(IDA (later RISSHUN) MARU, prewar)

IJA Transport RISSHUN MARU (ex-Austrian IDA):
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2014-2016 Bob Hackett

E 1905:
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 PULASKI.

Sold to the Californian Steamship Company, San Francisco and renamed IDA. Panamanian flagged

Sold to Tanaka Kisen Kogyo K.K., Amagasaki and renamed IDA MARU.

Sold to Kusakabe Kisen K.K. and renamed RISSHUN MARU.

Renamed RISSYUN MARU. [1]

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:
At 0830, 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 landing troops.

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 landings.

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 ROSAN MARUs.

Author's Note:
[1] 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

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