FUKUJU MARU: Tabular Record of Movement

© 2017 Bob Hackett

E 1918:
Québec, Canada. Laid down at Canadian Vickers Ltd. as Hull No. 71, a 5,758-ton cargo ship for Canadian National Steamships Ltd., Montreal.

Launched and named CANADIAN SPINNER.

December 1919:

Sold to Onassis Aristoteles Socratis of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Renamed ONASSI PINELOPI.

Sold to Sociedad Maritina Miraflores, Ltd. of Athens, Greece. Renamed MIRAFLORES.

Sold to Okada Gumi K. K. of Osaka, Japan. Renamed FUKUJU MARU.

E 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) as a troop transport. Alloted IJA No. 885.

Released back to her owners.

19 April 1943:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) as a Haitosen shared cargo/transport (A/C-APK). Converted to a troop transport. Allotted IJA No. 5065.

2 January 1943:
FUKUJU MARU runs aground. Later, YOSHIDA MARU arrives and assists in refloating FUKUJU MARU. Arrives at Toba later in the day.

8 March 1943:
Kobusaki. FUKUJU MARU forms up with convoy No. 2308 bound for Tokyo also consisting of ATAKA, HISAJIMA, HOKUYO, KENAN, KONZAN and SHINFUKU MARUs. At 0812, minesweeper W-24 departs Muroran, Hokkaido escorting the convoy. From 1400, minelayer SHIRAKAMI and auxiliary KEISHU MARU No. 3 provide distant cover.

At 1645, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Wreford G. Chapple's (USNA ’30) USS PERMIT (SS-178) torpedoes and sinks HISAJIMA MARU loaded with 3850 tons coal at 41-16N 141-29E. HOKUYO MARU rescues survivors, but two troops and five crewmen are KIA. She then proceeds to Hachinohe, Hokkaido. The rest of the convoy retreats to Yamada Port.

12 March 1943:
At 1905, arrives at Yokosuka.

19 April 1943:
army/civilian A/C-AK, IJA #5065

7 August 1943:
FUKUJU MARU departs Takao for Yulin, Hainan Island, China in convoy No. 314 also consisting of transports HAMBURG, LONDON and RYUYO MARUs and KOTO MARU No. 2 GO, cargo ship KENSEI (ex-British HINSANG) MARU and tankers KONSAN and NITTETSU MARUs escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOJUSAN MARU.

11 August 1943:
Arrives at Yulin.

7 September 1943:
At 1400, FUKUJU MARU departs Saigon for Mako, Pescadore Islands convoy No. 424 consisting of IJA transports ANKO (ex-Chinese AN SHING) MARU, BELGIUM, BIYO, CHINA, JINZAN, KAIKO, KENSEI (ex-British HINSANG), TEIRYU (ex-German AUGSBURG) and TOSEI MARUs and IJA tanker CHIYODA MARU escorted by patrol boat PB-2 and auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU. At 1325, CHIYODA MARU develops engine trouble and lags behind.

10 September 1943:
Convoy No. 424 departs Yulin, Hainan Island.

11 September 1944:
Arrives at Miri.

13 September 1944:
FUKUJU MARU departs Miri in convoy MISHI-09 consisting of TEIHOKU MARUs and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary minesweepers CHOUN MARU No. 7, CHOUN MARU No. 6 and TOSHI MARU No. 2.

14 September 1943:
At 0800, the convoy arrives at Mako less ANKO, KAIKO TEIRYU and TOSEI MARUs detached earlier.

19 September 1943:
At 0950, FUKUJU MARU departs Mako for Moji in convoy No. 205 also consisting of IJA transports CHINA, DENMARK, HOKUAN, KYOKKO, NICHIEI, SEIZAN, and TEIKA (ex-Vichy French CAP VARELLA) MARUs auxiliary oiler HOKUAN MARU and auxiliary transport NICHIEI MARU escorted by patrol boat PB-2. Auxiliary TOYO MARU No. 3 provides distant escort. At 1840 , SEIZAN MARU develops engine problems and drops out of the convoy.

20 September 1943:
At 1110 civilian ore carrier (C-AC) GINREI MARU, and IJA transports BIYO, KENZUI, TATSUHA, TOSEI and JINZAN MARUs join the convoy. At 1200, TOYO MARU No. 3 is ordered to escort IJA transport DENMARK MARU that sustained mechanical failure. Arrives at Kirun later in the day.

24 September 1943:
At 1600, the convoy arrives at Moji.

27 September 1943:
At 1100, FUKUJU MARU departs Kobe for Tokyo Bay in convoy No. 8927 also consisting of CHINA, KASUGASAN, MATSUMOTO and TOSEI MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-2.

28 September 1943:
Off Shiono Misaki. At 0100, off Shiono Misaki an unsuccessful torpedo attack on the convoy takes place.

22 October 1943:
At 1100, FUKUJU MARU departs Moji for Takao in part one of convoy No. 108 also consisting HAKUSAN, KENAN, KOSHIN, NARITA, ODATSUKI and RYUSEI MARUs escorted by kaibokan MATSUWA.

26 October 1943:
At 0940, arrives at Takao.

24 March 1944:
FUKUJU MARU departs Takao in convoy TASA-13 also consisting of CHINA, DURBAN, HIDA, KYOKUZAN, NICHIAN, SHOEI, SETSUZAN, SHONAN, TASMANIA and TEIRITSU (ex-Vichy French LECONTE DE LISLE) MARUs and five other unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan AWAJI CH-19 and auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU.

29 March 1944:
HIDA MARU is detached for Yulin. KYOKUZAN MARU is also detached for Sana. At about 0500, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Chester W. Nimitz Jr's (USNA ’36) USS HADDO (SS-255) torpedoes and damages NICHIAN MARU at 17-42N, 109-57E. The convoy shelters in the Baie de Kiquik.

30 March 1944:
Departs Baie de Kiquik.

1 April 1944:
Arrives at St Jacques.

4 April 1944:
FUKUJU MARU departs St Jacques in convoy SASHI-16 also consisting of CHINA, DURBAN and SHOEI MARUs (1986 GRT) escorted by subchaser CH-7.

7 April 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

7 May 1944:
At 1900, FUKUJU MARU departs Singapore in convoy SHIMI-02 also consisting of cargo ships DURBAN, CHINA and KUNIYAMA MARUs and tankers EIYO, CHIHAYA, NICHINAN and SHINEI MARUs and TONAN MARU No. 2 escorted by subchaser CH-19 and minesweeper W-8.

11 May 1944:
At 1545, arrives at Cape Kidurang and departs that same day.

12 May 1944:
At 1005, arrives at Miri, Borneo.

13 May 1944:
At 1800, FUKUJU MARU departs Miri in convoy MIMA-10, consisting of CHINA, DURBAN, SAN LUIS and TAKETOYO MARUs and six unidentified ships, (probably including CHIHAYA, EIYO SHINEI MARUs) escorted by destroyers ASAKAZE and HARUKAZE, submarine chaser CH-19 and kaibokan CD-11. Later, CD-11 is detached.

19 May 1944:
At 1700, arrives at Manila.

24 May 1944:
At 0630, FUKUJU MARU departs Manila in convoy MATA-20 also consisting of CHINA, CHIHAYA, EIYO, KUNIYAMA, SAN LUIS, SHINEI, TAKETOYO and TENSHIN, MARUs and six unidentified merchant ships. escorted by destroyers ASAKAZE, HARUKAZE, kaibokan CD- 11 and auxiliary gunboats CHOHAKUSAN and TOMITSU MARUs

28 May 1944:
At 0800, arrives at Takao.

30 May 1944:
FUKUJU MARU departs Takao for Moji in convoy TAMO-20 also consisting of TAKETSU (BUTSU), DURBAN, TAKETOYO, HORAI, KOSHIN, CHIHAYA, EIYO MARUs and fourteen unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyers ASAKAZE, HARUKAZE, kaibokan CD-2, gunboat ATAKA and auxiliary gunboat TOMITSU MARU. En route SHINEI MARU is detached.

5 June 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

12 July 1944:
At 1500, FUKUJU MARU departs Moji for Miri, Borneo in convoy MI-11 also consisting of cargo/transports AYAYUKI, BAIKAL, DAKAR, EIKYU, FUSO, YOSHINO (ex-Dutch KLIEST), MIHO, ENOSHIMA, MANKO, HACHIJIN, TEIRITSU (ex-Vichy French LECONTE DE LISLE), TOUN and BANSHU MARU No. 16 and tankers AYAGUMO, AYAYUKI, HARIMA, KOEI, TAKETOYO, SHICHIYO, and SHICHIYO MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 1 escorted by destroyer SHIOKAZE, kaibokan SHIMUSHU, minesweepers W-28 and W-39, subchaser CH-55 and auxiliary gunboat KAZAN (HUA SHAN) MARU.

18 July 1944:
At 1800, the convoy arrives at Takao and refuels. Destroyer SHIOKAZE is detached. The convoy is carrying reinforcements and ammunition for the defense of the Philippines, so the escort is reorganized and strengthened and now consists of kaibokan SHIMUSHU and CD-28, minesweepers W-28, W-38 and W-39, subchaser CH-55 and auxiliary gunboat KAZAN MARU.

20 July 1944:
BAIKAL MARU is detached and arrives at Kirun.

21 July 1944:
The convoy arrives at Takao. TOUN MARU is detached. MANKO and HARIMA MARUs join.

29 July 1944:
At 0500, the convoy departs Takao for Miri, Borneo. EIKYU MARU suffers engine problems and returns to Nan Bay.

30 July 1944:
At 2200, BANSHU MARU No. 16 incurs rudder problems and collides with MANKO MARU bow-to-bow, both are damaged, but able to proceed.

29 July 1944:
At 0500, FUKUJU MARU departs Takao, Formosa for Miri, Borneo in reorganized convoy MI-11 now consisting of AYAKUMO, AYAYUKI, DAKAR, EIKYU, ENOSHIMA, FUSO, HACHIJIN, HARIMA, HICHIYO, KOEI, MANKO, MIHO, TAKETOYO, TEIRITSU and YOSHINO MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 1 escorted by destroyer SHIOKAZE, kaibokan SHIMUSHU, minesweepers W-28 and W-39, subchaser CH-55 and auxiliary gunboat KAZAN MARU.

31 July 1944:
Luzon Strait. A wolfpack patrols the Strait under Captain (later Rear Admiral) Lewis S. Parks (USNA ’25). It consists of LtCdr (later Vice Admiral/MOH/COMSUBLANT) Lawson P. Ramage's (USNA ’31) USS PARCHE (SS-384)(F), LtCdr (later Captain) David L. Whelchel's (USNA ’30) USS STEELHEAD (SS-280) and LtCdr John C. Martin's (USNA ’34) USS HAMMERHEAD (SS-364).

280 miles NNW of Cape Mayraira, Luzon. At 0332, LtCdr Ramage's PARCHE torpedoes and sinks KOEI MARU carrying 1,050 Army troops of whom 150 and 9 crewmen are KIA. About the same time, oiler OGURA MARU No. 1 is hit by a torpedo, but does not sink. Five crewmen are KIA.

At 0340, Ramage torpedoes and sinks transport (ex-hospital ship) YOSHINO MARU carrying 5,012 soldiers onf the Kwantung Army. 2,442 soldiers, 18 naval gunners and 35 sailors are KIA and her cargo of 400 m3 of ammunition is lost.

At 0420, Whelchel's USS STEELHEAD torpedoes DAKAR MARU at 19-08N, 120-51E, but she does not sink.

At 0455, Whelchel torpedoes and sinks transport (ex-hospital ship) FUSO MARU. 1,384 troops and crewmen are KIA and a cargo of 36 railway carriages and 1,120-tons of other military supplies is lost.

At 0514, Ramage's PARCHE torpedoes and sinks MANKO MARU. Several hundred naval personnel, 17 crewmen and 20 gunners are KIA and her cargo of ammunition is lost. [1]

4 August 1944:
At 1030 W-39 arrives at Takao.

5 August 1944:
At 1045 W-39 departs Takao to assist FUKUJU MARU towing damaged DAKAR MARU. The ship joins minesweeper W-38.

6 August 1944:
At 2054, arrives at North San Fernando, Philippines. DAKAR MARU is abandoned. W-38 is detached to return to Manila.

1 November 1944:
At 1200, kaibokan CD-20 from Mako, Pescadores joins the escort of convoy SATA-01 from St Jacques consisting of FUKUJU MARU and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by sub-chaser CH-41 and stores ship KURASAKI.

3 November 1944:
Arrives at Yulin. CD-20 and KURASAKI are detached, but the escort is increased by kaibokan CD-34, auxiliary netlayer KAINAN MARU and auxiliary sub-chaser KASUGA MARU. A further two unidentified merchants also join.

16 November 1944:
At 0600, FUKUJU MARU departs Kirun. Formosa (Keelung, Taiwn) for Moji convoy TAMO-29 consisting of MELBOURNE and SHUYO MARUs and two unidentified ships escorted by kaibokan CD-20 and CD-39 and subchaser CH-61.

18 November 1944:
Arrives at Ssu Chiao Shan.

19 November 1944:
At 1720, departs Ssu Chiao Shan.

23 November 1944:
At 0348, LtCdr (later Cdr) Evan T. Shepard’s (USNA ’35) USS PICUDA (SS-382) torpedoes and sinks SHUYO MARU at 34-14N, 128-28E. 60 passengers and 25 crewmen are KIA.

At 0845, after tracking the convoy and making an "end-around", Shepard torpedoes and sinks FUKUJU MARU at 34-10N, 128-58E. 28 crewmen are KIA. The escorts drop 23 depth charges, but USS PICUDA escapes undamaged.

Author's Note:
[1] PARCHE´s CO, Cdr Ramage is awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions.

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

Bob Hackett

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