(Standard 2AT Tanker KENJO MARU by Ueda Kihachiro)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2011 Bob Hackett

E 1943:
Tamano. Laid down at the Kawaminami Kogyo K.K. shipyard as a 6,859-ton Type 2A Standard Cargo Ship for Kawasaki Kisen K.K., Kobe .

Converted to a Standard 2AT Tanker while on the ways.

Launched and named AKIKAWA MARU. [1]

18 October 1944:
Completed and assigned call sign JYAV.

20 October 1944:
Damaged in collision with unknown ship 1 km W of Takaikami-jima, 34-11N, 133-15E, Hiuchi-nada (sea), Inland Sea.

15 November 1944:
AWAKAWA MARU departs Moji for Miri, Borneo in convoy MI-27 also consisting of ENKEI, EDOGAWA, SHOHO, MATSUURA, SEISHO, KYOKUUN, KOSHU, OSAKASAN and CHINKAI MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD-61, CD-134, minesweeper W-101 and auxiliary subchasers CHa-156 and CHa-157. AWAKAWA MARU is lead ship in the center column of the convoy.

The convoy detours along the Korean coast to avoid American submarines. Immediately after departing ENKEI MARU drops out with rudder problems.

16 November 1944: Straggler KYOKUUN MARU suffers additional engine problems.

17 November 1944:
Yellow Sea. Off Cheju Island. The convoy encounters a submarine wolf pack. At 2205, LtCdr (later Cdr) Edward E. Shelby's (USNA '33) USS SUNFISH (SS-281) torpedoes and damages EDOGAWA MARU. About 2207, SUNFISH torpedoes and damages SEISHO MARU. Minesweeper W-101 attempts to assist.

At about 2300, EDOGAWA MARU is abandoned with 2,173 troops aboard that included men of the 19th Sea Raiding Battalion and its base battalion, other units, 200 recent boy soldier graduates of the Army’s weapons, tank, signal, and artillery schools, 150 horses, and 200 war dogs. Supplies, fuel, sixty vehicles, sixteen landing craft, and munitions packed her decks and holds. Part of her cargo included fifty depth charges. 70 crewmen, 46 gunners and 1997 out of 2298 troops and passengers are KIA.

After 2200, the convoy is beset by confusion caused by the wolfpack attacks. AWAKAWA MARU may have been damaged at this time, but the cause and agent are unknown. AWAKAWA MARU splits off from MI-27 at this time; but does not sail to Takao. Thereafter, AWAKAWA MARU operates in the northern part of the East China Sea. [2][3]

At 2340, LtCdr Robert H. Caldwell's (USNA '36) USS PETO (SS-265) torpedoes and sinks OSAKASAN MARU steaming in ballast at 33-30N, 124-30E. 80 passengers and 62 crewmen are KIA.

30 November 1944:
At 0900, AKIKAWA MARU departs Moji for Singapore in convoy MI-29 consisting of CLYDE, BRAZIL, AKISHIMA, MEIRYU, HAWAII, ENOURA, DAII, SHINYU, and KAZUURA MARUs, HOSHI MARU No. 11 and KONAN MARU No. 1 and tankers ENGEN, ENCHO and ENKEI MARUs escorted by destroyer ASAGAO, kaibokan KANJU, IKUNA, SHINNAN and CD-41, CD-66, subchaser CH-28 and auxiliary subchaser CHa-223.

AKIKAWA MARU is carrying 409 troops and a cargo of structural steel and other materials.

2 December 1944:
LtCdr (later Captain-Ret) Ralph C. Style's (USNA '33) USS SEA DEVIL (SS-400) torpedoes and sinks AKIKAWA MARU at 30-24N 128-17E. 18 crewmen, seven guards, 244 troops and one passenger are KIA.

KONAN MARU No. 1 picks up 186 survivors. 79 others in No. 2 lifeboat drift ashore on Suwanose-Shima on 3 Dec. Later, two die on the island.

SEA DEVIL torpedoes and hits HAWAII MARU in her No. 2 hold. She sinks at 30-24N 128-17E. All 1843 soldiers of the 23rd Division, 148 crewmen and 143 gunners are KIA.

Author's Notes:
[1] AKIKAWA MARU was also known as AWAGAWA MARU. [2[ Reports of AWAKAWA MARU's movements and possible damage on 17 Nov ’44 are unclear. One Japanese source claims AKIKAWA MARU received medium damaged by a torpedo attack on 17 Nov '44 at 33-31N, 124-40E (40 nautical miles W of Shokokusan To (So-Huksan-Do), SW coast of Korea; but another source says she was damaged in a collision with an unidentified ship.

[3] ULTRA report for attacks against MI-27 do not mention any intercepted radio message refering to damage to AWAKAWA MARU.

- Bob Hackett

Back to the Oilers Page