(Sister NAGARA MARU by Ueda Kihachiro)
IJA NAKO MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement
© 2014-2015 Bob Hackett
26 September 1933:
Tokyo. Laid down at Uraga Dock Co., Ltd. as Yard No. 388, a 7,189-ton cargo ship for Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK Line), Tokyo.
26 June 1934:
Launched and named NAKO MARU.
25 October 1934:
Completed and registered at Tokyo.
In service on NYK’s routes.
15 December 1938:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) and
converted to a troop transport. Alloted IJA No. 708.Released by the IJA at an unknown date.
23 September 1941:
Re-requisitioned by the IJA.
3 December 1941:
Departs Samah, Hainan Island, China for Pulo Condor
(Poulo Condor) Island, Indochina (now Côn Son Island, Vietnam).
5 December 1941:
> Arrives at Pulo Condor.
6 December 1941: Operation “E” – The Invasion of Malaya:
departs Pulo Condor for Singora, Siam (now Songkhla, Thailand) as part of the
Singora Invasion Unit. This combined IJN/IJA operation is under operational
control of the IJA.
The IJA Singora Invasion Unit, under LtGen Yamashita Tomoyuki’s 25th
Army, consists of elements of the 5th Division: 5th Hq Company, Kawamura
Detachment Brigade, 5th Engineer Battalion, 5th Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st
Tank Battalion, with 37 Medium Type 97 and 20 Light Type 95 tanks, 9th Railroad
Engineer Battalion, 11th Engineer Battalion and various air units.
The Singora Invasion Unit (part of the larger Malaya Invasion Group)
consists of IJA transports AOBASAN, ASAKA, ATSUTASAN, KANSAI, KASHII, KYUSHU,
NAMINOUE, NAKO, SADO and SASAGO MARUs and Army landing craft depot ship
SHINSHU (RYUJO) MARU. Further Invasion Units are destined for Kota Bharu,
The IJN Singora Invasion Unit under Rear Admiral K. Hiraoka consists of
minelayer HATSUTAKA (F) with the 9th Base Force Unit aboard, auxiliary seaplane
tender KAMIKAWA MARU with six Mitsubishi Type 0 F1M2 (plus two in reserve) and
three Aichi Type 0 E13A1 (plus one in reserve) floatplanes, auxiliary seaplane
tenders SANYO and SAGARA MARUs each with six Mitsubishi Type 0 F1M2 and two
Kawanishi Type 95 E8N2 (in reserve) floatplanes, destroyers AMAGIRI, ASAGIRI,
YUGIRI and MURAKUMO, minesweepers W-1, W-4, W-5 and W-6; subchaser CH-8,
auxiliary minesweeper tender EIKO MARU and auxiliary transport NOJIMA MARU.
7 December 1941:
At 2340, the Invasion Convoy arrives at Singora.
Landings proceed without strong opposition.
17 February 1942:
> At 0800, NAKO MARU departs Mutsure in the 56th
Army Division’s Convoy No. 1 Section consisting of NAKO, NAGARA, AOBASAN,
HARUNA, KYUSHU and SAKITO MARUs escorted by destroyer ASAGAO and KARUKAYA and
20 February 1942:
At 1600, NAKO MARU departs Camranh Bay in the 10th
Malaya Reinforcement Convoy consisting of two divisions: The 1st division
consists of NAKO, AOBASAN, KANSAI, KYUSHU, NAGARA and SADO MARUs. The 2nd
division consists of CANBERRA, HIROKAWA SAGAMI, SAKITO and SASAKO MARUs. The
convoy is escorted by light cruiser SENDAI and destroyers FUBUKI and SHIKINAMI.
22 February 1942:
At 1800, both divisions arrive at Singora.
15 March 1942:
NAKO MARU arrives at Singapore.
19 March 1942: "U" transport operation to Burma (U Sakusen):
First Burma Transport Convoy departs Singapore consisting of 32 ships with the main body of the 56th Division: NAKO, AOBASAN, GENOA, GLASGOW, HARUNA, HAVRE, HIBURI, HOFUKU, HOKUMEI, KAZUURA, KIZAN, KUSUYAMA, KOTOHIRA, NAGARA, NAPLES, NICHIRAN, MYOKO, MOMOYAMA,SANKO, SAKITO, SHINAI, SHINANOGAWA, SHINRYU, SHUNSEI, SYDNEY, SUMATRA, TATEISHI, TOKIWA, TSUYAMA and YAE MARUs and two others.
25 March 1942:
The First Burma Transport Convoy arrives at Rangoon, Burma (Yangon, Myanmar).
3 June 1942 :
NAKO MARU departs Mutsure in the RIKU convoy also consisting of AKIURA, HIROKAWA, KANSAI, KINUKAWA, SAGAMI, SHINANOGAWA, YAMAZUKI and YAMAZATO MARUs escorted by destroyers FUYO and WAKATAKE and torpedo boats SAGI and HAYABUSA.
8 June 1942:
Arrives at Manila.
26 June 1942:
At 0600, NAKO MARU departs Manila for Kure in convoy "D" consisting of KANSAI, KINUGAWA, SHINANOGAWA, TAIFUKU and KIYOZUMI MARUs.
2 July 1942:
> Arrives at Kure.
12 July 1942: R
NAKO MARU departs Mutsure-Jima Anchorage for Mako in convoy consisting of CHOKO, CHIKUZEN, KANSAI, ZENYO, SHINANOGAWA, KONE, KINUGAWA, OSAKA and NAKO MARUs. On the way, OSAKA MARUias detached for Kirun (Keelung).
17 July 1942:
The convoy arrives at Mako.
13 November 1942:
At 1730, NAKO MARU departs Shortlands for Guadalcanal, Solomons with Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Tanaka Raizo's
Reinforcement Group’s troop transports carrying Maj Gen Tanabe Suketomo's 38th Army ("Sendai") Division and Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) troops,
equipment and provisions in the No. 2 Butai also consisting of BRISBANE, ARIZONA, KINUGAWA, YAMAURA and YAMAZUKI MARUs accompanied by the No. 1 Butai
consisting of SADO, NAGARA, CANBERRA, and HIROKAWA MARUs all escorted by DesRon 2’s HAYASHIO, AMAGIRI, KAGERO, KAWAKAZE, MAKINAMI, MOCHIZUKI, NAGANAMI, OYASHIO, SHINANOGAWA, SUZUKAZE, TAKANAMI and UMIKAZE.
No. 2 Butai is to unload at Argulio Point, near Cape Esperance while the
faster No. 1 Butai is to unload at Tassafaronga. Air cover is provided by the
11th Air Fleet and the R-Area Air Force's floatplane fighters.
14 November 1942:
At 0849, as Tanaka's Reinforcement Group proceeds
down the "Slot" between the New Georgia and Santa Isabel Islands, the 23-ship
convoy is sighted by a reconnaissance Douglas "Dauntless" SBD dive-bomber from
USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6). At 0908, the SDB attacks a transport, but is shot down by
Off Guadalcanal. At 1250, 18 Marine Corps SBD ) dive-bombers and seven
USN (VT-10) Grumman "Avenger" TBF torpedo-bombers attack the convoy. Mitsubishi
A6M "Zekes" shoot down some aircraft, but are engaged by Grumman F4F "Wildcat'
fighters and cannot stop the attack. CANBERRA and NAGARA MARUs are bombed and
sunk. Destroyers AMAGIRI and MOCHIZUKI rescue 1,500 survivors. The Americans
also damage cargo ship SADO MARU that is detached to Shortlands with AMAGIRI and
MOCHIZUKI carrying among, other survivors, MajGen Tanabe CO of the 38th Division
At about 1430, SBD dive-bombers from ENTERPRISE (VS-10) and USMC SBDs
(VMSB-141) of the "Cactus Air Force" at Henderson Field bomb and sink BRISBANE
MARU. Destroyer KAWAKAZE rescues 550 survivors. Beginning about 1500, two
flights of Fifth Air Force B-17 “Flying Fortress” heavy bombers from the 11th
Bomb Group (H) at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides attack the convoy without
Off Shortland Islands. At about 1530, SHINANOGAWA in the lead and ARIZONA
MARUs in the rear of No. 2 Butai are attacked by eight SBD dive-bombers from
ENTERPRISE covered by 12 F4F fighters. Both transports are hit by 1,000-lb bombs
and abandoned. SHINANOGAWA MARU sinks at 08-30S, 158-45E. Destroyer NAGANAMI
rescues 570 survivors from SHINANOGAWA MARU and MAKINAMI rescues 1,020 survivors
from ARIZONA MARU.
In the last attack beginning about 1610, the planes sink transport NAKO
MARU. Destroyer SUZUKAKE rescues 1,100 survivors.
80 miles NW of Savo Island, Guadalcanal. A flight of four TBF
torpedo-bombers of USMC VT-10 covered by six F4F fighters of USMC VMO-251 find
ARIZONA and SHINANOGAWA MARUs dead in the water and nearby each other. The
Marines also spot NAKO and BRISBANE MARUs further ahead. Two TBFs attack ARIZONA
and SHINANOGAWA MARUs, but their unreliable Mark 13 torpedoes either miss or
fail to explode. Another TBF drops a bomb and gets a direct hit amidships and
sinks one of the transports. The other sinks shortly thereafter from previous
damage. ARIZONA MARU sinks near 08-30S, 158-45E.
Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.
to IJA Transports