YUSOSEN!


(Type 2TL Wartime Standard Merchant Tanker by Ueda Kihachiro)

AKANE MARU:

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2010-2014 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.


18 November 1943:
Nagasaki. Laid down at Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K. as a 10,241-ton Type 2TL wartime Standard Merchant Tanker for Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha Ltd.

28 January 1944:
Launched and named AKANE MARU.

15 March 1944:
Completed.

3 May 1944:
At 0445, AKANE MARU departs Moji in convoy HI-61 also consisting of empty oilers TATEKAWA, NICHIEI, JINEI, EIYO, AZUSA, OTORISAN, SARAWAK and ASANAGI MARUs and passenger cargo ship MIZUHO MARU escorted by escort carrier TAIYO, destroyers ASAGAO, HIBIKI and INAZUMA, kaibokan SADO, KURAHASHI, CD-5, CD-7 and CD-13.

7 May 1944:
JINEI MARU develops engine troubles and is detached for Takao.

8 May 1944:
About 0615, LtCdr Victor B. McCrae's USS HOE (SS-258) attacks the convoy at 19-19N, 120-00E. In a submerged attack, McCrae fires all his bow torpedoes and gets a single hit on AKANE MARU. She is detached from the convoy and returns to Takao, Formosa for repairs.

26 June 1944:
AKANE MARU departs Manila in convoy MATA-24 also consisting of AOBASAN, GENKAI, FUKUYO, MIIKESAN and ATSUTA MARUs escorted by destroyer ASAGAO kaibokan CD-2, CD-8 and auxiliary subchaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 3

28 June 1944:
At 2320, a submarine is sighted at 18-00N, 119-40E. ASAGAO and CD-2 probably were detached to hunt the submarine.

E30 June 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

1 October 1944:
At 0800, AKANE MARU departs Moji for Singapore in convoy HI-77 also consisting of oilers OMUROSAN, OTOWASAN, ITSUKUSHIMA, KAIHO, TAIHO and ARITA MARUs, transports MANJU (ex-SANTOS) and KINUGASA and ORYOKU MARUs, German submarine supply ship QUITO (KITO-GO) and an unidentified vessel escorted by kaibokan CHIBURI and CD-19, CD-21 and CD-27.

5 October 1944:
Arrives at Takao. Before departing later the same day, HI-77ís escort is bolstered by inclusion of kaibokan ETOROFU and SHONAN.

6 October 1944:
South China Sea. About 1410, LtCdr (later Captain) James B. Grady's USS WHALE (SS-239) fires five torpedoes at AKANE MARU. They all hit and the 10,000-ton oiler capsizes and sinks at 19-40N, 118-05E. 765 passengers and crew are killed. CD-21 rescues 640 survivors and searches for the attacking submarine.

At 1547, Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Charles W. Wilkins' USS SEAHORSE (SS-304) dives and begins an approach on CD-21 from 16,900 yards. At 1757, Wilkins at 700 yards fires a full bow spread of six torpedoes. One hits CD-21 port side in the engine room. She capsizes after about four minutes, breaks in half and both parts sink at 19-45N, 118-22E. As the stern part sinks, the kaibokan's depth charges go off, killing survivors in the water. Her entire complement of 170 men is lost plus the 640 survivors of AKANE MARU for a total of 810 men KIA.


- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.


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