ZATSUYOSEN!

(SHIROGANE MARU, prewar) )

IJN SHIROGANE MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2012 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


23 July 1938:
Aioi. Laid down by Harima Steel K.K. shipyard for Nippon Kaiun K.K. as a 3,130-tons cargo ship.

31 October 1938:
Launched and named SHIROGANE MARU. [1]

10 December 1938:

25 January 1940:
Requisitioned by the IJN as a general requisitioned (Ippan Choyosen) transport and attached to the Yokosuka Naval District.

27 January 1940:
Merchant Captain Sasaki Sannosuke is appointed Commanding Officer.

26 April 1941:
Departs Tokyo.

E May 1941:
Operates in the South Seas district (Japanese mandated islands).

31 May 1941:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

6 June 1941:
Departs Yokosuka.

E June~October 1941:
Operates in the South Seas district.

15 October 1941:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary transport, (Otsu) category and attached to the Yokosuka Naval District with Yokosuka as homeport under internal order No. 1256. [2]

3 November 1941:
The conversion is completed. Departs Yokosuka.

1 December 1941:
Arrives at Taroa, Marshalls.

7 December 1941:
Departs Taroa.

10 December 1941:
Arrives at Saipan, Marianas.

13 December 1941:
Departs Saipan.

21 December 1941:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

30 December 1941:
Departs Yokosuka.

10 January 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein, Marshalls.

16 January 1942:
Departs Kwajalein.

17 January 1942:
Arrives at Hakata, Fukuoka Prefecture. Departs later that day for Sasebo.

18 January 1942:
Arrives at Roi-Namur, Marshalls.

21 January 1942:
Departs Roi-Namur.

22 January 1942:
Arrives at Wotje, Marshalls.

9 February 1942:
Transfers to Taroa.

13 February 1942:
Departs Taroa.

14 February 1942:
Arrives at Imieji anchorage (Emidji), Jaluit atoll, Marshalls.

16 February 1942:
Departs Imieji.

17 February 1942:
Arrives at Jaluit. Departs later in the day for Saipan.

19 February 1942:
Arrives at Saipan.

27 February 1942:
Departs Saipan for Japan.

28 February 1942:
Transfers to Sasebo.

8 March 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

10 March 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

16 March 1942:
Arrives at Aioi, Hyogo Prefecture.

17 March 1942:
Docks at Harima Steel K.K. shipyard for maintenance and repairs.

29 March 1942:
Departs Aioi.

30 March 1942:
Arrives at Tokuyama, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

1 April 1942:
Departs Tokuyama.

2 April 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

3 April 1942:
Assigned to a transport mission of personnel and supplies under Sasebo Naval District confidential instruction No. 171.

6 April 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

10 April 1942:
Arrives at Amoy (now Xiamen), China. Attached that same day to the Sasebo Naval District with Sasebo as home port under internal order No. 660 and confirmed as a “graduated” transport under instruction No. 22.

11 April 1942:
Departs Amoy.

13 April 1942:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

15 April 1942:
Departs Hong Kong.

17 April 1942:
Arrives at Samah, Hainan Island, China.

21 April 1942:
Departs Samah.

24 April 1942:
Arrives at Saigon mouth, Indochina.

25 April 1942:
Transfers to Saigon.

2 May 1942:
Departs Saigon in convoy with auxiliary transport HIYOSHI MARU and possibly others.

7 May 1942:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa (now Kaohsiung, Taiwan).

9 May 1942:
Transfers to Mako, Pescadores.

10 May 1942:
Departs Mako for Yokohama in convoy No. 207 also consisting of auxiliary transports KIMISHIMA, TOYOSAKA and HIYOSHI MARUs and three unidentified ships escorted by destroyer FUYO.

14 May 1942:
Detached from the convoy and arrives at Nagasaki.

15 May 1942:
Scheduled to be fitted with one 7.7 mm MG Type 92 and five Arisaka rifles Type 38, under Navy confidential order No. 5990.

18 May 1942:
Transfers to Sasebo.

23 May 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

27 May 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

30 May 1942:
Departs Takao.

2 June 1942:
Arrives at Samah.

9 June 1942:
Transfers to Yulin, Hainan Island.

12 June 1942:
Departs Yulin. That same day, scheduled to be fitted with one 8-cm/40 Type 88 gun under Navy confidential order No. 7246.

15 June 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

18 June 1942:
Transfers to Mako.

19 June 1942:
Departs Mako for Osaka in convoy No. 224 also consisting of auxiliary transport OKITSU MARU, IJA transports KIRIHA, REKIZAN and TOYOOKA MARUs and nine unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU.

24 June 1942:
Detached from the convoy and arrives at Sasebo.

26 June 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

27 June 1942:
Arrives at Yawata, Fukuoka Prefecture.

28 June 1942:
Departs Yawata.

29 June 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

30 June 1942:
Assigned to a transport mission of personnel and supplies under Sasebo Naval District confidential instruction No. 280.

4 July 1942:
Departs Sasebo in convoy No. 133 also consisting of auxiliary transport TARUSHIMA MARU, IJA transports REKIZAN, TOYAMA and KANJO MARUs escorted by torpedo boat SAGI.

9 July 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

10 July 1942:
Departs Takao.

13 July 1942:
Arrives at Haikow, Hainan Island.

15 July 1942:
Departs Haikow.

16 July 1942:
Arrives at Samah.

21 July 1942:
Transfers to Yulin.

22 July 1942:
Departs Yulin.

24 July 1942:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

26 July 1942:
Departs Hong Kong.

27 July 1942:
Arrives at Mako.

29 July 1942:
Departs Mako in convoy No. 241 also consisting of six unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer KURETAKE.

2 August 1942:
Detached from the convoy and arrives at Sasebo.

5 August 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

6 August 1942:
Arrives at Yawata.

7 August 1942:
Departs Yawata.

8 August 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

E 9-18 August 1942:
Fitted with scheduled armament.

17 August 1942:
Assigned to a transport mission of personnel, supplies and ammunition under Sasebo Naval District confidential instruction No. 321.

19 August 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

22 August 1942:
Arrives at Ryojun (ex Port-Arthur), Manchuria (now Lushun, China). Departs later in the day for Seito (Tsingtao), China.

23 August 1942:
Arrives at Seito.

26 August 1942:
Departs Seito.

29 August 1942:
Arrives at Makiyama, Fukuoka Prefecture.

31 August 1942:
Departs Makiyama.

1 September 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

E 2 September 1942:
Embarks 510 men of the 16th Naval Construction Unit.

3 September 1942:
Departs Sasebo initially escorted by minelayer TAKASHIMA and auxiliary gunboat KAHOKU MARU.

5 September 1942:
At 1400, TAKESHIMA detaches from the escort. E of Kitadaito Island, at 2400, KAHOKU MARU detaches from the escort.

13 September 1942:
Arrives at Truk, Central Carolines.

15 September 1942:
Departs Truk for Bougainville Island, Solomons.

19 September 1942:
About 11nm E of Luluai Point, Bougainville. LtCdr John A. Bole’s (USNA ‘28) USS AMBERJACK (SS-219) sights a transport. At 1005, Bole attacks and hits SHIROGANE MARU’s starboard side in the boiler and engine room, at 06-33S, 156-05E. Three men are KIA. The impact causes a hole of about 2.8ft radius. Water rushes in and floods the engine room by 7ft. The ship goes dead in the water. Later in the day, destroyers AMAGIRI and HATSUYUKI depart Shortlands to assist the damaged transport. SHIROGANE MARU is towed to Shortlands where unloading is processed.

20 September 1942:
To prevent her sinking, SHIROGANE MARU is grounded at Buin.

27 September 1942:
Efforts are being made to lighten the ship. Materials of the 16th Naval Construction Unit are, as much as possible, unloaded. However, towing still proves impossible to make and therefore, no further work is undertaken.

28 September 1942:
Remains of the dead are to be transferred to Sasebo under telegram No. 281430.

16 October 1942:
All hands abandon ship.

E October 1942~June 1945:
Ship remains in situ but is still retained in the Navy’s list.

30 June 1945:
Removed from the Navy’s list under internal order No. 577.


Authors Notes:
[[1] Not to be confused with the Osaka Shosen’s (929 GRT, 38) passenger ship.

[2] There were two categories of Zatsuyosen. (Ko) category with an IJN Captain as supervisor aboard and (Otsu) category without.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan.

Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


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