RIKUGUN YUSOSEN

(Sister THAMES MARU, prewar)

UME MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

2014 Bob Hackett


2 May 1919:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki Dockyard Co., Ltd. as Yard No. 461, a 5, 860-ton cargo ship for Kawasaki Kisen ('K' Line), K. K.

14 July 1919:
Launched and named PORT SAID MARU.

1 August 1919:
Completed and placed in 'service on the K' Lines routes.

1 February 1920:
Sold to Kokusai Kisen K. K (International Steam ship Line) (Wakayama Susami).

27 March 1923:
PORT SAID MARU arrives at Ellis Island, New York from Algiers, Algeria and Genoa, Italy

11 October 1923:
PORT SAID MARU arrives at Ellis Island, New York from Lisbon, Portugal and Southampton, England.

August 1931:
PORT SAID MARU, en route from Yokohama to Melbourne, Australia encounters a typhoon and is blown 200 miles back on her course, and nearly goes on shore at Eden. The ship is forced to shelter twice from the gale on the trip from Sydney.

30 January 1933:
Sold to Toshiki Shoji K. K. of Kobe.

3 February 1933:
Renamed UME MARU.

July 1937:
The Second Sino-Japanese War begins. UME MARU is chartered by the Imperial Army (IJA).

13 September 1937:
UME MARU departs Moji for secret location "A" in a convoy also consisting of transports GYOKO, HANGKOW, KIMI, MEIGEN, OME, SAMARANG, TAKAO, TATESHI, TONE, UGO and YUKI MARUs UME MARU carries 659 men and 499 horses of the 1st Battalion HQ, 2nd and 3rd Companies, 14th Field Medium Artillery Regiment and part of 2nd Battalion Ammunition Train.

14 September 1937:
Arrives at secret location "A" and unloads.

E 1938:
Returned to her owners.

30 September 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) and converted to an auxiliary transport. Allotted Army No 198.

28 April 1943:
UME MARU departs Saeki in convoy K-428 also consisting of ARATAMA, DAINICHI, DOVER, ENGLAND, MACASSAR and SANKA MARUs escorted by minelayer YURIJIMA and minesweeper W-17.

E 30 April 1943:
At 28-20N, W-17 is detached for Saeki.

6 May 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

E 23 September 1943:
Convoy FU-206 consisting of UME, ASAKAZE, FUKKAI, SHINYU, TAGA and TOYAMA MARUs escorted by torpedo boat HATO is joined by minelayer YURIJIMA at 31-22N 134-00E,

24 September 1943:
Arrives at Saeki.

31 October 1943:
At 0600, UME MARU depart Saiki for Palau in convoy O-112 also consisting of CHIHAYA, DELAGOA, EHIME, HOZUGAWA, KANJO, MOJI, NICHIAI, TENCHO, UMEKAWA, YAMAGATA, and YAWATA MARUs escorted by minesweepers W-17, W-18, auxiliary minesweepers AOI MARU, CHIYO MARU No. 8, TAKUNAN MARU No. 3 and TOKUHO MARU No. 10 and auxiliary subchasers TAKUNAN MARU No. 8.

That night, the convoy is attacked by LtCdr (later Captain) Robert E. Dornin's (USNA 35) USS TRIGGER (SS-237). Dornin claims two sinkings, but, in fact, scores no hits. The escorts counterattack, but are also unsuccessful.

2 November 1943:
At 0048, LtCdr (later Captain) Slade D. Cutter's (USNA 35) USS SEAHORSE (SS-304) torpedoes and sinks YAWATA MARU at 28-20N, 135-20E. Four gunners and 64 of the crew are KIA.

At 0220, Dornin's TRIGGER attacks the convoy again, this time sinking DELAGOA MARU. The ship was carrying men of the 248th Squadron some of whom together with 12 Army civilians, seven gunners and 68 crewmen are KIA.

NE of Daito Island. At 0321, Dornin torpedoes and sinks UME MARU at 28-56N, 135-26E. 36 passengers, 25 gunners and 24 crewmen are KIA.


Author's Notes:
Thanks go to Erich.Muehlthaler of Germany and to Fontessa-san of Japan for info on IJA troops.

Bob Hackett


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