ZATSUYOSEN!

(KIZUGAWA MARU, sistership of SHOKO MARU, prewar)

IJN SHOKO MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2012 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


E 1938:
Osaka. Laid down by Osaka K.K. Zosensho shipyard for Toyo Kisen K.K. as a 1,933-tons cargo ship, part of the Peacetime Standard Ship (D) Type Program.

7 March 1939:
Launched and named SHOKO MARU. [1]

25 August 1939:
Completed and registered in Kobe. Her Net Registered Tonnage (NRT) is 1,104-tons. [2]

E 1939:
Operates on the Dairen, Manchuria (now Dalian, China) – Tianjin, China route.

E 1941:
Her Net Registered Tonnage (NRT) is changed to 1,102-tons. [2]

25 November 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN.

3 December 1941:
Aioi. Begins her conversion to her military duty at the Harima Zosensho shipyard. Fitted with four 8cm/40 guns, one Type 92 7.7mm MG, one 7.5cm searchlight, 2 DCs manually operated sets and three single DCs throwers.

10 December 1941:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary gunboat and attached to the Kure Naval District with Kure as homeport under internal order No. 1624.

23 December 1941:
Additionally fitted with one “Y” type DC thrower.

25 December 1941:
The conversion is completed.

28 December 1941:
Fitted with 12 standard DCs, six “parachute type” DCs and five DC davits.

31 December 1941:
Tactically assigned to the Kure Guard Force.

E January 1942:
Navy reserve Captain Aoki Seiwa is appointed Commanding Officer (CO).

10 January 1942:
Confirmed as part of Kure Guard Force under secret order No. 67.

21 January 1942:
At 0800 departs Saeki.

22 January 1942:
At 1145 arrives at Yoshimi.

14 March 1942:
Undergoes modifications at Kure Naval Yard.

20 March 1942:
Attached to the Fifth Fleet, Third Picket boat Corps under instruction No. 478.

21 March 1942:
Aioi. Undergoes modifications at Harima Zosensho shipyard.

28 March 1942:
Undocked.

30 March 1942:
Scheduled to undergo further modifications under instruction No. 3833.

2 April 1942:
Undergoes modifications at the Construction Corps aircraft picket boat facility. Weighs anchor later in the day.

3 April 1942:
Departs Aioi.

4 April 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

5 April 1942:
Undergoes further modifications related to additional orientation instruments.

7 April 1942:
Loads quartermaster items.

8-10 April 1942:
Loads other items.

13 April 1942:
Loads other products.

18 April 1942:
Loads 340-tons of coal and boiler water.

19 April 1942:
Loads coal.

20 April 1942:
Loads raw food and other sundries.

21 April 1942:
Modifications are completed. Departs Yokosuka. Undergoes trials to calibrate her orientation instruments and returns back to Yokosuka later in the day.

22 April 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

24 April 1942:
Arrives outside Kushiro harbor, Hokkaido.

25 April 1942:
Transfers to Kushiro.

1 May 1942:
Departs Kushiro with auxiliary picket boat SASAYAMA MARU No. 5 on patrol mission and arrives back at Kushiro later that same day.

4 May 1942:
Loads coal.

6 May 1942:
Departs Kushiro.

13 May 1942:
At 0038, meets with auxiliary picket boat KUNIMIYA MARU. At 0800, meets with auxiliary picket boat EIFUKU MARU. At 1340, meets with auxiliary picket boat HINODE MARU No. 8.

15 May 1942:
At 1435, meets with auxiliary picket boat DAIKI MARU. At 1630, meets with auxiliary picket boat KIYO MARU. At 1730, meets with auxiliary picket boat CHOYO MARU No. 6.

16 May 1942:
At 0500, meets with auxiliary picket boats KIYO MARU and NANSHIN MARU No. 37. At 1500, end of patrol duties.

17 May 1942:
At 0735, meets with auxiliary picket boats HINODE MARU No. 8 and SHINYO MARU.

19 May 1942:
At 0816, meets with auxiliary picket boats KAIKO MARU and NANSHIN MARU No. 15.

22 May 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

25 May 1942:
Scheduled to receive a camouflage scheme on her hull under instruction No. 20.

27 May 1942:
Loads 400-tons of boiler water.

28 May 1942:
Loads 350-tons coal.

29 May 1942:
Camouflage scheme is completed.

30 May 1942:
Fitted with a type 94 DC thrower.

1 June 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

5 June 1942:
At 1549, meets auxiliary gunboat ANSHU MARU for a joint meteorological mission.

8 June 1942:
At 1325, meets auxiliary picket boat DAIKI MARU. At 1545, meets auxiliary picket boat KIYO MARU. At 1700, meets auxiliary picket boat NANSHIN MARU No. 15.

9 June 1942:
At 0730, meets auxiliary picket boats SHINSHU MARU No. 5 and SHOWA MARU No. 3.

10 June 1942:
At 1513, meets auxiliary picket boat SHINSHU MARU No. 5.

11 June 1942:
At 0620, meets auxiliary picket boat TSUKINOURA MARU. At 1735, meets auxiliary picket boat DAIKI MARU.

12 June 1942:
At 1820, meets auxiliary armed merchant cruiser AKAGI MARU. At 1830, still with AKAGI MARU, meets auxiliary picket boat SUMIYOSHI MARU No. 8 GO.

13 June 1942:
At 0030, receives a distress call by auxiliary picket boat SUMIYOSHI MARU No. 8 GO. At 0235, provides first aid drainage. At 0845, still assists SUMIYOSHI MARU No. 8 GO. At 1150, with all efforts vain to stop the massive flooding, all personnel and goods are transferred to SHOKO MARU.

14 June 1942:
At 0537, meets auxiliary armed merchant cruiser AKAGI MARU. At 0833, SUMIYOSHI MARU No. 8 is disposed. At 1623, meets auxiliary gunboat UNYO MARU No. 1 assigned to the same mission.

15 June 1942:
At 1000, separates from auxiliary gunboat UNYO MARU No. 1.

16 June 1942:
At 1130, meets auxiliary armed merchant cruiser AKAGI MARU.

20 June 1942:
At 1910, departs Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture. Returns to Tateyama later that same day.

21 June 1942:
At 0530, departs Tateyama and arrives later in the day at Yokosuka mooring buoy No. 3. All weather team personnel disembarks.

22-23 June 1942:
Loads fresh water and assorted goods.

24 June 1942:
Loads boiler water and coal.

25 June 1942:
Loads boiler water, coal and raw food.

26 June 1942:
Loads coal and raw food.

27 June 1942:
All crew of SUMIYOSHI MARU No. 8 GO disembarks. Departs Yokosuka later that same day.

28 June 1942:
At 1200, meets the second platoon. At 1400, meets the first platoon. At 1700, meets the third platoon.

15 July 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

26 July 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

2 August 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

5 August 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

10 August 1942:
Detached from the Third picket boat Corps under instruction No. 1483. Attached that same day directly to the Fifth Fleet.

20 August 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

18 September 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

28 September 1942:
At 1415 operates with auxiliary gunboat UNYO MARU No. 1.

4 October 1942:
Arrives at Tateyama. Transfers later in the day to Yokosuka.

13 October 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

29 October 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

9 November 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

25 November 1942:
Attached to Fifth Fleet, 22nd picket boat squadron.

28 November 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

13 December 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

28 December 1942:
At 1840, her rudder breaks at 34-04N, 144-01E.

30 December 1942:
At 1210, towing by auxiliary gunboat UNYO MARU No. 1 starts at 32-43N, 143-41E. At 1330, the towing cable breaks about 118 nautical miles ESE Nojima. SHOKO MARU is left adrift.

1 January 1943:
At 0415, towing is resumed by UNYO MARU No. 1.

3 January 1943:
At 0702, towing is interrupted, resumed at 0748 and completed at 1037. Arrives at Yokosuka.

28 February 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

1 March 1943:
Boards Soviet cargo ship ALMA ATA for inspection at 35-15N, 145-10E.

6 March 1943:
At 0825, meets with auxiliary gunboat UNYO MARU No. 1.

15 March 1943:
The 22nd Picket Boat Squadron now consists of SHOKO, AKAGI, AWATA, ASAKA KAMITSU and SHINKYO MARUs.

18 March 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

24 March 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

14 April 1943:
Arrives in Tokyo Bay.

15 April 1943:
Transfers to Yokosuka.

15 April 1943:
Transfers to Kobe.

25 April 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

12 May 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

20 May 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

27 May 1943:
Arrives at Paramushiro, Kuriles.

5 June 1943:
Departs Paramushiro.

8 June 1943:
Arrives at patrol zone.

19 June 1943:
Departs patrol zone.

20 June 1943:
Arrives at Paramushiro.

5 July 1943:
Departs Paramushiro.

9 July 1943:
Arrives at Kushiro, Hokkaido.

30 July 1943:
Departs Kushiro.

5 August 1943:
Attached to Fifth Fleet, Northeast Fleet, 22nd picket boat squadron.

19 August 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

28 September 1943:
Scheduled to a refit under Navy Confidential Special Instruction No. 4917.

1 October 1943:
Removed from the Gunboat Navy list under internal order No. 2038. Registered that same day in the IJN as an auxiliary transport, (Otsu) category and attached to the Yokosuka Naval District with Yokosuka as homeport under internal order No. 2041. [3].

10 October 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

27 October 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

23 November 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Truk, Central Carolines in convoy No. 3123 also consisting of auxiliary transports YAMAFUKU and TATSUTAGAWA MARUs, IJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) SHIGANOURA MARU and IJA transport MANJU MARU escorted by destroyer OITE and auxiliary gunboat CHOAN MARU No. 2 GO.

23-24 November 1943:
About 20nm NW of Hachijo-Jima, Izu Shoto. Night. LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Merrill K. Clementson’s (USNA ’33) USS SNAPPER (SS-185) intercepts the convoy. At 0207, Clementson attacks but all torpedoes are avoided and the convoy resumes its course.

28 November 1943:
About 500nm NW of Guam. The convoy steaming in very rough weather, is intercepted by LtCdr Ian C. Eddy’s (USNA ’30) USS PARGO (SS-264) and by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Charles O. Triebel (USNA ’29) USS SNOOK. At 2200, Eddy attacks, but scores no hits. At 2206, Triebel fires a spread of torpedoes but again, no hits are scored. At 2208, Triebel attacks again but fail to score any hit. Both submarines continue to track the convoy.

At 2350, Triebel's USS SNOOK makes another attack and scores four hits on the lead ship of the convoy. Hit in the engine room and aft, at 2355, YAMAFUKU MARU sinks by the stern at 18-21N, 140-08E taking down 60 of her crew.

29 November 1943:
At about 0100, Triebel attacks the convoy again and scores a hit on a transport at 18-22N, 139-45E. SHIGANOURA MARU is hit port in her No. 2 hold but is able to resume her course. At 0150, Triebel finishes off the damaged transport. Hit in her No. 1 hold, SHIGANOURA MARU loaded with 1,355-tons of rice, vehicles and disassembled “Zeke” aircraft, is abandoned and at 0218, sinks at 18-24N, 139-41E with no casualties.

At 0255, Eddy's USS PARGO torpedoes and hits MANJU MARU carrying 5,695-tons of coal, ammunition, machinery and food, in her No. 2 hold. She sinks at 18-34N, 139-58E with three crewmen, two gunners and one passenger KIA.

30 November-1 December 1943:
Still tracking the convoy, USS PARGO makes several attacks between 2049 and 0048. SHOKO MARU is repeatedly hit and sinks with all hands (42 crewmen) at 18-02N, 138-55E, about 280 nautical miles WNW of Guam, Marianas.

5 January 1944:
Removed from the Navy’s list under internal order No. 54.


Authors Notes:
[1] Not to be confused with IJA transport (2,209 GRT, ’19) or Auxiliary transport (5,385 GRT, ’40).

[2] NRT is a ship's cargo volume capacity expressed in "register tons", one of which equals to a volume of 100 cubic feet (2.83 m3). It is calculated by subtracting non-revenue-earning spaces i.e. spaces not available for carrying cargo, for example engine rooms, fuel tanks and crew quarters, from the ship's gross register tonnage (GRT). Net register tonnage (NRT) is not a measure of the weight of the ship or its cargo, and should not be confused with terms such as deadweight tonnage or displacement.

[3] 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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