RIKUGUN YUSOSEN

(Type A Standard Cargo Ship)

IJA DJOKJA MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

2012-2017 Bob Hackett


E December 1943:
Koyagishima. Laid down at Kawaminami Kogyo K. K. as a 6,440-ton Type 1A Standard Cargo Ship for Nanyo Kaiun K.K. of Tokyo.

E February 1944:
Launched and named DJOKJA MARU. [1]

March 1944:
Completed and requisitioned by the IJA.

15 April 1944:
At 0600, DJOKJA MARU departs Tokyo for Palau in convoy Higashi-Matsu No. 6 also consisting of BISAN and JINSAN MARUs bound for Palau, KAMISHIMA and SHOZAN MARUs bound for Wolei, INARI and TONEGAWA MARUs bound for Guam, AWA, AWAJI, BATAVIA, HAKUBA, HOKUSHIN, KATSUKAWA and TAKAOKA MARUs bound for Saipan, CHOAN MARU No. 2 and MIKAGE MARU No.1 bound for Truk and TATSUAKI and TAMAHOKO MARUs bound for Chichi-Jima.

The convoy is escorted by destroyers HOKAZE, YUNAGI, UZUKI, kaibokan MIYAKE and CD-6, minesweepers W-20 and W-28, minelayers SARUSHIMA, KYOSAI and YURISHIMA and subchasers CH-10 and CH-12. 23 April 1944:
At 0600, arrives at Saipan.

1 May 1944:
While nearing Palau, DJOKJA, BISAN and JINSAN MARUs and CH-10 run aground on the N tip of Palau atoll, but later all are successfully refloated.

13 May 1944:
At 0600, DJOKJA MARU depart Palau for Cebu, Philippines in a convoy also consisting of BISAN (MIYAMA) MARU escorted by subchaser CH-12 and auxiliary subchasers CHa-32 and CHa-60 .

14 May 1944:
At 0219 (I), LtCdr (later Cdr) Walter P. Schoeni's (USNA 31) USS ASPRO (SS-309) attacks the convoy and fires four torpedoes at BISAN MARU at 0903, 133-32E, but they all miss.

At 0552, the convoy is again attacked, this time by Cdr John Corbus' (USNA 30) USS BOWFIN (SS-287) and Schoeni's ASPRO. BOWFIN fires six bow torpedoes at BISAN MARU and at about the same time, ASPRO fires four stern torpedoes at BISAN MARU

BISAN MARU, carrying 715 civilian and 269 military personnel, is hit by one or more torpedoes and floods. Between 0845-0900, she sinks by the stern. 83 passengers and two crewmen are KIA. DJOKJA MARU rescues survivors. The subchasers drop 16 depth charges, but both submarines escape. Later, BOWFIN and ASPRO share credit for the sinking.

15 May 1944:
About 200 miles NW of Palau. At 0314, Schoeni's ASPRO torpedoes DJOKJA MARU at 10-10N, 131-32E. At 1000, she sinks at 10-10N, 131-48E. Seven gunners and four crewmen are KIA. The subchasers drop about a dozen depth charges, but ASPRO safely clears the area.


Author's Note:
[1] Also known as JOKUJA MARU, a romanization of DJOKJA MARU, named after the city of Yogyakarta, Java, which was then called DJOKJA.

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

- Bob Hackett


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