(Sister YAMAYURI MARU (ex-STRABO), prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2014-2016 Bob Hackett

Laid down by Joseph L. Thompson & Sons, Ltd, Sunderland, England as a 4,910-ton cargo ship for Wilhelm Wilhelmsen (Norske Afrika Og Australia Linje, Norge-Mexico Gulf Linjen) of Tønsberg, Norway.

30 December 1910:
Launched and named TERRIER.

February 1911:

12 June 1934:
Sold to Far Eastern Steamship Co.. Ltd., A/S (J. Gran, manager), Bergen, Norway. Renamed MABUHAY IN.

Sold to Koun Kisen K.K. (Yamashita Kisen K.K., manager), Kobe, Japan. Renamed RYUNAN MARU.

Sold to Matumoto Masaiti, K. K., Kobe.

12 October 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA). Converted to a troop transport and alloted Army No. 908.

18 December 1941: The Invasion of the Philippines -“M” Operation (M Sakusen):
At 1700, RYUNAN MARU departs Takao, Formosa for Lingayen Gulf, Philippines in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Rear Admiral Hara Kensaburo's (37)(former CO of TAKAO) 1st Lingayen Invasion Unit with 27 other IJA transports escorted by DesRon 5's light cruiser NATORI, DesDiv 5's ASAKAZE, HARUKAZE and MATSUKAZE, DesDiv 22's FUMIZUKI, MINAZUKI, NAGATSUKI and SATSUKI, minesweepers W-15 and W-16 and subchasers CH-1, CH-2, CH-3 CH-13, CH-14 and CH-15. SYDNEY MARU carries the 2nd Field Meteorological Battalion among other troops.

The Japanese main invasion at Lingayen Gulf consists of three transport echelons and carries the main part of LtGen Homma Masaharu's 80,000-man 14th Army. The first echelon is composed of 27 transports from Takao under Rear Admiral Hara , the second echelon of 28 transports under Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Nishimura Shoji (39) and the third echelon of 21 transports from Keelung under Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hirose Sueto (39).

21 December 1941:
Lands troops at Lingayen Gulf.

21 January 1942: 2nd Infantry Division Transportation Movement:
RYUNAN MARU departs Moji for Kirun (Keelung), Formosa in the 2nd Transportation Unit with transports ATLAS, GENKAI, HIYORI, KOYO and SHINSHU MARUs escorted by DesDiv 27's SHIRATSUYU, SHIGURE, ARIAKE and YUGURE. The transports are carrying the IJA’s 2nd Infantry Division.

22 January 1942:
Arrives at Kirun. Later, the convoy departs for Camranh Bay, Indochina to mobilize for the Invasion of Java.

18 February 1942: Operation "J" - The Invasion of Java, Netherlands East Indies:
RYUNAN 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 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 go to Merak, Java including AKITSU, ATLAS, COLUMBIA, HOKOKUMEI (later NIKKEI), KOYO, MOMOYAMA, PACIFIC, KIZAN, REIYO, SHINSHU, SYDNEY and TSUYAMA MARUs. Seaplane tender SANYO MARU provides air cover. Departs Camrahn Bay.

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

9 March 1942:
Arrives at Bantam Bay.

13 March 1942:
Departs Bantam Bay.

16 March 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

16 April 1942:
At 1215, RYUNAN MARU departs Singapore for Dairen, Manchuria in an unidentified convoy consisting of ATLAS, FRANCE, GLASGOW, HAVRE, HEIAN, MOMOYAMA, MYOKO, SANKO, TOKIWA and TSUYAMA MARUs escorted by kaibokan SHIMUSHU, torpedo boats HIYODORI and OTORI, patrol PB-35 and auxiliary gunboat DAIGEN MARU No. 7.

The convoy is transporting the IJA’s 3rd Tank Corps. The escorts protect the convoy to latitude 16N where the convoy is then escorted by unknown units of the IJN's North China Area Fleet.

19 April 1942:
The convoy is joined by CALCUTTA, SYDNEY and GENKAI MARUs transporting 422 men of the IJA 36th Airfield Battalion, 50 vehicles and airfield equipment from Bangkok.

24 April 1942:
At 1018, arrives at Hong Kong. CALCUTTA MARU and her two consorts are detached for Takao to refuel. At 1855, the remainder of the convoy departs.

1 May 1942:
Most of the original convoy from Singapore arrives at Dairen.

2 July 1942:
Released back to her owners.

19 October 1942:
RYUNAN MARU departs Tokyo for Keelung, Formosa with two unknown ships in an unidentified convoy with air cover. She is carrying 8,000 tons of freight cars and steel products.

20 October 1942:
At about 1615, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Robert H. Rice's (USNA '27) USS DRUM (SS- 228) attacks the convoy. Rice fires stern two torpedoes and the lead ship and two at the next ship. He gets one hit port side in Hold No. 3. The air cover drops a bomb nearby and Rice goes deep. At about 1635, RYUNAN MARU sinks by the stern at 34-08N, 136-46E. There are no casualties.

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

-Bob Hackett

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