ZATSUYOSEN!

(SCHOUTEN later SUITEN MARU, prewar)

IJN SUITEN MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement


© 2016 Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall


E 1911:
Rotterdam, Netherlands. Laid down by Fijenoord shipyard, as a 1,784-tons passenger/cargo ship for Koninklijke Paketvaart Maatschappij, Batavia.

14 February 1912:
Launched and named SCHOUTEN.

6 April 1912:
Completed and registered at Batavia, Java, D.E.I. with Official Number (ON): 5603421 and Call Sign: THKC. Her Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT) and Net Registered Tonnage (NRT) respectively are 1,784-tons and 966-tons. [1]

1924:
Her GRT and NRT are respectively changed to 1,805-tons and 986-tons. Call Sign is changed to TGDK. [1].

1933:
Call sign is changed to PKRM.

7 December 1941:
Requisitioned as an auxiliary antiaircraft vessel.

28 February 1942:
Scuttled by her crew in shallow waters in the Madura Strait to prevent falling into Japanese hands.

1942:
Salvaged by Japanese Forces. Renamed SUITEN MARU. Call sign is changed to JWGY.

15 November 1942:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary transport attached to the Kure Naval District with Kure as homeport under Navy’s instruction No. 2116. Assigned directly to the Navy Department as an auxiliary transport (Otsu) category. [3]

28 December 1942:
In Eastbound convoy No. 58 with civilian tanker (C-AO) MITSU MARU, IJA transports KEIJO and FUKUYAMA (ex-British FEDERLOCK) MARUs, auxiliary storeship HYUGA MARU, civilian collier (C-AC) TSUKUSHI MARU, government owned cargo ship (C-AK) JOSHU GO (ex-Chinese HSU CHOW), two unidentified ships named SHINHO and HIRATSU MARUs, and an unidentified ship called OMASA MARU escorted by auxiliary gunboat KEISHIN MARU. Arrives at Yokosuka.

16 January 1943:
Maintenance directive No. 333 is implemented.

26 February 1943:
Maintenance work is completed.

27 February 1943:
Departs Yokohama.

3 March 1943:
Arrives at Hakata, Fukuoka Prefecture.

6 March 1943:
Departs Hakata.

10 March 1943:
Arrives at Miike, Fukuoka Prefecture.

12 March 1943:
Departs Miike with IJA transport DOZAN MARU and one unidentified ship.

14 March 1943:
Arrives at Tsukumi, Oita Prefecture, Kyushu.

16 March 1943:
Departs Tsukumi.

22 March 1943:
Arrives at Osaka.

27 March 1943:
Departs Osaka.

28 March 1943:
Arrives at Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture.

31 March 1943:
Departs Yokkaichi.

3 April 1943:
Arrives at Imari, Saga Prefecture, Kyushu.

10 April 1943:
At 0600, departs Imari in convoy SA-3 also consisting of auxiliary oiler KIYO MARU, IJA transports SHOJIN, DAIYA, FRANCE and TAITO MARUs, civilian cargo ship (C-AK) WAKAMATSU MARU and civilian ore carrier (C-AC) KINREI MARU escorted by destroyer KARUKAYA and minelayer KAMOME. IJA transports KENWA and NICHIAN MARUs and IJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) TATSUURA MARU were also in this convoy but dropped out and joined SA-5. The convoy sails at 8 knots.

15 April 1943:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa (now Kaohsiung, Taiwan).

22 April 1943:
Departs Takao.

26 May 1943:
Arrives at Cebu, Philippines.

3 June 1943:
At 1500, departs Cebu in convoy with auxiliary transport KASAGISAN MARU with unknown escort.

4 June 1943:
Arrives at Mactan Island.

6 June 1943:
Departs Mactan Island.

7 June 1943:
Arrives at Zamboanga, Mindanao. Departs there later that day.

10 June 1943:
At 0800, arrives at Balikpapan, Borneo.

14 June 1943:
Departs Balikpapan.

17 June 1943:
Arrives at Surabaya, Java.

25 June 1943:
Departs Surabaya.

1 July 1943:
Arrives at Ambon, Celebes (now Sulawesi).

4 July 1943:
Departs Ambon.

7 July 1943:
Arrives at Kaimana, West Papua.

9 July 1943:
Departs Kaimana.

12 July 1943:
Arrives at Ambon.

14 July 1943:
Departs Ambon.

19 July 1943:
Arrives at Balikpapan.

20 July 1943:
Departs Balikpapan.

21 July 1943:
Arrives at Sanga-Sanga, Borneo.

22 July 1943:
Departs Sanga-Sanga and arrives at Loakulu, Borneo later that same day.

23 July 1943:
Departs Loakulu and arrives at Samarinda, Borneo later in the day.

29 July 1943:
Departs Samarinda.

30 July 1943:
Arrives at Balikpapan. Departs there later that day.

5 August 1943:
Arrives at Jakarta (ex-Batavia), Java.

25 August 1943:
Departs Jakarta.

27 August 1943:
Arrives at Surabaya.

31 August 1943:
Departs Surabaya.

4 September 1943:
Arrives at Kupang, Timor.

7 September 1943:
Departs Kupang.

10 September 1943:
Arrives at Macassar, Celebes. Departs there later that same day.

12 September 1943:
Arrives at Balikpapan.

16 September 1943:
Departs Balikpapan.

18 September 1943:
Arrives at Macassar.

19 September 1943:
Departs Macassar with IJA transport TAIRYU MARU escorted by auxiliary subchaser SHONAN MARU No. 2.

20 September 1943:
Arrives at Choro Bay, Celebes. SHONAN MARU No. 2 is detached.

21 September 1943:
Departs Choro Bay and arrives at Kendari, Celebes later in the day.

1 October 1943:
Departs Kendari.

3 October 1943:
Arrives at Macassar.

5 October 1943:
Departs Macassar.

7 October 1943:
Arrives at Balikpapan.

16 October 1943:
At 0800, departs Balikpapan in a convoy also consisting of auxiliary oiler ENOSHIMA (ex-RFA EBONOL) MARU escorted by minelayer AOTAKA.

19 October 1943:
Arrives at Macassar.

26 October 1943:
Departs Macassar.

27 October 1943:
Arrives at Sissa, Celebes

29 October 1943:
Departs Sissa.

31 October 1943:
Arrives at Kupang.

2 November 1943:
Scheduled to have a Navy Captain as supervisor (if any available).

4 November 1943:
Departs Kupang.

7 November 1943:
Arrives at Macassar.

8 November 1943:
Departs Macassar.

10 November 1943:
Arrives at Balikpapan.

20 November 1943:
Departs Balikpapan.

28 November 1943:
Arrives at Kendari. Departs later.

1 December 1943:
Arrives at Ambon.

E 3 ~ 10 December 1943:
Undergoes hull repairs.

10 December 1943:
Repairs are completed.

12 December 1943:
Departs Ambon.

16 December 1943:
Arrives at Macassar.

21 December 1943:
Departs Macassar and en route joins a convoy that departed Balikpapan at 1500 on 20 Dec also consisting of auxiliary oiler SHINKOKU MARU escorted by patrol boat PB-102 (ex-USS STEWART – DD-224). The escort only proceeds as far as the Aru Bank.

22 December 1943:
At some point, SUITEN MARU is detached from the convoy.

23 December 1943:
Arrives at Surabaya.

14 February 1944:
Departs Surabaya.

23 February 1944:
Arrives at Sorong, Java.

27 February 1944:
Departs Sorong.

29 April 1944:
Departs Balikpapan in a convoy also consisting of auxiliary oiler ENOSHIMA (ex-RFA EBONOL) and another unidentified ship escorted by subchaser CH-5.

2 May 1944:
Arrives at Macassar.

5 May 1944:
At 0700, departs Macassar with a cargo of aviation gasoline in a convoy also consisting of auxiliary transport CHOI MARU escorted by auxiliary minesweeper WA-3 and auxiliary NITTO MARU No. 18.

8 May 1944:
At 1700, arrives at Kendari where IJA transport UWAJIMA MARU No. 18 joins the convoy.

9 May 1944:
Departs Kendari.

11 May 1944:
Arrives at Biak, New Guinea. Departs for Ambon later in the day with a cargo of aviation gasoline in a convoy also consisting of auxiliary transport CHOI MARU, and IJA transport UWAJIMA MARU No. 18 escorted by auxiliary minesweeper WA-3 and auxiliary NITTO MARU No. 18.

Banda Sea. About 1400, LtCdr Willard R. Laughon’s (USNA ’33) USS RASHER (SS-269) running submerged, spots the convoy and fires a spread of four Mark XXIII torpedoes that miss the target. Soon after, Laughon attacks again firing two Mark XXIII torpedoes but still obtains no hits. USS RASHER continues to shadow the convoy during the afternoon. About 2000, USS RASHER surfaces and Laughon detects the convoy on radar. He fires a spread of three Mark XIV Type 3A torpedoes but no hits are scored. About 2300, Laughon fires another four Mark XIV Type 3A torpedoes and finally scores one hit on CHOI MARU setting her afire.

12 May 1944:
About 0005, CHOI MARU sinks SW coast of Buru Island at 03-28S, 126-03E with the loss of 22 of her crew. The remainder of the convoy arrives at Ambon at 1830.

21 May 1944:
Departs Ambon.

23 May 1944:
Arrives at Sorong.

10 June 1944:
Assigned to Northern Area Corps as auxiliary transport under Navy’s secret instruction No. 8.

29 June 1944:
Departs Balikpapan in convoy with auxiliary gunboat TAIKO MARU, IJN requisitioned tanker (B-AO) UNKAI MARU No. 12 and civilian cargo ship (C-AK) TAKASAN MARU. Soon after departure, due to severe hull leaks, SUITEN MARU is beached outside Balikpapan Port for provisional repairs.

10 July 1944:
Removed from the IJN Navy’s list under instruction No. 855.

12 ~ 29 July 1944:
Unloading operations and provisional repairs are processed.

25 July 1944:
Assigned to Northern Area Corps as auxiliary transport under Navy’s secret instruction No. 8.

1 August 1944:
Departs Balikpapan in convoy also consisting of IJN shared tanker (B/C-AO) HOSEI MARU (ex-Dutch POSEIDON), government owned cargo ship SEITO MARU (ex-British CHENGTU) and civilian cargo ship (C-AK) NAGATA MARU. The convoy is briefly escorted by minesweeper W-11 and arrives at Laut Island, SE Borneo.

2 August 1944:
Joins a convoy also consisting of Government owned passenger/cargo ship (C-APK) DAI MARU (ex-Dutch DUYMAER VAN TWIST), Communication Boat No. 104 (wooden hulled), auxiliary oiler ENOSHIMA MARU (ex-RFA EBONOL) and IJN shared tanker (B/C-AO) HOSEI MARU (ex-Dutch POSEIDON) escorted by minesweeper W-101.

3 August 1944:
At 0700, the convoy departs Laut Island.

6 August 1944:
At 1530, the convoy arrives at Surabaya.

6 ~ 24 August 1944:
Engages in rescue work.

25 August 1944:
Departs Surabaya.

31 August 1944:
Registered again in the IJN as an auxiliary transport (Otsu) category attached to the Kure Naval District with Kure as homeport under instruction No. 1015. Assigned directly to the Navy’s Department.

1 September 1944:
Arrives at Jakarta.

E September 1944:
Undergoes extensive hull repairs.

27 January 1945:
At 1840, departs Jakarta in a convoy also consisting of IJA transport TAITO MARU escorted by patrol boat PB-2.

30 January 1945:
At 1114, arrives at Surabaya.

6 February 1945:
At 0700, departs Surabaya in a convoy also consisting of IJA transports SUGI and KENZAN MARUs and civilian tanker (C-AO) NANSHIN MARU No. 12 escorted by patrol boat PB-2, minesweeper W-11 and auxiliary subchaser Cha 104.

9 February 1945:
At 1600, the convoy arrives safely at Balikpapan. SUGI and KENZAN MARUs are detached for Macassar prior to this time.

3 March 1945:
N of Malang, Java . LtCdr Paul C. Stimson’s (USNA ’36) USS SEA ROBIN (SS-407) running on surface, detects a target on her radar. About 2000, Stimson attacks and fires a spread of four Mk XIV Type 3 A torpedoes. One hit is scored and SUITEN MARU sinks rapidly at 06-29S, 112-48E taking down 32 of her crew.

3 May 1947:
Removed from the IJN Navy’s list under instruction No. 327-2.


Authors notes :
[1] 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 reducing 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.

[2] Also known as SUITGEN MARU.

[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 and Peter Cundall.


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