(Standard 2AT Tanker KENJO MARU by Ueda Kihachiro)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2011-2012 Bob Hackett
Revision 2

E 1943:
Tokyo. Laid down at the Ishikawajima Jukogyo K.K. shipyard as a 6,923-ton Type 2A Standard Cargo Ship for Osaka Shosen K.K. (OSK), Osaka.

E 1944:
Converted to a Standard 2AT Tanker while on the ways.

Launched and named DAIMEI MARU

August 1944:

9 September 1944:
At 1200, DAIMEI MARU departs Moji for Miri, Borneo in convoy MI-19 consisting of tankers SAN DIEGO, CHIHAYA, IWAKUNI, KENZUI and MITSU MARUs and cargo ships DAIBIN (OTOSHI), ENOURA, MATSUURA, YULIN, HAKUSHIKA, ARISAN, TEIFU (ex-French BOUGAINVILLE) , TASMANIA , SHINSEI, DAIA, NIKKO and SHUNSHO MARU escorted by torpedo boat SAGI, kaikoban ETOROFU, SHONAN, CD-6 and CD-16 and auxiliary gunboat CHOHAKUSAN MARU. In the evening, land-based IJA aircraft provide ASW cover.

10 September 1944:
E of Quelpart Island. At 1212, LtCdr (later Cdr) Edward E. Shelby's (USNA '33) USS SUNFISH (SS-281) torpedoes and sinks CHIHAYA MARU at 33-49N, 127-41E. CHIHAYA MARU was sailing with sea water in her oil tanks as ballast and carried a deck cargo of 413 soldiers, most from the 2nd Company, 10th Tank Regiment, 2nd Tank Division and six Daihatsu landing craft and two armored cars. 79 soldiers an nine crewmen are KIA; also lost are the landing craft and armored cars. The convoy immediately retires to Chinto (Chin Hajo Island) where it regroups. The escorts launch a concerted, but unsuccessful attempt to find the submarine.

12 September 1944:
Convoy MI-19 departs Chinto.

13 September 1944:
At about 1600, an unknown submarine attacks convoy MI-19. The escorts drop DCs. No damage is recorded.

17 September 1944:
MI-19 splits. SHUNSHO, NIKKO, MATSUURA, ENOURA and KENZUI MARUs head for Keelung escorted by kaikoban SHONAN.

18 September 1944:
At about 1000, arrives outside Takao. DAIBIN and SAN DIEGO MARUs are detached.

30 September 1944:
At 1200, DAIMEI MARU departs Takao in reorganized convoy MI-19 consisting of KENEI, IWAKUNI, YULIN, HAKUSHIKA, MITSU, DAIBIN, ARISAN, TEIFU(ex-French BOUGAINVILLE), TASMANIA, DAIA and SHINSEI MARUs escorted by kaibokan ETOROFU, CD-18, CD-26 and subchaser CH-19.

2 October 1944:
Arrives at Aparri, N Luzon and at 2300 departs.

3 October 1944:
At 1500, arrives at Lapoc, N Luzon. ETOROFU is probably detached for Takao.

4 October 1944:
At 0600, departs Lapoc and at 1700 arrives at N San Fernando.

5 October 1944:
At 0600, departs North San Fernando.

6 October 1944:
At 0600, arrives at Manila.

17 October 1944:
Manila. Japanese naval authorities, fearing another air attack by Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) John S. McCain's (USNA '06) Task Force 38, order a number of ships out of Manila to relieve congestion in the harbor.

At 1820, DAIMEI MARU departs Manila in the "Taihi" (Refugee) convoy also consisting of MANILA, EIMAN, TEIFU, DAIIKU, KENEI, SHIRANESAN, ARABIA, SHINSEI and TAIKAI MARUs and NICHIYU MARU No. 2 and tanker KYOEI MARU No. 6 escorted by destroyer SHIOKAZE, torpedo boat HIYODORI, subchaser CH-21 and auxiliary gunboat KAZAN (HUASHAN) MARU.

18 October 1944:
At 0716, LtCdr (later Captain) Eric L. Barr's (USNA '34) USS BLUEGILL (SS-242) torpedoes and damages ARABIA MARU at 14-4N, 119-52E. CH-21 attends the casualty and is joined by patrol boat PB-104 and HAKKO MARU from a separate small convoy.

At 1208, BLUEGILL torpedoes ARABIA MARU again. She sinks taking down 382 troops of the 153rd Infantry Regiment, 103 of the 49th Cavalry Regiment, 161 of the 49th Field Artillery Regiment, 328 of the 49th Engineer Regiment,four men of the 49th Signal Regiment, 51 men of the Divisionís ordnance unit and 87 men of the 1st Field Hospital for a total of 1,116 troops plus 89 crewmen and gunners or 1,205 men KIA. After rescuing survivors, patrol boat PB-104 and HAKKO MARU return to Manila. CH-21 remains with the convoy.

At 2210, LtCdr Maurice W. Shea's (USNA '37) USS RATON (SS-270) attacks the convoy at 12-30N, 119-10E. RATON torpedoes and sinks SHIRANESAN MARU 1,318 troops, 47 gunners and 63 crewmen are KIA. RATON torpedoes and sinks TAIKAI MARU. 445 troops and 101 crewmen and gunners are KIA.

19 October 1944:
At 0600, CH-21 is detached for Manila. Soon after arrival, TF 38 attacks Manila harbor. CH-21 and patrol boat PB-104 are ordered to rejoin the convoy and depart at 0905.

20 October 1944:
At 1220, arrives at Bacuit Bay, Palawan Island.

21 October 1944:
At 0855, departs Bacuit Bay.

22 October 1944:
Attacked by B-24 "Liberator" heavy bombers.

23 October 1944:
Attacked again by B-24s.

24 October 1944:
At 1958, arrives at Gaya Bay, north Borneo. Some ships separate at this point.

26 October 1944:
At 0635, departs Gaya Bay. At 1835, arrives at Labuan.

27 October 1944:
At 1045, departs Labuan.

28 October 1944:
At 1650, arrives at Miri. At some point before arrival, DAIMEI, EIMAN, DAIIKU, and NICHIYU MARU No. 2 are detached from the convoy.

1 November 1944:
At 1200, DAIMEI MARU departs Miri in convoy MI-20 also consisting of tankers SHUNTEN and SAN DIEGO MARUs escorted by destroyer SHIOKAZE torpedo boat HIYODORI and subchaser CH-21.

3 November 1944:
About 200 miles NW of Miri. At 0100, LtCdr Norman D. Gage's (USNA '35) USS GURNARD (SS-254) torpedoes and sinks DAIMEI MARU at 05-53N, 111-12E. 31 passengers and three crewmen are KIA.

Authors' Notes:
Thanks go to John Whitman for info on troops carried by CHIHAYA and ARABIA MARUs. Thanks also go to Gilbert Casse and John Whitman for info on HAKUSHIKA MARU in Rev 2.

- Bob Hackett

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