(SHOHO MARU prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2014 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

3 December 1936:
Tama. Laid down by Mitsui Bussan Zosenbu K.K. shipyard for Shimatani Kisen K.K. as a 1,936-tons cargo ship.

11 March 1937:
Launched and named SHOHO MARU. [1]

15 April 1937:
Completed and registered in Kobe.

11 May ~ 26 September 1937:
Chartered to Nichiro Gyogyo K.K.

10 June ~ 26 September 1938:
Chartered to Nichiro Gyogyo K.K.

25 May ~ 24 October 1939:
Chartered to Nichiro Gyogyo K.K.

25 May ~ 7 September 1940:
Chartered to Nichiro Gyogyo K.K.

18 February 1943:
Arrives at Tokyo in convoy No. 8218 also consisting of IJA transport DURBAN MARU, IJN requisitioned cargo ship KONEI MARU, Government owned MINAMI (ex Panamanian CAPELLA) MARU and civilian cargo ship (C-AK) JIMBU MARU escorted by destroyer SAWAKAZE.

23 February 1943:
Departs Tokyo Bay in convoy No. 7223A also consisting of IJN requisitioned cargo ship KONEI MARU, Government owned MINAMI (ex Panamanian CAPELLA) MARU and IJA transport KENZUI MARU escorted by auxiliary gunboat KASAGI MARU. SHOHO MARU is bound for Nagoya.

26 May 1943:
Arrives at Kuishima, Karafuto (now Sakhalin). Departs there and arrives at unuidentified location, Karafuto later in the day.

27 May 1943:
Departs unidentified location and arrives at Tatamiyama, Karafuto (now Urochishche Rifovoye) later that day.

29 May 1943:
Departs Tatamiyama and arrives at another unidentified location, Karafuto later that same day.

31 May 1943:
Departs there and arrives at Torikawa, Karafuto later that same day.

2 June 1943:
Departs Torikawa.

6 June 1943:
Arrives at Otaru, Hokkaido.

7 June 1943:
Departs Otaru.

8 June 1943:
Arrives Off Kojima, Hokkaido. Departs there and arrives at Hakodate, Hokkaido later in the day.

11 June 1943:
Departs Hakodate.

12 June 1943:
Arrives at Otaru. Departs later that day.

16 June 1943:
Arrives at Kamchatka, Soviet Union (now Russia).

9 September 1943:
Departs Kataoka Wan in a convoy also consisting of IJA transports TAIHEI and KOKAI MARUs escorted by destroyer NUMAKAZE.

12 September 1943:
Arrives at Otaru.

30 September 1943:
Requisitioned by the IJN as a general requisitioned ship (Ippan Choyosen). Scheduled to be attached to Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Takasu Shiro’s (35) Southwest Area Fleet. Departs Muroran.

14 October 1943:
At 1500, departs Kataoka, Shimushu-To (now Zaliv Kozyrevskogo, Ostrov Shumushu), Kuriles in Ishi convoy also consisting of civilian passenger/cargo ship (C-APK) SANTO MARU and auxiliary transport (ex-gunboat) TOSHO MARU escorted by destroyer NOKAZE.

19 October 1943:
Arrives at Otaru. Departs there and arrives at Hakodate later that day.

26 October 1943:
Her owners are changed to Mitsui Senpaku K.K.

30 October 1943:
Departs Muroran. That same day Reserve Navy Captain Tsunado Shinzo is scheduled to be appointed supervisor.

6 November 1943:
Arrives at Kawasaki.

7 November 1943:
Departs Kawasaki.

9 November 1943:
Arrives at Muroran.

11 November 1943:
Captain Tsunado is finally not appointed supervisor.

12 November 1943:
Departs Muroran.

22 November 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

25 November 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

28 November 1943:
Departs again Yokosuka for Truk in convoy No. 3128 also consisting of auxiliary transports KENRYU and NAGISAN MARUs, auxiliary storeship HARUNA MARU and IJA transport REIYO MARU escorted by kaibokan FUKUE and initially auxiliary subchaser CHa-61.

29 November 1943:
About 15 nms NW of Hachijo-Jima, Izu Shoto (Izu Islands), the convoy is intercepted by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Merrill K. Clementson’s (USNA ‘33) USS SNAPPER (SS-185). At 0905, Clementson torpedoes and hits KENRYU MARU at 33-19N, 139-34E. She is set afire and settles down by the bows. Burning furiously, the transport is abandoned and sinks the next day at 33-16N, 139-35E. Four crewmen are KIA. KENRYU MARU is the only vessel sunk in convoy No. 3128.

1 December 1943:
Arrives at Chichi-Jima, Ogasawara Gunto (Bonins).

3 December 1943:
Departs Chichi-Jima.

12 December 1943:
Arrives at Truk, Central Carolines.

26 December 1943:
Auxiliary transport HAKOZAKI MARU comes alongside and transfers coal to SHOHO MARU.

28 December 1943:
At 1500, departs Truk for Kwajalein in convoy No. 5282 also consisting of auxiliary storeship KITAKAMI MARU escorted by subchasers CH-30 and CH-31.

31 December 1943:
Eastern Carolines. At about noon, LtCdr (later Cdr) James D. Grant's (USNA ’31) USS GREENLING (SS-213) torpedoes and sinks transport SHOHO MARU at 05-18N, 160-20E. 20 crewmen are KIA. GREENLING evades 18 depth-charges in counterattacks by the escorts.

At 1030, KITAKAMI MARU begins rescue operations and by noon, picks up 106 survivors.

1 January 1944:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary transport, (Otsu) category attached to the Maizuru Naval District with Maizuru as homeport under Navy’s instruction No. 16. [2].

13 January 1944:
Maintained as an auxiliary transport, (Otsu) category under Navy’s secret instruction No. 143. [2].

20 January 1944:
Scheduled to be converted to an auxiliary transport, (Otsu). [2].

10 September 1944:
Removed from the Navy’s list under instruction No. 1067.

Authors' Notes :
[1] Not to be confused with civilian tanker (10,058 GRT ’45), civilian cargo ships (1,356 GRT, ’18) and (870 GRT, ’44), government passenger ferry (3,460 GRT, ’24), IJN requisitioned passenger/cargo ship (1,365, ’42), IJA transport No. 875 (2,723 GRT, ’41), IJA shared tanker No. 5158 (834 GRT, ’44) or civilian tug (430 GRT, ’40). [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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