RIKUGUN HAITOSEN

(2TM SOEI MARU, postwar )

CERAM MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement


2011-2013 Bob Hackett


E 1943:
Osaka. Laid down at Hitachi Zosen K. K., Sakurajima as a 2,858-ton Type 2TM tanker for Mitsubishi Kisen, K.K., Tokyo.

E 1944:
Launched and named CERAM MARU.

February 1944:
Completed.

CERAM MARU serves mainly as a "Rikugun Sempaku Uneikai Haitosen", i.e. a maru chartered with a civilian crew and controlled by the Sempaku Uneikai (Civilian Shipping Administration), but shared with the IJA at ballast voyage.

3 June 1944:
At 0415, CERAM MARU departs Imari Bay in convoy MI-05 also consisting of fleet oiler NOTORO and tankers AYAGIRI, AYANAMI, BAIEI, FUYUKAWA, KENZUI, NITTETSU, OEI, SAN DIEGO, TACHIBANA, TOA, TOKUWA and YAMASACHI (converted type K ore carrier) and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2 and cargo/transports HINAGA, KENEI, MARIFU, NIPPO (ex-Chinese NINGPO), SURAKARUTA, TATSUJU and SHOEI MARUs and 13 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:
Transports ARIMASAN, MANILA, MIIKESAN and USSURI MARUs and tankers JINEI and SAN DIEGO MARUs and KYOEI MARU No. 8 join the convoy from Takao escorted by minelayer MAESHIMA and auxiliary subchaser CHa-95. TOA and SHOEI MARUs are detached.

13 June 1944:
LtCdr John D. Crowley's (USNA '31) 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 and later towed to Cavite.

15 June 1944:
The convoy arrives at Manila.

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

23 June 1944:
At 1257, arrives at Miri. Loads fuel.

27 June 1944:
At 1650, CERAM MARU departs Miri for Moji with convoy MI-06 also consisting of OGURA MARU No. 2, YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2, UNKAI MARU No. 5, MATSUMOTO, TACHIBANA, TOKUWA, KOTOKU, NICHINAN, NANSEI, ATAGO and ZUIHO MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD-14, minesweeper W-18 and patrol boat PB-38.

2 July 1944:
At 0845, arrives at Manila. While entering the harbor, CERAM MARU is in a collision with NANEI MARU and is severely damaged.

July-September 1944:
Manila. Undergoes repairs.

22 September 1944:
Manila harbor. While still undergoing repairs, CERAM MARU is bombed by aircraft of Task Force 38 and sinks at 14-35N, 120-55E. Casualities are unknown.

Late 1945:
Hulk is raised by U.S. forces during harbor clearance, towed to deep water and scuttled.


- Bob Hackett


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