(RYUYO MARU, prewar)
Tabular Record of Movement
© 2014-2017 Bob Hackett
17 November 1919:
Uraga. Laid down at Uraga Dock Co., Ltd., as Yard No. 156,
a 6,709-ton cargo ship for Yamashita Kisen K.K., Kobe.
13 February 1920:
Launched and named EGYPT MARU.
2 March 1920:
Completed and sold to Kokusai Kisen, K. K.
(International Steamship Co., Ltd.), Kobe.
Sold to Ueno Steamship Co., Ltd.), Osaka. Renamed RYUYO MARU.
19 September 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA). Allotted Army No. 720.
17 December 1941: Operation "M" (M Sakusen) -The Invasion of Lamon Bay, S
At 1500, RYUYO MARU departs Koniya, Amami Oshima,
Ryukuyus for Lamon Bay in an Invasion Force also consisting of IJA transports
BENGAL, DAINICHI, DURBAN, KAIMEI, KAYO, KITANO, KOFUKU, LISBON, NAGATO,
NICHIREN, RYOKA, SHINSEI, SHINSHU (4182 GRT), TAIAN, TATSUNO, TOFUKU, TOYAMA and
TOYOHASHI MARUs and TAMON MARU No. 5.
The Army force consists of Gen (later Field Marshal) Count Terauchi
Hisachi’s Southern Expeditionary Army. Its 14th Army, under LtGen Homma
Masaharu, fields MajGen Morioka Susumu's Invasion Unit of about 7,000 troops
consisting of elements of the 16th Infantry Division: 20th Infantry Regiment,
22nd Field Artillery Regiment, HQ and II Battalion, 16 HQ Company, 16th Engineer
Battalion, 16th Recon Battalion, 3/45 AA Company, 16th Transport, 16th Signal
Company, 16th Medical Unit and 16th Veterinary Unit. Two AA and one Signals
regiments are stationed on transports.
The naval force consists of Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake's
(35)(former CO of KONGO) Southern Force, Philippines Invasion Group that
includes Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo’s (35)(former CO of YAMASHIRO) Third Fleet.
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kubo Kyuji’s (38) (former CO of KAGA)
Invasion Unit consists of his 1st Base Force HQ, aboard light cruiser NAGARA,
1st Quartermaster Ports and Docks Unit and 1st Naval Signal Unit, aboard HAKUSAN
MARU, 1st Naval Guard Unit, aboard KIMISHIMA MARU, 1st Naval Survey Unit in
SENKO MARU and Captain (later Vice Admiral) Mori Kunizo's (40)(former CO of
SATA) Sasebo No. 1 and 2 Combined Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) aboard
The convoy’s escort consists of light cruiser NAGARA (F), heavy cruiser
ASHIGARA, destroyers TOKITSUKAZE, YUKIKAZE, KAWAKAZE, SUSUKAZE, UMIKAZE,
YAMAKAZE, minelayer AOTAKA, minesweepers W-7 and W-8, auxiliary
gunboat/minelayer IKUSHIMA MARU, auxiliary gunboats BUSHO, KEIKO, KANKO and
MYOKEN MARUs, auxiliary subchasers SHONAN MARU No. 17 and TAKUNAN MARU No. 5 and
auxiliary netlayer FUKUEI MARU No. 15.
24 December 1941:
At 0200, the Invasion Force arrives at Lamon Bay.
The landings proceed without strong opposition.
14 January 1943:
RYUYO MARU departs Saeki in the "Hinoe No. 3 Go"
convoy also consisting of BENGAL, ENGLAND, DAINICHI, SHONAN, NAGATO, ZUISHO and
TOFUKU MARUs escorted by torpedo boat HATO, minelayer YURIJIMA and subchaser
E 15 January 1943:
Escorts YURIJIMA and CH-37 are detached at 29N.
4 April 1943:
At 1200, RYUYO MARU departs Palau in convoy No. 3202
also consisting of NAGATO, RYUZAN, SHANGHAI, SHONAN and YASUSHIMA MARUs escorted
by patrol boat PB-2.
9 April 1943:
Off Mindoro. At 0600, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret)
John E. Lee's (USNA '30) USS GRAYLING (SS-209)(lost) fires three torpedoes and
gets two hits that damage SHANGHAI MARU at 13-05N, 121-43E. Later, Lee fires two
more torpedoes and gets another hit that sinks SHANGHAI MARU. All hands (45
crewmen) are KIA.
10 April 1943:
At 1100, arrives at Manila.
9 July 1943:
RYUYO MARU departs St. Jacques in convoy No. 591 also
consisting of HOKUAN, ICHIYO, NASUSAN, RYUOSAN, SEISHIN and NICHIAI MARUs
escorted by auxiliary minelayer MA-4.
12 July 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.
14 July 1943:
RYUYO MARU departs Palau in convoy FU-406 also
consisting of transports OLYMPIA, TAGA, UMEKAWA and YAMAGATA, MARUs escorted by
patrol boat PB-31.
E 21 July 1943:
Minelayer NUWAJIMA and auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN
MARU No. 3 join the escort.
23 July 1943:
Arrives at Saeki where the convoy is dissolved.
7 August 1943:
RYUYO MARU departs Takao for Yulin, Hainan Island in
convoy No. 314 also consisting of cargo/ transports FUKUJU, HAMBURG, KENSEI
(ex-British HINSANG) and LONDON MARUs and tankers KONSAN and NITTETSU MARUs
escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOJUSAN MARU.
KOTO MARU No. 2 GO is detached from the convoy at an unknown date and
11 August 1943:
Arrives at Yulin, Hainan Island, China.
12 August 1943:
Arrives at Samah, Hainan Island.
9 September 1943:
RYUYO departs Takao in a convoy escorted by kaibokan
TSUSHIMA and two unidentified warships in either nine ship convoy No. 201 or
three ship convoy No. 204. (NB: it is unclear to which convoy each ship belongs)
The convoys also include HIROTA, HITORA (ex-Panamanian RAMONA), TAIRIN, TOFUKU
and TOKO MARUs and six unidentified merchants.
12 September 1943:
Arrives at Moji.
Sold to Yamamoto Steamship Co., Ltd, Kobe.
11 November 1943:
At 1600, RYUYO MARU departs Moji for Takao in
convoy No. 113-MA-07 also consisting of ANYO, ARABIA, CHIYO, DAKAR, HIDA,
NACHISAN, NANEI, NITTETSU, SYDNEY, TAMAHOKO and TOSEI MARUs escorted by
13 November 1943:
At 0556, LtCdr Robert E. Dornin's (USNA '35) USS
TRIGGER (SS-237) torpedoes and sinks NACHISAN MARU at 32-55N, 125-09E. KURETAKE
drops five depth charges that damage TRIGGER slightly.
21 November 1943:
At 1140, arrives at Mako, Pescadores.
28 November 1943:
At 1700, RYUYO MARU departs Takao in convoy No. 780
also consisting of cargo ships BIZEN, CHIYO, KINSHU, NICHIWA, NIPPONKAI, NORWAY,
RYUUN, TOSEI and YAMAHAGI MARUs and tankers SAN DIEGO MARU and OGURA MARU No. 1
and four unidentified ships escorted by destroyer FUYO and kaibokan KANJU.
3 December 1943:
At 1400, arrives at Manila.
28 December 1943:
RYUYO MARU departs Wasile, Halmahera, Moluccas for
Manila in an unidentified convoy also consisting of five unidentified ships, two
of which are escorts. RYUYO MARU is carrying 88 passengers and an unknown cargo.
1 January 1944:
NW of Zamboanga, Mindanao, Philippines. At 0200 (H),
LtCdr Frank G. Selby's (USNA '33) USS PUFFER (SS-268) picks up six ships on SJ
radar. At 0220 (H), Selby is able to make out four ships with an escort on the
portside and another aft. One appears to be a destroyer. At 0303 (H), PUFFER
fires her bow tubes at the convoy. At 0307, PUFFER fires her stern tubes. Of the
seven torpedoes he firesd, Selby gets four hits that sink RYUYO MARU at 08-26N,
122-52 and damage another ship. One passenger and six crewmen are KIA.
At 0303 (H), the escorts drop 5 DCs, later followed by three more, but
Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.
- Bob Hackett
to IJA Transports