(REIYO MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2013-2016 Bob Hackett

4 October 1920:
Tsurumi. Laid down by Asano Shipbuilding Company as Yard No. 35, a 5,446 ton passenger-cargo ship for Toyo Kisen Kaisha (Oriental Steamship Company), Yokohama.

17 November 1920:
Launched and named REIYO MARU.

27 December 1920:

3 March 1921:
REIYO MARU departs Yokohama for San Francisco, via Honolulu, Hawaii.

June 1921:
Chartered to Yamashita Kisen, K. K. (Yamashita Steamship Co., Ltd.) of Kobe and placed on their Japan ~ New Zealand route.

18 June 1922:
Arrives at Ellis Island, New York from Hamburg, Germany.

26 January 1923:
Arrives at Ellis Island from Marseilles, France.

3 October 1923:
Arrives at Ellis Island from Kobe and Yokohama.

30 June 1926:
REIYO MARU departs Grays Harbor for Yokohama carrying a cargo of lumber.

July 1926:
Off the Aleutian Islands. REIYO MARU hits a submerged rock. She floods and settles to the bridge on the bottom before being salvaged.

10 October 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) and allotted Army No. 528.

21 January 1942:
At 1000, REIYO MARU departs Moji for Mako Pescadores, in the 32-ship "2nd Infantry Division Movement." REIYO MARU is in the 3rd Transportation Unit also consisting of KIZAN, MOTOYAMA, PACIFIC and TSUYAMA MARUs escorted by CruDiv 9’s light cruiser OOI and DesDiv 32’s ASAGAO, FUYO and KARAKAYA.

26 January 1942:
Arrives at Mako.

February 1942:
Departs Mako.

February 1942:
Arrives at Camranh Bay, Vichy French Indochina (Vietnam) to assemble for the invasion of Western Java, Netherlands East Indies (NEI).

18 February 1942: "J" Operation (J Sakusen): - The Invasion of Java, NEI:
REIYO MARU is attached to Vice Admiral Takahashi's Third Fleet, Southern Force, Netherlands East Indies Force in Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo’s Western Java Seizure Force. Departs Camranh Bay in a convoy comprised of 56 troop transports. They carry the 16th Army’s 2nd Infantry Division for the invasions of Merak and Bantam Bay, Java escorted by light cruisers YURA and NATORI, DesDivs 5, 6, 11, 12 and 22. Fifteen transports head for Merak, Java including REIYO, AKITSU, ATLAS, COLUMBIA, HOKOKUMEI (later NIKKEI), KOYO, KIZAN, MOMOYAMA, PACIFIC, RYUNAN, SHINSHU, SYDNEY and TSUYAMA, MARUs. Seven transports go to Eretan Wetan. Seaplane tender SANYO MARU provides air cover.

1 March 1942:
Arrives at Merak, Java (Indonesia). Lands troops of the IJA’s 2nd Infantry Division.

9 March 1942:
Arrives at Bantam Bay, Java.

13 March 1942:
Departs Bantam Bay.

16 March 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

24 April 1942:
The IJA releases REIYO MARU back to her owners.

November 1942~ March 1943:
REIYO MARU carries cargoes of 7,000~8,000 tons of coal from Indochina (probably Haiphong) to Japan.

13 July 1943:
At 0950, arrives at Takao.

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

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

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

18 September 1943:
At 1230, arrives at Sasebo.

5 October 1943:
REIYO MARU carries 1,592 IJA troops to an unknown location.

17 November 1943:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Navy (IJN) and operated as an Ippan Choyosen (B-AK) with a civilian crew.

28 November 1943:
REIYO MARU departs Yokosuka for Truk in convoy 3128 also consisting of KENRYU, NAGISAN and PARAN MARUs and an unidentified ship escorted by kaibokan FUKUE, CHOUN MARU and others. REIYO MARU is carrying 3,700 tons of military stores and 1,100 tons of tools and instruments.

29 November 1943:
About 15 nms NW of Hachijo-Jima, Izu Shoto (Izu Islands), the convoy is intercepted by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Merrill K. Clementson’s (USNA ‘33) USS SNAPPER (SS-185). At 0905, Clementson torpedoes and hits KENRYU MARU at 33-19N, 139-34E. She is set afire and settles by the bows. Burning furiously, she is abandoned. Four crewmen are KIA.

30 November 1943:
KENRYU MARU sinks at 33-16N, 139-35E.

1 December 1943:
Arrives at Chichi-Jima, Ogasawara Gunto (Bonins).

3 December 1943:
Departs Chichi-Jima.

12 December 1943:
Convoy No. 3128 arrives at Truk.

22 December 1943:
REIYO MARU departs Truk for Yokosuka in convoy No. 4222 also consisting of auxiliary aircraft transport NAGOYA MARU escorted by kaibokan FUKAE and an unidentified subchaser. Destroyer IKAZUCHI also joins as an escort.

1 January 1944:
Off Aogashima. At 0258, LtCdr Raymond W. Johnson’s (USNA ’30) 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 HERRING, but her efforts are unsuccessful. Heavy seas make damage control difficult. Abandon Ship is ordered. 110 passengers and one crewman are KIA, most probably by the torpedo explosion. IKAZUCHI rescues survivors. 2 January 1944:
NAGOYA MARU upends and sinks at 32-15N, 138-02E.

3 January 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

25 January 1944:
At 0700, REIYO MARU departs Yokosuka for Truk in convoy 3125A also consisting of HANAGAWA and TAMASHIMA MARUs escorted by with kaibokan HIRADO and ISHIGAKI and subchaser CH-52.

30 January 1944:
About 300 nms E of Uracas (Farallon de Pajaros), Marianas. At 1000, LtCdr (later Cdr) Joseph W. Williams' (USNA ’33) USS SPEARFISH (SS-190) torpedoes TAMASHIMA MARU. At 2205, Williams again torpedoes TAMASHIMA MARU. In this second attack her ammunition cargo explodes and she sinks instantly at 21-12N, 149-18E. F taking down four men are KIA. HIRADO drops 46 depth-charges, but USS SPEARFISH escapes undamaged.

7 February 1944:
Arrives at Truk.

9 February 1944:
REIYO HIRADO departs Truk escorting in unnumbered (the return leg of outbound leg of convoy no. 3125A) now consisting of REIYO and HANAKAWA MARUs. escorting HIRADO

12 February 1944:
Arrives at Saipan.

17 February 1944: USN Operation “HAILSTONE”:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Raymond A. Spruance’s (USNA '06) Task Force 58 strikes installations and shipping at Truk. Dive-bombers from carrier USS ESSEX (CV-9) score two 1000- lb bomb hits, one amidships and the other just aft of the bridge. Ten minutes later, planes from USS INTREPID (CV-11) get another direct hit aft of the bridge amidships, and a near-miss off the stern quarter. Fires break out in hold No. 3 and spread to hold No. 2 where munitions catch fire resulting in multiple explosions. Eight crewmen are KIA.

19 February 1944:
REIYO MARU remains afloat for two days before sinking at the 4th fleet anchorage, about three miles off Eten Island, Truk at about 07-43N, 151-46E.

30 April 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.

Author's Note:
Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

Bob Hackett

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