(EIKO MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2011-2018 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 4

10 April 1940:
Tama. Laid down by Tama Zosensho K.K. as a 3,535-ton cargo ship for Taiyo Kogyo K.K., Kobe.

20 September 1940:
Launched and named EIKO MARU.

20 December 1940:
Completed and registered at Kobe.

E 1941:
Chartered to Mitsui Bussan K.K. for worldwide employment in tramping services.

31 October 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN as a transport (Ippan Choyosen). That same day, arrives at Kure and enters Naval Arsenal to start conversion to her military role. [1]

10 November 1941:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary transport under internal order No. 1093 and attached to the Kure Naval District as an auxiliary transport, (Otsu) category. [2]

20 November 1941:
Renamed EIKO MARU No. 2 GO under Navy Ministry’s confidential order No. 10781. [3]

22 November 1941:
Conversion is completed. Departs Kure for Yokosuka.

26 November 1941:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

1 December 1941:
Departs Yokosuka for Palau, Carolines.

9 December 1941:
Arrives at Palau.

16 December 1941: The Occupation of Davao, Mindanao, Philippines:
EIKO MARU No. 2 is assigned to the Philippines Invasion Group under command of Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo’s (36) Third Fleet as part of the Davao Invasion Unit under command of Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Irifune Naosaburo (39).

The occupation of Davao is a combined IJN/IJA operation which involves Gen (later Field Marshal) Count Terauchi Hisachi’s command’s Southern Expeditionary Army. The 16th Army, under LtGen (later General) Imamura Hitoshi fields MajGen (later LtGen) Sakaguchi Shizuo's “Sakaguchi” Detachment of about 6,000 troops consisting of the 56th Inf Div's 56 Hq Company (Coy), 146th Inf Rgt, 2nd Btn of 56 Art Rgt with 12 75mm field guns, one tank Coy, one Eng Coy, one Transport Coy, one Signal unit platoon, 56th medical Unit, Field Hospital Unit and the “Miura” Detachment of about 1,200 troops of the 16th Inf Div's the 16 Inf Div’s Heavy weapons Coy of 33th Inf Rgt, 3rd Inf Bn and two Eng platoons of the 56th Inf Div. Two AA and one Signals Regiment are stationed on IJA transports.

The invasion units are embarked on eight IJA transports: HANKOW, HAVANA, HITERU, KANKO, KURETAKE, LIVERPOOL, TEIRYU (ex-German AUGSBURG) and YAMAZUKI MARUs.

The Navy force consists of Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake's (35)(former CO of KONGO) Southern Force, Philippines Invasion Group that includes Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo’s (36)(former CO of YAMASHIRO) Third Fleet. Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Irifune Naosaburo's (39) Invasion Unit consists of his 32st Special Base Force aboard TONAN MARU No 2, elements of 103rd Aerial Field Repair Shop and a detachment of 3rd Munitions Unit aboard KINUGASA MARU, a company of the No. 1 Kure Special Naval Force (SNLF) aboard AMAGISAN MARU, 2nd Construction Unit Rgt aboard TAITO MARU and 3rd Construction Unit Rgt aboard KOSHIN MARU.

Other transports are EIKO MARU No. 2 GO, KIRISHIMA, TATSUKAMI and TENRYU MARUs carrying equipment and material for the future Davao and Jolo airbases.

The convoy’s close escort consists of minelayer SHIRATAKA and patrol boats PB-36 and PB-37. Cover is provided by Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Tanaka Raizo's (41) light cruiser JINTSU, DesDiv 15’s HAYASHIO, NATSUSHIO, OYASHIO and KUROSHIO and DesDiv 16's YUKIKAZE, HATSUKAZE and AMATSUKAZE. Rear Admiral (Admiral posthumously) Takagi Takeo's (39)(former CO of MUTSU) CruDiv 5's NACHI, MYOKO and HAGURO provide distant cover. Air cover is provided by light carrier RYUJO and seaplane carrier CHITOSE.

The convoy is subdivided in three divisions:

2nd subdivision: TONAN MARU No. 2 (IJN), TEIRYU(ex-German AUGSBURG) (IJA) (carrying elements of the 3rd Munitions Unit & the 103rd Aerial Field Repair Shop), KURETAKE (IJA) and TENRYU (IJN) MARUs, escorted by minelayer SHIRATAKA and destroyers AMATSUKAZE and OYASHIO.

3rd subdivision: HANKOW (IJA), HAVANA (IJA), TATSUKAMI (IJN), and KOSHIN (IJN) MARUs and EIKO MARU No. 2 GO (IJN).

16 December 1941:
At 1600, the 3rd subdivision departs Palau. EIKO MARU No. 2 GO and KOSHIN MARU sail seperately initially.

17 December 1941:
At 0700, the 2nd subdivision departs Palau.

17 December 1941:
At 1300, the 1st subdivision departs Palau.

19 December 1941:
200 miles E of Davao. In the afternoon, RYUJO launches six planes to attack the radio station at Cape San Augustin, at the eastern tip of Davao Gulf, while seaplane carrier CHITOSE launches planes to reconnoiter Davao.

20 December 1941:
The transports arrive off Davao after midnight. At 0145, the 1st subdivision arrives at Tibungko Anchorage (15 km NNE of Davao). At 0320, the 3rd subdivision arrives at Talomo Anchorage (6 km SW of Davao). At 0440, the 2nd subdivision arrives at Tibungko Anchorage At 0500, troops of LtCol Miura Toshio's 33rd Infantry Regiment's detachment, covered by RYUJO's aircraft, begin landing in the northern section of Davao while elements of the Sakaguchi Detachment come ashore along the coast SW of the city. Resistance by the garrison of some 3,500 Filipino-American troops is quickly overcome and, by 1500, that same day, Davao and its airfield are occupied. That evening a seaplane base is established S of the city.

22 December 1941:
Departs Davao for Jolo Island, Sulu Archipelago, with nine other transports carrying about 4,000 troops.

23 December 1941:
Twelve fighters and two reconnaissance aircraft of the 23rd Air Flotilla land at Davao airfield.

24 December 1941: The Occupation of Jolo Island, Philippines:
EIKO MARU No. 2 GO arrives at Jolo as part of the Invasion Unit. Landings of the following forces are proceeded without strong opposition: elements of No. 1 Kure SNLF, 3rd Naval Construction Unit Rgt, one Navy airfield maintenance unit and the Army “Matsumoto” Detachment consisting of 3rd Btn of 146th Inf Rgt less 2 Coys), one artillery Bat (less 1 gun squad), one Eng Plt, and one radio squad.

25 December 1941:
At 1030, the city of Jolo is occupied and the airfield is developed as an operational base.

26 December 1941:
The first IJN fighters land on Jolo Airfield.

1 January 1942:
EIKO MARU No. 2 GO departs Jolo for Davao.

5 January 1942:
Arrives at Davao. Departs at an unknown date for Kure.

17 January 1942:
Arrives at Kure. Departs later that same day and arrives at Tama. Docks in Tama Zosensho shipyard for maintenance and repairs.

E January-February 1942:
Her registered gross tonnage (GRT) is changed to 3,935-tons. Repairs are completed. Departs Tama at an unknown date.

7 February 1942:
EIKO MARU No. 2 GO, patrol boat PB-36 and auxiliary KAINAN MARU No. 3 provide escort for seaplane tender SANUKI MARU operating off Macassar, Celebes.

6 March 1942:
EIKO MARU No. 2 and PB-36 arrive at Awar Awar, Java (near Kragan).

28 March 1942:
Departs Moji.

10 April 1942:
Arrives at Osaka. Departs at an unknown date.

23 April 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

9 May 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

11 May 1942:
Departs Yokohama.

2 June 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

6 June 1942:
Departs Kure.

E June 1942:
Calls at Moji ~ Yokohama.

21 June 1942:
Departs Yokosuka in convoy also consisting of ANZAN, KENSHIN, FUKI, KANAYAMASAN, NICHIUN and TATEYAMA MARUs escorted by minesweeper W-18.

24 June 1942:
Arrives at Otaru, Hokkaido.

9 July 1942:
Departs Otaru.

E July 1942:
Arrives at Asase, Karafuto (now Sakhaline). Departs at an unknown date.

20 July 1942:
Arrives at Otaru.

30 July 1942:
Departs Otaru.

E August 1942:
Arrives at Nagoya. Departs at an unknown date.

12 August 1942:
Arrives at Otaru.

29 August 1942:
Departs Otaru.

E September 1942:
Calls at Horokishi, Karafuto. Departs an unknown date.

10 September 1942:
Arrives at Otaru.

E September 1942:
Departs Otaru. Calls at Nagoya ~ Otaru ~ Chishini, Karafuto ~ Otaru ~ Osaka ~ Kobe ~ Otaru ~ Asase ~ Otaru ~ Hakodate, Hokkaido.

6 October 1942:
Departs Hakodate.

E October 1942:
Calls at Yokohama ~ Moji ~ Chinkai and Chinnampo, Chosen (Korea).

25 October 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

5 November 1942:
Departs Sasebo for Kure.

15 November 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

27 November 1942:
Departs Kure and arrives at Kobe at an unknown date.

30 November 1942:
Departs Kobe for Yokosuka.

2 December 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

5 December 1942:
Departs Yokosuka for Truk, Carolines.

17 December 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

27 December 1942:
Departs Truk for Fais (Fuhaesu), Carolines.

30 December 1942:
Arrives at Fais.

5 January 1943:
Departs Fais for Miyako, Iwate Prefecture.

18 January 1943:
Arrives at Miyako.

23 January 1943:
Departs Miyako for Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture.

24 January 1943:
Arrives at Kamaishi.

27 January 1943:
Departs Kamaishi for Muroran.

28 January 1943:
Arrives at Muroran.

3 February 1943:
Departs Muroran for Yokosuka.

6 February 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

E 1943:
EIKO MARU No. 2 GO’s registered port is changed for Tokyo.

11 February 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Truk in convoy 3211A/3211B initially consisting also of KAIKO,YOWA, SHINYUBARI, HYUGA, EBON MARUs, supply ship KINEZAKI and unknown SENYO MARU 2 GO (probably Tenyo Maru No.2 Go that arrived 22 Feb) escorted by destroyer SAWAKAZE.

25 February 1943:
At 1300 arrives at Truk.

4 April 1943:
Departs Truk for Palau.

10 April 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

19 April 1943:
Departs Palau for Takao.

26 April 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

30 April 1943:
Departs Takao for Kirun, Formosa (now Keelung, Taiwan).

2 May 1943:
Arrives at Kirun.

5 May 1943:
Departs Kirun for Takao.

6 May 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

9 May 1943:
Departs Takao for Manila, Luzon, Philippines in convoy No. 748 also consisting of SEIAN and KOSHIN MARUs and three unidentified merchant ships escorted by minesweeper W-21.

13 May 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

23 May 1943:
Departs Manila for Palau in convoy No. 3106 also consisting of four unidentified ships, escorted by destroyer ASAGAO.

29 May 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

19 June 1943:
Departs Palau for Moji in convoy To-906 also consisting of DELAGOA, DAINICHI, KAZAN, MACASSAR and SAN FRANCISCO MARUs escorted by patrol-boat PB-46 and minesweeper W-17.

E20 June 1943:
At latitude 10N, minesweeper W-17 is detached and returns to Palau.

E 27 June 1943:
Minelayers YURIJIMA and NUWAJIMA join as additional escorts at 30-40N 134-50E.

29 June 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

30 June 1943:
Departs Moji for Tamano.

1 July 1943:
Arrives at Tamano. Docks at Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding K.K. Shipyard for maintenance and repairs.

15 July 1943:
Repairs are completed. Undocked. Departs Tamano for Moji.

16 July 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

17 July 1943:
Departs Moji and arrives that same day at Tokuyama, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

20 July 1943:
Departs Tokuyama for Kobe.

21 July 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

22 July 1943:
Departs Kobe for Yokohama.

24 July 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama.

26 July 1943:
Departs Yokohama for Chichi-Jima, Ogasawara Gunto (Bonins) in convoy 3726 also consisting of TSUNESHIMA, KENRYU and SANTO MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-101 and auxiliary gunboat EDO MARU.

29 July 1943:
Arrives at Chichi-Jima. PB-101 is detached.

1 August 1943:
Departs Chichi-Jima for Saipan, Marianas.

5 August 1943:
Arrives at Saipan.

9 August 1943:
At 0830 departs Saipan for Truk still in convoy escorted by auxiliary gunboat EDO MARU and auxiliary submarine chasers CHa-14 and KYO MARU No. 8. KYO MARU No. 8 is later detached.

12 August 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

26 August 1943:
Departs Truk for Palau.

31 August 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

7 September 1943:
At 1030, departs Palau in ballast for Niihama in convoy FU-706 also consisting of TAISHO, SHINKO, NICHIRYO, TOHO and DELAGOA MARUs escorted by Kaibokan IKI.

11 September 1943:
Off Mereyon, Carolines. EIKO MARU No. 2 GO meets a convoy bound for Palau consisting of Naval tanker TSURUMI, tanker KYOEI MARU No. 2 and cargo ship TAIKOKU MARU, escorted by subchaser CH-29 and auxiliary subchaser SHOWA MARU.

12 September 1943:
At 0600, EIKO MARU No. 2 GO and SHOWA MARU are both detached.

17 September 1943:
Arrives at Niihama.

19 September, 1943:
Departs Niihama and arrives that same day at Tamano. Docks at Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding K.K. Shipyard for maintenance and hull repairs.

25 September 1943:
Repairs are completed. Undocked. Departs Tamano for Moji.

26 September 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

28 September 1943:
Departs Moji for Kobe.

29 September 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

30 September 1943:
Departs Kobe for Tokyo.

2 October 1943:
Arrives at Tokyo.

6 October 1943:
Departs Tokyo and arrives that same day at Yokosuka.

9 October 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Truk via Chichi-Jima in convoy No. 3009B also consisting of UDO, KENSHIN, HOKUYO and SHINYO MARUs, and possibly others, without escort.

13 October 1943:
Arrives at Chichi-Jima. Departs for Truk at an unknown date.

20 October 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

22 October 1943:
At 0800 departs Truk for Ponape, Carolines in convoy No. T3-1 also consisting of YAMASHIMO and NIPPO MARUs and MIKAGE MARU No. 18, escorted by light cruiser TATSUTA and destroyers YUZUKI, SUZUNAMI, FUJINAMI and HAYANAMI.

23 October 1943:
At 0600 arrives at Ponape. Departs later that same day at 1500 for Truk.

24 October 1943:
At 1300 arrives at Truk.

26 October 1943:
At 0800 departs Truk for Ponape in convoy No. T3-2 also consisting of auxiliary transport EIKO MARU No. 2 GO, auxiliary water carrier NIPPO MARU and auxiliary collier/tanker MIKAGE MARU No. 18 escorted by light cruiser TATSUTA and destroyers SUZUNAMI, FUJINAMI and HAYANAMI.

27 October 1943:
At 0600 arrives at Ponape. Departs Ponape for Kwajalein, Marshalls escorted by auxiliary subchaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 1.

30 October 1943:
Arrives at Kwajalein. Begins to unload material. Troops disembark.

E November 1943:
Operates in Kwajalein atoll waters.

5 December 1943:
At 0520, TF-50 F6-Fs, SBDs and TBFs aircraft from USS LEXINGTON (CV-16) and USS INDEPENDENCE (CVL-22) bomb Japanese installations at Kwajalein. EIKO MARU No. 2 GO is heavily damaged by a bomb which explodes and destroy her engine room causing a total loss of power. Due to the ensuing flooding, the ship rides low on the water but does not sink. EIKO MARU No. 2 GO is later towed by auxiliary transport AKIBASAN MARU to Roi-Namur, Marshalls with the intention of being sent to Truk or Japan for repairs.

30 January 1944:
Off Roi-Namur W coast. Marshalls Pre-invasion (“Operation Flintlock”) bombardments of Japanese forces are made by the U.S. Navy. Fast battleships USS NORTH CAROLINA (BB-55), USS INDIANA (BB-58) and USS MASSACHUSETTS (BB-59) and destroyers USS INGERSOLL (DD- 652), USS KNAPP (DD-653), USS CAPERTON (DD-650), and USS COGSWELL (DD-651) bombard Japanese installations at Kwajalein. Damaged EIKO MARU No. 2 GO is soon spotted by a floatplane from USS NORTH CAROLINA. A direct hit is scored and the ship begins to burn furiously after 16 rounds are fired. Failing to hit the spotter floatplane despite her AA fire, she sinks soon afterwards at 09-10N, 167-20 E, leaving only her mast above the atoll waters. All 46 crewmen are subsequently KIA either by this bombardment or the fighting on Kwajalein atoll after 1 Feb '44. [4]

3 May 1947:
Removed from the Navy List under internal order No. 327.

Authors Notes:
[1] See Zatsuyosen home page for full explanation.
[2] There were two categories of Zatsuyosen. (Ko) category with an IJN Captain as supervisor aboard and (Otsu) category without.
[3] Renamed as O.S.K’s EIKO MARU (3,026 GRT) was also used by the IJN as a minesweeper tender.
[4] U.S. records indicates that salvage of the ship by the U.S. Navy on 14 Feb '44 yielded a large number of Japanese charts of the Pacific area and other intelligence material.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan.

-Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

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