(Type 2TL Wartime Standard Merchant Tanker Seria Maru by Ueda Kihachiro)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2016 Bob Hackett

20 April 1944:
Aioi. Laid down at Harima Zosensho K.K., as yard No. 321, a 10,045 ton Type 2TL tanker for Iino Kaiun K.K., Tokyo.

18 June 1944:
Launched and named DAIHO MARU

31 July 1944:

8 September 1944:
At 1100, convoy HI-75 departs Mutsure-jima for Singapore consisting of flying boat tender AKITSUSHIMA, transports ASAMA and SAIGON MARUs, oilers AMATO, MANEI, NICHIEI, RYOEI, SERIA, TOHO (1944) and YUHO, MARUs escorted by escort carrier SHINYO (with 14 Nakajima B5N2 Navy Type 97 Carrier Attack Bombers of the 931st Air Group, the planes are equipped with Jijitanchiki magnetic airborne submarine detection devices (MAD), DesDiv 30’s UZUKI and YUZUKI, and kaibokan KANJU (F), MANJU and MIYAKE. (NB: several of these ships join the convoy off Imari Bay)

9 September 1944:
Departs Imari Bay.

12 September 1944:
In the morning, SAIGON MARU, YUZUKI and KANJU are detached for the China coast. They later rejoin at Takao. At 1730, ASAMA MARU is detached and later that day arrives at Kirun (Keelung).

13 September 1944:
At 1400, HI-75 arrives at Takao. Off northern breakwater lighthouse, MIYAKE goes alongside NICHIEI MARU to be replenished.

14 September 1944:
The convoy is increased by the addition of oilers DAIHO, FUJISAN (1944) and KUROSHIO MARUs, torpedo boat HIYODORI and kaibokan CD-28. At 1630, the convoy departs Takao. At time of departure, AMATO MARU develops engine troubles and has to be detached (NB: after repair departs Takao and finally catches up with the convoy on 19 September). At 1900, YUHO MARU develops engine problems and straggles. She soon recovers and rejoins the convoy. At 1630, TOHO MARU departs Takao for Singapore in convoy HI-75 now consisting of oilers AMATO, FUJISAN, KUROSHIO, MANEI, NICHIEI, RYOEI, SERIA, TAIHO and YUHO MARUs escorted by escort carrier SHINYO, flying boat tender AKITSUSHIMA, DesDiv 30’s UZUKI, torpedo boat HIYODORI and kaibokan MANJU, MIYAKE and CD-28.

Soon after departure, AMATO MARU develops engine problems and at 1900, YUHO MARU also develop engine problems. Both are detached.

16 September 1944:
the At 1400, weather deteriorates with heavy rain and poor visibility. Off the Paracel Island at 2330, in dark night and heavy rain, KANJU suffers rudder problems and collides with SERIA MARU. KANJU sustains light damages to her bridge and some other parts, but one crewman is killed. SERIA MARU sustains only superficial damage.

17 September 1944:
At 1000, as planned, AKITSUSHIMA and SAIGON MARU are detached and head for Manila escorted by UZUKI and YUZUKI. Enroute, Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Reuben T. Whitaker's (USNA ‘34) USS FLASHER (SS-249) torpedoes and sinks SAIGON MARU carrying 700 mines and 100 depth-charges, at 14-20N, 120-05E. Six crewmen are KIA. DesDiv 30’s UZUKI and YUZUKI hunt for the submarine, but Whitaker evades. UZUKI and YUZUKI rescue SAIGON MARU’s survivors, not including Captain Kameyama Minegoro (44). He is promoted Rear Admiral, posthumously.

18 September 1944:
At 1040, kaibokan KURAHASHI joins as escort. At 2015, SERIA MARU develops trouble with her steering gear and collides with FUJISAN MARU. Both oilers sustain only slight damage. SERIA MARU recovers the problem by switching to manual steering but has to regroup herself at the end of the convoy.

19 September 1944:
At 1500, AMATO MARU rejoins the convoy.

19-20 September 1944:
The convoy is continuously hampered by mechanical problems. During these two day, in succession KUROSHIO, DAIHO, NICHIEI and FUJISAN MARUs and carrier SHINYO all suffer engine or rudder problems. It is extremely difficult to maintain formation, but the convoy remains intact. At 1700, kaibokan CD-18 joins as escort. In the evening the weather deteriorates again, but the convoy continues without serious problems.

22 September 1944:
At 1300, the convoy passes Horsburgh Lighthouse on the eastern approaches to Singapore. At 1600, arrives at Singapore.

2 October 1944:
At 1700, TOHO MARU departs Singapore for Moji in convoy HI-76 also consisting of oilers FUJISAN, KUROSHIO, NICHIEI, NICHINAN, RYOEI, SERIA and TARAKAN (fitted with a temporary bow) MARUs, ex-seaplane tender KIMIKAWA MARU and cargo ship TEIHOKU MARU (ex-Vichy French PERSEE) escorted by escort carrier SHINYO and kaibokan DAITO, KANJU, KURAHASHI, MANJU, MIYAKE, CD-9 and CD-28 and torpedo boat HIYODORI. NB: When convoy HI-76 is assembled in Singapore Strait, tanker MATO MARU develops engine troubles while tanker DAIHO MARU suffers problems with her steering gear. Both tankers have to be excluded from the convoy.

E 4 October 1944:
Arrives at Yulin, Hainan Island. TARAKAN MARU, fitted with a temporary bow, is found to be leaking, so she undergoes more repairs.

8 October 1944:
During the day, one of SHINYO´s planes is damaged in a crash-landing on deck of the carrier and has to be written off, the plane crew escapes with minor injuries.

9 October 1944:
At 2030, KIMIKAWA MARU, HIYODORI and CD-28 arrive at Manila. Following this disaster, the convoy temporarily alters course to the southward, then detours towards the Paracel Islands to the west.

10 October 1944:
After receiving reports of an American task force striking Okinawa, convoy HI-76 diverts to Samah, Hainan Island.

11 October 1944:
At 1500, arrives at Samah.

E 16 October 1944:
Samah. The revised convoy consists of oilers TOHO (1944), FUJISAN (1944), KUROSHIO, NICHIEI, NICHINAN, RYOEI, and TARAKAN MARUs and cargo ship TEIHOKU MARU (ex-Vichy French PERSEE) escorted by escort carrier SHINYO, torpedo boat HIYODORI and kaibokan KANJU, KURAHASHI MANJU, MIYAKE and CD-28. At 0745, the convoy, delayed because of an enemy task force near Formosa, departs Samah.

17 October 1944:
RYOEI MARU, MANJU and MIYAKE are detached and head for Mako.

18 October 1944:
At 0800, the convoy is ordered to Samah to rendezvous with kaibokan CD-25 and CD-32. Later, HI-76 completes the rendezvous. Tankers FUJISAN, NICHIEI and NICHINAN MARUs are ordered to remain at Samah. At 0800, CD-25 and CD-32 are attached to HI-76 off Samah. At 1133, C-in-C Combined Fleet radio message orders NICHIEI MARU to depart Samah for Coron, Busuanga Island, Philippines to replenish 1st Control Force, escorted by KURAHASHI and CD-25. At 1554, chief-of-staff General Sea Escort Force radio message orders NICHINAN and FUJISAN MARUs to detach from convoy HI-76 and to stay in readiness at Samah. At 1700, HI-76 departs Samah. At 1705, CO 1st Sea Escort Force radio message instructs NICHIEI MARU to sail to Ulugan Bay, west coast of Palawan, because Coron had recently been under severe attack. At 1730, convoy HI-76, now consisting of TEIHOKU, TOHO and KUROSHIO MARUs departs Samah for Mako, escorted by SHINYO, KANJU (F) and CD-32. (NB: both tankers are excluded from fleet replenishing operation because they have no equipment for refueling warships). SHINYO has several planes continuously flying anti-sub and CAP patrols. At 1830, NICHIEI MARU, escorted by KURAHASHI and CD-25, departs Samah for Ulugan Bay. In the late afternoon, RYOEI MARU, escorted by MANJU and MIYAKE, arrives at Takao.

20 October 1944:
CD-25 and KURAHASHI are detached to escort oiler NICHIEI MARU to Coron Bay, Philippines. At 0835, the Captain of CD-25 radios that port side fuel pump is restored and ship is recovering now to original speed. CD-25 is ordered to chase convoy HI-75 and to schedule a rendez-vous time. At 0830, Vice Admiral Shima´s 2nd Control Force (5th Fleet) arrives at Mako from Satsukawa Bay, Amami-O-Shima. The 2nd Control Force consists of CruDiv 21’s NACHI and ASHIGARA and Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kimura Masatomi's (41) (former CO of SUZUYA) DesRon 1's light cruiser ABUKUMA and DesDiv 7's AKEBONO, KASUMI and USHIO, DesDiv 18's SHIRANUI and Des21's WAKABA, HATSUSHIMO and HATSUHARU. At 0930, after a difficult journey, RYOEI MARU, escorted by MIYAKE and MANJU, arrives at Mako, impatiently awaited by Shima. RYOEI MARU immediately starts to refuel Shima´s fleet. Later that day, KASADO, MANJU and MIYAKE are attached to 21st Sea Defence Force. At night, KANJU (F) receives message that KUROSHIO and TOHO MARUs are scheduled to be detached from HI-76 and attached to control of Combined Fleet. Both tankers are to discharge their oil cargo at Mako Harbor.

22 October 1944:
In the morning, CD-25 is detached from convoy HI-76 and proceeds to Takao (NB: CD-25 departs Takao, 24 October, for Port San Pio Quinto, Camiguin Island, Luzon Strait with emergency food and clothing for the about 150 survivors of the sunken TERUKUNI MARU 3588gt).At 1200, convoy HI-76, now consisting of TEIHOKU, KUROSHIO and TOHO MARUs and escorted by KANJU, CD-8 and CD-130 arrive off Mako. KUROSHIO and TOHO MARUs are detached from convoy HI-76. Both tankers are now guarded by kaibokan KASADO arriving from Takao after being detached from convoy MOMA-05 (NB: KASADO had arrived Takao with convoy MOMA-05, at 1600 on 21 October). Later that day, TEIHOKU MARU, now the final remaining ship from original convoy HI-76, continues to Moji, escorted by KANJU, CD-8, CD-130 and YASHIRO, the latter joining off Mako that day.

23 October 1944:
KUROSHIO and TOHO MARUs and KASADO enter Mako harbour. Both tankers discharge their oil cargo. During that day, MANJU, MIYAKE and KASADO depart Mako for anti-sub sweeping operation in Taiwan Strait in response to fierce enemy sub attack against convoy U-03.

24 October 1944:
TEIHOKU MARU develops engine troubles. She is driftsfor a while but finally recovers and continues to Moji.

25 October 1944:
At 1030, the convoy arrives off Sasebo. YASHIRO is detached and proceeds to Sasebo.

26 October 1944:
at 1130, TEIHOKU MARU, KANJU, CD-8 and CD-130 arrive off Mutsure-jima.

27 November 1944:
At 0205 TOHO MARU departs Singapore in convoy SHISA-30 also consisting of DAISHU, EININ, ENRYAKU, FUJISAN, NISSHO (HIKACHI), TATSUMIYA and YAMAKUNI MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD-27, minesweeper W-34, subchasers CH-34 and CH-35 and auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU.

30 November 1944:
Arrives at St Jacques, Vichy French, Indochina.

7 December 1944:
Departs St Jacques.

8 December 1944:
Arrives at Hon Lon Island and shelters there and adjacent waters.

20 December 1944:
Arrives Ping Hai Bay.

21 December 1944:
Departs Ping Hai Bay.

22 December 1944:
Arrives at Kirun (Keelung), Formosa.

23 December 1944:
DAIHO MARU departs Moji for Takao in convoy MOTA-29 also consisting of MELBOURNE MARU MARU escorted by kaibokan CD-26, CD-60 and CD-205. Enroute, CD-26 is detached and heads back to Sasebo. The transports are carrying troops of the IJA’s 19th Infantry Division. [1]

31 December 1944:
Arrives at Takao. Disembarks troops.

14 January 1945:
DAIHO MARU departs Takao in convoy TAMO-37 also consisting of BRAZIL, DAII, DAIIKU, MELBOURNE and OEI and HOSHI MARU No. 11 escorted by destroyer ASAGAO, kaibokan YASHIRO, CD-1, CD-36, CD-130 and CD-134 and minesweeper W-21. BRAZIL MARU is carrying about 900 Allied POWs.

16 January 1945:
At 1800, DAIHO MARU suffers an engine breakdown and the ships temporarily anchor.

17 January 1945:
At 0530, convoy TAMO-37 departs anchorage. At 1626, anchors temporarily. BRAZIL MARU sets up a towline with DAII MARU. damaged in collision with tanker DAIHO MARU. When the convoy resumes its journey, she tows DAII MARU.

19 January 1945:
At 1900, arrives at Ssu Chiao Shan.

20 January 1945:
At 0708, convoy TAMO-37 departs Ssu Chiao Shan less BRAZIL MARU that probably remains for engine repairs. [3]

23 January 1945:
At 1610, CD-130 drops depth charges on a suspected submarine contact without results. At 1750, CD-134 also attacks a suspected submarine contact. At 2015, the convoy arrives at Mutsure. One POW dies during the nine-day voyage.

15 August 1945:
Japan accepts the Allies “Potsdam Declaration” of unconditional surrender and hostilities cease.

13 May 1951:
Maizuru. Iino Kaiun K.K. completes remodeling DAIHO MARU.

10 March 1955:
DAIHO MARU is converted into an 8,505-ton ore carrier and renamed HIDESHIMA MARU.

Sold to Muromachi Kaiun K.K., Tokyo.

5 March 1962:
Hiroshima. Scrapping begins.

28 February 1963:
Scrapping is completed.

Authors’ Notes:
[1] Some sources indicate that CD-112 was in the escort, not CD-26.

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany and to Peter Cundall for some entries derived from their work.

- Bob Hackett

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