IJA SHOZAN MARU:
Tabular Record of
© 2014-2017 Bob Hackett
Kasadoshima, Kudamatsu. Laid down by Kasado Dock K.K. shipyard as a
2,838 ton Standard Merchant Type 1C cargo ship for Kokoku Kisen K.K., Kobe.
Launched and named SHOZAN MARU.
29 February 1944:
4 March 1944:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) and allotted Army
15 April 1944:
At 0600, SHOZAN MARU departs Tokyo with KAMISHIMA MARU
bound for Woleai in convoy "Higashi-Matsu No. 6" also consisting of AWAJI,
HAKUBA, KATSUKAWA, TAKAOKA, BATAVIA, AWA and HOKUSHIN MARUs bound for Saipan,
CHOAN MARU No. 2 and MIKAGE MARU No. 1 bound for Truk, JOKUJA, BISAN and JINSAN
MARUs bound for Palau, INARI and TONEGAWA MARUs bound for Guam and TATSUAKI and
TAMAHOKO MARUs bound for Chichi-Jima. Escort is provided by destroyers HOKAZE,
YUNAGI and UZUKI, kaibokan MIYAKE and CD-6, minelayers SARUSHIMA, KYOSAI and
YURISHIMA, subchasers CH-10 and CH-12 and minesweepers W-20 and W-28.
23 April 1944:
At 0600, arrives at Saipan.
17 May 1944:
SHOZAN MARU departs Saipan for Tokyo in convoy No. 4517
also consisting of ASAHISAN, BINGO, ENOSHIMA, MEIRYU, MIHO, MINO and TATSUHARU
MARUs escorted by destroyer ASANAGI, kaibokan CD-18 and CD-24, torpedo-boat
OTORI, auxiliary SHONAN MARU No. 8 and TAKUNAN MARU No. 10. Soon after
departing, YAMATAMA MARU runs aground and is detached from the convoy.
22 May 1944:
160 miles NW of Chichi-Jima. ASANAGI is steaming about a
mile ahead of the formation. At 0327, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Bafford E.
Lewellen‘s (USNA ’31) USS POLLACK (SS-180) torpedoes ASANAGI at 28-12N 138-50E.
Hit aft, she becomes unnavigable and goes dead in the water. Fires break out aft
and she lists to starboard before rolling over and sinking at 0405. 82 sailors
24 May 1944:
At about 1730, convoy No. 4517 arrives at Tokyo.
6 July 1944:
At 1245, SHOZAN MARU departs Miike, Kyushu for Takao, Formosa
in convoy MOMA-02 also consisting of HIZAN (HIYAMA), JINZAN, KOKKA, RYOFU, SEATTLE,
TOKUSHIMA and YASUKUNI MARUs and five unidentified ships escorted by destroyer HATSUSHIMO,
kaibokan CD-1 and CD-22 and minesweeper W-34.
12 July 1944:
At 2110, arrives at Takao.
14 July 1944:
At 1900, SHOZAN MARU departs Takao for Manila in convoy
TAMA-21C also consisting of HIZAN, JINSAN, KOKKA, MANTAI, MITSUKI, SAINEI,
SEATTLE, SHOEI, TENSHIN, YAMATAMA, (HIYAMA) and YASUKUNI MARUs and tankers AYAGIRI,
AYAZONO, MITSU and SHONAN MARUs escorted by kaibokan KUSAGAKI, CD-1 and CD-22,
minelayers MAESHIMA and ENTO and minesweeper W-34.
SHOZAN MARU carries the 10th Air Training Unit, 329th Independent Motor
Transport Company, 330th Independent Motor Transport Company, Southern Army
Field Motor Depot, 319th Independent Motor Transport Company, and 43 men of the
10th Independence Tank Company, tanks and trucks.
16 July 1944:
At 0946, LtCdr Harold E. Ruble's (USNA ‘33) USS PIRANHA
(SS-389) torpedoes and sinks SEATTLE MARU carrying 4,285 IJNAF personnel at
19-17N, 120-15E. SHOZAN and HIYAMA MARUs rescue all but 286 airmen.
Over the next six hours, Captain (later Rear Admiral-Ret) William V.
O'Regan’s wolf pack consisting of Cdr Duncan C. MacMillian's (USNA ‘26) THRESHER
(SS-200), LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Novell G. Ward's (USNA ‘35) GUARDFISH
(SS-217) and Ruble's PIRANHA close in and decimate the convoy.
At 2300, THRESHER torpedoes and sinks SAINEI MARU at 18-53N, 119-32E. At
2350, GUARDFISH torpedoes and sinks JINZAN MARU. Two minutes later, GUARDFISH
torpedoes and sinks MANTAI MARU.
17 July 1944:
The attacks continue. At 0034, GUARDFISH torpedoes and
sinks HIYAMA MARU. W-34 and CD-1 rescue survivors.
NW of Cape Bojeador, Luzon. At 0345, MacMillian's THRESHER torpedoes and
sinks SHOZAN MARU at 18-50N, 119-43E. 125 troops, 500 SEATTLE MARU survivors, 24
gunners and 64 crewmen are KIA. CD-1 and W-34 rescue 188 survivors.
 Not to be confused with Navy requisitioned passenger-cargo SHOZAN MARU (5859 GRT), SHOZAN (ex-British CHEKIANG) or Standard Merchant Type 2A SHOZAN MARU, (6,780 GRT).
Thanks go Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.
- Bob Hackett
to IJA Transports