(YOKOHAMA MARU, prewar)
Tabular Record of Movement
© 2016-2017 Bob Hackett
25 October 1910:
Nagaski. Laid down at Mitsubishi Dockyard and Engine Works as Yard No. 216 , a 6,469-ton passenger/cargo ship for Nippon Yusen Kisen (Japan Mail Line) Kabushiki Kaisha (K.K.)(NYK Line) of Tokyo.
30 January 1912:
Launched and named YOKOHAMA MARU.
14 May 1912:
Completed and placed in service on NYK’s Guam ~ Japan route.
17 July 1932:
Arrives at Vancouver, B.C., Canada.
10 October 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) and fitted out as a troop transport. Allotted Army No. 932.
10 December 1941: Operation "G" (G Sakusen) - The Seizure of Guam: :
Rear Admiral Kasuga Atsushi's (37)(former CO of CHOKAI) 5th Base Force's Invasion Force consisting of transports YOKOHAMA, CHINA, CHERIBON, CLYDE, DAIFUKU, KOGYOKU, MATSUE, MOJI, NICHIMEI and VENICE MARUs land MajGen Horii Tomitaro’s 55th Infantry Corps consisting of the 55th Division’s Headquarters, 3rd Company, 55th Cavalry, 55th Division plus an anti-tank platoon, 144th Infantry Regiment of 2,673 men,
144th Infantry Artillery Unit, 1st Battalion, 55th Mountain Artillery Regiment with twelve 75mm mountain guns, 1st Company, 55th Engineer Regiment’s 3rd Company (less one platoon) and 10th Independent Engineer Regiment.
The Invasion Force is covered by minelayer TSUGARU (F), destroyer OBORO, DesDiv 23, GunbtDiv 7, SubChasDivs 59 and 60 and MineDiv 15 and auxiliary seaplane tender KIYOKAWA MARU. The Invasion Force also lands naval units of the 5th Defense Unit Detachment 15th Naval Base Headquarters and 15th Communications Unit.
At 0400, the Japanese land about 400 troops at Dungcas Beach, N of Agana. MajGen Horii Tomitaro’s IJA South Seas Detachment of about 5,500 men also lands at Tumon Bay and at Talafofo Bay. At 0600, after token resistance by Guam's few United States Marine Corps defenders and local constabulary, the United States Governor officially surrenders Guam.
14 January 1942:
At 1330, YOKOHAMA 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 CHINA, CHERIBON, CLYDE, HIBI, MITO, MOJI, TAIFUKU and VENICE MARUs carrying 5,300 men.
23 January 1942: Operation "R" (R Sakusen)- The Invasions of Rabaul and Kavieng:
YOKOHAMA MARU departs Truk for Rabaul attached to the invasion fleet also consisting of CHINA, CHERIBON, CLYDE, HIBI, MEITEN MITO, MOJI, TAIFUKU and VENICE MARUs with auxiliary netlayer SHUKO MARU and escorted by auxiliary subchasers KYO MARU No. 8 and KYO MARU No. 10.
25 February 1942:
YOKOHAMA MARU arrives at Rabaul. Loads troops of the 2th battalion of 144th regiment, South Sea Force for landings at Salamaua, New Guinea. The convoy also consists of CHINA MARU bound for Salamaua and transports KONGO and KOKAI MARUs and auxiliary minelayer TENYO MARU bound for Lae. Armed merchant cruiser KINRYU MARU is part of the escort.
5 March 1942:
Operation “SR” (SR Sakusen) – The Invasion of Lae and Salamuana, New Guinea:
YOKOHAMA MARU departs Rabaul.
8 March 1942:
Salamaua. Shortly after midnight, YOKOHAMA MARU lands troops and unloads cargo. After a brief skirmish with Australian New Guinea Volunteer Rifles, the IJA captures Salamaua. That same day, YOKOHAMA MARU is attacked by an American-built Lockheed "Hudson" light bomber of the RAAF's 32 Squadron based at Port Moresby, New Guinea. YOKOHAMA MARU is hit and damaged by one bomb. Three men are KIA and 8 WIA. Off Lae, an air attack damages destroyer YUNAGI.
10 March 1942:
The Invasion force is attacked by Vice Admiral Wilson Brown's (USNA ’02) Task Force 11, including ships of Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Frank J.Fletcher's (USNA ’06) TF 17. 104 aircraft (SBDs, TBDs and F4Fs) of USS LEXINGTON (CV-2) and USS YORKTOWN (CV-5) from the Coral Sea fly over New Guinea's Owen Stanley mountain range to make the attack.
Off Lae. YOKOHAMA MARU is hit by one MK 13 aerial torpedo and sinks at 07-01S, 147-07E. One crewman is KIA.
KONGO MARU is hit by several bombs and sinks at 06-49S, 147-02E. Casualties are unknown. Minelayer TENYO MARU is also sunk. Nine crewmen are KIA.
Light cruiser YUBARI, seaplane carrier KIYOKAWA MARU, destroyers YUNAGI and ASANAGI, minelayers OKINOSHIMA and TSUGARU, minesweepers W-2 and TAMA MARU and transport KOKAI MARU are damaged.
Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany and the late John Whitman for info on IJA troops.
to IJA Transports