(Sister TEXAS MARU)
IJA Transport SHUNKO MARU:
Tabular Record of
© 2014-2016 Bob Hackett
20 June 1919:
Aioi. Laid down at Harima shipyard Co. Ltd. as Yard No. 30, a
6,776-ton cargo ship for Goko, K. K. of Amagasaki.
4 November 1919:
Launched and named SHUNKO MARU. 
24 November 1919:
10 February 1921:
Sold to the Osaka Shosen Kaisha (OSK Line), K. K. of
Osaka and placed in service on their routes serving Europe, India and New York.
1 September 1923:
SHUNKO MARU clears the Port of Balboa (Panama
7 August 1926:
Clears the Port of Balboa.
24 October 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) and
converted to an auxiliary transport. Allotted Army No 892..
7 December 1941: The Invasion of the Philippines -“M” Operation (M
At 1720, SHUNKO MARU departs Mako, Pescadores for Vigan,
Philippines with transports BRISBANE, HAWAII, OIGAWA, SANKO and TAKAO MARUs and
five sea trucks escorted by Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Nishimura Shoji's
(39) 2nd Raiding Force consisting of light cruiser NAKA (F), DesDiv 2's
HARUSAME, MURASAME, YUDACHI and SAMIDARE, DesDiv 4'sASAGUMO, MINEGUMO and
NATSUGUMO , MinesweepDiv 21’s minesweepers W-9, W-10, W-11 and W-12,
MineSweepDiv 30’s W-17 and W-18 and SubChaserDiv 21’s subchasers CH-4, CH-5,
CH-6, CH-16, CH-17 and CH-18 and SubChaserDiv 31’s CH-10, CH-11 and CH-12.
The six transports of the invasion fleet carry a detachment of 2nd
Formosan Infantry Regiment, 1st Battalion (less two companies), 3rd Battalion,
one company of 48th Mountain Artillery Regiment, one company of 45th Field
Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion, two platoons of 48th Engineer Regiment, 2nd
Airfield Maintenance Unit (temporarily formed from 18th Airfield Battalion,
including one company of 46th Field Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion), one
company of 10th Independent Engineer Regiment (Type E shipping engineers) and
part of 2nd Shipping Artillery Regiment (defense personnel for the marus). The
1st and 2nd Airfield Maintenance Units includes part of airfield battalions
under the 5th Air Group.
10 December 1941:
The invasion unit arrives off Vigan, N Luzon and
begins to land troops. OIGAWA MARU is so badly damaged by American aircraft that
she is beached by her captain.
18 December 1941: The Invasion of the Philippines -“M” Operation (M
At 1700, SHUNKO MARU departs Takao, Formosa for Lingayen Gulf,
Philippines in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Rear Admiral Hara Kensaburo's
(37)(former CO of TAKAO) 1st Lingayen Invasion Unit with 27 other IJA transports
escorted by DesRon 5's light cruiser NATORI, DesDiv 5's ASAKAZE, HARUKAZE and
MATSUKAZE, DesDiv 22's FUMIZUKI, MINAZUKI, NAGATSUKI and SATSUKI, minesweepers
W-15 and W-16 and subchasers CH-1, CH-2, CH-3 CH-13, CH-14 and CH-15.
The Japanese main invasion at Lingayen Gulf consists of three transport
echelons and carries the main part of LtGen Homma Masaharu's 80,000-man 14th
Army. The first echelon is composed of 27 transports from Takao under Rear
Admiral Hara , the second echelon of 28 transports under Rear Admiral (later
Vice Admiral) Nishimura Shoji (39) and the third echelon of 21 transports from
Keelung under Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hirose Sueto (39).
24 December 1941:
Lingayen Gulf. Between 0110 and 0430, the Lingayen
Invasion Convoy lands troops at Lingayen.
2 June 1942:
SHUNKO MARU departs Mako in convoy No. 218 also
consisting of FUKKAI, GENMEI, HITERU and KANTO MARUs and DAIGEN MARU No. 8 and
two unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU.
8 June 1942:
Arrives at Mutsure.
2 October 1942:
SHUNKO MARU departs Ujina for Rabaul, New Britain in a
convoy with NIKKI MARU. SHUNKO MARU carries a cargo of gasoline and provisions.
3 October 1942:
The convoy arrives at Saeki where it is joined by two
unidentified warships as escorts.
14 October 1942:
At 0740 (K), lookouts aboard LtCdr James W. Coe’s
(USNA ‘30) USS SKIPJACK (SS-184) sight smoke on the horizon from due West. At
1002, SKIPJACK submerges and sights smoke at 23 miles range. LtCdr Coe sees two
ships about 1/2 mile apart making 8 knots. The leading ship is a smokeless
camouflagged AK of about 7,000 tons and the second ship is a n old AP of about
4,000 tons making plenty of smoke.
S of Palau. At 1106, Coe fires two torpedoes and gets two hits amidships
on SHUNKO MARU’s starboard side. Both ships return fire with their deck guns.
There are no casualities aboard SHUNKO MARU and her crew abandons ship in four
life boats including a Dahaitsu barge. Coe observes what appears to be bomber
fuselages stored forward. At about 1545, she sinks at 04-36N, 146-59E. 
 Not to be confused with SHUNKO MARU of 4,027 tons built
 The survivors spend 7 days in the barge before making land on Toasu
Island where they are rescued by an unidentifed subchaser from Truk 14 days
after their sinking.
Thanks go to Erich.Muehlthaler of Germany.
to IJA Transports