RIKUGUN YUSOSEN

( NORFOLK MARU, prewar)

NORFOLK MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2012-2013 Bob Hackett


28 October 1920:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki Dockyard Co. K. K. as Yard No. 478, a 6,576-ton passenger-cargo ship for Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), K. K. of Kobe.

23 May 1921:
Launched and named named NORFOLK MARU.

18 September 1921:
Completed.

October 1924:
Placed on K Linesís North Pacific Express Line.

8 June 1927:
Arrives at San Francisco, California.

19 August 1927:
Arrives at San Francisco, California.

13 August 1933:
Arrives at Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

23 September 1937:
Placed on K Linesís westbound Around-the-World service.

11 March 1940:
Arrives at New York.

10 February 1941:
Arrives at New York.

7 July 1941:
Arrives at New York.

8 December 1941:
The Pacific War Begins. NORFOLK MARU is controlled and operated by the Senpaku Unīeikai (Civilian Shipping Administration) as a C-AK.[1]

25 February 1943:
NORFOLK MARU departs St Jacques, Indochina in unescorted convoy No. 561 also consisting of ENJU, GYOKO, RIKKO and TAISHO MARUs and tanker OGURA MARU No. 1

28 February 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

9 March 1943:
At 1000, NORFOLK MARU departs Singapore for St Jacques vichy French Indochina, (Vung Tau, Vietnam). in combined convoy Rinji/No. 673 also consisting of ENJU MARU and tankers EIYO and TACHIBANA MARU with an unknown escort.

4 April 1943:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa (Taiwan).

19 April 1943:
NORFOLK MARU departs Mako, Pescadores in convoy No. 386 also consisting of CELEBES, SEINAN, and TAKETSU MARUs and tanker ICHIYO MARU without escort.

24 April 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques.

15 June 1943:
At 0650, NORFOLK MARU departs Sasebo in convoy No. 166 also consisting of transports CEYLON, ISUZU, SHOGEN, TACHIBANA and TAIAN MARUs and tankers CHIHAYA, CHIYODA GOYO, HAKKO, KIYO and NICHIRIN MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-36.

18 June 1943:
At 1000, TAIAN MARU is detached for Kirun, Formosa (Keelung, Taiwan). Formosa.

20 June 1943:
At 1400, arrives at Takao.

23 June 1943:
NORFOLK MARU departs Mako in unescorted No. 302 also consisting of cargo ships GOYO, KOSEI and RYUKO MARUs, tanker KIYO MARU and four unidentified merchants.

E 24 June 1943:
KOSEI MARU is detached for Samah, Hainan Island.

29 June 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques, Indochina

30 June 1943:
Departs St Jacques. Turns back for an unknown reason.

1 July 1943:
Arrives back at St Jacques.

3 July 1943:
Departs St Jacques.

7 July 1943:
Arrives at Miri, Borneo.

10 July 1943:
At 1153, NORFOLK MARU departs Saigon and later that day departs St Jacques in convoy No. 409 also consisting of ARGUN, FUKUYO, HITORA (ex-Panamanian RAMONA), KOZUI, NORWAY and TATSUNO MARUs and four unidentified merchants escorted by subchaser CH-9.

16 July 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

20 July 1943:
At 0800, NORFOLK MARU departs Takao in convoy No. 284 also consisting of IJA storeship BIYO MARU, transports ARGUN, HIROTA, KISHU, and SHOUN MARUs, tankers MATSUMOTO and NANEI MARU and two unidentified merchants escorted by destroyer SANAE.

25 July 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

26 October 1943:
NORFOLK MARU departs Moji for Takao, Formosa (Kaohsiung, Taiwan) in convoy No. 109 also consisting of transports KOHO and PEKING MARUs and eight unidentified merchants escorted by torpedo boat MANAZURU.

31 October 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

E 1944:
At an unknown date late in the war, NORFOLK MARU is requisitioned by the IJA as a shared Army/Civilian (A/C) Haitosen ship. Assigned IJA No.5017.

31 January 1944:
NORFOLK MARU departs Takao in convoy No. 357 also consisting of TSUKUBA, ANKO (ex Chinese AN SHING) and TOTTORI MARUs, tanker TONAN MARU No. 2 and eight unidentified merchant ships escorted by subchasers CH-41 and CH-43 and auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU.

9 February 1944:
NORFOLK MARU departs Camranh Bay, Indochina still in convoy No. 357. At about noon, while TONAN MARU No. 2 is en route to Nagasaki, LtCdr (later Cdr) Thomas W. Hoganís (USNA í31) USS BONEFISH (SS-223) torpedoes and damages her at 11-30N, 109-08E. Later that day, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message that reads: "Order to Subchasers No. 21, 41, and 43 to attack the submarine that attacked TONAN MARU No. 2.

10 February 1944:
Arrives at St Jacques.

12 February 1944:
NORFOLK MARU departs St Jacques for Singapore in convoy SASHI-03 also consisting of KUNIYAMA, TOTTORI, and YOSHU MARUs escorted by destroyer KARUKAYA.

15 February 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

23 March 1944:
NORFOLK MARU departs St Jacques for Manila in convoy SATA-12 also consisting of transports ARABIA, HAWAII and YOSHU MARUs and survey vessel RYOFU MARU escorted by subchasers CH-41 and CH-21. Convoy SATA-12 accompanies convoy SAMA-03 consisting of transports DAKAR, MIYAURA and UGO MARUs.

27 March 1944:
Both escorts are detached from the joint convoy.

28 March 1944:
Arrives near Manila, Philippines.

29 March 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

2 April 1944:
NORFOLK MARU departs Manila for Takao in convoy SATA-12 also consisting off ARABIA, HAWAII and YOSHU MARUs, KOTO MARU No. 2 GO and six unidentified merchants escorted by auxiliary subchaser MISAGO MARU No. 2. Off Luzon, torpedo boat SAGI and subchaser CH-36 join the convoy as additional escorts.

3 April 1944:
Arrives outside of Takao.

4 April 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

13 April 1944:
NORFOLK MARU departs Kirun (Keelung), Formosa in convoy TAMO-16 also consisting of HAKUSHIKA, HAWAII, HIOKI and YASUKUNI MARUs and TOYO MARU No. 3 and eight unidentified merchants escorted by destroyer KARUKAYA and auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU.

20 April 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

23 June 1944:
At 1900, NORFOLK MARU departs Moji for Miri in convoy MOMA-09/MI-09 also consisting of AMAHI, BINGO, CHILE, BINGO, SAIHO, SAINEI, SHIROUMA (HAKUBA), KENSEI, KINRYO, KYOKUZAN, UGA, NATSUKAWA, TATSUHARU, TEIKA MARUs and tankers CHIYODA, SHIMOTSU, SHUNTEN, YOKO MARUs and KYOEI MARU No. 3 and six unidentified merchants escorted by kaibokan CD-9, torpedo boats HATO and TOMOZURU, mineslayer NUWAJIMA and auxiliary gunboats KAZAN (HUASHAN)and PEKING MARUs.

28 June 1944:
AMAHI and (ex-Vichy French CAP VARELLA) MARUs and NUWAJIMA are detached for Kirun.

29 June 1944:
At 1300, arrives at Takao.

30 June 1944:
At 1800, departs Takao.

3 July 1944:
At 2000, arrives at Manila. SAIHO, SAINEI and CHILE MARUs, the 14 unidentified ships, kaibokan CD-9 and torpedo boats HATO and TOMOZURU are detached and remain at Manila. SHIROUMA (HAKUBA) is also detached for Leyte Island.

23 June 1944:
NORFOLK MARU departs Yawata, and later that day, Moji for Miri, Borneo in convoy MOMA-09/MI-09 also consisting of AMAHI, BINGO, CHILE, CHIYODA, EIYO, HIROTA, KENSEI (ex-British HIN SANG), KINRYO, KYOKUZAN, MISAKI, NATSUKAWA, NIKKO, SAIHO, SAINEI, SHIOMOTSU, SHUNTEN, SHIROUMA (HAKUBA), TATSUHARU, TEIKA (ex-Vichy French CAP VARELLA), UGA and YOKO MARUs and KYOEI MARU No. 3, KYOEI MARU No. 10 and five unidentified merchants escorted by kaibokan CD-9, torpedo boats TOMOZURU and HATO, minelayer NUWAJIMA and auxiliary gunboats PEKING and KAZAN (HUASHAN) MARUs

E 28 June 1944:
AMAHI and TEIKA MARUs are both detached and later that day arrive at Kirun.

29 June 1944:
At 1300, arrives at Takao. YOKO MARU is detached. TATSUHARU MARU disembarks 208 military passengers. Loads fresh water, coal and food. Embarks 192 civilian passengers.

30 June 1944:
At 1300, departs Takao.

3 July 1944:
At 2000, arrives at Manila. TATSUHARU MARU and kaibokan CD-9 are detached as are BINGO, CHILE, EIYO, NIKKO, MISAKI, SAIHO, SAINEI, SHIROUMA (HAKUBA), NATSUKAWA MARUs. KYOEI MARU No. 3, KYOEI MARU No. 10 and the unidentified ships also remain.

7 July 1944:
At 0600, NORFOLK MARU departs Manila for Miri, Borneo in a convoy with CHIYODA KINRYO, KENSEI, KYOKUZAN, SHIMOTSU, SHUNTEN and UGA MARUs escorted by auxiliary gunboats PEKING and KAZAN MARUs.

14 July 1944:
At 1900, arrives at Miri.

15 July 1944:
NORFOLK MARU departs Miri for Singapore in convoy MISHI-05 also consisting of KENSEI, KINRYO and UGA MARUs and an unidentified merchant ship escorted by kaibokan CD-9 and torpedo boat HATO.

16 August 1944:
At 0700, NORFOLK MARU departs Miri for Moji in convoy MI-12 also consisting of UGA, KINRYU, GYOKUYO (OYO), JUNGEN GO and GYOSAN MARUs and tankers NANSEI (ex-British PLEIODON), SEISHIN and tankers NANSEI MARUs (ex-British PLEIODON), SEISHIN, TAIEI and TAKETOYO MARUs escorted by kaibokan SHIMUSHU, CD-16, CD-28 and CH-41 and subchasers CH-30, CH-33 and CH-41.

18 August 1944:
At 1352, LtCdr William T. Kinsella's (USNA Ď34) USS RAY (SS-271) torpedoes and sinks NANSEI MARU at 08-39N, 116-39E. The convoy is ordered to seek shelter.

20 August 1944:
At 1930, arrives at Paluan Bay, NW Mindoro, Philippines.

21 August 1944:
At 0556, departs Paluan Bay. Soon after, kaibokan CD-28 attacks an enemy submarine contact. At 0720, a wolfpack consisting of USS GUITARRO, USS HADDO, USS HARDER, USS RAY and USS MUSKALLUNGE make the first of a series of successful attacks. At 0720, Kinsella's RAY is torpedoes and sinks TAKETOYO MARU carrying drummed oil and gasoline at 13-23N 120-19E. 13 crewmen are KIA. RAY undergoes a sustained depth charge attack, but escapes serious damage.

Mindoro Strait. At 0730, LtCdr (Rear Admiral-Ret) Chester W. Nimitz, Jrís (USNA '36) USS HADDO (SS-255) torpedoes and sinks NORFOLK MARU also at 13-23N, 120-19E. One gunner and 16 crewmen are KIA.


Author's Note:
[1] No data were found on NORFOLK MARU's movements in 1942. Readers with access to such data are asked to please 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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