(2TM SOEI MARU postwar )

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2011-2017 Bob Hackett

E 1943:
Osaka. Laid down at Hitachi Zosen K. K., Sakurajima as a 2,854-ton Type 2TM tanker for Ishihara Kisen, K.K., Tokyo.

Launched and named AYAZONO MARU. [1]

May 1944:

14 July 1944:
At 1900, AYAZONO MARU departs Takao in convoy TAMA-21C consisting of tankers SHONAN, MITSU and AYAGIRI MARUs and MANTAI, MITSUKI, JINSAN, SEATTLE, YASUKUNI, TENSHIN, YAMATAMA, SAINEI, HIYAMA, KOKKA, SHOZAN and SHOEI MARUs and KUSAGAKI escorted by kaibokan CD-1, CD-22 and minelayers MAESHIMA, ENTO and minesweeper W-34. [2]

16 July 1944:
At 0946, LtCdr Harold E. Ruble's USS PIRANHA (SS-389) torpedoes and sinks SEATTLE MARU at 19-17N, 120-15E carrying 4.285 IJNAF personnel. 296 troops and passengers 45 crewmen and 25 gunners are KIA. HIYAMA and SHOZAN MARUs rescue the survivors. Over the next six hours, Captain William V. O'Reganís wolf pack, nicknamed the "Mickey Finns", consisting of LtCdr Duncan C. MacMillian's USS THRESHER (SS-200), LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Novell G. Ward's GUARDFISH (SS-217) and Ruble's PIRANHA closes in and decimates the convoy.

At 2300, MacMillian's THRESHER torpedoes and sinks SAINEI MARU at 18-53N, 119-32E. 21 troops and 3 crewmen are KIA. At 2350, Ward's GUARDFISH torpedoes and sinks JINZAN MARU. Two minutes later, Ward torpedoes and sinks MANTAI MARU. 72 troops and 43 crewmen are KIA.

17 July 1944:
The attacks continue. At 0034,Ward's GUARDFISH torpedoes and sinks HIYAMA MARU her decks full of Type 95 light tanks and motor vehicles from the 1st and 2nd Independent Tank Companies. 4 crewmen and 4 gunners are KIA. W-34 and CD-1 rescue survivors. At 0345, MacMillian's THRESHER torpedoes and sinks SHOZAN MARU at 18-50N, 119-43E. Almost 300 soldiers and artillery men and 70 crewmen are KIA.

19 July 1944:
At 1920, depleted convoy TAMA-21C arrives at Manila.

6 September 1944:
At 0609, empty and ultimately bound for Balikpapan, SE Borneo, AYAZONO MARU departs Manila for Cebu, Phillipines in convoy C-067 consisting of MIKASA, KEIAN, GENKAI, TOYO, RAKUTO and BANRYU (later SS-2) MARUs and FUKUEI MARU No. 17 escorted by torpedo boat HAYABUSA, patrol boat PB-103, auxiliary subchaser MOGAMI MARU and auxiliary TERUKAZE MARU.

8 September 1944:
At 1335, the convoy arrives at Cebu for water replenishment.

9 September 1944:

10 September 1944:
At 1050, arrives at Loc Bay, Masbate Island.

12 September 1944:
At 1049, departs Loc Bay.

70km NW of Cebu. AYAZONO MARU is attacked by planes from Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscherís TF 38ís (TG 38.1, TG 38.2, and TG 38.3 carrier groups that sink her at 10-20N, 124.00E with a loss of 37 crewmen.

At various times during the day, the planes also sink cargo ships KEIAN, GENKAI and TOYO MARUs and auxiliary subchaser MOGAMI MARU.

Authorís Note:
[1] AYAZONO MARU was also known as AYASONO MARU.

[2] Unclear, possibly tanker KOKKO.

- Bob Hackett

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