(Sister KOZAN MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2011-2016 Bob Hackett
Revision 1

E 1933:
Kobe. Laid down at Mitsubishi Jukogyo K. K as a 4,182-ton cargo-passenger vessel for Tomoegumi Kisen K. K. [1]

E 1933:
Launched and named SHINSHU MARU.

February 1934:

In Tomoegumi Kisen’s service.

20 November 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA). Alloted IJA No. 464.

17 December 1941: The Invasion of Lamon Bay, Southern Luzon:
Imperial General Headquarters launches the combined IJA and IJN Lamon Bay Operation. 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, 22nd Field Artillery, HQ and II Battalion, 16 HQ Company, 16th Eng 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 IJA 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, in 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 MYOKO MARU.

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.

At 1500, the Invasion Force departs Koniya, Amami Oshima for Lamon Bay, Quezon, Philippines.

24 December 1941:
At 0200, the Invasion Force arrives at Lamon Bay. The landings proceed without strong opposition.

21 January 1942:
2nd Infantry Division Transportation Movement:
SHINSHU MARU departs Moji for Kirun (Keelung), Formosa in the 2nd Transportation Unit with transports KOYO, RYUNAN, ATLAS, GENKAI and HIYORI 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:
SHINSHU MARU is attached to Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hiraoki, Kumeichi’s (39) 9th Base Force in Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo’s Western Java Seizure Force. At 1000, SHINSHU MARU departs Camranh Bay in a convoy also comprised of 55 troop transports carrying the 2nd Infantry Division for the invasion of Bantam Bay and Merak.

Light cruisers NATORI and YURA and seaplane tender SANYO MARU cover the Western Java Seizure Force’s troop transports.

19 February 1942:
Arrives at Anambas.

20 February 1942:
Departs Anambas.

28 February 1942:
Merak, Java. At 2320, SHINSHU MARU and the other transports commence landing their troops.

8 March 1942: The Surrender of Java:
At 0900, the C-in-C of the Allied forces. Dutch LtGen Ter Poorten announces the surrender of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army in Java. That afternoon, Governor Jonkheer Dr. A.W.L. Tjarda Van Starkenborgh Stachouwer and Ter Poorten, meet the C-in-C of the Japanese forces, LtGen Hitoshi Imamura at Kalidjati and agree to capitulate.

5 May 1942:
Released by the IJA back to her owners.

17 December 1942:
Aioi. SHINSHU MARU begins conversion at Harima Zosen's shipyard from a cargo-transport vessel to an emergency tanker.

8 January 1943:
The conversion is completed. The same day, SHINSHU MARU is requisitioned by the IJN.

18 January 1943:
SHINSHU MARU departs Moji in convoy No. 119 also consisting of tanker TERUKAWA MARU and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer KURETAKE.

23 January 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

4 March 1943:
SHINSHU MARU departs Takao in convoy No. 237 also consisting of KOSEI MARU and seven unidentified merchant ships escorted by patrol boat PB-36.

11 March 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

8 October 1943:
At 0600, SHINSHU MARU departs Truk in convoy 7081 also consisting of oiler KENSHO MARU escorted by subchaser CH-33.

13 October 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

31 October 1943:
At 1200, SHINSHU MARU departs Manila in convoy No. 1 also consisting of SHIRANESAN, TOHO, NICHINAN, and TEIKAI (ex-German FULDA) MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-103 (ex-USS FINCH).

2 November 1943:
While nearing Cebu Port, TEIKAI MARU runs aground and NICHINAN MARU is detached to assist. At 1930, the other three ships enter port at Cebu.

14 November 1943:
At 1700, SHINSHU MARU departs Balikpapan in convoy No.2611 also consisting of tankers NAMPO, TOA, SHINKOKU and NIPPON MARUs and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer WAKATAKE and auxiliary subchaser CHa-37. Later from near Palau, destroyers HIBIKI and HANAKAZE and subchaser CH-5 take over and continue escorting TOA, SHINKOKU, NAMPO and NIPPON MARUs.

21 November 1943:
At 0530, the convoy arrives Truk.

7 December 1943:
At 2210, SHINSHU MARU arrives at Truk's north channel with tanker HISHI MARU No. 2 escorted by subchaser CH-28.

22 December 1943:
At 0830, SHINSHU MARU departs Truk for Palau in convoy No. 7222 also consisting of KYOEI MARU escorted by subchaser CH-33.

27 December 1943:
At 1400, arrives at Palau after weathering bad storms at sea.

13 October 1944:
Off Camranh Bay, Indochina. At 0816 (H), Cdr John M. Hyde’s USS BERGALL (SS-320) sights two ships at 12,000 yards. By 0833 (H), two escorts are sighted. The convoy is heading south, probably to St. Jacques and/or Singapore. Hyde identifies the targets as a 2,000-ton tanker and a 4,000-ton transport escorted by two patrol craft, but the shore is only 3,500 yards to starboard. The water is too shallow for Hyde to attack and survive the inevitable subsequent depth charging, so he seeks deeper water while tracking the small unidentified convoy.

At 0902, BERGALL fires four Mark 18 electric torpedoes at the transport, then Hyde takes BERGALL deep. At 0904, the submarine’s crew hears two explosions. SHINSHU MARU sinks at 11-53N, 109-17E. 16 crewmen are KIA.

Between 0908 and 1416, BERGALL suffers 30 DCs and four aircraft bombs dropped on her, but escapes.

Removed from the Navy List.

Authors’ Notes:
[1] Not to be confused with the 8,130-ton IJA landing craft depot ship also named SHINSHU MARU.

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

Bob Hackett

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