RIKUGUN YUSOSEN/BYOINSEN

(URAL MARU, prewar)

IJA Hospital Ship/Transport URAL MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2011-2013 Bob Hackett
Revisipn 1


1 May 1928:
Laid down at Mitsubishi Zosen K. K as a 6,377-ton passenger ship for the Osaka Shosen Kaisha (OSK) Line of Osaka.

15 December 1928:
Launched and named URAL MARU.

30 March 1929:
Completed.

11 April 1929:
Departs Kobe on her maiden voyage for Dalian (Dairen), Manchuria.

21 September 1929:
Departs Dalian.

1930:
Departs Dalian for Moji.

13 May 1930:
Arrives at Kobe.

June 1931:
Departs Kobe.

26 June 1931:
Arrives at Dalian.

18 September 1931: The “Mukden Incident:
A Japanese officer detonates a small quantity dynamite near a railroad owned by Japan's South Manchuria Railway near Mukden (now Shenyang). The explosion fails to destroy the lines, but the Imperial Army blames the Chinese and launches a full invasion that leads to the occupation of Manchuria.

1 March 1932:
Japan establishes a puppet government and makes the last Emperor of China, Henry Pu Yi, the Emperor of Manchukuo (former Manchuria).

6 February 1932:
Arrives at Kobe.

18 March 1932:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

15 May 1932:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

9 June 1932:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

15 July 1932:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

18 July 1932:
Arrives at Dalian.

28 July 1932:
Departs Moji for Dalian.

21 August 1932:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

3 September 1932:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

16 September 1932:
Departs Moji for Dalian,

28 September 1932:
Departs Moji for Dalian.

October 1932:
Departs Dalian.

17 November 1932:
Arrives at Kobe.

1 November 1932:
Departs Kobe.

22 December 1932:
Departs Moji for Dalian.

4 January 1933:
Departs Moji for Dalian.

9 February 1933:
Departs Kobe.

12 February 1933:
Arrives at Dalian.

5 March 1933:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

4 April 1933:
Departs Dalian.

April 1933:
Departs Dalian.

18 April 1933:
Arrives at Moji.

21 April 1933:
Departs Moji.

March 1933:
Departs Dalian.

18 May 1933:
Arrives at Moji.

23 May 1933:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

5 June 1933:
Arrives at Moji.

7 June 1933:
Arrives at Dalian.

9 June 1933:
Departs Dalian.

11 June 1933:
Arrives at Moji and departs for Kobe.

29 June 1933:
Departs Moji for Dalian.

20 July 1933:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

11 August 1933:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

22 August 1933:
Departs Kobe.

25 August 1933:
Arrives at Dalian.

13 September 1933:
Departs Kobe.

12 November 1933:
Departs Dalian for Kobe.

March 1934:
Departs Dalian.

25 March 1934:
Arrives at Kobe.

1 May 1934:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

15 June 1934:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

27 June 1934:
Departs Kobe.

30 June 1934:
Arrives at Dalian.

30 July 1934:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

10 November 1934:
Departs Kobe.

13 November 1934:
Arrives at Dalian.

9 January 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian for Kobe.

21 January 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

28 January 1935:
Arrives at Moji.

2 February 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

13 February 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

26 February 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

March 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

3 March 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

1 April 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

12 April 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

23 April 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

4 May 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

15 May 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

26 May 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

6 June 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

18 June 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

30 June 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

11 July 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

22 July 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

2 August 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

13 August 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

27 August 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

4 September 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

15 September 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

26 September 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

8 October 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

1 November 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

13 November 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

24 November 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

7 December 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

19 December 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

31 December 1935:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

2 February 1936:
Departs Dalian.

21 February 1936:
Departs Dalian.

5 March 1936:
Departs Dalian.

17 March 1936:
Departs Dalian.

29 March 1936:
Departs Dalian.

10 April 1936:
Departs Dalian.

22 April 1936:
Departs Dalian.

4 May 1936:
Departs Dalian.

16 May 1936:
Departs Dalian.

28 May 1936:
Departs Dalian.

9 June 1936:
Departs Dalian.

21 June 1936:
Departs Dalian.

3 July 1936:
Departs Dalian.

15 July 1936:
Departs Dalian.

27 July 1936:
Departs Dalian.

8 August 1936:
Departs Dalian.

20 August 1936:
Departs Dalian.

1 September 1936:
Departs Dalian.

3 September 1936:
Arrives at Moji.

13 September 1936:
Departs Dalian.

25 September 1936:
Departs Dalian.

7 October 1936:
Departs Dalian.

12 November 1936:
Departs Dalian.

24 November 1936:
Departs Dalian.

6 December 1936:
Departs Dalian.

18 December 1936:
Departs Dalian.

30 December 1936:
Departs Dalian.

6 January 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

18 January 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian and return to Kobe.

30 January 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

4 February 1937:
Arrives at Kobe.

11 February 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

16 February 1937:
Arrives at Kobe.

23 February 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

28 February 1937:
Arrives at Kobe.

6 March 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

11 March 1937:
Arrives at Kobe.

19 March 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

24 March 1937:
Arrives at Kobe.

31 March 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

5 April 1937:
Arrives at Kobe.

12 April 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

17 April 1937:
Arrives at Kobe.

24 April 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

29 April 1937:
Arrives at Kobe.

6 May 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

11 May 1937:
Arrives at Kobe.

18 May 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

23 May 1937:
Arrives at Kobe.

30 May 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

4 June 1937:
Arrives at Kobe.

11 June 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

16 June 1937:
Arrives at Kobe.

23 June 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

28 June 1937:
Arrives at Kobe.

5 July 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

7 July 1937: The Marco Polo Bridge (The "First China Incident"):
Hun River, Lugouqiao, China. Japanese troops on night maneuvers fire blank cartridges. Nearby Chinese troops fire back, but do not cause injuries. At morning roll call, the Japanese discover a soldier missing and assume the Chinese captured him. They demand entry to a Peking suburb to look for the soldier. The Chinese refuse. The Japanese then shell the city and an undeclared war on China begins.

10 July 1937:
Arrives at Kobe.

17 July 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

22 July 1937:
Arrives at Kobe.

29 July 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

3 August 1937:
Arrives at Kobe.

8 August 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

13 August 1937:
Arrives at Kobe.

19 August 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

24 August 1937:
Arrives at Kobe.

31 August 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

5 September 1937:
Arrives at Kobe.

12 September 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

18 September 1937:
Arrives at Kobe.

24 September 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

30 September 1937:
Arrives at Kobe.

4 October 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

9 October 1937:
Arrives at Kobe.

10 October 1937:
Requisitioned by the IJA as an Army hospital ship.

31 October 1937:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

5 November 1937:
Arrives at Kobe.

E December 1937:
URAL MARU is released to her owners. Undergoes overhaul, complete repainting and refurbishment to OSK’s standards for their civilian liners.

E February 1938:
Resumes commercial service on OSK’s Kobe ~ Dairen route. Departs Kobe at an unknown date.

4 April 1938:
Departs Dalian.

16 April 1938:
Departs Dalian.

28 April 1938:
Departs Dalian.

10 May 1938:
Departs Dalian.

22 May 1938:
Departs Dalian.

2 June 1938:
Departs Dalian.

19 June 1938:
Departs Dalian.

30 June 1938:
Departs Dalian.

10 July 1938:
Departs Dalian.

20 July 1938:
Departs Dalian.

1 August 1938:
Departs Dalian.

13 August 1938:
Departs Dalian.

25 August 1938:
Departs Dalian.

6 September 1938:
Departs Dalian.

18 September 1938:
Departs Dalian.

29 September 1938:
Departs Dalian.

10 October 1938:
Departs Dalian.

8 November 1938:
Departs Dalian.

18 November 1938:
Departs Dalian.

29 November 1938:
Departs Dalian.

11 December 1938:
Departs Dalian.

23 December 1938:
Departs Dalian.

4 January 1939:
Departs Dalian.

12 January 1939:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

24 January 1939:
Departs Kobe for Dalian.

11 February 1939:
Departs Dalian.

23 February 1939:
Departs Dalian.

6 March 1939:
Departs Dalian.

18 March 1939:
Departs Dalian.

29 March 1939:
Departs Dalian.

9 April 1939:
Departs Dalian.

21 April 1939:
Departs Dalian.

3 May 1939:
Departs Dalian.

15 May 1939:
Departs Dalian.

27 May 1939:
Departs Dalian.

8 June 1939:
Departs Dalian.

20 June 1939:
Departs Dalian.

2 July 1939:
Departs Dalian.

14 July 1939:
Departs Dalian.

27 July 1939:
: Departs Dalian.

8 August 1939:
Departs Dalian.

20 August 1939:
Departs Dalian.

31 August 1939:
Departs Dalian.

12 September 1939:
Departs Dalian.

24 September 1939:
Departs Dalian.

7 October 1939:
Departs Dalian.

19 October 1939:
Departs Dalian.

14 November 1939:
Departs Dalian.

25 November 1939:
Departs Dalian.

6 December 1939:
Departs Dalian.

18 December 1939:
Departs Dalian.

30 December 1939:
Departs Dalian.

4 February 1940:
Departs Dalian.

17 February 1940:
Departs Dalian.

28 February 1940:
Departs Dalian.

9 March 1940:
Departs Dalian.

21 March 1940:
Departs Dalian.

2 April 1940:
Departs Dalian.

12 April 1940:
Departs Dalian.

24 April 1940:
Departs Dalian.

6 May 1940:
Departs Dalian.

18 May 1940:
Departs Dalian.

30 May1940:
Departs Dalian.

12 June 1940:
Departs Dalian.

23 June 1940:
Departs Dalian.

5 July 1940:
Departs Dalian.

17 July 1940:
Departs Dalian.

29 July 1940:
Departs Dalian.

9 August 1940:
Departs Dalian.

21 August 1940:
Departs Dalian.

2 September 1940:
Departs Dalian.

13 September 1940:
Departs Dalian.

24 September 1940:
Departs Dalian.

5 October 1940:
Departs Dalian.

17 October 1940:
Departs Dalian.

29 October 1940:
Departs Dalian.

10 November 1940:
Departs Dalian.

21 November 1940:
Departs Dalian.

3 December 1940:
Departs Dalian.

15 December 1940:
Departs Dalian.

27 December 1940:
Departs Dalian.

3 March 1941:
Departs Dalian.

14 March 1941:
Departs Dalian.

25 March 1941:
Departs Dalian.

6 April 1941:
Departs Dalian.

18 April 1941:
Departs Dalian.

30 April 1941:
Departs Dalian.

2 May 1941:
Departs Dalian.

23 May 1941:
Departs Dalian.

4 June 1941:
Departs Dalian.

16 June 1941:
Departs Dalian.

27 June 1941:
Departs Dalian.

9 July 1941:
Departs Dalian.

20 July 1941:
Departs Dalian.

July 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJA again as an Army Transport (Yusosen).

E August-November 1941:
Probably undergoes overhaul and repairs while being converted to a transport and fitted with an unknown suite of armament. Completely repainted Army dark grey.

25 November 1941:
Arrives at Ujina.

November 1941:
Arrives at Takao.

2 December 1941:
Departs Takao.

6 December 1941:
Arrives at St. Jacques and departs. Arrives at An Xuan. NE of Saigon, Indochina (now Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam).

19 December 1941:
Departs An Xuan and departs. Arrives at Saigon.

20 December 1941:
Departs Saigon. Arrives at St. Jacques.

23 December 1941:
Departs St. Jacques and later that day arrives at Nha Be (Port Nha Be) location, then departs returning to St. Jacques.

3 January 1942:
Departs St. Jacques.

13 January 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

15 January 1942:
Departs Saigon.

21 January 1942:
Arrives at Singora, Siam (now Songhkla, Thailand).

28 January 1942:
Departs Singora.

31 January 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

1 February 1942:
Departs Saigon.

6 February 1942:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

19 February 1942:
Departs Hong Kong and arrives at Ujina, Hiroshima Prefecture, later that day.

E March 1942:
URAL MARU's role is again changed to an Army Hospital ship. She is probably completely refurbished and repainted white with red crosses and green belts on both hull sides. Departs Ujina at an unknown date for Moji.

27 March 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

3 April 1942:
Arrives at Shanghai.

4 April 1942:
Embarks patients of the 58th hospital hygienic group and departs.

7 April 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

8 April 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

10 April 1942:
Departs Ujina.

12 April 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

15 April 1942:
Departs Takao.

18 April 1942:
Arrives at Lingayen, Philippinrs.

27 April 1942:
Departs Lingayen.

28 April 1942:
Arrives at Saigon, Indochina.

29 April 1942:
Departs Saigon.

30 April 1942:
Arrives at Singapore, Malaya.

10 May 1942:
Departs Singapore.

13 May 1942:
Arrives at Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar) location.

14 May 1942:
Departs Rangoon.

16 May 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

20 May 1942:
As required by the Genenva conversion, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs notifies the warring powers of URAL MARU's status as a hospital ship.

24 May 1942:
Departs Singapore.

26 May 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

27 May 1942:
Departs Saigon.

31 May 1942:
Arrives at Manila.

8 June 1942:
Departs Manila.

9 June 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

10 June 1942:
Departs Takao.

14 June 1942:
Arrives at Manila.

25 June 1942:
Departs Manila.

26 June 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

30 June 1942:
Departs Takao.

6 July 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

9 July 1942:
Departs Singapore.

12 July 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

15 July 1942:
Departs Saigon.

19 July 1942:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

23 July 1942:
Departs Hong Kong.

29 July 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

29 August 1942:
Departs Singapore.

3 September 1942:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

17 September 1942:
Departs Hong Kong.

17 September 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

18 September 1942:
Departs Ujina.

14 October 1942:
Arrives at Palau.

23 October 1942:
Departs Palau with patients of the 56th hospital hygienic group.

28 October 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul, New Britain. Embarks patients of the 56th hospital group and departs. Later that day, arrives at Kokopo (Kokobo), S of Rabaul.

29 October 1942:
Departs Kokopo.

7 November 1942:
Arrives at Manila. Embarks patients of the 56th hospital hygienic group.

9 November 1942:
Departs Manila.

11 November 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

25 November 1942:
Departs Takao.

20 November 1942:
Arrives at Palau.

4 December 1942:
Departs Palau.

9 December 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

11 December 1942:
Departs Takao.

12 December 1942:
Arrives at Kirun (now Keelung).

13 December 1942:
Departs Kirun.

16 December 1942:
Arrives at Mutsure and departs later that day.

17 December 1942:
Arrives at Ujina. Her military role is changed again to an Army Transport. While being reconverted, URAL MARU is probably overhauled and refitted, repainted IJA dark grey overall and fitted with an unknown suite of armament.

16 January 1943:
Departs Moji.

21 January 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

25 January 1943:
Departs Manila.

29 January 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

31 January 1943:
Departs Palau.

2 February 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

5 February 1943:
Departs Rabaul.

14 February 1943:
Arrives at Takao. URAL MARU's military role is again changed to an Army Hospital ship. She is probably hastily reconverted and painted white overall with red crosses and green belts on her hull sides.

18 February 1943:
Departs Takao.

23 February 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

26 February 1943:
Departs Palau.

2 March 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

4 March 1943:
Departs Rabaul.

13 March 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

14 March 1943:
Departs Palau.

18 March 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

24 March 1943:
Departs Manila.

28 March 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

30 March 1943:
Departs Palau.

3 April 1943:
W of Kavieng. At 1459 hours, URAL MARU is bombed by an enemy plane, probably a B-17, at 02-47S, 150-07E. One bomb scores a direct hit and other bombs fall near the ship causing damage to the hull. Seven men are KIA and ten seriously wounded. That same day, USAAF 5th AF B-17s sink transport FLORIDA MARU and 5th AF B-24s also damage heavy cruiser AOBA and destroyer FUMIZUKI off Kavieng. [1]

4 April 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

8 April 1943:
Departs Rabaul.

9 April 1943:
Tokyo (Domei) Foreign Broadcasting reports in English that "Japanese hospital ship, Ural Maru was bombed in daylight, 3 April, off New Ireland. Damaged by a direct hit."

17 April 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

20 April 1943:
Departs Manila.

22 April 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

24 April 1943:
Departs Takao.

25 April 1943:
Arrives at Kirun.

26 April 1943:
Departs Kirun.

29 April 1943:
Arrives at Moji. Departs at an unknown date for Osaka.

2 May 1943:
Arrives at Osaka. Departs at an unknown date and arrives at Ujina.

23 June 1943:
Arrives at Ujina.

27 June 1943:
Arrives at Dalian.

29 June 1943:
Departs Dalian.

2 July 1943:
Arrives at Ujina. Departs at an unknown date and arrives at Moji.

5 July 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

9 July 1943:
Arrives at Kirun.

12 July 1943:
Departs Kirun.

15 July 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

17 July 1943:
Departs Moji.

19 July 1943:
Arrives at Dalian.

20 July 1943:
Departs Dalian.

23 July 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

26 July 1943:
Arrives at Ujina.

30 July 1943:
Arrives at Arrives at Qinhuangdao, northern China.

1 August 1943:
Departs Qinhuangdao.

4 August 1943:
Arrives at Osaka. Departs at an unknown date and arrives at Ujina.

11 August 1943:
Arrives at Ujina.

14 August 1943:
Arrives at Shanghai.

16 August 1943:
Departs Shanghai.

19 August 1943:
Arrives at Osaka

25 August 1943:
Arrives at Ujina.

28 August 1943:
Departs Ujina for Palau.

12 September 1943:
Arrives at Kokobo and departs. Later that same day arrives at Rabaul and then departs.

17 September 1943:
Arrives at Palau and departs.

21 September 1943:
Arrives at Manila

27 September 1943:
Departs Manila.

1 October 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

2 October 1943:
Departs Palau

6 October 1943:
Arrives at Manila

10 October 1943:
Departs Manila.

16 October 1943:
Arrives at Osaka. Departs at an unknown date.

26 October 1943:
Arrives at Ujina

28 October 1943:
Departs Ujina.

11 November 1943:
Arrives at Wewak, New Guinea and departs.

19 November 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

23 November 1943:
Departs Takao.

10 December 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul and departs that same day.

20 December 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

23 December 1943:
Departs Manila.

30 December 1943:
Arrives at Osaka. Departs at an unknown date and arrives at Saeki.

16 January 1944:
Arrives at Saeki.

24 January 1944:
Arrives at Palau

27 January 1944:
Departs Palau.

1 February 1944:
Arrives at Rabaul.

2 February 1944:
Departs Rabaul.

6 February 1944:
Arrives at Palau and departs that same day for Manila.

10 February 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

16 February 1944:
Departs Manila.

20 February 1944:
Arrives at Palau.

29 February 1944:
Departs Palau.

4 March 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

9 March 1944:
Departs Manila.

12 March 1944:
Arrives at Kirun.

13 March 1944:
Departs Kirun.

16 March 1944:
Arrives at Moji. Departs later and arrives at Ujina.

18 March 1944:
Arrives at Ujina and departs. Later, arrives at Kirun.

21 April 1944:
Departs Kirun and arrives at Ujina.

28 May 1944:
Departs Ujina.

5 June 1944:
Arrives at Kau, Halmahera Island, Moluccas and departs. Later, arrives at Ambon.

14 June 1944:
Arrives at Kau.

27 June 1944:
Departs Kau.

4 July 1944:
Arrives at Ujina.

5 July 1944:
Departs Ujina.

7 July 1944:
Arrives at Busan (Pusan), Chosen (Korea). URAL MARU’s military role is changed again to Army Transport. She is probably reconfigured, rearmed and repainted dark grey overall.

23 July 1944:
Departs Pusan deploying elements of the 49th Division, 18th Independent Wire Company and others.

25 July 1944:
Arrives at Ujina. Embarks about 4,000 troops

26 July 1944:
Departs Ujina and arrives at Moji. Embarks about another 2,000 IJA troops. At 0600, URAL MARU departs Imari Bay in convoy MI-13 also consisting of cargo ships HIYORI, DURBAN, KIZAN, KUNIYAMA, SHIROTAE, KOKUSEI, CHINA, HIGANE, MATSUURA, RISSHUN and ATLAS MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 1 and tankers SHINCHO, TEIKON, HIGANE, TOKUWA, KYOEI and ATAGO MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 2.

The convoy is escorted by kaibokan MATSUWA, CD-14, patrol boat P-38, minesweeper W-18, auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 3, auxiliary gunboat CHOHAKUSAN MARU and auxiliary patrol boats EIFU, FUYO, KASUGA and NUNOBIKI MARUs.

31 July 1944:
The convoy arrives at Takao. SHIROTAE, CHINA and MATSUURA MARUs are detached and tankers SHIMPO and ZUIYO MARUs and cargo ship SHINKO MARU join the convoy. TAKUNAN MARU No. 3 and CHOHAKUSAN MARU are detached from the escort and replaced by kaibokan KUSAGAKI and YASHIRO and destroyer ASAKAZE. Naval Transport T. 3 also joins.

4 August 1944:
At 0830, the reconstituted convoy departs Takao.

7 August 1944:
At 2205, LtCdr (later Captain) Enrique D. Haskin's USS GUITARRO (SS-363) torpedoes and sinks kaibokan KUSAGAKI at 14-50N, 119-57E.

8 August 1944:
At 0900, the convoy arrives at Manila. URAL MARU unloads many of the troops she carries. DURBAN, KIZAN, RISSHUN, KUNIYAMA, SHINKO and ATLAS MARUs are detached. SHOEI MARU joins the convoy. All of the escorts are detached except CD-14, patrol boat PB-38 and subchasers CH-30 and CH-33.

11 August 1944:
At 2100, URAL MARU departs Manila in the Miri leg of convoy MI-13 consisting of SHOEI, HIYORI, KUNIYAMA, SHINSEI MARU No.1, HIGANE MARUs and oilers SHINCHO, SHINPO, ZUIYO, TEIKON, OGURA MARU No. 2, TOKUWA, KYOEI and ATAGO MARUs also escorted by kaibokan CD-4 and patrol boat No. 38 and subchasers CH-33 and CH-30.

12 August 1944:
At 0730, LtCdr Frank G. Selby’s (USNA '33) USS PUFFER (SS-268) torpedoes and damages SHINPO MARU. 20 crewmen are KIA.

SHINPO MARU is taken under tow by SHOEI and KYOEI MARUs, beached, then abandoned. Selby also torpedoes and sinks TEIKON MARU (ex-German WINNETOU) at 13-18N 120-11E, but there are no casualties. CD-14 and patrol boat PB-38 drop 37 depth charges, but PUFFER slips away unscathed. The convoy shelters in Paluan Bay, NW Mindoro.

14 August 1944:
At 0700, departs Paluan Bay.

18 August 1944:
At 1700, the convoy arrives at Miri.

19 August 1944:
URAL MARU departs Miri for Kuching, Borneo in convoy MISHI-07 also consisting of SHINCHO, HIGANE, HIYORI, KOKUSEI, SHOEI and KYOEI MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 1 escorted by kaibokan CD-14 and patrol boat PB-38.

21 August 1944:
Arrives at Kuching, Borneo to shelter after a torpedo attack on MISHI-07.

26 August 1944:
Arrives at Singapore. URAL MARU unloads the remainder of of the troops she carries.

5 September 1944:
URAL MARU departs Singapore for Kuching in convoy MISHI-10. URAL MARU carries 3,000-tons of tin ingots and bales of raw rubber and about 600 passengers including wounded soldiers and their nurses.

8 September 1944:
Arrives at Kuching, Timor.

10 September 1944:
Departs Kuching.

11 September 1944:
Arrives at Miri, Borneo.

15 September 1944:
At 1500, URAL MARU departs Miri for Manila, Philippines convoy MIMA-11 consisting of fleet oiler KAMOI and TACHIBANA, YAMAMIZU No. 2, KYOKUHO, SHIKISAN, HOKKI, ZUIYO, TATSUHARU, TENSHIN, SHINSEI No. 1, SHOEI, OMINE, KYOEI and IMAHARU MARUs (ex-Dutch De KLERK) and KYOEI MARU No. 6 escorted by kaibokan CD-8, CD-25, CD-28 and CD-32. The convoy hugs the coast calling at various small anchorages.

25 September 1944:
Bacuit Bay, Palawan, Philippines. URAL MARU is ordered to proceed to Takao. At 0845, she weighs anchor.

27 September 1944:
About 220 km W of Cape Bolinao, Luzon. At 0807, Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Reuben T. Whitaker's (USNA '34) USS FLASHER (SS-249) torpedoes URAL MARU in her starboard auxiliary coal bunker at 15-55N, 117-16E. Rapid flooding ensues. At 0830, the crew abandons ship as URAL MARU is rolling over to port. At 0832, she sinks by the bow. She was carrying mail, troops urns and war supplies. 144 passengers, 5 gunners and 40 of 189 crewmen are KIA.

FLASHER also torpedoes damages tanker TACHIBANA MARU at 15-45N, 117-20E.

That evening, unidentified subchasers rescue survivors. 120 passengers and nurses are then embarked on tanker ZUIYO MARU, but on 1 Oct '44 LtCdr William C. Thompson, Jr's (USNA '35) USS CABRILLA (SS-288) torpedoes and sinks ZUIYO MARU in the South China Sea, west of Luzon. 45 survivors of URAL MARU and 21 crewmen are KIA. [2]


Author's Notes:
In the late 1930s, many Japanese immigrated to Manchuria, China, and Korea.

[1] The Japanese Foreign Affairs Ministry protest stated that “URAL MARU was dived-bombed (sic) by an enemy plane”, but this seems to be in error as no Allied dive-bombers were known to be in the area that day.

[2] Some accounts refer to the ship as carrying about 2,000 Allied POWs, but this seems incorrect. Moreover, URAL MARU is not listed as a “Hell Ship”.

Thanks go to Gilbert Casse of France and John Whitman of Virginia, USA.

Bob Hackett


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