(RMS VASCONIA (later SHIRAHA MARU), prewar)
IJA Transport SHIRAHA MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement
© 2013-2016 Bob Hackett
Port Glascow, Scotland, UK. Laid down at Russell & Co., Ltd.
shipyard as a 5,682-ton passenger-cargo ship for Gow Harrison &
27 September 1918:
Launched and named VALVERDA.
Sold to the Cunard Steamship Co., Ltd. - British & North American RMSP Co - Liverpool. Renamed VASCONIA and placed in the Cunard White Star Line's cargo service.
10 January 1927:
Sold to Tatuuma Kisen K. K., Nishinomiya and renamed SHIRAHA
Renamed SIRAHA MARU.
14 October 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) and converted to a troop transport. Alloted IJA No. 608.
13 December 1941 - Operation “E” – The Invasion of Malaya:
At 0830, SHIRAHA MARU departs Camranh Bay, Indochina in the IJA 5th Infantry Division
Transportation Movement. SHIRAHA MARU is in the TransDiv3 with CHIFUKU, FUSO, NAGANO and SHINKAHA MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 1.
16 December 1941:
Arrives at Singora, Siam (now Songhkla, Thailand).
7 December 1942:
SHIRAHA MARU departs Saeki in Military Movement No. 8's convoy "F" also consisting of FUKOKU and KENZAN MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 17 escorted by minelayer YURIJIMA and patrol boat PB-31.
9 December 1942:
The escorts are detached at 27N. That same day, SHIRAHA MARU departs Sasebo for Rabaul, New Britain in convoy "F" without escort.
20 December 1942:
The convoy arrives at Rabaul.
13 January 1943:
SHIRAHA MARU departs Palau for Manila in a convoy also consisting of GENOA, HOEISAN, KENZAN MARUs and GANJITSU MARU No. 1 escorted by subchaser CH-20 and auxiliary subchaser SHOWA MARU. Auxiliary subchaser GANJITSU MARU No. 1 is carrying 137 men for sea rescue operations. At an unknown point, CH-20 and SHOWA MARU are detached and probably return to Palau.
14 January 1943:
NW of the Palaus. At 1150, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Hiram Cassedy's (USNA ’31) USS SEARAVEN (SS-196) fires two torpedoes and gets two hits on 216-ton GANJITSU MARU No. 1 that blow her apart. 16 sea rescue sailors, three gunners and about eight crewmen are KIA.
Shortly thereafter, Cassedy fires two torpedoes and gets two hits portside in the vicinity of SHIRAHA MARU's No. 4 hold. She sinks by the stern at 09-32N, 130-42E. 16 passengers and 11 crewmen are KIA.
 Also known as SHIRAHANE MARU.