(Type A Standard Cargo Ship)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2012 Bob Hackett

E March 1943:
Koyagishima. Laid down at Kawaminami Kogyo K. K. as a 6,487-ton Type 1A Standard Cargo Ship for Kokoku Kisen K. K. of Kobe.

E May 1943:
Launched and named YOZAN MARU.

June 1943:

2 October 1943:
Requisitioned by the IJA and alloted IJA No. 1132.

30 October 1943:
At 1600, YOZAN MARU departs Mutsure for Takao in convoy No. 110 consisting of transports ASAHI, CHINKAI, HANAKAWA, KIZAN, MALTA, OSHIMA, TEIKO, TAINAN, TOYO, YULIN, SEIZAN, SEIWA and SHINKOKU MARUs and tankers TERUKAWA, TEIKON (ex-German WINNETOU) and SANKO MARUs and escorted by patrol boat PB-2 and auxiliary gunboat KAZAN (ex-Chinese HUASHAN) MARU.

4 November 1943:
At 1410, arrives at Takao, Formosa.

7 November 1943:
At 1225, departs Takao for Manila in convoy No. 776 also consisting of IJA transports AKAGISAN, ASAHISAN, CHINKAI and MADRAS MARUs, IJN requisitioned cargo/transports SHINKOKU, RIZAN, KIZAN, TOTTORI, TOYO (2704 GRT) and ECHIZEN (2424 GRT) MARUs, IJA LST BANRYU MARU (later SS-2) escorted by patrol boat PB-2.

10 November 1943:
At 1300, arrives at Manila.

3 January 1944:
YOZAN MARU departs Takao in convoy No. 232 also consisting of AKAGISAN, DAIHO, GOZAN, HASSHU, KENSEI (ex British HIN SANG), KINE, KOHO, SAN DIEGO and TAIKAI MARUs escorted by kaibokan TSUSHIMA and MIYAKE.

10 January 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

31 January 1944:
At 0920, YOZAN MARU departs Moji for Takao in convoy No. 133 also consisting of tankers TAKETSU (BUTSU), YAMAKO (SANKO), NITTETSU and SHINCHO MARUs, IJA transports MATSUE, CLYDE, YAMAGATA, FUKKO, SHINYU MARUs, IJN requisitioned cargo/transports ASAHISAN, OSAKA, MATSUEI, SORACHI and TOYO (2704 GRT) MARUs and DAIGEN MARU No. 3 escorted by patrol boat No. 31 and auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 3.

6 February 1944:
At 1500, the convoy arrives at Takao.

22 February 1944:
At 0300, YOZAN MARU departs Takao in convoy TAMO-12 also consisting of CLYDE, CHINZEI, FUSO, HAKOZAKI, KAIKO KUROGANE, MISAKI, SAINEI, SEATTLE, SHINYO, SHINKOKU, SHONAN, TSUKUBA and YAMAHAGI MARUs escorted by destroyer KURI and patrol PB-38.

23 February 1944:
KAMO MARU and an unidentified ship join from Keelung. YOZAN, FUSO and KAIKO MARUs and four unidentified ships are detached escorted by KURI. The remainder of the convoy proceeds via Korea to Tomie, Goto Retto.

6 March 1944:
At 0800, YOZAN MARU departs Palau for Takao in convoy PATA-04 also consisting of IJA transports ASAHISAN, BRAZIL, CHINZEI, CLYDE, HINODE, KENNICHI and TASMANIA MARUs escorted by destroyers SHIGURE and SHIRANUI, patrol boat PB-31, subchasers CH-37 and CH-38 and auxiliary gunboat KENZAN MARU.

E March 1944:
Torpedo boat SAGI joins the escort at an unknown point.

13 March 1944:
At 1000, the convoy arrives at Takao.

21 April 1944:
YOZAN MARU departs departs Ssuchiaoshan (Raffles Island), SE of Shanghai in the "Take" (Bamboo) convoy consisting of ADEN, AMATSUSAN, BRAZIL, FUKUYO, KANAN, KAZUURA, MITSUKI, TAJIMA, TEIKAI MARU (ex-German FULDA) MANSHU, TEIKA (ex-French CAP VARELLA) and UNKAI MARUs and YOSHIDA MARU No. 1 and an unidentified ship escorted by destroyers ASAKAZE, FUJINAMI and SHIRATSUYU, kaibokan KURAHASHI, CD-20 and CD-22, minelayer SHIRATAKA (F), minesweeper W-22, subchasers CH-37, CH-38, and auxiliary minesweeper TAMA MARU No. 7, gunboat ATAKA and river gunboat UJI. The convoy is carrying troops of the IJA's 32nd and 35th divisions from China via Manila to New Guinea.

26 April 1944:
At about 0600, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Thomas M. Dykers' (USNA ’27) USS JACK (SS-259) makes a radar-assisted surface attack on the convoy. Dykers torpedoes and sinks YOSHIDA MARU No. 1 at 18-06N, 119-40E. 61 crewmen, two passengers and 2,586 of 3400 soldiers of the IJA's 210th Infantry Regiment, including its commander, are KIA.

Tokyo. Prime Minister and Army General Tojo Hideki learns of the losses inflicted upon convoy Take No. 1. Fearing further attacks by American skip-bombers, like those suffered earlier in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, Tojo orders the convoy diverted from Manokwari, New Guinea to Halmahera, Moluccas.

28 April 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

1 May 1944:
YOZAN MARU departs Manila for Wasile, Halmahera, Moluccas in a continuation of the "Take" convoy consisting of ADEN, AMATSUSAN (TENSHINZAN), BRAZIL, KAZUURA, MITSUKI, TAJIMA and TEIKA, MARUs with minelayer SHIRATAKA and other unknown escorts.

6 May 1944:
N Celebes Sea. About 0800, lookouts on LtCdr Charles H. Andrews’ (USNA ’30) USS GURNARD (SS-254) spot SHIRATAKA's coal-burning smoke at 19 miles. By 1300, Andrews completes an "end-around" on convoy Take No. 1. He fires two three-torpedo salvos at the transports. TAJIMA and ADEN MARUs are hit and quickly sink. TAJIMA MARU takes down 58 of 2,701 troops aboard, three crewmen and nine gunners. ADEN MARU takes down 499 troops, 12 crewmen and four gunners.

The escorts launch a heavy counterattack against GURNARD. Andrews evades 98 depth charges. GURNARD surfaces and finds one of the transports burning, but still afloat. About midnight, GURNARD shells the transport with her deck gun, but she still does not sink. Andrews fires another torpedo that finally sinks AMATSUSAN MARU. 95 of 212 soldiers aboard are KIA.

7 May 1944:
Takes refuge at Banka Anchorage.

8 May 1944:
At 0700, departs Banka.

9 May 1944:
At 1824, arrives at Wasile Bay.

13 May 1944:
At 0355, YOZAN MARU departs Wasile Bay with the remnants of convoy Take No. 1 consisting of BRAZIL, KAZUURA, MITSUKI and TEIKAI MARUs and newly joined ATLAS MARU escorted by minelayer SHIRATAKA, patrol boats PB-102 (ex-USS STEWART, DD-224) and PB-104, subchaser CH-38 and auxiliary netlayer KOREI MARU.

14 May 1944:
Arrives at Lembeh anchorage, Celebes, Philippines.

20 May 1944:
At 2105, the convoy arrives at Manila.

31 May 1944:
YOZAN MARU arrives at Kau Bay, Halmahera in an unidentified convoy escorted by destroyer HOKAZE and subchaser CH-26.

11 June 1944:
YOZAN MARU departs Kau Bay in convoy H-27 (return) also consisting of AKAGISAN, KOAN, SORACHI, SHIROGANESAN and TAIYU MARUs and YOSHIDA MARU No. 3 escorted by destroyer TSUGA, patrol boat PB-104, subchasers CH-21 and CH-38, auxiliary netlayer KOREI MARU and auxiliary gunboat KAZAN MARU.

12 June 1944:
TSUGA and CH-38 are detached for Davao.

14 June 1944:
At 1003, LtCdr (later Captain) Willard R. Laughon's (USNA ’33) USS RASHER (SS-269) torpedoes and sinks KOAN MARU at 04-33N, 122-23E. One gunner and 13 crewmen are KIA.

20 June 1944:
At 0925, arrives Manila.

21 September 1944:
Manila Harbor. Aircraft of Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher’s (USNA ’10) Task Force 38’s Task Groups 38.1, TG 38.2 and TG 38.3 bomb and sink YOZAN MARU at 14-35N, 120-55E.

Author's Note:
Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

- Bob Hackett

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