(TAIBUN (ex-ETNA) MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2017 Bob Hackett

E 1919:
Osaka. Laid down at Osaka Iron Works Sakurajima Plant as a Yard No. 944, a 6,581-ton cargo ship for Nippon Kisen K. K. of Osaka. [1]

Launched and named ETNA MARU.

May 1920:

Sold to Kokusai Kisen K. K (International Steamship Co. Ltd.) of Kobe.

Sold to Shimomura Kisen, K.K. of Ishikawa and Hashidate.

April 1929:
Renamed TAIBUN MARU. [2]

October 1930:
Seattle, WA. The United States Government seizes opium and cocaine coming from Yokohama aboard TAIBUN MARU.

9 December 1936:
Singapore. TAIBUN MARU is granted clearance to depart the port.

27 November 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA). Alloted IJA No. 382.

13 December 1941 - Operation “E” – The Invasion of Malaya:
At 0830, TAIBUN MARU departs Camranh Bay, Vichy French, Indochina (Vietnam) in the 2nd Unit's TransDiv 2 with KAMOI, KOYU, LONDON, SHINAI and WAKATSU MARUs. The IJA 5th Infantry Division Transportation Movement carries the main body of the 5th Infantry Division.

16 December 1941:
At 1900, arrives at Singora, Siam (now Songhkla, Thailand) supporting the Singora Invasion Unit that landed on 8 December.

17 July 1942:
Retutned to her owners; thereafter civilian.

12 August 1942:
TAIBUN MARU departs Kinkasan in a northbound convoy from Kinkasan also consisting of HIBI, TOHO and RYO MARUs escorted by auxiliary gunboat DELHI MARU.

E 13 August 1942:
Seven nms E of Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture. Auxiliary gunboat HIYOSHI MARU No. 2 GO takes over escort duty. DELHI MARU is detached.

14 August 1942:
Arrives at Nagaura.

1 February 1943:
After a merger, transferred to Taiwan Kaiun, Kobe.

9 April 1943:
TAIBUN MARU departs Tokyo Bay in westbound convoy No. 7408B also consisting of REIAN MARU, DAIGEN MARU No. 3 and TAMON MARU No. 5 escorted by survey ship KOMAHASHI. Off Owase, KOMAHASHI is probably detached.

30 August 1943:
TAIBUN MARU departs Muroran, Hokkaido for Kawasaki, Honshu.

Cape Choshi, 2 km NW of Koshida Peninsula. At 1330, Cdr (later Admiral) Ignatius J. Galantin's (USNA '33) USS HALIBUT (SS-232) spots a convoy of two frieghters escorted by an unidentified small auxillary patrol boat. HALIBUT fires three torpedoes at the second freighter and gets one hit on TAIBUN MARU portside near the bow. At 1340, Abandon Ship is ordered. TAIBUN MARU sinks at 41-52N, 141-11E. Five men are KIA.

Author’s Note:
[1] Somes sources claim she was 7,144-grt.

[2] Somes sources refer to ETNA MARU as ETONA (katakana reading) MARU.

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

- Bob Hackett

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