RIKUGUN YUSOSEN

(SAMARANG MARU, prewar)

SAMARANG MARU :
Tabular Record of Movement

2013 Bob Hackett


3 November 1919:
Kobe. Laid down at Mitsubishi Zosen Kaisha, K.K. as yard No. 82, a 4,013-ton passenger-cargo ship for Nanyo Yusen, K. K., (later Tokyo Senpaku Kaisha), Tokyo.

21 February 1920:
Launched and named SAMARANG MARU.

31 March 1920:
Completed. She can accommodate 20 first class passengers.

6 July 1935:
Nanyo Kaiun K. K. (Southern Ocean Shipping Co., Ltd.), Tokyo is organized and SAMARANG MARU is transferred to the new company.

1935:
Placed in service on Nanyo Kaiun's Japan ~ Malaya ~ Batavia, Java route.

July 1937:
The Second Sino-Japanese War begins. SAMARANG MARU is chartered by the Imperial Army (IJA) as a troop ship.

13 September 1937:
SAMARANG MARU departs Moji for secret location "A" in a convoy also consisting of transports GYOKO, HANGKOW, KIMI, MEIGEN, OME, TAKAO, TATESHI, TONE, UGO, UME and YUKI MARUs. SAMARANG MARU carries 275 men and 196 horses including the 14th Field Medium Artillery Regiment HQ and part of the Regiment's ammunition train.

14 September 1937:
Arrives at secret location "A" and begins unloading.

E 1938:
Returned to her owners.

17 August 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) as a transport/cargo ship (A-APK). Assigned Army No. 348.

28 March 1942:
At 0800, SAMARANG MARU departs Mako, Pescadores for Camranh Bay, Vichy French, Indochina in a convoy also consisting of FUKKAI, KOCHI, MONTREAL, PENANG, RYUZAN, TAIKAI, TEIKAI (ex-German FULDA) and TETSUYO MARUs and YOSHIDA MARU No. 1 escorted by minelayer SOKUTEN and auxiliary gunboat CHOJUSAN MARU.

1 April 1942:
Arrives at Camranh Bay.

3 April 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

5 April 1942:
Departs Saigon.

13 April 1942:
Arrives at Singapore, Malaya.

14 April 1942: Transport Operation U - transport of troops and material from Singapore to Rangoon:
SAMARANG MARU departs Singapore as part of Transport Unit No. 3 consisting of 32 marus including ANYO, BRAZIL, BUYO, ENGLAND, GINYO, HAMBURG, HAVRE, HOKUROKU, KENKOKU, KOCHI,KUWAYAMA, MONTREAL, PENANG, SUEZ, TAIKAI, TAZAN, TEIKAI, YAWATA and YONEYAMA MARUs. The 3rd Transport Unit carries the 56th Mixed Brigade and other units.

19 April 1942:
Arrives at Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar).

22 April 1942:
Departs Rangoon.

28 April 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

12 March 1943:
At 0600, SAMARANG MARU departs Balikpapan in a convoy also consisting of MADRAS and TOYOKAWA MARUs escorted by minelayer W-16.

E 13 March 1943:
SE Borneo. Off the Aru Bank, W-16 is detached.

3 June 1943:
SAMARANG MARU departs Rabaul for Palau in a convoy also consisting of DAINICHI, GENMEI, GLASGOW and NAGANO MARUs with an unknown escort.

11 June 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

15 July 1943:
SAMARANG MARU departs Singapore in convoy No. 605 also consisting of, GYOSAN, JUNGEN GO, KIYO, NICHIWA and TAMAHOKO MARUs and tankers TACHIBANA and SAN PEDRO MARUs and an unidentified merchant escorted by Vichy French frigate LA PEROUSE.

18 July 1943:
Arrives St Jacques, Vichy French Indochina (Vung Tau, Vietnam).

3 August 1943:
Arrives at Mutsure.

27 November 1943:
At 0800, SAMARANG MARU departs Saeki in convoy O-703 also consisting of KOYO and RYUA MARUs escorted by kaibokan IKI and auxiliary minesweepers OI MARU and TAMA MARU No. 6.

E 28 November 1943:
Both auxiliary minesweepers probably are detached.

E 7 December 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

17 December 1943:
SAMARANG MARU departs Palau in convoy "Wewak No. 15" also consisting of KAYO, UMEGAWA and YAMAGIKU MARUs escorted by minelayer SHIRATAKA, subchaser CH-32 and auxiliary subchaser CH-3.

21 December 1943:
Arrives at Wewak, New Guinea.

E 9 January 1944:
SAMARANG MARU departs Saeki for Palau in convoy FU-104 also consisting of FUKKO, UMEGAWA and YAMAGIKU MARUs escorted by destroyer HARUKAZE. At 28N, minelayer NUWAJIMA joins the escort.

E 10 January 1944:
NUWAJIMA is detached off Fukajima.

2 May 1944:
SAMARANG MARU departs Ominato in the "YO" convoy also consisting of HAKUSHIN, KOAN and UMIKAWA MARUs escorted by kaibokan HACHIJO and KUNASHIRI.

10 May 1944:
Arrives at Kashiwabara Bay, Paramushiro, Kuriles.

14 January 1945:
At 0700, CH-57 and CH-19 depart Moji escorting convoy MOTA-32 consisting of DAIKYO, TENSHO, SAMARANG AIZAN, MASASHIMA, SHUNSHO and DAISHUN MARUs, TAMON MARU No. 16 and four unidentified merchants, possibly including TETSUYO and TATSUHARU MARUs, escorted by kaibokan CD-31, CD-132, CD-144, MANJU and destroyer SHIOKAZE.

21 January 1945:
That evening, anchors at Sanmen Inlet, China coast.

22 January 1945:
At dawn, departs Sanmen Inlet. In late afternoon, arrives at Namkwan (Namquan) Bay. At 1600, convoy TAMO-38 consisting of DAINAN, BINGO, TOYOKAWA, RASHIN, SHINNO, TATSUWA MARUs and NICHIYU MARU No.7 escorted by kaibokan CD-26, CD-39, CD-112 and IKUNA heading north arrives and the two convoys merged at anchor.

23 January 1945:
At 0402, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral/MOH) Eugene B. Fluckey's (USNA 35) USS BARB (SS-220) penetrates the outer escort screen on the surface and enters the harbor. An unbroken line of ships at anchor, 4200 yards in length, is clearly visible. Fluckey fires a total of eight torpedoes into the target line. DAIKYO MARU explodes and sinks. 360 troops, 27 gunners and 58 crewmen are KIA. SAMARANG, DAISHUN and SHUNSHO MARUs and TAMON MARU No. 16 are also damaged. [1]

At 0600, the rest of the convoy departs Namkwan.

25 January 1945:
Arrives at Kirun, Formosa (Keelung, Taiwan) where the convoy is dissolved

31 January 1945:
At 0600, SAMARANG MARU departs Kirun for Moji in convoy TAMO-39 also consisting of AIZAN, DAISHUN, SHUNSHO, TATSUHARU and TETSUYO MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD-14, CD-16 and CD-46 and subchaser CH-19.

8 February 1945:
Arrives at Moji.

15 August 1945: Cessation of Hostilities
SAMARANG MARU survives the war.

22 August 1945:
Entrance to Maizuru Bay. SAMARANG MARU is slightly damaged by a mine 36 degrees and 1.3 km from Bakuchi-zaki, but sustains no casualties.

24 August 1945:
Released from IJA service.

16 July 1949:
Tokyo Senpaku Kaisha, Ltd. (Tokyo) is organized and SAMARANG MARU is transferred to the new company.

1959:
Scrapped.


Authors' Notes:
[1] The light damage sustained by the Marus suggests they were hit by flying debris rather than torpedoes. Why Fluckey's other torpedoes missed remains a mystery.

Thanks go to John Whitman of Virginia and Fontessa-san of Japan for 1937 info.

- Bob Hackett


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