(VENICE MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2012-2016 Bob Hackett

14 August 1920:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki Dockyard Co. K. K. as Yard No. 477, a 6,571-ton passenger-cargo ship for Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), K. K. of Kobe.

22 April 1921:
Launched and named named VENICE MARU.

13 June 1921:
Completed. She carries a crew of 36.

12 July 1922:
Departs Singapore for Yokohama.

November 1924:
Placed on K Linesís westbound Around-the-World service.

26 December 1924:
Arrives at Ellis Island, New York from Kobe, Japan and Tampico, Mexico.

5 July 1934:
Arrives at Kobe. 1,900 tons of sardine meal in 38,000 bags is loaded bound for United States Atlantic Coast ports via the Panama Canal.

July 1934:
Arrives at Nagoya. 1,087 cases of porcelain goods are loaded and about 595 additional cases of porcelain goods are transferred from the hold to the weather-deck.

13 July 1934:
Departs Yokohama.

29 July 1934:
Arrives at Los Angeles. 91 tons of cargo are discharged.

30 July 1934:
Departs Los Angeles for Balboa.

6 August 1934:
Early in the morning, smoke is observed coming out of the ventilators. Soon, a fire breaks out. The cargo is damaged by the fire and destroyed by the water used to extinguish it.

July 1937:
The Second Sino-Japanese War begins. VENICE MARU is chartered by the Imperial Army (IJA) as a troop ship.

3 August 1937:
VENICE MARU departs Moji carrying the IJA the 23rd Infantry Regiment of the 36th Infantry Brigade, 6th Division.

5 August 1937:
Arrives at at Pusan, Korea. Disembarks troops.

7 September 1937:
VENICE MARU departs Osaka for secret location "B" [Dagu (Tanggu), Tianjin, China] in a convoy also consisting of transports AYAHA, HAKKAISAN and TENYO MARUs. VENICE MARU carries 1,537 men and 308 horses including the 16th Divisionís 38th Infantry Regiment, 19th Infantry Brigade HQ, 9th Infantry HQ, 1st Battalion HQ, 9th Infantry, 2 companies, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry, 3rd Battalion (less 2 companies and Infantry Gun Platoon), 9th Infantry and 4th Field Anti Air Artillery Unit, 4th Division.

12 September 1937:
Arrives at Dagu and begins unloading.

E 1938:
Returned to her owners.

March 1939:
Transferred to K Linesís Central and South America route.

20 November 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJA and converted to a troop transport. Allotted IJA No. 948.

8 December 1941:
The Pacific War begins.

9 December 1941:
VENICE MARU departs Saipan, Mariana Islands for Guam, Marianas in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kasuga AtushiĎs (37) (former CO of CHOKAI) Invasion Fleet also consisting of transports CHERIBON, CHINA, KOGYOKU, NICHIMI, MATSUE, TAIFUKU and YOKOHAMA MARUs and oiler MOJI MARU escorted by DesDiv 23ís KIKUZUKI (F), YUZUKI, UZUKI and DesDiv 7ís OBORO, seaplane tender KIYOKAWA MARU, MineDiv 19ís minelayer TSUGARU and two auxiliary gunboats and six auxiliary subchasers.

Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Goto Aritomoís (38)(former CO of YAMASHIRO) CruDiv 6ís AOBA (F), KINUGASA, KAKO and FURUTAKA provides gunnery support.

10 December 1941:
At 0400, the Japanese land about 400 troops at Dungcas Beach, N of Agana. MajGen Horii Tomitaroís IJA South Seas Detachment of about 5,500 men also lands at Tumon Bay and at Talafofo Bay. At 0600, after token resistance by USMC and local constabulary, the United States Governor officially surrenders Guam.

14 January 1942:
At 1330, VENICE MARU departs Apra Harbor, Guam for Rabaul, New Britain in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Shima Kiyohide's (former CO of OI) Invasion Fleet also consisting of CHERIBON, CHINA, CLYDE, TAIFUKU, MITO, HIBI, MOJI, and YOKOHAMA MARUs carrying 5,300 men.

17 January 1942:
Near Lamotrek Island. Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kajioka Sadamichi's (39)(former CO of KISO) light cruiser YUBARI, seaplane tender KIYOKAWA MARU and four destroyers join MineDiv 19ís minelayers OKINOSHIMA and TSUGARU and two destroyers escorting the Invasion Fleet

That same day, Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo Chuichiís (36) (former CO of KIRISHIMA) Carrier Striking Force departs Truk consisting of CarDiv 1ís AKAGI and KAGA, CruDiv 5ís SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU, BatDiv 3/1 HIEI and KIRISHIMA, CruDiv 8ís TONE and CHIKUMA and DesRon 1ís light cruiser ABUKUMA with DesDiv 17's ISOKAZE, URAKAZE, TANIKAZE, HAMAKAZE, DesDiv 18's ARARE, KASUMI, KAGERO, SHIRANUHI and unattached AKIGUMO.

20 January 1942: - Operation "R" (R Sakusen) - The Invasions of Rabaul and Kavieng:
N of New Ireland. CarDiv 1 and CarDiv 5 launch 100 bombers and fighters to attack Rabaul, New Britain and Kavieng, New Ireland. KAGA loses one dive-bomber. That evening, CarDiv 5 is detached with cruiser CHIKUMA and destroyers AKIGUMO, KASUMI, KAGERO and SHIRANUHI and moves to a position in the Bismarck Sea.

21 January 1942:
CarDiv 1 launches another strike on Rabaul. CarDiv 5 launches separate raids on at Lae, Salamaua, Bulolo and Madang, New Guinea. After CarDiv 5 recovers her aircraft, she departs the Bismarck Sea area that evening to rendevous with CarDiv 1.

22 January 1942:
CarDiv 1 launches a 45-plane strike against Rabaul. After the launch, CarDiv 5 rendevouses with CarDiv 1. When CarDiv 1 completes recovery of her strike aircraft, Nagumo departs the New Ireland area and heads north to Truk.

22/23 January 1942:
New Britain. Soon after midnight, OKINOSHIMA lands invasion troops at Blanche Bay, Rabaul. Under the concealment of bad weather, the landings are carried out smoothly. The first group to land is Lt Col Tsukamoto Hatsuo's 144th Infantry Regiment which quickly takes control of Lakunai airdrome. Three companies of Lt Col Kuwada Ishiro's 3rd Battalion, after over running some Australian opposition, secure Vunakanau airdrome. Other invasion forces swiftly overcome light Australian opposition and occupy both Rabaul and Kavieng.

23 January 1942:
VENICE MARU departs Truk for Rabaul in an invasion fleet consisting of CHERIBON, CHINA, CLYDE, HIBI, MITO, TAIFUKU and YOKOHAMA MARUs and oiler MOJI MARU with escorted by auxiliary netlayer SHUKO MARU and auxiliary subchasers KYO MARU No. 8 and KYO MARU No. 10.

25 January 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

7 June 1942:
Released back to her owners.

11 November 1942:
Yellow Sea. Off the coast of Qingdao, China. At about 2100, LtCdr Arthur H. Taylorís (USNA Ď27) surfaced USS HADDOCK (SS-231) visually fires four torpedoes and gets one hit that blows VENICE MARUís stern off and sinks her at 35-40N, 123-46E. Four passengers and 39 crewmen are KIA.

Authorís Notes:
No data were found on VENICE MARUís movements from Feb '42 to Nov '42. Readers with access to such data are requested to post the information on the Discussion and Questions board or j-aircraft.org's IJN Ship Message Board

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany, the late John Whitman and Fontessa-san of Japan.

Bob Hackett

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