BYOINSEN

(TAKASAGO MARU prewar in OSK service)

IJN Hospital Ship TAKASAGO MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2008-2014 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.
Revision 3


9 June 1936:
Nagasaki. Laid down at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard as a 9,315-ton passenger-cargo ship for Osaka Shosen (OSK Line) K.K., Osaka.

1 December 1936:
Launched and named TAKASAGO MARU.

28 April 1937:
Completed.

20 May 1937:
Departs Kobe for Keelung, Formosa on her maiden voyage on OSK’s Kobe-Keelung route.

1938:
Tonnage remeasured as 9,347-gross tons.

3 January 1939:
Departs Kobe for Keelung.

6 January 1939:
Arrives at Keelung.

29 January 1939:
Arrives at Kobe.

28 June 1940:
Departs Keelung.

7 July 1940:
Arrives at Moji.

11 July 1940:
Departs Keelung for Kobe.

13 July 1940:
Arrives at Kobe.

12 November 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN.

1 December 1941:
Registered as an auxiliary hospital ship in the Kure Naval District. Captain/ Surgeon (later Rear Admiral/S) Shintaro Kanazawa is posted Medical Director of TAKASAGO MARU.

20 December 1941:
Kobe. Completes conversion at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard.

1941:
Assigned directly to the Combined Fleet.

23 December 1941:
The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as required by the Geneva Convention, notifies the warring countries that TAKASAGO MARU is a designated hospital ship.

25 December 1941:
Departs Kure.

11 January 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

17 January 1942:
Departs Mako.

23 January 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

29 January 1942:
Departs Kure.

25 March 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

8 April 1942:
At about 1600, LtCdr John R. McKnight’s USS PORPOISE (SS-172) torpedoes and lightly damages TAKASAGO MARU at 03-19S, 127-27E. [1]

16 April 1942:
Departs Kure.

26 April 1942:
Ambon. Manipa Strait. At night, LtCdr Barton E. Bacon‘s USS PICKEREL (SS-177) mistakenly torpedoes and lightly damages TAKASAGO MARU.

19 May 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

22 May 1942:
Departs Takao.

26 May 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

14 June 1942:
Arrives at Kure, then moves to the fleet anchorage at Hashirajima. At 1900, the Combined Fleet’s Midway Striking Force arrives. Light cruiser NAGARA arrives and disembarks over 500 wounded sailors to hospital ships TAKASAGO and HIKAWA MARUs.

15 June 1942:
Hashirajima. At 1600, Chief of Staff, Combined Fleet, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral ) Ugaki Matome (former CO of HYUGA), departs battleship YAMATO and pays a visit to 338 wounded aboard TAKASAGO MARU and another 280 wounded aboard HIKAWA MARU.

16 June 1942:
Departs Hashirajima. Arrives at Kure. Disembarks some wounded sailors.

17 June 1942:
Departs Kure. Later that day arrives at Sasebo. Disembarks the remaining wounded sailors.

19 June 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

26 June 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

29 June 1942:
Departs Kure for Truk.

26 July 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

1 August 1942:
Arrives at Saipan

6 August 1942:
Arrives Yokosuka.

12 August 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

11 September 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

16 September 1942:
Departs Kure.

26 September 1942:
Arrives off Rabaul. Anchors in Simpson Harbour. Embarks sick and wounded.

9 October 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

10 October 1942:
Captain/ Surgeon (later Rear Admiral/S) Hideshi Kawashima is posted Medical Director.

14 October 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

27 October 1942:
Arrives off Rabaul. Anchors in Simpson Harbour. Embarks sick and wounded.

31 October 1942:
Anchors off Kavieng.

1 November 1942:
While anchored off Shortland, attacked and near-missed by a bomb.

10 November 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

17 November 1942:
Departs Sasebo for unknown destination.

2 December 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

8 December 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

11 December 1942:
TAKASAGO MARU rescues 26 survivors in a lifeboat of transport HINO MARU No. 3 torpedoed and sunk on 7 December by LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Vernon L. Lowrance’s (USNA ’30) USS KINGFISH (SS-234) about 135 nms WSW Minami-Iwojima, Ogasawara Gunto (Bonins).

25 December 1942:
Arrives at Kavieng. Embarks sick and wounded.

2 January 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

15 January 1943:
Departs Kure.

21 January 1943:
At 0830, enters Truk lagoon via the North Pass.

11 February 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

18 February1943:
Departs Sasebo.

8 April 1943:
Arrives Sasebo.

11 April 1943:
Departs Sasebo.

12 April 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

21 April 1943:
Departs Kure.

30 May 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

2 June 1943:
Departs Sasebo.

3 June 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

22 June 1943:
At 0600, arrives at Truk.

7 July 1943:
Departs Kure.

18 August 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

28 August 1943:
Departs Kure.

5 September 1943:
During the morning arrives at Truk, apparently escorted by destroyer AKEBONO. [2]

20 October 1943:
At 0800, arrives at Kure.

25 October 1943:
An unknown Surgeon is posted Medical Director.

29 October 1943:
Departs Kure.

20 November 1943:
At 0530, arrives Truk via the South Channel.

25 November 1943:
At 0530, arrives at Truk via the South Pass.

26 November 1943:
At 0600, departs Truk via North Channel.

3 December 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

12 December 1943:
Departs Kure.

28 December 1943:
At 1500, departs Truk.

30 December 1943:
At 0700, arrives Saipan.

3 January 1944:
At 1100, arrives at Yokosuka.

11 January 1944:
Departs Yokosuka.

14 January 1944:
Arrives at Kure

25 January 1944:
At 0800, departs Kure.

29 January 1944:
At 1600, arrives Takao.

1 February 1944:
At 1600, departs Manila.

4 February 1944:
At 0800, arrives Davao.

7 March 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

10 March 1944:
Departs Takao.

12 March 1944:
Arrives at Kure

28 March 1944:
Departs Kure for Palau.

9 April 1944:
Off Palau. TAKASAGO MARU strikes a mine in the SW Channel and is beached. Later, she is salvaged and repaired. [3]

3 June 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

5 June 1944:
Departs Takao.

7 June 1944:
Arrives at Kure. Undergoes servicing.

16 September 1944:
Departs Kure.

3 October 1944:
Arrives at Beppu.

15 October 1944:
Departs Beppu.

16 November 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

20 November 1944:
Departs Takao.

17 December 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

19 December 1944:
Departs Takao.

26 December 1944:
Arrives at Beppu.

4 January 1945:
Departs Moji.

8 January 1945:
Arrives at Keelung.

11 January 1945:
Departs Keelung.

22 January 1945:
Arrives at Kure.

1 February 1945:
Departs Kure.

7 February 1945:
Arrives at Keelung.

8 February 1945:
Departs Keelung.

9 February 1945:
East China Sea. LtCdr Allan G. Schnable’s USS PILOTFISH (SS-386) encounters TAKASAGO MARU. She is well lit, steering a steady course and apparently complying with all requirements of hospital ships. TAKASAGO MARU is allowed to pass safely.

12 February 1945:
Arrives at Kure.

20 February 1945:
Departs Kure. Arrives at Moji later that day.

4 March 1945:
Arrives at Beppu.

8 March 1945:
Departs Beppu. Arrives at Kure later that day.

19 March 1945:
Kure. Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's Task Force 58 carriers USS ESSEX (CV-9), INTREPID (CV-11), HORNET (CV-12), WASP (CV-18), HANCOCK (CV-19), BENNINGTON (CV-20) and BELLEAU WOOD (CVL-24) make the first carrier attack on the Kure Naval Arsenal. More than 240 aircraft (SB2C "Helldivers", F4U "Corsairs" and F6F "Hellcats") attack battleships HYUGA, ISE, YAMATO, HARUNA, carriers AMAGI, KATSURAGI, RYUHO, KAIYO and other ships.

TAKASAGO MARU is anchored in the inner harbor astern of ISE near HARUNA. ISE is hit by two bombs, one of which hits near the aircraft elevator abaft the mainmast. HARUNA, standing at the roadstead in Etajima Bight is attacked by 15 aircraft, but hit only once on the starboard side aft of the bridge and suffers light damage. TAKASAGO MARU escapes damage.

25 March 1945:
Departs Kure and arrives at Moji later that day.

27 March 1945:
Departs Moji.

18 April 1945:
Arrives at Kure and undergoes servicing.

12 June 1945:
Departs Kure.

13 June 1945:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

23 June 1945:
Departs Yokosuka.

25 June 1945:
Arrives at Muroran, Hokkaido.

27 June 1945:
Departs Muroran for Wake Island.

1 July 1945:
Task Force 38’s carriers are set to strike the Japanese northern home islands again.

2 July 1945:
While returning to the forward areas by way of Eniwetok, USS MURRAY (DD-576) is ordered to locate, board and search TAKASAGO MARU bound for Wake and suspected of carrying contraband arms or war supplies.

3 July 1945:
MURRAY intercepts TAKASAGO MARU that is evacuating sick and wounded members of Wake Island garrison, but a search finds nothing in violation of international law. TAKASAGO MARU is allowed to proceed to Wake.

7 July 1945:
USS MCDERMUT-II (DD-677) is sent to intercept TAKASAGO MARU and divert her from a course which would take her into Task Force 38's fueling area.

8 July 1945:
TAKASAGO MARU is located and a boarding party is dispatched with a message guaranteeing safe conduct if Captain/S Kakisaka and his crew comply with instructions and courses given. TAKASAGO MARU is carrying 974 patients.

10 July 1945:
TF 38’s ships complete refueling and depart to conduct air strikes against Tokyo. MCDERMUT-II releases TAKASAGO MARU to continue on her way.

25 July 1945:
Maizuru. Aircraft from AG-88 of USS YORKTOWN (CV-10) attack shipping in the harbor, but TAKASAGO MARU is not damaged.

15 August 1945:
Hostilities cease.

27 August 1945:
At Shibaura, Tokyo.

2 September 1945:
Departs Shibaura for Woleai Island, Woleai Island, Carolines. TAKASAGO MARU is the first Japanese ship to undertake repatriation duty. [1]

19 September 1945:
Arrives at Mereyon. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated and departs later that day.

25 September 1945:
Arrives at Beppu. Disembarks troops and passengers.

24 October 1945:
Departs Tokuyama.

29 October 1945:
Arrives at Davao. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated and departs later that day.

1 November 1945:
Arrives at Sasebo. Disembarks troops and passengers.

16 November 1945:
Departs Sasebo.

22 November 1945:
Arrives at Davao.

25 November 1945:
Departs Davao.

27 November 1945:
Arrives at Manila. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

1 December 1945:
Formally assigned to the Allied Repatriation Service at Kure. [4]

5 December 1945:
Departs Manila.

10 December 1945:
Arrives at Otaka. Disembarks troops and passengers.

27 December 1945:
Departs Otaka.

1 January 1946:
Arrives at Tacloban. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

5 January 1946:
Departs Tacloban.

7 January 1946:
Arrives at Manila. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

14 January 1946:
Departs Manila.

19 January 1946:
Arrives at Sasebo. Disembarks troops and passengers.

20 January 1946:
Undergoes repairs at Sasebo.

30 January 1946:
Repairs are completed. Departs the same day.

1 February 1946:
Arrives at Shanghai. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

3 February 1946:
Departs Shanghai.

5 February 1946:
Arrives at Kagoshima. Disembarks troops and passengers.

6 February 1946:
Departs Kagoshima.

9 February 1946:
Arrives at Shanghai. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

10 February 1946:
Departs Shanghai.

13 February 1946:
Arrives at Kagoshima. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

24 February 1946:
Departs Sasebo.

26 February 1946:
Arrives at Shanghai. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

28 February 1946:
Departs Shanghai.

2 March 1946:
Arrives at Hakata. Disembarks troops and passengers.

4 March 1946:
Departs Hakata.

7 March 1946:
Arrives at Tanku, China. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

11 March 1946:
Departs Tanku.

14 March 1946:
Arrives at Hakata. Disembarks troops and passengers.

19 March 1946:
Departs Sasebo.

22 March 1946:
Arrives at Tanku. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

25 March 1946:
Departs Tanku.

29 March 1946:
Arrives at Hakata. Disembarks troops and passengers.

31 March 1946:
Departs Hakata.

1 April 1946:
Arrives at Shanghai. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

3 April 1946:
Departs Shanghai.

7 April 1946:
Arrives at Hakata. Disembarks troops and passengers.

14 April 1946:
Departs Sasebo.

16 April 1946:
Arrives at Takao. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

20 April 1946:
Departs Takao.

23 April 1946:
Arrives at Sasebo. Disembarks troops and passengers.

8 May 1946:
Departs Sasebo.

11 May 1946:
Arrives at Tanku. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

14 May 1946:
Departs Tanku.

18 May 1946:
Arrives at Sasebo. Disembarks troops and passengers.

5 June 1946:
Undergoes repairs at Kobe.

24 June 1946:
Repairs are completed.

26 June 1946:
Departs Kobe.

30 June 1946:
Arrives at Shanghai. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

5 July 1946:
Departs Shanghai.

7 July 1946:
Arrives at Sasebo. Disembarks troops and passengers.

18 July 1946:
Departs Sasebo.

21 July 1946:
Arrives at Korojima near Tsientsin, China. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

1 August 1946:
Departs Korojima.

4 August 1946:
Arrives at Sasebo. Disembarks troops and passengers.

15 August 1946:
Removed from the Navy List.

E 1947-1956:
TAKASAGO MARU makes many repatriation shuttle runs between Nakhodka, Siberia and Maizuru evacuating Japanese POWs from Soviet concentration camps in Siberia. [5]

23 March 1956:
Sold to Namura Shipbuilding, K. K., Osaka for scrapping.

1956:
Osaka. Scrapped.


Authors’ Notes:
[1] LtCdr McKnight’s patrol report indicates all four of his torpedoes missed. One did hit TAKASAGO MARU, but was a dud.

[2] This was unusual as hospital ships usually steamed alone and unescorted.

[3] During the 30 Mar ‘44 Operation “Desecrate One”, TBF "Avengers" of Task Group 58. 1's USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6), TG 58. 2's BUNKER HILL (CV-17) and HORNET (CV-12) laid over 75 aerial mines, mostly Mark 25s, in Palau’s channels.

[4] Allied occupation forces were responsible for the return of six million Japanese military personnel and civilians from Japan's defunct far-flung Empire. In addition, there were over a million Korean and about 40,000 Chinese prisoners and conscript laborers and approximately 7,000 Formosans and 15,000 Ryukyu Islanders to be repatriated.

Some Allied and many former IJN warships, from aircraft carriers to kaibokan, were used to facilitate the enormous repatriation effort. Japanese vessels and crews were used to the fullest extent possible to conserve Allied manpower and accelerate demobilization. Each ex-IJN ship first had to be demilitarized; guns removed or, in the case of large warships, barrels severed, ammunition landed, and radar and catapults removed, if fitted. Repatriation of the Chinese on Japanese ships began early in October from Hakata, but U.S. guard detachments had to be placed on many ships to prevent disorder because the Japanese crews could not control the returnees.

Japanese-run repatriation centers were established at Kagoshima, Hario near Sasebo, and Hakata near Fukuoka. Other reception centers were established and operated at Maizuru, Shimonoseki, Sasebo, Senzaki, Kure, Uraga, Yokohama, Moji and Hakodate. Allied line and medical personnel supervised the centers. Incoming Japanese were sprayed with DDT, examined and inoculated for typhus and smallpox, provided with food, and transported to his final destination in Japan.

[5] The Russians, like the Japanese had, viewed POWs as a valuable slave labor force. For this reason, the Russians stalled on repatriation of Japanese POWs. When they finally began repatriations in December 1946, initially the Russians released only the sick and weak.

Photo credit goes to Gilbert Casse of France. Thanks to Tony Tully for info about TAKASAGO MARU's whereabouts during the big raid on Kure in Rev 3.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.


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