SUMATRA MARU, prewar)
Tabular Record of Movement
© 2012-2016 Bob Hackett
18 August 1917:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki Shipbuilding as a 5,857-ton passenger-cargo ship.
27 November 1917:
Launched and named as DAIFUKU MARU No. 16.
22 December 1917:
Sold to the Osaka Shosen Kaisha (OSK) Line.
and renamed renamed SUMATRA MARU. 
25 December 1917:
Completed. SUMATRA MARU can accomodate five 1st class passengers and carries a crew of 56.
Serves on OSK’s routes from Kobe to Indian Ocean ports and
New York and Gulf of Mexico ports.
9 February 1919:
Arrives at Ellis Island, New York from Rotterdam, Netherlands.
16 November 1921:
Arrives at Ellis Island, New York from Santiago, Cuba.
31 March 1926:
Columbo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). A fire breaks out
aboard SUMATRA MARU and about 5,000 bales are damaged. Ship surveyors recommend
the damaged cargo be reshipped to Bombay for reconditioning.
10 October 1941:
SUMATRA MARU is requisitioned by the Imperial Army as a troop transport. Alloted IJA No. 964.
13 December 1941 - Operation “E” – The Invasion of Malaya:
departs Camranh Bay in the IJA 5th Infantry Division Transportation Movement's 2nd landing. SUMATRA MARU is in the 3rd Unit with OHIO, KUNITAMA, YAWATA and OREGON MARUs. The Movement carries the main body of the 5th Infantry Division.
16 December 1941:
At 1900, arrives at Singora, Siam (now Songhkla, Thailand).
19 March 1942: "U" transport operation to Burma (U Sakusen Yuso):
First Burma Transport Convoy departs Singapore consisting of 32 ships with main
body of the 56th Division: SUMATRA, AOBASAN, KAZUURA, KIZAN, GLASGOW, KUSUYAMA,
KOTOHIRA, SANKO, SAKITO, SHINAI, SHINRYU, SHUNSEI, SYDNEY, SHINANOGAWA, GENOA,
TATEISHI, TSUYAMA, TOKIWA, NAKO, NAGARA, NICHIRAN, NAPLES, HAVRE, HARUNA,
HIBURI, HOFUKU, HOKUMEI, MYOKO, MOMOYAMA, YAE MARUs and two others.
25 March 1942:
The First Burma Transport Convoy arrives at Rangoon.
2 December 1942:
SUMATRA MARU departs Saeki in No. 8 Military
Movement's convoy "E" also consisting of CHIFUKU, BANDOENG and NICHIRYU MARUs
escorted by minelayer NUWAJIMA and patrol boat PB-31.
4 December 1942:
NUWAJIMA is detached at 29N.
7 December 1942:
Arrives at Palau and departs in an unidentified convoy.
20 April 1943:
Enroute from Manila to Palau, in rough seas at night, SUMATRA MARU is steaming toward the San Bernardino Strait when she runs aground on a submerged reef. Later, she is refloated and anchors 7km E of the San
Bernardino Strait off Luzon, Philippines.
12 May 1943:
Off Bulusan, Luzon. LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) William S. Post’s (USNA ’30) USS GUDGEON (SS-211) discovers SUMATRA MARU, now cleverly camouflaged, moored in a cove close to shore. At about 0920, GUDGEON fires
two torpedoes, one hits the beach but the other hits SUMATRA MARU’s No. 4 hold. The explosion blows a hole 21 feet ( 6.4 m) in diameter in her hull and causes immediate flooding. She sinks in shallow water at at 12-44N, 124-08E. One
man is KIA.
27 May 1943:
Abandoned as a constructive total lost. Scrapped at an unknown date.
 Not to be confused with 983 ton Dutch TOMORI, scuttled off Surabaya on 2 Mar '42 and later salvaged and renamed SUMATRA MARU. That small ship was sunk in Oct '44 by divers in underwater vehicles ("Chariots") launched from British
submarine HMS TRENCHANT in Phuket Harbor, Thailand.
Thanks go to Erich Muehthaler of Germany.
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