(Wartime Standard Merchant Tanker 1TL)


Tabular Record of Movement

© 2007-2012 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

Revision 1

8 November 1942:
Nagasaki. Laid down by Mitsubishi Zosensho as a 10,568-ton 1TL Standard Merchant Tanker for Nippon Kaiun K. K., Tokyo

23 March 1943:
Launched and named AMATSU MARU.

10 June 1943:

15 June 1943:
Departs Saebo.

22 June 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

23 July 1943:
Under repair at Takao until at least 30 July.

22 August 1943:
At 1800 scheduled to arrive at St Jacques.

12 October 1943:
At 1600, AMATSU MARU departs Moji in convoy HI-13 consisting of tanker KYOKUEI MARU and transport/cargo ships SANUKI, NANKAI, MIZUHO, AOBASAN, FUSO and MANILA MARUs escorted by destroyer ASAKAZE and kaibokan TSUSHIMA.

16 October 1943:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa.

18 October 1943:
Departs Takao.

21 October 1943:
Arrives at Samah, Hainan Island.

24 October 1943:
Departs Samah.

30 October 1943:
At 1546, arrives at Singapore.

3 November 1943:
At 1210, AMATSU MARU departs Singapore in convoy HI-14 consisting of oiler KYOKUEI MARU, transports (ex-seaplane tender) KAGU, AWA, HOKUROKU and AKI MARUs escorted by kaibokan TSUSHIMA.

8 November 1943:
Near Dangerous Ground, Palawan, Philippines. At 0505, LtCdr (later Cdr) George E. Porter’s (USNA ’32) USS BLUEFISH (SS-222) attacks and sinks KYOKUEI MARU. No casualties are sustained. TSUSHIMA is detached to rescue survivors, but later is unable to relocate the convoy. HI-14 proceeds unescorted.

9 November 1943:
At 0540, LtCdr Royce L. Goss' (USNA ’30) USS SEAWOLF (SS-197) makes three separate unsuccessful attacks on convoy HI-14 due to defective Mark 14-3A torpedoes.

10 November 1943:
At 1100, arrives at Takao. Detaches from the convoy and undergoes repairs at Takao.

21 November 1943:
Departs Takao.

7 December 1943:
Requisitioned by the IJN. Assigned directly to the Combined Fleet.

8 December 1943:
Departs Innoshima for Moji.

11 December 1943:
At 1400, AMATSU MARU departs Moji in convoy HI-25 consisting of tankers OMINESAN and ZUIHO MARUs, transports KAGU, NISHI (ex-KALGAN en route to Manila), SHOZUI and JUYO MARUs escorted by kaibokan TSUSHIMA.

15 December 1943:
At 0830, the convoy is unsuccessfully attacked by LtCdr Henry C. Stevenson's USS ASPRO (SS-309). Stevenson fires four torpedoes, but all miss or are evaded. At 1500, the convoy arrives at Takao.

16 December 1943:
At 1530, departs Takao. NISHI MARU detaches from the convoy for Manila soon thereafter.

21 December 1943:
At 1320, arrives at Singapore.

26 December 1943:
At 1000, AMATSU MARU departs Singapore in convoy HI-26 consisting of tankers OTOWASAN, OMINESAN MARUs, Naval tanker TAKASAKI and possibly up to three unidentified merchant ships with kaibokan TSUSHIMA as sole escort. [Note 1]

1 January 1944:
Arrives at Takao. TSUSHIMA is detached. That same day, under internal instruction No. 16, AMATSU MARU is registered in the IJN as an auxiliary oiler and attached to the Kure Naval District. Her home port is Kure Naval Base.

3 January 1944:
Departs Takao with convoy increased by addition of SHINSHU, TOZAN, ARIMASAN, NOTO, MIIKE and MAYASAN MARUs with light cruiser KASHII as escort. [Note 2]

7 January 1944:
At 1830, arrives at Moji.

10 January 1944:
Departs Iwakuni.

11 January 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

20 January 1944:
At 1200, AMATSU MARU departs Moji in convoy HI-37 consisting of tankers OMINESAN and OTOWASAN Marus and passenger/cargo MIIKE and NOTO MARUs and Army landing ship carriers KIBITSU and MAYASAN MARUs and an unidentified ship escorted by kaibokan MIYAKE and KANJU.

29 January 1944:
At 1200, arrives Singapore.

2 February 1944:
At 1300, AMATSU MARU departs Singapore in convoy HI-38 consisting of tankers OTOWASAN and OKIKAWA MARUs, transports KAGU, KACHIDOKI (ex-PRESIDENT HARRISON) and tankers OMINESAN and NICHINAN MARUs. The convoy is escorted by fleet oiler ASHIZURI and kaibokan KANJU.

8 February 1944:
At 1700, arrives at Takao.

9 February 1944:
At 1000, departs Takao.

13 February 1944:
At 1430, arrives at Moji .

21 February 1944:
At 0700, AMATSU MARU departs Moji in convoy HI-47 consisting of oilers OMINESAN, OTOWASAN and KYOKUHO MARUs and cargo liner NOSHIRO MARU escorted by kaibokan ETOROFU and SADO.

26 February 1944:
At 0850, the convoy arrives at Takao.

27 February 1944:
At midnight, the convoy departs Takao joined by five unidentified merchants and kaibokan IKI.

4 March 1944:
LtCdr (later Cdr) Charles M. Henderson's (USNA '34) USS BLUEFISH (SS-222) torpedoes and sinks OMINESAN MARU at 05-29N, 108-46E. 46 crewmen are KIA.

5 March 1944:
At 1100, the remainder of the convoy arrives at Singapore.

16 March 1944:
AMATSU MARU departs Singapore in a convoy consisting of tankers YUHO and ASASHIO MARUs and fleet oiler OSE with an unknown escort.

27 March 1944:
Arrives at Palau.

30 March 1944: American Operation “Desecrate One”:
Babelthuap, Palau Islands. At 1210, and at 1316, AMATSU MARU is bombed by Douglas SBD “Dauntless” dive-bombers of USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6). Hit by at least three 1,000 bombs, AMATSU MARU sinks by the stern in shallow water inside Malakai Harbor. 10 crewmen are KIA.

10 May 1944:
Removed from the Navy List under internal order No. 654.

5 March 1947:

Authors Notes:

Note 1: ICHIYO MARU may possibly have been in this convoy but was more likely in HI-24. Author Komamiya Shinshichiro appears to have erred in his research on this convoy. Komamiya lists ITSUKUSHIMA MARU (37, 10006 tk), OMUROSAN MARU Maru (37, 9204 tk), NANKAI MARU(33, 8416), TATEKAWA MARU(35, 10090 tk) in the convoy, but all are either erroneous or questionable and thus have been omitted from our TROM.

It appears more likely all were in convoy SA-20 that arrived Moji 1 January 1944. JACAR sources confirms an earlier arrival date of TATEKAWA MARU, so she could not have been in HI-26. Further, author Toda Gengoro's "Tokusetsu Kansen" indicates most of the others were in convoy SA-20.

Note 2: Some or all of these additional ships may have joined north of Takao.

Thanks go to Gilbert Casse of France

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

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