(UMEKAWA MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2014-2017 Bob Hackett

1 September 1938:
Yokohama. Laid down at Tsurumi Seitetsu Zosen K. K. as Yard No. 382, a 1,931 ton cargo ship for Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd., Tokyo.

5 April 1939:
Launched and named UMEKAWA MARU.

8 May 1939:

15 October 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army as a troop transport. Assigned IJA No. 801.

19 July 1942:
At 1900, UMEKAWA MARU departs Mako in convoy No. 236 also consisting of ARABIA, CHICAGO, GENOA, HIBARI, IKOMA, IKUSHIMA, ISUZU, KAISHO, KENZAN, MANSHU, MANKO, MADRAS, NISHIYAMA (SEIZAN) MARUs and DAIGEN MARU No. 3, BANEI MARU No. 7 and tanker TAKASAGO MARU escorted by auxiliary gunboat DELHI MARU.

26 July 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

29 July 1942:
UMEKAWA MARU departs Mako in convoy No. 241 also consisting of SHIROGANE MARU and five unidentified merchants escorted by destroyer KURETAKE.

3 August 1942:
Arrives at Mutsure.

31 August 1942:
UMEKAWA MARU departs Mako in convoy No. 332 also consisting of BRISBANE and YAWATA MARUs and nine unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer KARUKAYA.

7 September 1942:
Arrives at St Jacques.

26 November 1942:
SANAE departs Mako escorting convoy No. 350 consisting of KINRYU and UMEKAWA MARUs.

2 December 1942:
Arrives at St Jacques.

5 December 1942:
SANAE departs St Jacques escorting convoy No. 541 consisting of KINRYU and UMEKAWA MARUs.

8 December 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

20 June 1943:
At 0630, UMEKAWA MARU departs Saiki for Palau escorting convoy O-007 also consisting of KAZUURA, NISSHU, RYOYO, SHOHO, TAIRIN and TOKO MARUs escorted by kaibokan IKI, torpedo boat HATO and minesweeper W-18

E 22 June 1943:
At 29N W-18 is detached.

29 June 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

14 July 1943:
UMEKAWA MARU departs Palau in convoy FU-406 also consisting of transports OLYMPIA, RYUYO, TAGA, YAMAFUKU and YAMAGATA MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-31.

E 22 July 1943:
At 30N, 134E, minelayer NUWAJIMA and auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 3 join the escort.

23 July 1943:
Arrives at Saeki where the convoy is dissolved.

12 August 1943:
At 0730, UMEKAWA MARU departs Saeki for Palau in convoy O-208 also consisting of FUKKAI, HIBI, MATSUE (SHOKO), MOJI, SHICHISEI, YASUKUNI and YASUSHIMA MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-46, subchaser CH-11 and auxiliary minesweepers TAMA MARU and TAKUNAN MARU No. 3. At 29N, TAKUNAN MARU and TAMA MARU No. 3 are detached for Saeki.

21 August 1943:
At 1245, arrives at Palau.

27 August 1943:
UMEKAWA MARU departs Palau in convoy So-705 also consisting of HIBI MATSUE, MOJI and SHICHISEI MARUs escorted by subchaser CH-17.

3 September 1943:
At 0700, the convoy arrives at Rabaul.

7 September 1943:
At 1500, UMEKAWA MARU departs Rabaul for Palau in convoy No. 704 also consisting of HIBI, KINE, MATSUE and SHICHISEI MARUs escorted by subchasers CH-17 and CH-39.

13 September 1943:
The convoy arrives at Palau.

11 October 1943:
Minelayers NUWAJIMA and YURIJIMA join convoy FU-105 at 31N. The convoy consists of UMEKAWA, TAIKOKU, KAYO, KINE and KIBI MARUs escorted by torpedo boat SAGI.

At 30N, auxiliary minesweepers TAMA MARU No. 6, TOKUHO MARU No. 10 and YACHIYO and AOI MARUs join the escort.

31 October 1943:
At 0600, UMEKAWA MARU depart Saiki for Palau in convoy O-112 also consisting of CHIHAYA, DELAGOA, EHIME, HOZUGAWA, KANJO, MOJI, NICHIAI, TENCHO, UME, 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 and sinks DELAGOA MARU carrying men of the 248th Squadron. 201 airmen, 12 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.

At 0418, Cutter's SEAHORSE attacks again and sinks CHIHAYA MARU (ex-Dutch TJISAROEA) at 29-31N, 134, 50E. Six crewmen are KIA.

Finally, at 0845, Cdr (later Admiral) I. J. Galantin's (USNA ’33) USS HALIBUT (SS-232) torpedoes and sinks EHIME MARU at 28-20N, 134-48E. Five gunners and all 79 crewmen are KIA.

11 November 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

24 November 1943:
UMEKAWA MARU departs Palau in convoy “Wewak No. 14” also consisting of FUKKAI, HOZAN, KANKYO and KANTO MARUs escorted by minelayer SHIRATAKA and subchaser CH-35.

27 November 1943:
KANKYO MARU is detached for Hollandia.

29 November 1943:
Arrives at Wewak.

30 November 1943:
Departs Wewak.

4 December 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

17 December 1943:
UMEKAWA MARU departs Palau in convoy "Wewak No. 15" also consisting of KAYO, SAMARANG and YAMAGIKU MARUs escorted by minelayer SHIRATAKA, subchaser CH-32 and auxiliary subchaser CH-3.

21 December 1943:
Arrives at Wewak, New Guinea.

22 December 1943:
The convoy departs Wewak.

27 December 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

E 9 January 1944:
UMEKAWA MARU departs Saeki for Palau in convoy FU-104 also consisting of FUKKO, SAMARANG and YAMAGIKU MARUs escorted by destroyer HARUKAZE. At 28N, minelayer NUWAJIMA joins the escort.

E 10 January 1944:
NUWAJIMA is detached off Fukajima.

2 May 1944:
UMEKAWA MARU departs Ominato in convoy "YO" also consisting of HAKUSHIN, KOAN and SAMARANG MARUs escorted by kaibokan HACHIJO and KUNASHIRI. The convoy splits into two parts YO-A and YO-B with the constituency of each unknown. HACHIJO escorts the faster YO-A element.

8 May 1944:
YO-A convoy arrives at Kataoka Bay.

10 May 1944:
Convoy YO-B arrives at Kashiwabara, Paramushiro Island.

5 September 1944:
Kuriles. UMEKAWA MARU departs Musashi Bay in a convoy also consisting of HAKUYO and NITTEI MARUs escorted by kaibokan HACHIJO.

3 September 1944:
Arrives at Otaru.

23 September 1944:
UMEKAWA MARU departs Otaru for the northern Kuriles in convoy KI-405 also consisting of SAMARANG and TENRYO MARUs escorted by destroyer NOKAZE and kaibokan HACHIJO.

25 September 1944:
The convoy arrives at Wakkanai.

27 September 1944:
At 1300, the convoy departs Wakkanai. Kaibokan FUKUE joins the escort.

1 October 1944:
Convoy KI-405 arrives at Kataoka Bay.

11 October 1944:
The convoy arrives at Otaru escorted by FUKUE.

23 October 1944:
At 1600, UMEKAWA MARU departs Kataoka Bay, Shimushu Island, Kuriles for Otaru, Hokkaido in convoy WO-303 also consisting of HAKUYO and HOKOKU MARUs escorted by destroyer KAMIKAZE and kaibokan FUKUE. Naval base personnel and those of a local fishery company are embarked on the ships because Shimushu and Paramushiro Islands are being closed for the winter

HAKUYO MARU is carrying 1,320 passengers mostly naval personel engaged in repatriation duties, 150 crewmen and a cargo including drummed gasoline, foodstuffs and stores.

25 October 1944:
At 0745, LtCdr John H. Turner's (USNA '36) USS SEAL (SS-183) torpedoes HAKUYO MARU at 50-21N, 150-20E. She sinks in about a minute. 1,312 passengers, 26 gunners and 113 crewmen are KIA in the explosion, fire or freezing water. SEAL evades depth charging. The convoy continues to Otaru.

28 October 1944:
Arrives at Wakkanai.

29 October 1944:
Departs Wakkanai.

30 October 1944:
The convoy arrives at Otaru.

24 March 1945:
At 0100, UMEKAWA MARU departs Chinkai, South Korea for Ogasawara Gunto (Bonin Islands) via Moji, in convoy SHIMO-01 also consisting of TATSUWA and YUKIKAWA MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD-8, CD-32 and CD-52.

25 March 1945:
At 1550, arrives at Moji and departs the same day for the Bonins.

27 March 1945:
The convoy arrives at Ani-Jima, Bonins.

15 August 1945:
Hostilies cease:

24 August 1945:
UMEKAWA MARU is assigned SCAJAP No. U001.

10 November 1956:
Sold to a Tokyo based steamship Co.

12 May 1964
Scheduled for scrappling.

Authors' Notes:
[1] Also known as UMEGAWA MARU.

Thanks go to Erich of Germany.

- Bob Hackett.

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