auxiliary minelayer KAHOKU MARU. At 1800, the convoy temporarily anchors at Toshin Bay (Tangjin Wan), Chosen (Korea).

22 February 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

The First Burma Transport Convoy departs Singapore consisting of 32 ships with main body of the 56th Division: NAPLES, AOBASAN, GENOA, GLASGOW, HARUNA, HAVRE, HIBURI, HOFUKU, HOKUMEI, KAZUURA, KIZAN, KUSUYAMA, KOTOHIRA, MYOKO, MOMOYAMA, NAKO, NAGARA, NICHIRAN, SANKO, SAKITO, SHINAI, SHINANOGAWA, SHINRYU, SHUNSEI, SYDNEY, SUMATRA, TATEISHI, TSUYAMA, TOKIWA and YAE MARUs and two others.

25 March 1942:
The First Burma Transport Convoy arrives at Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar).

30 August 1943:
At 1300, NAPLES MARU departs Hong Kong for Mako in a convoy also consisting of COLUMBIA and WALES MARUs escorted by gunboat HASHIDATE. At about 1545, the convoy is attacked by three USAAF Curtiss P-40 "Warhawk" fighters. As a result, the convoy reverses course and arrives back at Hong Kong a 1830.

31 August 1943:
At 0100, the convoy sets out again.

1 September 1943:
At 0600, the convoy anchors off Amoy, China. WALES MARU is detached. Later that day, NAPLES and COLUMBIA MARUs arrive at Mako.

3 September 1943:
At 0840, NAPLES MARU departs Mako for Sasebo in convoy No. 299 also consisting of ASO, COLUMBIA, GYOKUREI, HASSHU (YASHIMA), HONAN and REIYO, MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-36.

14 September 1943:
SUGIYAMA and MATSUURA MARUs join the convoy at sea.

17 September 1943:
HASSHU MARU is detached for Pusan, Korea.

18 September 1943:
At 1230, arrives at Sasebo.

29 October 1943:
NAPLES MARU departs Palau in convoy SO-904 also consisting of KURAMASAN, MACASSAR and TAISHO MARUs escorted by subchasers CH-37 and CH-38.

6 November 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

20 November 1943:
At 1500, NAPLES MARU departs Rabaul in convoy O-006 also consisting of two unidentified ships escorted by subchasers CH-17 and CH-18. NAPLES MARU is carrying 517 troops of the IJA 51st Division and 4th Air Group.

N of New Ireland. That evening, the convoy is attacked by PBY "Catalinas" that bomb and sink NAPLES MARU at 03-22S, 151-45E. 121 troops and five crewmen are KIA. Subchasers CH-18 and CH-17 rescue the survivors.


Author's Note:
No data were found on NAPLES MARU's movements during Apr '42-Aug '43. Readers with access to such data are requested to post the information on the Discussion and Questions board or j-aircraft.org's IJN Ship Message Board

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

Bob Hackett


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