(AUGSBURG, former NORTHWESTERN MILLER, later TEIRYU MARU)
Transport TEIRYU MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement
© 2010-2015 Bob Hackett, Peter Cundall and Erich Muehlthaler
Howden, England. Laid down at Northumberland Shipbuilding Co. (building no. 221) as a 6,504 ton passenger-cargo ship for Norfolk & North American Steam Shipping Co. Ltd., Liverpool. Furness Withy & Co., of London are her managers.
Launched and named NORTHWESTERN MILLER.
Officially delivered to Norfolk & North American Steam Shipping Co. Ltd., Liverpool.
In London to New York service.
Sold to Norddeutscher Lloyd (NDL), Bremen, Germany and renamed AUGSBURG.
In NDL’s service.
2 December 1932:
Having just arrived from Norfolk, AUGSBURG is steaming up River Weser when she collides with tanker NORD ATLANTIC (4680grt, 1913) laying at anchor, covered by a fog-bank.
17 November 1938:
Departs Hamburg for Savannah and Houston.
24 August 1939:
Arrives at Dairen, Manchuria from Bremen under command of Captain Eberhard Ranitz. Laid up.
9 May 1940:
Dairen. Sold to Wm. Müller & Co., Batavier Line, Rotterdam, with VREEDENBURG as intended new name. But the next day, the German invasion of Holland wipes out the sale.
12 May 1940:
Sold to the Japanese Government. Renamed TEIRYU MARU , Japanese flagged and chartered to Dairen Kisen of Manchuria.
5 December 1940:
The Japanese Government pays NDL $370,000 for AUGSBURG/TEIRYU MARU.
3 February 1941:
TEIRYU MARU is assigned signal numbers JQQO.
22 March 1941:
Departs Chinwangtao, China on the Yellow Sea, for Wakamatsu, Japan.
16-17 December 1941: The Occupation of Davao, Mindanao, Philippines:
The Davao Occupation Convoy departs Palau carrying the Sakaguchi Detachment (56th Mixed Infantry Corps, 146th Infantry Regiment, 1st Field Artillery Battalion), the Miura Detachment (part of the 16th Army Division) and the Kure No. 1 SNLF. The convoy is organized into three subdivisions:
1st subdivision: KIRISHIMA (IJN), YAMATSUKI (IJA), TAITO (IJN), KINUGASA (IJN) and AMAGISAN (IJN) MARUs.
2nd subdivision: TONAN MARU No. 2 (IJN), TEIRYU (IJA) (carrying the 3rd Munitions Unit & the 103rd Aerial Field Repair Shop), KURETAKE (IJA) and TENRYU (IJN) MARUs, escorted by minelayer SHIRATAKA and destroyers AMATSUKAZE and OYASHIO.
3rd subdivision: HANKOW (IJA), HAVANA (IJA), TATSUKAMI (IJN), EIKO (IJN) and KOSHIN (IJN) MARUs.
16 December 1941:
At 1600, the 3rd subdivision departs Palau.
17 December 1941:
At 0700, the 2nd subdivision departs Palau.
17 December 1941:
At 1300, the 1st subdivision departs Palau.
20 December 1941:
At 0145, the 1st subdivision arrives at Tibungko Anchorage (15 km NNE of Davao). At 0320, the 3rd subdivision arrives at Talomo Anchorage (6 km SW of Davao). At 0440, the 2nd subdivision arrives at Tibungko Anchorage.
6 January 1942: The Invasion of Tarakan, Dutch Borneo:
At 1100, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hirose Sueto´s (39) Tarakan Occupation Force Convoy departs Daliao (13 km SW of Davao). The convoy is organized into two subdivisions:
1st subdivision (right wing unit) consists of TSURUGA (IJA), LIVERPOOL (IJA), HITERU (IJA), HANKOW (IJA), EHIME (IJA), KUNIKAWA (IJN) and KANO (IJN) MARUs and transports the Sakaguchi Detachment (right wing forces) & the Kure No. 2 SNLF.
2nd subdivision (left wing unit) consists of TEIRYU (IJA), HAVANA (IJA), KURETAKE (IJA), NICHIAI (IJA), KAGU (IJN), KUNITSU(IJN) and RAKUTO (IJN) MARUs and transports the Sakaguchi Detachment (left wing forces), 5th Construction Unit and 2nd Defense Unit.
10 January 1942:
At 1900, both subdivisions arrive at No. 1 Anchorage. At 2215, the 2nd subdivision including TEIRYU MARU departs No. 1 Anchorage.
11 January 1942:
At 0100, arrives at No. 2 Anchorage At 0220, the landing barges cast off from the transport ships and head towards the landing zone on the SE coast of Tarakan.
21 January 1942: The Invasion of Balikpapan, Dutch Borneo:
At 1700, the Balikpapan Invasion Force Convoy departs Tarakan. The convoy is organized into two subdivisions:
1st subdivision consists of TSURUGA (IJA), LIVERPOOL (IJA), HITERU (IJA) and EHIME (IJA) MARUs (Sakaguchi Detachment), ASAHISAN (IJN) and NITTEI (IJN) MARUs (2nd Construction Unit), KUMANOGAWA MARU (IJN) (1st Base Force Auxiliary Ammunitions Ship) and SUMANOURA MARU (IJN) (1st Base Force AuxiliaryNetlayer).
2nd subdivision consists of TEIRYU (IJA), HAVANA (IJA), HANKOW (IJA), and KURETAKE (IJA) MARUs (Sakaguchi Detachment), KANAYAMASAN MARU (IJN) (2nd Construction Unit), FUJIKAGE (TOEI) MARU (IJN) (1st Defense Unit) and NANA MARU (IJN) (11th Air Fleet Transport).
19 February 1942: The Invasion of Eastern Java:
At 0800, the 39 transport ships of the Eastern Java Invasion Convoy departs from Jolo Anchorage.
22 February 1942:
At 1200, EHIME and LIVERPOOL MARUs join the Eastern Java Invasion Convoy north of Aru Bank. The same day, TEIRYU and HITERU MARUs depart from Palau carrying elements of the Sakaguchi Detachment.
23 February 1942:
TEIRYU and HITERU MARUs join the Eastern Java Invasion Convoy.
1 March 1942:
At 0120, 100 miles W of Surabaya, Java. The Eastern Java Invasion Force enters the roadstead off Kragan village, East Java. Just before dropping anchor, the ships are fiercely attacked from the air. JOHORE MARU is hit and suffers many KIA and WIA. TOKUSHIMA MARU is also hit and has to beach herself at 0200. Despite the air attacks, the convoy lands the IJA's 48th Infantry Division at Kragan village.
2 June 1942:
Departs Mako in convoy No. 218 also consisting of FUKKAI, SHUNKO, KANTO, GENMEI and HITERU MARUs, DAIGEN MARU No. 8 and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU.
8 June 1942:
Arrives at Mutsure.
8 July 1942:
Departs Mutsure in convoy No. 135 also consisting of HAVRE MARU and one unidentified merchant ship escorted by torpedo boat HAYABUSA.
15 July 1942:
Arrives at Mako.
16 October 1942:
At 1500 departs Moji in convoy No. 176 consisting of TEIRYU, TARUSHIMA, NISSHU, RAKUYO and MACASSAR MARUs and one unidentified merchant ship heading south. TEIRYU MARU carries 5,693 troops.
21 October 1942:
Arrives at Mako.
1 November 1942:
Departs Mako in convoy No. 724 consisting of TEIRYU, MACASSAR and NISSHU MARUs and one unidentified merchant ship escorted by destroyer KARUKAYA.
4 November 1942:
Arrives at Manila.
6 November 1942:
18 November 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.
6 March 1943:
At 1430, departs Palau in convoy "Hansa No. 1" consisting of TEIRYU, SYDNEY, MOMOYAMA, YASUJIMA, OYO, ASO MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 1 escorted by destroyers AKIGUMO, KAZEGUMO, YUGUMO, SAMIDARE and SATSUKI.
12 March 1943:
At 0503, arrives at Hansa Bay (near Madang), Eastern New Guinea.
13 March 1943:
At 1500, departs Hansa Bay. At 1830, the convoy is attacked by five B-17 "Flying Fortress" heavy bombers at 03-05S, 143-28E. MOMOYAMA MARU is hit by bombs. Nine crewmen are KIA.
14 March 1943:
At 0045, MOMOYAMA MARU sinks.
18 March 1943:
At 0730, arrives at Palau.
6 April 1943:
At 1630, TEIRYU MARU departs Palau in convoy "Hansa No. 2B" also consisting of INDIA, TOHO, SYDNEY, TAISEI and TAIYU MARUs escorted by destroyers TANIKAZE and AMATSUKAZE and subchasers CH-26 and CH-34.
Among the units carried by convoy are the 33rd , 36th and 37th Independent Engineer Regiments, 48th 49th and 51st Field Road Construction Units, and 112th Line of Communication Hospital.
12 April 1943:
At 0800, arrives at Hansa Bay. At 1530, twenty B-17s and B-24s of the USAAF 5th Air Force bomb the ships and sink IJA cargo ship SYDNEY MARU at 03-18S, 143-38E. Three of the troops and 9 crewmen are killed.
13 April 1943:
At 0900, departs Hansa Bay.
14 April 1943:
At 0700, TEIRYU and TOHO MARUs, escorted by AMATSUKAZE and CH-34, split from the convoy and head to Palau. The remaining ships sail on to Wewak where they arrive that evening.
18 April 1943:
TEIRYU and TOHO MARUs, AMATSUKAZE and CH-34 arrive at Palau. The remaining ships arrive on the 20th.
8 May 1943:
At 0700, convoy "Wewak No. 4" departs Palau consisting of TEIRYU, YOSHIDA MARU No. 3, TOHO and MAYA MARUs escorted by destroyers URAKAZE and AMATSUKAZE. The ships are carrying 4,000 soldiers of the 41st Infantry Division together with shells, provisions, aircraft and supplies.
9 May 1943:
At 1620, ARATAMA MARU, escorted by subchaser CH-34, joins convoy "Wewak No. 4".
13 May 1943:
At 0530, arrives at Wewak.
17 May 1943:
At 1430, arrives at Palau.
23 May 1943:
At 0800, departs Palau in convoy P523 consisting of TEIRYU, CHINZEI, FUKKO, KACHOSAN, TOYO and ARATAMA MARUs escorted by minelayer NUWAJIMA. At 29-50N, 132-22E, the convoy is welcomed by patrol boat PB-46, minesweeper W-18 and an unknown minesweeper of the 31st Minesweeping Unit which accompany the ships safely to the Tera-Shima Channel.
31 30 May 1943:
Arrives at Saeki.
9 July 1943:
At 0900 departs Takao in convoy No.759 also consisting of TOUN MARU and an unknown Naval special service vessel without escort.
12 July 1943:
Arrives at Manila.
16 July 1943:
At 1435 departs Manila escorted part way by patrol boat PB-103.
7 September 1943:
At 1400, TEIRYU MARU departs Saigon for Mako, Pescadore Islands in convoy No. 424 also consisting of KENSEI, CHINA, MIYO, JINZAN, FUKUJU, TOSEI, BELGIUM, CHIYODA, ANKO and KAIKO MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-2 and auxiliary gunboat KAZAN MARU.
10 September 1943:
KOSEI MARU probably joins the convoy from Yulin.
14 September 1943:
At 0800, the convoy arrives at Mako less TEIRYU, TOSEI, ANKO and KAIKO MARUs that were detached earlier.
6 October 1943:
Allied codebreakers intercept and decypt a radio message requesting that auxiliary subchasers CHa-2 and CHa-8 take over escorting a convoy from auxiliary gunboat KISO MARU at 07-00N, 115-00E. The convoy consists of TEIRYU, HIBI and MATSUE MARUs to Singapore. The location implies a Manila to Singapore convoy. A subsequent decoded message indicates the rendezvous is delayed until 7 October.
13 January 1944:
At 1500, TEIRYU MARU departs Manila for Miri, Borneo in convoy No. 3102 also consisting of cargo ship NITTAI MARU and tankers KOSHIN, SEINAN, NITTATSU, TAKETOYO and RONSAN MARUs escorted by destroyer WAKATAKE.
20 January 1944:
At 1500, arrives at Miri.
28 January 1944:
Departs Singapore in convoy No.654 also consisting of four unidentified merchant ships (one of which was probably NITTAI MARU).
1 February 1944:
Arrives at Saigon.
4 May 1944:
Departs Manila in convoy MATA-19 also consisting of TETSUYO, NICHIZUI, RAKUYO, SHOGEN, DAKAR MARUs, BANSHU MARU No.32, and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by the old destroyer KURI, kaibokan KURAHASHI, CD 20, minesweeper W 17 and auxiliary submarine chaser TAKUNAN MARU No.3. En route TEIRYU, RAKUYO, SHOGEN, DAKAR, NICHIZUI MARUs and BANSHU MARU No.32 detach for Kirun.
8 May 1944:
At 1900 arrives at Kirun.
15 July 1944:
At 0400, TEIRYU MARU departs Sana for Takao in convoy YUTA-9 also consisting of TATSUWA MARU and six unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer KURETAKE and auxiliary gunboats PEKING and HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARUs.
19 July 1944:
South China Sea, SW of Formosa. At 0532 (I), LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Norvell G. Ward’s (USNA ’35) USS GUARDFISH’s (SS-217) SJ radar makes contact on an escorted convoy heading NNW at 22,500 yards. At 0610 (I), GUARDFISH submerges and tracks the convoy. At 0743 (I) Ward fires his last four forward torpedoes from 1,000 yards and gets two hits.
At about 0745 (JST), TEIRYU MARU is torpedoed port side in the lower part of the boiler room that completely floods. At 0746 (I), GUARDFISH’s crew hears a hit on the second ship in the convoy, but they also hear a torpedo pass over their submarine. Ward judges one of his torpedoes made a circular run. At about 0753, TEIRYU MARU splits in two amidships and sinks at 19-08N, 116-13E about 400 km SSE of Hong Kong. 108 passengers, 3 shipboard gunners and 38 crew are KIA.
From 0749 to 0800 (I), GUARDFISH suffers many depth charges from two of the escorts, but survives.
Thanks go to Gilbert Casse of France.
Bob Hackett, Peter Cundall and Erich Muehlthaler
Ex-German Merchants in Japanese Service