RIKUGUN YUSOSEN

(Similar size Japanese cargo ship, prewar)

IJA Transport RYOCHI MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

2017-2018 Bob Hackett


1910:
Seattle, WA. Laid down by The Moran Co. as Yard Number 50, a 2,332-ton cargo ship for the Alaska Steamship Co., Inc. of Seattle, WA.

25 August 1910:
Launched and named LATOUCHE.

September 1910:
Completed.

E 1939-1940:
Sold to Madrigal Shipping Co., Inc. of Manila, Philippines. LATOUCHE now wears the flag of the United States Territory of the Philippines. Her GRT is changed to 2,156-tons.

8 December 1941: The outbreak of the Pacific War:

2 January 1942:
Manila. LATOUCHE is captured by the Japanese. Initially, she is renamed AZUCHI MARU.

31 March 1943:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA). Alloted IJA No. 2201. Renamed RYOCHI MARU and placed under the management of Tamai Shosen K.K., Tokyo.

20 January 1944:
At 0900, RYOCHI MARU departs Manila for Kau, Halmahera in convoy H-14 also consisting of ADEN, KENWA, KUROGANE, MOJI, MITSUKI, TONEGAWA and UGO MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-103 and subchaser CH-46.

22 January 1944:
At 1150, arrives at Cebu, Philippines.

23 January 1944:
At 0900, departs Cebu.

27 January 1944:
At 1456, arrives at Kau, Halmahera.

23 January 1944:
At 0900, departs Cebu.

27 January 1944:
At 1456, arrives at Kau.

28 March 1944:
At 0030, RYOCHI MARU departs Wasile, Halmahera for Ambon, Moluccas in a convoy also consisting of FUYO, KACHOSAN, SHINRYU and YAMAMIYA MARUs escorted by minelayer AOTAKA and auxiliary NITTO MARU No. 18.

29 March 1944:
At 1830, AOTAKA is detached.

3 April 1944:
At 2000, arrives at Kendari.

6 April 1944:
At 0730, departs Kendari for Ambon.

9 April 1944:
Arrives at Ambon.

1 June 1944:
At 0900, RYOCHI MARU departs Sorong, New Guinea escorted by minesweeper W-5.

2 June 1944:
At 2100, arrives at Wasile.

13 June 1944:
RYOCHI MARU departs Wasile for Sorong in a convoy also consisting of BUNZAN MARU escorted by subchaser CH-26.

14 June 1944:
RYOCHI MARU departs Sorong for Wasile in a convoy also consisting of BUNZAN MARU escorted by CH-26.

15 June 1944:
At 0300, RYOCHI MARU departs Kau, Halmahera for Ambon in a convoy also consisting of BUNZAN and KOHOKU MARUs escorted by subchaser CH-26, minesweeper W-4, auxiliary minesweeper Wa-105 and auxiliary NITTO MARU No. 18 . Arrives at Holi and later that evening arrives at Teluk Buli.

16 June 1944:
RYOCHI MARU departs Teluk Buli for Sorong in a convoy also consisting of BUNZAN MARU escorted by auxiliary minesweeper Wa-105.

20 June 1944:
At 0600, arrives at Sorong.

24 June 1944:
At 0600, departs Sorong for Banka Island, Celebes in a convoy also consisting of BUNZAN MARU escorted by CH-26 and auxiliary minesweeper Wa-105.

26 June 1944:
At 1126, the convoy is attacked by a lone B-24 "Liberator" heavy-bomber. BUNZAN MARU is hit and damaged, but able to continue. Later that same day arrives at Wasile.

15 July 1944:
At 0500, RYOCHI MARU departs Kau in convoy M-27 also consisting of HAVRE and SHIRAHAMA MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-104, subchasers CH-46 and CH-41.

16 July 1944:
At 0100, arrives at Bitung.

21 July 1944:
Departs Bitung for Manila.

14 August 1944:
At 1800, RYOCHI MARU departs Menado in a convoy also consisting of BUNZAN, CELEBES, KOHOKU, KYOKUZAN and TAIKAI MARUs.

16 August 1944:
Arrives at Tolitoli.

17 August 1944:
At 1300 arrives at Bitung.

21 October 1944:
Visayan Sea. N of Cebu, about 4 nautical miles WNW of Bantayan, Bantayan Island. RYOCHI MARU is bombed and sunk by USN Task Group 38.2's carrier-based aircraft at 11-11N, 123-39E. 8 crewmen are KIA.


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

Bob Hackett


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