(2TM SOEI MARU postwar )

AYANAMI MARU: Tabular Record of Movement

© 2011-2016 Bob Hackett

E 1944:
Uraga. Laid down at Uraga Dock K.K. as a 2,863-ton Type 2TM tanker for Ishihara Kisen, K. K., Kobe.

Launched and named AYANAMI MARU.

May 1944:

3 June 1944:
At 0415, AYANAMI MARU departs Imari Bay in convoy MI-05 also consisting of fleet oiler NOTORO and tankers TACHIBANA, SAN DIEGO, NITTETSU, TOA, BAIEI, CERAM, converted type K ore carrier YAMASACHI, AYAGIRI, KENZUI, , OEI, TOKUWA, MARIFU and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2 and cargo/transports KENEI, HINAGA, NIPPO (ex-Chinese NINGPO), FUYUKAWA, SURAKARUTA, TATSUJU and SHOEI MARUs and probably TAKETSU MARU (another converted type K ore carrier) and thirteen unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan CD-14, CD-18, torpedo boat SAGI, patrol boat PB-38, minesweeper W-17, auxiliary subchaser CHa-22 and two unidentified warships.

8 June 1944:
Arrives at Keelung.

9 June 1944:
Departs Keelung.

11 June 1944:
Cargo ships/transports ARIMASAN, MANILA, MIIKESAN and USSURI MARU and tankers SAN DIEGO and KYOEI MARU No. 8 and JINEI Maru join the convoy from Takao together with minelayer MAESHIMA and auxiliary subchaser CHa-95. TOA and SHOEI MARUs are detached.

13 June 1944:
LtCdr John D. Crowley's USS FLIER (SS-250) torpedoes and damages MARIFU MARU at 15-57N 119-42E. MARIFU MARU is taken in tow by MIIKESAN MARU and later arrives at Manila. MARIFU MARU is detached from the convoy and later towed to Cavite.

15 June 1944:
The convoy arrives at Manila.

18 June 1944:
AYANAMI MARU departs Manila for Miri, W Borneo in convoy MI-05 also consisting of fleet oiler NOTORO, tankers TACHIBANA, SAN DIEGO, JINEI, KENZUI, ATAGO, CERAM, OEI and TOKUWA MARUs, YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2, and KYOEI MARU No. 8 and cargo/transports ARIMASAN, HINAGA, NIPPO (ex-Chinese NINGPO), TATSUJU, SURAKARUTA, TEIFU, ROKKO, DAIZEN, MIIKESAN, NICHIYO, HIDA and SEIWA MARUs with the same escorts.

23 June 1944:
At 1257, arrives at Miri.

25 June 1944:
At 1915, AYANAMI MARU departs Miri for Singapore in convoy MISHI-03 consisting of fleet oiler NOTORO and tankers SAN DIEGO, BAIEI, JINEI, NICHIYO, HIDA, FUYUKAWA, DAIZEN, KYOEI No. 8 and NIPPO MARUs transports TEIFU (ex-BOUGAINVILLE), SEIWA, SURAKARTA, HINAGA, MANILA, ARIMASAN, ROKKO, TATSUTAMA (ex-American SS Admiral Y. S. WILLIAMS), TOA and KENZUI MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD-18, torpedo boat SAGI, subchaser CH-21, minesweeper W-17 and auxiliary minesweepers CHOUN MARU No. 6 and TOSHI MARU No. 2.

28 June 1944:
South China Sea. Off Singapore. In the early evening, lookouts aboard Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Rueben T. Whitaker’s USS FLASHER (SS-249) spot smoke on the horizon. At 2100, FLASHER’s radar picks up a convoy consisting of 13 merchants and several escorts. Whitaker, operating in relatively shallow water (150 feet), decides to wait until after the moon sets to make a surface attack on the convoy’s two largest ships.

29 June 1944:
At 0111, Whitaker fires three bow torpedoes at freighter NIPPO MARU from 3,600 yards. Then he fires his other three bow torpedoes at NOTORO. At 0117, two or three torpedoes hit NIPPO MARU and two or three torpedoes hit NOTORO. NIPPO MARU breaks in two and sinks by the bow. 87 of her 628 passengers are killed.

NOTORO remains afloat, but goes dead in the water. The escorts begin blindly dropping depth charges. Whitaker, still on the surface, leaves the area on four engines.

At 1230, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message that reads: “AYANAMI MARU will --- towing of NOTORO and proceed to Singapore under the escort of W-17. Position 00-45 N., 105-45 E. Course 306 [degrees], Speed 3.5 knots.”

30 June 1944:
At 1650, AYANAMI MARU tows NOTORO into Seletar Naval Base, Singapore.

18 November 1944:
At 0645, AYANAMI MARU departs Singapore for Manila in convoy SHIMA-05 also consisting of MANILA and TASMANIA MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 5 escorted by kaibokan KURAHASHI, CD-31, CD-32 and subchaser CH-56.

24 November 1944:
The convoy arrives at Miri, Borneo and departs at 1710.

25 November 1944:
At 0535, LtCdr John R. Madison's USS MINGO (SS-261) torpedoes MANILA MARU and gets three hits. Loaded with troops, 10 Daihatsu barges, ammunition and gasoline, MANILA MARU explodes and sinks in four minutes at 05-42N, 113-15E. The escorts do not counter-attack. 96 crewmen, 51 AA gunners and 4 troops are KIA.

29 November 1944:
SHIMA-05 arrives at Manila.

4 December 1944:
At 1100, AYANAMI MARU departs Manila for Singapore in a convoy also consisting of SHOEI MARU and BANSHU MARU No. 63 escorted by patrol boat PB-104 (ex-Dutch VALK), auxiliary subchaser KYO MARU No. 13 and subchaser CH-56 and auxiliary netlayer TOKACHI MARU.

5 December 1944:
AYANAMI MARU has engine trouble and is detached back to Manila.

12 January 1945: Operation "Gratitude"- Task Force 38's Strikes on Indochina:
Saigon. Vice Admiral (later Admiral) John S. McCain’s TF 38's aircraft bomb and sink AYANAMI MARU at 10-46N, 106-42E.

- Bob Hackett

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