(IDA (later RISSHUN) MARU, prewar)
IJA Transport RISSHUN MARU (ex-Austrian IDA):
Record of Movement
© 2014-2016 Bob Hackett
Port Glasgow, Scotland laid down by Russell & Co’s Kingston Yard
as Yard No. 551, a 4,730 ton cargo ship for Unione Austriaca di Navigazione
(Austro-Americana Line), Trieste.
21 May 1906:
Launched and named IDA.
Completed and registered in Trieste, Austria. Placed in service
between Trieste and New York.
August 1914: World War I Begins:
Quebec, Canada. IDA is granted a
'delay of grace' and reaches New York
6 May 1917:
Seized by the United States. Transferred to the control of
the U. S. Shipping Board (USSB), Washington D.C.
Sold to Polish American Navigation Corp., New York and renamed
Sold to the Californian Steamship Company, San Francisco and
renamed IDA. Panamanian flagged
Sold to Tanaka Kisen Kogyo K.K., Amagasaki and renamed
Sold to Kusakabe Kisen K.K. and renamed RISSHUN MARU.
Renamed RISSYUN MARU. 
10 November 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) as a troop
transport. Alloted IJA No. 56.
13 December 1941: Operation “E” – The Invasion of Malaya:
RISSHUN MARU departs Camhranh Bay in TransDiv 6 also consisting of ARABIA,
INDIA, MEXICO and THAMES MARUs carrying the IJA "Dami Detachment".
16 December 1941:
At 1600, arrives at Kota Bharu, Malaya and begins
20 December 1941:
Departs Kota Bharu.
5 April 1942:
RISSHUN MARU departs Lingayen for Cebu, Philippines in
an invasion convoy with BORNEO, INDIA, MEXICO, NAGANO, TAIRYU and TOTTORI MARUs
escorted by light cruiser KUMA, DesDiv2 (less 2 destroyers) HARUSAME, MURASAME,
SAMIDARE and YUDACHI, torpedo boat KIJI, gun boat BUSHO MARU and auxiliary
subchasers KIYO MARU No. 12 and KIYO MARU No. 13. The convoy carries 4,852 men
of MajGen Kawaguchi 's Detachment [35th Infantry Brigade HQ and the 124th
Infantry Regiment]. RISSHUN MARU carries Major Takamatsu, commander, 2nd
Batallion and his men.
10 April 1942:
The convoy arrives at Cebu. RISSHUN, INDIA, MEXICO,
TAIRYU and TOTTORI MARUs land troops at Cebu City while BORNEO MARU and NAGANO
MARUs land troops at Argao, Cebu Island. Seaplane tender SANUKI MARU covers the
25 April 1943:
RISSHUN MARU is released back to her owners. That same day, at 1440, she departs Rabaul to Palau in a convoy
alsiconsisting of cargo ships HOEI, MIYAURA, RAKUTO, ROKKOSAN and TOUN MARUs and tanker SAN CLEMENTE MARU escorted by subchasers
CH-16 and CH-18. Later, the escort is joined by CH-37 and CH-16 is detached.
E 3 May 1943:
Arrives at Palau.
23 June 1943:
At 0815, RISSHUN MARU departs Takao for Moji in convoy No. 275 also consisting of CHOJUN, MAEBASHI, ROKKO and SEKKO, TEIKA (ex-Vichy French CAP VARELLA), TEIKAI (ex-German FULDA) and
YASUKUNI MARUs and tanker SAN LUIS MARU escorted by patrol boat PB-36.
29 June 1943:
At 0850, arrives at Moji.
13 August 1943:
At 1240, RISSHUN MARU departs Mako (Bako), Pescadores for Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vichy French Indochina (Vietnam) in convoy No. 315 consisting of BELGIUM, BISAN, CHILE, CHINKO, JAMBI, KOKKO,
NIKKO, SEISHIN, SUEZ, TOSAN, SUNGSHAN (SUZAN) and WALES MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-36.
15 August 1943:
At 0500, WALES and KOKKO MARUs are detached for Hong Kong and Kirun (Keelung) respectively.
21 August 1943:
At 1005, arrives at Cap St. Jacques, then proceeds up river to Saigon.
26 July 1944:
At 0600, RISSHUN MARU departs Imari Bay in convoy MI-13
also consisting of cargo ships ATLAS, CHINA, DURBAN, HIGANE, HIYORI, KIZAN,
KOKUSEI, KUNIYAMA, MATSUURA, SHIROTAE and URAL MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 1 and
tankers ATAGO, KYOEI, SHINCHO, TEIKON and TOKUWA MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 2
escorted by kaibokan MATSUWA, CD-14, patrol boat P-38. minesweeper W-18,
auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 3, auxiliary gunboat CHOHAKUSAN MARU and
auxiliary patrol boats EIFU, FUYO, KASUGA and NUNOBIKI MARUs.
31 July 1944:
The convoy arrives at Takao. SHIROTAE, CHINA and
MATSUURA MARUs are detached and tankers SHIMPO and ZUIYO MARUs and cargo ship
SHINKO MARU join the convoy. TAKUNAN MARU No. 3 and CHOHAKUSAN MARU are detached
from the escort and replaced by kaibokan KUSAGAKI and YASHIRO and destroyer
ASAKAZE. Naval Transport T. 3 also joins.
4 August 1944:
At 0830, the reconstituted convoy departs Takao.
7 August 1944:
At 2205, LtCdr (later Captain) Enrique D. Haskin's USS
GUITARRO (SS-363) torpedoes and sinks kaibokan KUSAGAKI at 14-50N, 119-57E.
8 August 1944:
At 0900, the convoy arrives at Manila. RISSHUN,
DURBAN, KIZAN, KUNIYAMA, SHINKO and ATLAS MARUs are detached.
21 September 1944:
Manila. Aircraft of Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher’s
Task Groups 38.1, 38.2 and 38.3 attack the harbor and sink RISSHUN (RISSYUN) MARU
in Manila’s outer harbor at 14-35N, 120-55E.
The planes also sink destroyer SATSUKI, fleet tanker KYOKUTO MARU, oilers
SUNOSAKI and OKIKAWA MARU, tanker HOTAI MARU No .2, army cargo CHINA, NORWAY,
YOZAN and TSUKUBUSAN and YOZAN MARUs, merchant tanker NIYO MARU, cargo HIOKI and
 Although renamed RISSYUN MARU in 1939, the ship continued to be known as RISSHUN MARU in WW2.
Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.
- Bob Hackett