RIKUGUN YUSOSEN

(SHUNSHO MARU, prewar)

IJA SHUNSHO MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

2017 Bob Hackett


1906:
Glasgow, Scotland. Laid down by Barcay Curle Co. Ltd., as a 6, 190-ton cargo ship for British India Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. of Dairen, Manchuria (now Dalian, northern China).

1906:
Launched and named CHUPRA.

January 1906:
Completed.

1924:
Sold to Yamamoto Shipping of Dairen. Renamed SHUNSHO MARU.

1926:
Sold to to Kanazawa Otonosuke of Dairen. Renamed SHUNZAN MARU.

1927:
Again sold to Yamamoto Shipping of Dairen. Again renamed SHUNSHO MARU.

1936 :
Sold to Spring Wave Steamers of Dairen.

28 December 1937:
Sold to Division Shipboard of Kobe.

19 February 1943:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) and allotted Army No. 220. [1]

30 April 1943:
Transitions to an Army/Civilian (A/C-AK) shared employment ship (Haitosen) with Army No. 5272.

15 May 1942:

28 March 1943:
SHUNSHO MARU departs Saeki for Palau in Military Movement No. 8's K2 convoy also consisting of SHINTO and YONEYAMA MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-46 and minelayer YURIJIMA.

E 29 March 1943:
The escorts are detached at 29N.

9 May 1943:
SHUNSHO MARU departs Palau for Kobe for Saeki in convoy P-509 also consisting of auxiliary transport MEITEN MARU, IJA transports BUNZAN, CHIHAYA, EHIME, TAIYU, TOKO and TOUN MARUs escorted by minelayer YURIJIMA.

E 16 May 1943:
Minesweeper W-18 joins the convoy at 26-56N, 133-26E.

19 May 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

22 June 1943:
At 0825, SHUNSHO MARU is missed by torpedoes from an enemy submarine at 332 degrees 5 nautical miles from Esan-misaki, Hokkaido. About 90 minutes later, picket boat HANJIN MARU arrives on the spot and starts seraching for the enemy. At 1100, minelayer ASHIZAKI and three other vessels gather off Esan-misaki. At 1330, near the spot where SHUNSHO MARU was attacked, ASHIZAKI discovers an enemy periscope. Immediately, ASHIZAKI closes the range and drops depth charges. Thereafter, a small quantity of oil is seen on the surface. Until evening, a total of eight ships comb the sea between Muroran and Shiriya-saki.

9 September 1944:
At 1200, SHUNSHO MARU departs Moji for Miri, Borneo in convoy MI-19 consisting of tankers SAN DIEGO, CHIHAYA, IWAKUNI, KENZUI and MITSU MARUs and cargo ships ARISAN, DAIA, DAIBIN (OTOSHI), DAIMEI, ENOURA, HAKUSHIKA, MATSUURA, NIKKO, SHINSEI, TEIFU (ex-Vichy French BOUGAINVILLE) , TASMANIA and YULIN MARU escorted by torpedo boat SAGI, kaikoban ETOROFU, SHONAN, CD-6 and CD-16 and auxiliary gunboat CHOHAKUSAN MARU. In the evening, land-based IJA aircraft provide ASW cover.

10 September 1944:
E of Quelpart Island. At 1212, LtCdr (later Cdr) Edward E. Shelby's (USNA '33) USS SUNFISH (SS-281) torpedoes and sinks CHIHAYA MARU at 33-49N, 127-41E. CHIHAYA MARU was sailing with sea water in her oil tanks as ballast and carried a deck cargo of 413 soldiers, most from the 2nd Company, 10th Tank Regiment, 2nd Tank Division and six Daihatsu landing craft and two armored cars. 79 soldiers an nine crewmen are KIA; also lost are the landing craft and armored cars. The convoy immediately retires to Chinto (Chin Hajo Island) where it regroups. The escorts launch a concerted, but unsuccessful attempt to find the submarine.

12 September 1944:
Convoy MI-19 departs Chinto.

13 September 1944:
At about 1600, an unknown submarine attacks convoy MI-19. The escorts drop DCs. No damage is recorded.

17 September 1944:
MI-19 splits. SHUNSHO, NIKKO, MATSUURA, ENOURA and KENZUI MARUs head for Keelung escorted by kaikoban SHONAN.

25 September 1944:
At 1400, SHUNSHO MARU departs Takao in convoy TAMA-27 also consisting of DAIBIN, MANILA, DAIIKU, DAIKYO and SAN DIEGO MARUs and NICHIYU MARU No. 2 and four unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer HARUKAZE, kaibokan CD-6, CD-9, CD-16, subchaser CH-56 and stores ship KURASAKI .

26 September 1944:
At 2000, arrives in the Sabtang Channel.

27 September 1944:
At 0300 departs and at 1900 arrives at Aparri.

28 September 1944:
At 0100, departs Aparri and at 1800 arrives at Lapoc Bay.

29 September 1944:
At 0600, departs Lapoc Bay and at 1600 arrives at San Fernando.

30 September 1944:
At 0600, departs San Fernando. Later an enemy submarine contact is made. At 1600 arrives back at San Fernando.

2 October 1944:
Departs San Fernando. 3 October 1944:
At 1800, arrives at Masinloc.

4 October 1944:
At 0630, departs Masinloc. Shortly thereafter, DAIBIN and SAN DIEGO MARUs are detached. At 0855, Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Rueben Whitaker's USS FLASHER (SS-249) torpedoes and sinks DAIBIN MARU at 15-15N, 119-50E. Later that day, the remaining ships arrive at Manila.

17 October 1944:
SHUNSHO MARU departs Manila in the Taihi (Refugee) convoy also consisting of TOYOKAWA MARU and four unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan CD-6 and CD-16 and minesweeper W-41.

21 October 1944:
Arrives at Yulin, Hainan Island.

24 October 1944:
SHUNSHO MARU departs Samah, (Sana), Hainan Island in convoy YUTA-13 also consisting of TOYOKAWA MARU and four unidentified merchant ships. escorted by kaibokan CD-6 and minesweeper W-41.

26 October 1944:
At 1625, an enemy submarine is sighted at 18-00N, 113-24E.

27 October 1944:
At 1346, an enemy submarine is sighted at 21-00N, 114-04E.

29 October 1944:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa.

6 November 1944:
SHUNSHO MARU departs Kirun in convoy TAMO-28 also consisting of IJA transports JUZAN, TAISHO and TOYOKAWA MARUs and four unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan MIKURA and CD-6.

12 November 1944:
At 1800 the convoy arrives at Fukuoka Bay.

13 November 1944:
At 0300, departs Fukuoka Bay and at 0530, arrives at Mutsure.

14 January 1945:
At 0700, SHUNSHO MARU departs Moji in convoy MOTA-32 also consisting of AIZAN, DAIKYO, DAISHU, MASASHIMA, SAMARANG and TENSHO MARUs and TAMON MARU No. 16 and five unidentified merchants escorted by destroyer SHIOKAZE, kaibokan MANJU, CD-31, CD-132, CD-144 and subchasers CH-19 and CH-57.

20 January 1945:
Arrives at Heiniu Wan.

21 January 1945:
That evening, anchors at Sanmen Inlet, China coast.

22 January 1945:
At 1600, convoy TAMO-38 arrives at Namkwan (Namquan) Bay and merges with anchored convoy MOTA-32 consisting of DAIKYO, TENSHO, SAMARANG AIZAN, SHUNSHO and DAISHUN MARUs, TAMON MARU No. 16 and five unidentified merchants escorted by destroyer SHIOKAZE, kaibokan MANJU, CD-31, CD-132 and CD-144 and subchasers CH-19 and CH-57.

22 January 1945:
At dawn, departs Sanmen Inlet. In late afternoon, convoy MOTA-32 arrives at Namkwan (Namquan) Bay. At 1600, convoy TAMO-38 heading north arrives consisting of BINGO, DAINAN, TOYOKAWA, RASHIN, SHINNO, TATSUWA and NICHIYU No. 7 escorted by kaibokan IKUNA, CD-26, CD-39 and CD-112. The two convoys merge at anchor.

23 January 1945:
At 0402, LtCdr (later MOH/Rear Admiral) Eugene B. Fluckey's (USNA '35) USS BARB (SS-220), running on the surface, penetrates the outer escort screen and enters the harbor. An unbroken line of ships at anchor, 4200 yards in length, is clearly visible. Fluckey fires a total of eight torpedoes into the target line. - DAIKYO MARU is hit and her cargo of munitions detonates in a massive explosion killing 56 crewmen, 28 gunners and 360 of 558 troops; also lost are six Daihatsu and two shohatsu landing craft. Minor damage, probably from falling debris, is also inflicted on AIZAN, DAISHUN, SAMARANG and SHUNSHO MARUs and TAMON MARU No. 16. At 0600, the rest of the convoy departs Namkwan. Later that day arrives at Niu Shan Tao.

24 January 1944:
At 0400 departs Niu Shan Tao.

25 January 1945:
Arrives at Kirun, Formosa (Keelung, Taiwan) where the convoy is dissolved.

28 January 1945:
Arrives at Moji.

31 January 1945:
At 0600, SHUNSHO MARU departs Keelung for Moji in convoy TAMO-39 consisting of AIZAN, DAISHU, SAMARANG, TETSUYO and TATSUHARU MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD-14, CD-16, CH-19 and CD-46.

16 September 1950:
Transferred to Shin Nippon Steamship, Kobe.

1951:
Sold to First Shipping Co., Ltd., Kobe.

1952:
Sold to Kotani Steamship of Osaka.

23 November 1952:
Sold to Okada salvage, Osaka and dismantled that year.


Author's Note:
[1] Probabaly already Army requisitioned for some period before 1943. but dates unknown.

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

Bob Hackett


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