ZATSUYOSEN!

(YAMAGIRI MARU prewar)

IJN YAMAGIRI MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement


© 2011-2017 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 4


6 December 1937:
Yokohama. Laid down by Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K. Zosensho shipyard as a 6,438-ton passenger/cargo ship for Yamashita Kisen K.K., Kobe.

13 May 1938:
Launched and named YAMAGIRI MARU.

2 July 1938:
Completed and registered in the port of Kobe.

23 July 1938:
Departs Kobe. Calls at New York and in South America.

24 February 1941:
Departs Kobe. Calls in South America.

5 September 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN as a transport (Ippan Choyosen). [1]

20 September 1941:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary transport under internal order No. 1093 and attached to the Sasebo Naval District. Her home port is Sasebo. Captain Sakamoto Tadashi (35) is appointed Supervisor

3 October 1941:
Yokohama. Starts conversion to an auxiliary transport at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Shipyard.

15 October 1941:
The conversion is completed.

E October 1941:
YAMAGIRI MARU is attached to the Sasebo Naval District as an auxiliary transport, (Ko) category. [2]

3 November 1941:
Departs Tokyo.

E November 1941:
Arrives at Mili Atoll, Marshalls. Departs at an unknown date.

7 January 1942:
At 1400 arrives at Yokosuka.

15 January 1942:
At 1130 departs Yokosuka.

22 January 1942:
At 0930 arrives at Davao and departs there at 2200.

24 January 1942:
At 0800 arrives at Bangka Island anchorage, Celebes. Later returns to Davao apparently.

27 January 1942:
At 1600 departs Davao in the second echelon of the Ito Shitai Ambon invasion force. The echelon consists of KIRISHIMA, YAMAGIRI, YAMAFUKU, KATSURAGI and LYONS MARUs and HINO MARU No. 5 escorted by destroyers AMATSUKAZE, TOKITSUKAZE, YUKIKAZE and HATSUKAZE and minesweepers W-9 and W-11.

29 January 1942:
At 0000 arrives at Bangka, Celebes. Preparation is made for the invasion of Ambon.

29-31 January 1942: The Invasion of Ambon Island, Ceram Island. Moluccas, Netherlands East Indies:
At 0000 YAMAGIRI MARU departs Bangka anchorage, near Menado, with the Ambon invasion convoy also consisting of transports AFRICA, YAMAURA, RYOYO, MIIKE, ZENYO, KIRISHIMA, HINO, KATSURAGI and YAMAFUKU MARUs carrying Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hatakeyama Koichiro's (39) (former CO of KINUGASA) No. 1 Kure Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF), elements of the Sasebo SNLF and the 228th Infantry Regiment.

Escort is provided by Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Tanaka (41)'s DesRon 2ís light cruiser JINTSU, DesDiv 8ís ASASHIO, MICHISHIO, ARASHIO and OSHIO, DesDiv 15ís HAYASHIO, KUROSHIO, OYASHIO and NATSUSHIO, DesDiv 16ís TOKITSUKAZE, HATSUKAZE, AMATSUKAZE and YUKIKAZE, MineSweepDiv 11ís W-7, W-8, W-9, W-11 and W-12, SubChasDiv 1ís CH-1 and CH-2, and Patrol Boat Squadron 1ís PB-34. Seaplane tenders CHITOSE and MIZUHO arrive at Ceram and provide air cover for the invasion convoy.

Landings proceed during the night of Jan 30-31 by the No. 1 Kure SNLF at Hitu-Iama on the North coast, and by the IJAís 228th Infantry Regiment on the southern coast of Laitamor. The defenders are at a disadvantage to contest the landings as only a few Dutch detachments are in the area. At Hitu-Iama on the north coast, the defending infantry and machine-gun crews are quickly overwhelmed and bridges on the road leading to Paso are left intact allowing the Japanese to speedily advance south across the Hitu Peninsula.

Other landings occur around Hutumori where the Japanese split westward to the town and northward to Paso. The Japanese compel captured Ambonese to act as guides. The Japanese pass through a gap in the south at Batugong that falls on Jan 31st.

3 February 1942:
Ambon is secured. At 0215 departs invasion grounds and at 0630 anchors in Ambon Bay.

27 February 1942:
At 0700 departs Ambon.

2 March 1942:
At 0700 arrives at Angaur, Palaus.

4 March 1943:
At 2030 departs Angaur.

11 March 1942:
At 1240 arrives at Yokohama.

16 March 1942:
At 1000 departs Yokohama.

18 March 1942:
At 0720 arrives at Tsukumi.

23 March 1942:
At 0800 departs Tsukumi.

24 March 1942:
At 1240 arrives at Sasebo.

27 March 1942:
At 1220 departs Sasebo.

30 March 1942:
At 1010 arrives at Tokyo.

4 April 1942:
At 0630 departs Tokyo.

13 April 1942:
Arrives at Wotje, Marshalls.

19 April 1942:
At 0900 departs Wotje and at 1325 arrives at Taroa, Marshalls.

24 April 1942:
At 1045 departs Taroa.

25 April 1942:
At 0700 arrives at Emidj, Marshalls.

30 April 1942:
At 1230 departs Emidj and at 1400 arrives at Jaluit, Marshalls.

9 May 1942:
At 1415 departs Jaluit.

10 May 1942:
At 0415 arrives at Mille (Mili).

19 May 1942:
At 1430 departs Mille.

23 May 1942:
At 0340 arrives at Otori Jima (Wake Island)

24 May 1942:
At 1500 departs Otori Jima.

27 May 1942:
At 0525 arrives at Brown Island (Eniwetok) and at 0840 departs that location.

4 June 1942:
At 1550 arrives at Yokohama.

15 June 1942:
At 0700 departs Yokohama.

19 June 1942:
At 0820 arrives at Otaru, Hokkaido.

21 June 1942:
At 1500 departs Otaru.

24 June 1942:
At 1100 arrives at Kawasaki.

29 June 1942:
At 1020 departs Kawasaki and at 1220 transfers to Yokosuka.

30 June 1942:
At 1620 departs Yokosuka.

3 July 1942:
At 1830 arrives at Raichishi, Karafuto (now Aynuskoye, Sakhalin).

7 July 1942:
At 1810 departs Raichishi.

12 July 1942:
At 1610 arrives at Osaka.

14 July 1942:
At 1810 departs Osaka.

15 July 1942:
At 0830 arrives at Kure.

20 July 1942:
At 0630 departs Kure.

21 July 1942:
At 1530 arrives at Miike, Fukuoka Prefecture.

22 July 1942:
At 1500 departs Miike.

23 July 1942:
At 2130 arrives at Tokuyama, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

24 July 1942:
At 1215 departs Tokuyama.

25 July 1942:
At 1215 arrives at Sasebo.

3 August 1942:
At 1000 departs Sasebo.

4 August 1942:
At 0830 arrives at Tokuyama.

7 August 1942:
At 1300 departs Tokuyama.

8 August 1942:
At 0900 arrives at Osaka.

10 August 1942:
At 1300 departs Osaka.

11 August 1942:
At 1210 arrives at Mutsure Jima and at 1540 departs there.

15 August 1942:
At 1630 arrives at Takao.

19 August 1942:
At 0710 departs Takao, Formosa (now Kaohsiung, Taiwan).

20 August 1942:
At 0720 arrives at Hong Kong.

25 August 1942:
At 0810 departed Hong Kong.

26 August 1942:
At 1850 arrives at Samah (Sana), Hainan Island, China.

31 August 1942:
At 1100 departs Samah.

1 September 1942:
At 1300 arrives at Camranh Bay, Indochina (now Vietnam).

4 September 1942:
At 1330 departs Camranh Bay.

11 September 1942:
At 1745 arrives at Moji.

12 September 1942:
At 0810 departs Moji and at 1145 arrives at Wakamatsu, Fukuoka Prefecture.

13 September 1942:
At 1230 departs Wakamatsu.

14 September 1942:
At 1210 arrives at Osaka.

17 September 1942:
At 0610 departs Osaka.

19 September 1942:
At 0715 arrives at Tokyo.

22 September 1942:
At 0700 departs Tokyo and at 1050 transfers to Yokosuka.

23 September 1942:
At 0510 departs Yokosuka.

25 September 1942:
At 0520 arrives at Ujina, Hiroshima Prefecture.

26 September 1942:
At 0515 departs Ujina.

27 September 1942:
At 0400 arrives at Tokuyama and departs there at 2120.

28 September 1942:
At 1545 arrives at Saeki, Kyushu.

29 September 1942:
At 0600 departs Saeki in convoy Oki Part 3 also consisting of IJA transport CANBERRA MARU and auxiliary transport TOEI (4004 GRT) MARU escorted by destroyers AKATSUKI, IKAZUCHI and minesweepers W 1 and W 3.

4 October 1942:
Arrives at Saipan, Marianas. Departs later that same day for Truk.

6 October 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

8 October 1942:
Departs Truk with addition of auxiliary transport SHINSEI MARU No.18. [3]

12 October 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul, New Britain.

20 October 1942:
At 1200 departs Rabaul.

26 October 1942:
At 1300 arrives at Palau, Western Carolines.

27 October 1942:
At 0700 departs Palau and at 0940 transfers to Garasumao, Palaus.

4 November 1942:
At 1300 departs Palau for Moji in a convoy also consisting of auxiliary transport TOEI (4004 GRT) MARU and possibly other ships with unknown escort.

11 November 1942:
At 1030 arrives at Moji.

14 November 1942:
At 1630 departs Moji for Tsukumi, Oita Prefecture, Kyushu.

15 November 1942:
At 0845 arrives at Tsukumi.

19 November 1942:
At 1240 departs Tsukumi for Osaka. At 2130 arrives at Ujina.

20 November 1942:
At 0730 departs Ujina.

21 November 1942:
At 0930 arrives at Osaka.

23 November 1942:
At 0600 departs Osaka for Tokyo. At 0730 arrives outside Kobe and departs at 1115.

25 November 1942:
At 1030 arrives at Tokyo.

1 December 1942:
At 0740 departs Tokyo and transfers to Yokohama arriving at 1040. Remains at Yokohama for the rest of December.

10 January 1943:
At 1320 departs Yokohama and transfers to nearby Yokosuka, arriving at 1600.

15 January 1943:
At 1550 departs Yokosuka for Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture.

16 January 1943:
At 0900 arrives at Yokkaichi.

20 January 1943:
At 1300 departs Yokkaichi.

29 January 1943:
At 0720 arrives at Kwajalein, Marshalls.

5 February 1943:
At 1000 departs Kwajalein.

7 February 1943:
At 1400 arrives at Tarawa, Gilberts.

16 February 1943:
At 0400 departs Tarawa.

27 February 1943:
At 1120 arrives at Sasebo.

11 March 1943:
At 1200 departs Sasebo in convoy carrying (among other units) the 26th Naval Construction Unit and 17m Daihatsu landing craft No. 5088 and 5089 with IJA transport TATSUNAN MARU also transporting two Daihatsu landing craft, escorted by minesweeper W-3.

E 17 March 1943:
W-3 detaches from convoy and returns to Sasebo.

21 March 1943:
At 1120 YAMAGIRI MARU and TATSUNAN MARU arrive at Truk, Central Carolines

27 March 1943:
At 1100 departs Truk for Rabaul in convoy with auxiliary transport KINAI MARU and possibly others.

30 March 1943:
At 1145 arrives at Rabaul. Remains at Rabaul throughout April.

15 May 1943:
At 1500 departs Rabaul for Truk in a convoy also consisting of auxiliary transport AZUMA MARU, auxiliary minelayer MOGAMIGAWA MARU and auxiliary stores ship HOKKAI (407 GRT) MARU and possibly others with unknown escort.

19 May 1943:
At 1320 arrives at Truk.

21 May 1943:
At 1300 departs Truk for Saipan in convoy No. 4521 also consisting of IJN requisitioned (B-AK) NICHIZUI MARU with unknown escort.

24 May 1943:
At 1130 arrives at Saipan.

25 May 1943:
Captain Sakamoto is appointed CO.

27 May 1943:
Departs Saipan escorted by auxiliary minesweeper SEKI MARU No.3.

28 May 1943:
Arrives back at Saipan.

29 May 1943:
Departs Saipan and arrives back later that same day.

4 June 1943:
At 1200 departs Saipan with NICHIZUI MARU escorted by auxiliary minesweeper SEKI MARU No.3.

5 June 1943:
Arrives back at Saipan. Departs later for Yokosuka.

10 June 1943:
At 1140 arrives at Yokosuka. Probably undergoes maintenance and repairs. That same day, recalled Cdr Matsukawa Akira (34) is appointed CO.

12 July 1943:
At 1100 departs Yokosuka for Yokkaichi in convoy No. 7712 also consisting of IJA transport SEIRYU MARU and possibly others with unknown escort.

13 July 1943:
At 0230 arrives at Yokkaichi.

15 July 1943:
At 0100 departs Yokkaichi and arrives at Yokosuka later at 2100.

19 July 1943:
At 0400 departs Yokosuka and transfers to Tokyo, arriving at 0730.

23 July 1943:
At 0800 departs Tokyo and transfers to Yokosuka, arriving at 1050.

24 July 1943:
At 1300 departs Yokosuka for Truk in convoy No. 3724 also consisting of auxiliary aircraft transport MOGAMIGAWA MARU and IJN requisitioned (B-APK) SEIKO MARU, escorted by kaibokan FUKUE.

31 July 1943:
At 2307, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) George H. Walesís (USNA í29) USS POGY (SS-266) torpedoes and sinks MOGAMIGAWA MARU transporting 700 troops, torpedoes, rice and assorted goods. 130 troops and one crewman are KIA. FUKUE briefly counter-attacks, dropping only three depth charges. A few hours later, FUKUE and SEIKO MARU return to the scene of the sinking and rescue about 600 survivors.

At 0610, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) David L. Whelchel's (USNA í30) USS STEELHEAD (SS-280) torpedoes SEIKO MARU in No. 4 hold. The ship is carrying a cargo of timber and does not sink. FUKUE again counter-attacks, this time dropping 13 depth charges, but without result.

2 August 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

6 August 1943:
Departs Truk for Rabaul in convoy No. 1064 also consisting of auxiliary collier/tanker ASAKAZE MARU, auxiliary stores ship HOKKAI (407 GRT) MARU and one unidentified ship with unknown escort.

10 August 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

28 August 1943:
Departs Rabaul for Palau in convoy O-605 also consisting of auxiliary collier/tanker ASAKAZE MARU, IJN requisitioned (B-APK) NICHIRYO MARU and IJA transports TAISHO and TACOMA MARUs escorted by subchasers CH-38 and CH-39 and minesweeper W-22.

About 70 nms W Mussau Island, Bismarck Archipelago. LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Bernard F. McMahon's (USNA í31) USS DRUM (SS-228) intercepts the convoy. McMahon fires four torpedoes at one ship and two at another. A torpedo hits YAMAGIRI MARU in the starboard side between holds No. 2 and No. 3 at 01-31S, 148-41E, opening a large hole in her hull. However, she does not sink and is able to make it back to Rabaul. The escorts drop 27 depth charges on USS DRUM, but the submarine escapes from the area unharmed.

E 29 August 1943:
Arrives back at Rabaul for emergency repairs. Departs later for Truk to undergo extensive repairs.

22 October 1943:
Departs Truk for Ponape, Carolines in convoy No. T3-1 also consisting of auxiliary transport EIKO MARU No. 2 GO, auxiliary water carrier NIPPO MARU and auxiliary collier/tanker MIKAGE MARU No. 18 escorted by destroyer YUZUKI.

YAMAGIRI MARU is detached at some point and steams independently to Ponape.

23 October 1943:
Arrives at Ponape. Departs later that same day for Truk.

24 October 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

26 October 1943:
Departs Truk for Ponape in convoy No. T3-2 also consisting of auxiliary transport EIKO MARU No. 2 GO, auxiliary water carrier NIPPO MARU and auxiliary collier/tanker MIKAGE MARU No. 18 with unknown escort.

27 October 1943:
Arrives at Ponape. Departs later that same day for Rabaul.

30 October 1943:
Departs Rabaul for Truk in convoy No. 2302 also consisting of IJN requisitioned ore carrier (B-AC) NIKKO (5949 GRT) MARU escorted by submarine chaser CH-33.

4 November 1943:
At 1000, arrives at Rabaul.

2 December 1943:
Departs Rabaul for Truk in a convoy also consisting of IJA transport GOSEI MARU and possibly others with unknown escort.

5 December 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

17 February 1944: American Operation "Hailstone" - The Attack on Truk:
Beginning at dawn, Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscherís (USNA í10) Task Force 58's five fleet carriers and four light carriers, supported by six battleships, ten cruisers and 28 destroyers, launch air attacks on airfields, shore installations and ships in the lagoon. Mitscher launches 30 strikes of at least 150 aircraft each. The strikes are launched about every hour.

N of Fefan Island. YAMAGIRI MARU is anchored in the Repair Anchorage. US aircraft drop bombs from 500', hits rock the ship with a huge explosion. A large hole amidships in hold No. 3 certainly finishes off YAMAGIRI MARU that sinks at 07-23N, 151-50E with the loss of 11 of her crew. Captain Matsukawa survives the sinking.

18 February 1944:
In two days of raids, Task Force 58 sinks 31 transports and 10 naval vessels (two cruisers, four destroyers and four auxiliary vessels, destroys nearly 200 aircraft and damages severely about 100 more. Truk is eliminated as a major fleet anchorage for the IJN.

31 March 1944:
Removed from the Navyís list under internal order No. 508.


Authors Notes:
[1] See Zatsuyosen home page for full explanation.
[2] There were two categories of Zatsuyosen. (Ko) category with an IJN Captain as supervisor aboard and (Otsu) category without.
[3] SHINSEI MARU No.18 may have joined convoy earlier at Saipan. It is not definite that YAMAGIRI MARU proceeded all the way to Rabaul.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan. Thanks go also to the late John Whitman of Virginia, USA for troop info and to Matthew Jones of Ohio, USA.

-Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


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