Transport TEIUN MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2010-2011 Bob Hackett Bob Hackett, Peter Cundall and Erich Muehlthaler.

Vegesack, Germany. Laid down at Bremer Vulkan shipyard (building no. 667) as a 1,566-ton passenger/cargo ship for Norddeutscher Lloyd (NDL), Bremen.

9 November 1920:
Launched and named BREMERHAVEN.

9 December 1920:
Officially delivered to NDL. In service Bremen & Hamburg to Rio de Janeiro & Santos.

Purchased by Dampfschiffs Rhederei Horn AG (Horn Line), Lübeck from NDL, but not renamed.

December 1925:
NDL acquires the Horn Line and BREMERHAVEN.

25 May 1926:
BREMERHAVEN is again registered for NDL, Bremen.

Rebuilt to 1617-tons for feeder service in the Far East. BREMERHAVEN now has accomodation for 7 first-class and 15 third-class passengers.

10 February 1929:
Departs Hong Kong in NDL´s renewed service to New Guinea harbors (Rabaul, Madang, Witu (Peterhafen) and Calili).

7 March 1929:
Arrives at Rabaul on her first outbound voyage from Hong Kong.

NDL´s New Guinea service is extended to harbors Vunapope, Takubar, Duke of York Island, Alexishafen and Nagada.

26 November 1932:
At 2235, ca. 60 miles off Hong Kong, while returning to Hong Kong from New Guinea in a choppy sea and poor visibility, BREMERHAVEN rams the stern of a Chinese junk and cuts off its superstructure. Eight of the 34 Chinese on board the junk are thrown into the sea. All but one are rescued by another junk and a life boat from the rammed junk. Finally, BREMERHAVEN tows the damaged junk to Hong Kong.

8 December 1936:
Laid up due to protection measures by the Australian Government (since December 1936 foreign vessels allowed only in major New Guinea ports) and registered for the Inter Island Shipping Co., Hong Kong, a new company founded in Hong Kong as operator.

Renamed ISLAND TRADER. The former Chinese crew is replaced by Melanesians under white officers.

26 April 1938:
Re-registered for NDL and again renamed BREMERHAVEN. Now in service in Chinese coastal waters. Later, in feeder service between Dairen and Osaka.

17 August 1939:
Arrives at Osaka from Dairen (former Port Arthur), Manchuria.

6 September 1939:
Under command of Captain Claas Albers arrives at Dairen At this time BREMERHAVEN is running in charter for Melchers & Co. Laid up.

6 August 1940:
Sold to Japan for $155,000. Renamed KOKOKU MARU.

16 January 1941:
Management shifts to Teikoku Senpaku Kaisha (Imperial Steamship Co.) wholly owned by the Japanese Government. Renamed TEIUN MARU. Assigned signal letters JNVO.

December 1941:
Attached to Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo’s (37)(former CO of HARUNA) Southern Expeditionary Fleet. Assigned to the Lingayen Invasion Force that consists of three transport echelons. The first is composed of 27 transports from Takao, the second of 28 transports from Mako and the third of 21 transports from Keelung. These 76 transports will carry the main part of LtGen Homma Masaharu's 80,000-man strong 14th Army to the Philippines.

7 December 1941 – The Occupation of Batan Island, Batan Islands, Luzon Strait.
SW coast of Taiwan. At 1800, departs Boryo (Fangliao) under command of Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hirose Sueto (CO 2nd Base Force), destroyer YAMAGUMO, torpedo boats CHIDORI, HATSUKARI, MANAZURU and TOMOZURU, minelayers TSUBAME and KAMOME, minesweepers W-13 and W-14, patrol boats PB-1 and PB-2 and KUMAGAWA MARU.

At about the same time, TEIUN MARU, carrying part of the 24th Airfield Batallion, departs Takao for Batan Island escorted by the 52th Subchaser Unit (FUKUEI MARU No. 15, TAKUNAN MARU No. 5, SHONAN MARU No. 17), the 53th Subchaser Unit (KOREI MARU, KYO MARU No. 2, KYO MARU No. 11) and the 54th Subchaser Unit (NAGARA MARU, SHONAN MARU No. 1, SHONAN MARU No. 2).

8 December 1941:
At 1215, the formation arrives at Baluarte Bay, off Basco Village, W coast of Batan Island. TEIUN MARU lands the 24th Airfield Batallion which advances to Basco Airfield until sunset.

17 December 1941:
At 1200, TEIUN MARU departs Takao carrying part of the 5th Air Group (Obata Force) and some military cargo.

18 December 1941:
At 1000, arrives at Baluarte Bay off Basco. Takes on board the main strength of the 5th Air Group (part of the Obata Force and the Otake Force).

19 December 1941:
At 1500, departs Baluarte Bay, Batan Island for Aparri, N coast of Luzon. Later that day arrives at Aparri and lands some air group personnel and cargo. Later continues to Currimao, NW coast of Luzon.

22 December 1941:
In the morning arrives at Currimao (N of Vigan). Lands all 5th Air Group personnel and cargo. Later takes on board two military maintenance supervisors of the 5th Air Group, 195 airfield workers of the 5th Air Group (accomodated ´tween decks of No. 1 and No. 4 holds) , three supervisors for the workers, 14 men of the 28th Independent Engineering Regiment with 2 Daihatsu landing barges (stowed on No. 2 hold) and 400 bales of general military goods.

30 December 1941:
At 1600, loading finishes.

31 December 1941:
At 1600, Captain Tanaka Bukichi's TEIUN MARU departs Currimao for Damortis, Lingayen Gulf.

1 January 1942:
W coast of Luzon, Philippines, off Lingayen Gulf. At 0435, passes 1½ nautical miles off San Fernando, Philippines.

At 0800, arrives two nautical miles SW of Santo Tomas. Despite a warning from auxiliary gunboat KISO MARU, TEIUN MARU accidentally enters a Japanese defensive mine barrage of 240 Type 93 mines which were laid SW of Santo Tomas on 25 December 1941 by auxiliary gunboats KAMITSU MARU (2721grt), MANYO MARU (2904grt) and TAIKO MARU (2984grt), belonging to the 2nd Gunboat Unit, 2nd Base Force, 3rd Fleet, Combined Fleet.

Several minutes later, TEIUN MARU strikes a mine and a huge explosion erupts on portside below the foreward mast. Immediately, develops 40-45° portside list and then goes down vertically within 3 minutes at 16-11N, 120-18E. 7 crew including Captain Tanaka (last seen on the upper deck on the way to the ship´s stern), 5 soldiers of the 28th Independent Engineering Regiment, the two maintenance supervisors of the 5th Air Group, 117 airfield workers and the three Japanese working force supervisors go missing. All cargo and the two Daihatsu landing barges are also lost.

Author's Note:
Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan for info on TEIUN MARU's last voyage.

Bob Hackett, Peter Cundall and Erich Muehlthaler.

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