(Sister HOTEN MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2014-2017 Bob Hackett
Revision 1

12 November 1929:
Kobe. Laid down at Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. as Yard No. 205, a 4,026-ton passenger-cargo ship for Darien Kisen Kaisha (DKK Line) of Kobe.

31 May February 1930:
Launched and named CHOSHUN MARU.

23 August 1930:
Completed. CHOSHUN MARU can accommodate 1 first, 84 second, 27 third-class and 220 steerage passengers. Placed on DKK’s Darien Manchuria ~ Tsingtao ~ Shanghai route.

July 1932:
Departs Darien, Manchuria (Manchukuo) for Shanghai, China.

6 July 1932:
Shantung Peninsula, near Chisato Island, 60 miles S of Tsingtao (Qingdao), China. At 0245, in dense fog, CHOSHUN MARU strikes a rock and damages her hull at 36-15N, 121-23 E. She takes on water that floods her boiler and engine room. At 0500, CHOSHUN MARU signals S.O.S. and then is beached to prevent sinking. IJN light cruiser KUMA is dispatched and takes off 50 passengers and 131 crew and lands them in Tsingtao.

July ~December 1932:
CHOSHUN MARU is successfully refloated by salvage vessel NASU MARU. Later, she is towed to Nagasaki and undergoes repairs.

10 July 1933:
Departs Dalian for Tsingtao (Qingdao), China.

Off Shantung Peninsula. While underway, CHOSHUN MARU collides with, and sinks an unknown Chinese steamer.

December 1933:

E 1944:
Controlled and operated by the Senpaku Un´eikai (Civilian Shipping Administration) as a shared employment Army/Civilian (A/C-APK) Haitosen. Alloted IJA No. 5230.

19 August 1944:
At 0600, TSINGTAO MARU departs Moji in convoy MI-15 also consisting of CHIYODA, EKKAI, HOKUSEN, NANSEI, RIKKO, TAISHO, TOSHIGAWA and URATO (ex-ERATO), MARUs and OKINOYAMA MARU No. 5, escorted by destroyers HATSUHARU, HIBIKI and WAKABA, minelayer SHIRATAKA and minesweeper W-21.

25 August 1944:
At 1600, arrives at Takao.

18 September 1944:
At 0630,TSINGTAO MARU departs Takao for Manila in convoy TAMA-26 also consisting of ARABIA, AWAJI, EIMAN, HOTEN, MIZUHO, NICHINAN, SHIRANESAN, and TOSHIKAWAMARUs and TOYO MARU No. 3 escorted by minesweepers W-17, W-20 and subchasers CH-63 and CH-41.

21 September 1944:
At 0300, sister HOTEN MARU suffers engine troubles and remains behind at Musa At 0700, a friendly aircraft flies forward of the convoy and dive-bombs a submarine. At the same time, three torpedoes are seen approaching. AWAJI MARU, carrying 500 tons of ammunition, 600 passengers and 67 crewmen, is struck in the engine room by two torpedoes fired by LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Glynn R. Donaho's USS PICUDA (SS-382). AWAJI MARU lists to port, then splits into two parts. Her cargo begins to explode. Abandon Ship is ordered. At 0705, the forward part of the ship rises vertically, then sinks, the rear half quickly follows. NICHINAN MARU remains behind to rescue survivors. At 0745, the convoy manages to get back into formation and head southwards again.

At 0835, Cdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Louis D. McGregor's (USNA ’30) USS REDFISH (SS-395) torpedoes and sinks MIZUHO MARU at 18-37N, 120-41E. MIZUHO MARU was carrying 5, 415 persons. 1, 313 are KIA. Also lost are horses, baggage, equipment and ammunition. W-17 counterattacks while W-20 rescues 370 survivors. TOYO MARU No. 3 rescues 980, tug/rescue vessel KEISHU MARU (ex-British HENRY KESWICK) rescues 1,630 men and motorized sailboats BANGI and SAROMAGE rescue 268 survivors. At 2215, the convoy arrives at Lapoc Bay.

24 September 1944:
At 1030, arrives at Lapoc. Departs at 1858.

26 September 1944:
At 1645, arrives at North San Fernando.

28 September 1944:
At 0147, departs San Fernando.

30 September 1944:
At 2053, arrives at Santa Cruz.

1 October 1944:
At 0634, departs Santa Cruz. At 2056, arrives at Manila.

1 October 1944:
At 2056, the convoy enters Manila Harbor.

10 October 1944:
At 0100, TSINGTAO MARU departs North San Fernando, Philippines for Takao, Formosa (Kaohsiung Taiwan) in convoy MATA-29 also consisting of transports HOTEN, OMINE (TAIHO) and TERUKUNI MARUs escorted by minesweepers W-38 and W-39, auxiliary subchaser CHa-95 and two unidentified warships. The convoy shelters at Calayan Island because of the risk of air attacks.

18 October 1944:
Off Camiguin, northern Luzon. At 0955, carrier aircraft of Rear Admiral Gerald F. Bogan’s Task Group 38.2 attack the ships at anchor. They sink TSINGTAO, HOTEN, OMINE (TAIHO) and TERUKUNI MARUs and auxiliary subchaser CHa-95 at 18-54N, 121-51E. [2]

Author's Note:
[1] Also named AOSHIMA.

[2] It is unclear if W-38 and W-39 were present during these attacks. In any case, they were not damaged.

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

Bob Hackett

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