(Oiler by Takeshi Yuki scanned from "Color Paintings of Japanese Warships")


Tabular Record of Movement

© 2008-2018 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

Revision 6

11 October 1928:
Yokohama. Laid down at Yokohama Dock Co. as a 8,673-ton merchant tanker for Nihon Tanker K.K., Yokohama.

19 June 1929:
Launched and named the EIYO MARU.

6 August 1929:
Completed and placed in Nihon Tanker’s service.

Nihon Tanker K. K. is acquired by Kanto Tanker K.K., Tokyo

4 June 1942:
Departs Tokyo Bay in convoy also consisting of HOKKO (5384 gt), SANKISAN and TAIAN MARUs escorted by the destroyer HATAKAZE. The EIYO MARU is ultimately bound for Marifu.

27 October 1942:
Departs Truk in convoy with tanker KIYO MARU escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOUN MARU. CHOUN MARU detaches later that day.

23 December 1942:
Departs Hakodate in South Convoy No.82 also consisting of UGO, SHINFUKU, MIYAZAKI, KAIKO, YUZAN (6380 gt) and HANASAKI MARUs escorted by auxiliary gunboat DELHI MARU.

26 December 1942:
Arrives at Shibaura.

10 February 1943:
Between 1500-1650 departs Moji in convoy No. 126 also consisting of RYOTOKU, NITTAI, TAISHO MARUs and tanker OGURA MARU No. 1 without escort. KOSEI MARU joins the convoy from Sasebo late that day.

15 February 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

18 February 1943:
At 1800 departs Mako in convoy No. 371 also consisting of TAISHO MARU, tanker OGURA MARU No.1 and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU.

23 February 1943:
At 0800 arrives at St Jacques.

25 February 1943:
Departs St Jacques in convoy No.561 also consisting of ENJU, TAISHO, RIKKO, NORFOLK and GYOKO MARUs and tanker OGURA MARU No. 1 without escort.

28 February 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

9 March 1943:
At 1000, EIYO MARU departs Singapore in combined Rinji/No.673 convoy consisting of NORFOLK and ENJU MARUs and tanker TACHIBANA MARU with an unknown escort for St Jacques, Indochina.

13th March 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques.

26 April 1943:
Departs Palembang.

4 May 1943:
Departs Singapore in convoy No.687 also consisting of tankers SHOYU, TEIKON (ex German WINNETOU) and CHIYODA MARUs without escort.

7 May 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques.

27 May 1943:
At 0500 departs Naze in convoy OKI-10 also consisting of KEIUN, AMOY, HOKUREI, KORYU and TAIJIN MARUs escorted by the auxiliary netlayer SHINTO MARU No. 2

28 May 1943:
At 1100 arrives at Kagoshima.

3 June 1943:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army with assigned number No. 957.

4 June 1943:
At 1625 departs Moji in convoy No. 163 with tanker NICHINAN MARU 95175 gt) and transport ATLAS MARU and seven unidentified merchant ships escorted by torpedo boat SAGI. Civilian Captain Nitta Tatsuo is in command.

8 June 1943:
At 1900 arrives at Takao.

10 June 1943:
Departs Takao in convoy No. 397 also consisting of liner TEIA MARU (ex French ARAMIS) and tankers RIKKO MARU and OGURA MARU No. 2 without escort.

14 June 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques.

15 June 1943:
At 1500 departs St Jacques in convoy No. 586 consisting of tankers NICHINAN MARU (5175 gt) and ATAGO MARU and MURORAN MARU escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOJUSAN MARU.

18 June 1943:
At 1300 arrives at Singapore in convoy.

21 June 1943:
EIYO MARU, loaded with 13,280 kiloliters of crude oil, departs Singapore in convoy No. 698 consisting of tanker NICHINAN MARU (5175 gt) and cargo liner NICHIRAN MARU.

22 June 1943:
E of Malaya. At 0832 (JST) LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) John E. Lee’s (USNA ’30) USS GRAYLING (SS-209) fires three torpedoes at EIYO MARU and gets one hit port side below the bridge at 04-08N, 103-52E. One crewman is KIA and 2 wounded. 6,373 kiloliters of crude oil are lost to the sea. The damage is classified as serious and the ship is down by bow, but able to make about 5 knots.

24 June 1943:
Arrives at Cap St. Jacques anchorage, French Indochina. Discharges 3,181 kiloliters of crude oil to restore buoyancy. Remains at Cap St. Jacques until late July/early August 1943.

4 August 1943:
At anchor at Miri.

8 August 1943:
Departs Cap St. Jacques.

13 August 1943:
Arrives at Hong Kong. Discharges remaining 3,726 kiloliters of crude oil.

31 August 1943:
USAAF Fourteenth Air Force P-40 “Warhawk” fighters attack Hong Kong. Two crew members are wounded.

2 September 1943:
Hong Kong. USAAF Fourteenth Air Force B-25 “Mitchell” medium bombers's and P-40's bomb the Kowloon area of the Harbor. During these attacks there are further personnel casualties including one crew member KIA and 3 wounded.

3 September 1943:
Hong Kong, Enters dock at Kowloon Dockyard for full-scale repairs.

E December 1943:
Released to her owners.

12 April 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

3 May 1944:
A 0445, EIYO MARU departs Moji for Singapore via Manila in convoy HI-61 consisting of tankers AKANE, TATEKAWA, NICHIEI, AZUSA, JINEI, OTORISAN, SARAWAK and ASANAGI MARUs, transport MIZUHO MARU and fleet oiler HAYASUI escorted by escort carrier TAIYO, destroyers ASAGAO, HIBIKI and INAZUMA, kaibokan SADO, KURAHASHI, CD-5, CD-7 and CD-13.

7 May 1944:
JINEI MARU develops engine troubles and is detached for Takao.

8 May 1944:
LtCdr (later Cdr) Victor B. McCrea's (USNA ’32) USS HOE (SS-258) attacks convoy HI-61. AKANE MARU suffers minor damage.

9 May 1944:
At 2055, HI-61 arrives at Manila. TATEKAWA, NICHIEI and AZUSA MARUs are detached.

12 May 1944:
HI-61 departs Manila for Singapore.

18 May 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

24 May 1944:
Departs Manila in convoy MATA-20 also consisting of KUNIYAMA, FUKUJU, TAKETOYO, TENSHIN, CHINA, CHIHAYA, and SHINEI MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD 11, destroyers HARUKAZE and ASAKAZE, and auxiliary gunboats CHOHAKUSAN and TOMITSU MARUs.

28 May 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

30 May 1944:
Departs Takao in convoy TAMO-20 also consisting of TAKETSU (BUTSU), DURBAN, TAKETOYO, FUKUJU, HORAI, KOSHIN, CHIHAYA, SHINEI MARUs and fourteen unidentified merchant ships escorted by the destroyers ASAKAZE, HARUKAZE, kaibokan CD 2, gunboat ATAKA and auxiliary gunboat TOMITSU MARU.

5 June 1944:
The convoy arrives at Moji. SHINEI MARU had separated en route.

26 July 1944:
Departs Yokohama.

29 July 1944:
Arrives at Iwakuni.

30 July 1944:
Departs Iwakuni.

31 July 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

2 August 1944:
Transfers from Moji to Hesaki.

7 August 1944:
Transfers from Hesaki to Moji.

8 August 1944:
Departs Moji.

10 August 1944:
EIYO MARU departs Imari Bay (near Moji) for Singapore in convoy HI-71 comprised of fleet tanker HAYASUI, food-supply ship IRAKO, tankers TEIYO, ZUIHO, KYOKUTO, NIYO MARUs and HAKKO MARU No. 2, cargo liners KASHII and ORYOKU MARU and transports TEIA, KIBITSU, AWA, NOTO, HOKKAI, TAMATSU, NOSHIRO and MAYASAN MARUs escorted by destroyers FUJINAMI and YUNAGI, kaibokan HIRATO, KURAHASHI, MIKURA, SHONAN and CD-11 and escort carrier TAIYO. Her 631st Naval Air Group provides air cover with 12 BN5 “Kates”. EIYO MARU carries a deck cargo of eight aircraft and 351 soldiers of the 58th Independent Mixed Brigade.

15 August 1944:
HI-71 arrives at Mako, Pescadores.

17 August 1944:
HI-71 sorties from Mako for Manila, part of the “SHO-I-GO” Operation, transporting troops and supplies for the defense of the Philippines. The 1st Surface Escort Division sends old destroyer ASAKAZE and kaibokan SADO, ETOROFU, MATSUWA and HIBURI from Takao to augment the escort.

18 August 1944:
At 0524, LtCdr (later Captain) Louis D. McGregor's (USNA ’30) USS REDFISH (SS-395) torpedoes and damages EIYO MARU at 20-40N, 120-43E. 35 crewmen are KIA. Destroyers ASAKAZE and YUNAGI are detached to escort her back to Takao.

20 August 1944:
Arrives at Takao for temporary repairs.

30 October 1944:
Departs Takao for Japan for permanent repairs. Probably sails from Kirun (Keelung) later that day in convoy TAMO-27 that arrives at Moji 5 November.

7 November 1944:
Arrrives at Tamano and enters Mitsui's dockyard.

22 January 1945:
Departs Tamano.

23 January 1945:
Arrives at Moji.

26 January 1945:
At 0800, EIYO MARU departs Moji for Singapore in convoy HI-91 consisting of tanker TOJO MARU and transport/cargo liners SANUKI and KITSURIN MARUs escorted by destroyers NOKAZE and KAMIKAZE and kaibokan SHONAN, KUME, CD-25 and CD-53.

28 January 1945:
Yellow Sea. NE of Shanghai, China, off Kokuzan To. Cdr Gordon W. Underwood’s (USNA ’32) SPADEFISH and LtCdr (later Captain) Stephen H. Gimber's (USNA ’35) POMPON (SS-267) make contact with a three-ship convoy with four escorts. POMPON makes two night submerged approaches, but the escorts drive her off each time.

At about 0200, while two escorts pin down POMPON astern of the convoy, Underwood’s SPADEFISH slips in and, at 0313, torpedoes and sinks SANUKI MARU at 33-55N, 122-55E ith 52 Type 1 explosive motor boats (EMBs) and 167 men of the 43rd Shinyo Squadron, as well as 26 Type 5 EMBs and 183 men of the 101st Shinyo Squadron. All 78 EMBs and all of the 43rd Shinyo Squadron's men are lost as are all but 20 men of the 101st Shinyo Squadron. SPADEFISH also torpedoes and sinks KUME at 33-54N, 122-55E. Destroyer KAMIKAZE rescues survivors from both ships and is detached to Chinkai to land them.

1 February 1945:
Arrives at Hainan Island, China.

2 February 1945:
At 1500, departs Hainan.

3 February 1945:
At 1915, arrives at Qui Sande Bay, Indochina.

4 February 1945:
At 2100, departs Qui Sande Bay.

8 February 1945:
Arrives at Singapore, Malaya.

15 February 1945:
At 1100, EIYO MARU departs Singapore for Moji in convoy HI-90 consisting of NICHINAN MARU (5175 gt) escorted by kaibokan CD-8, CD-32 and CD-52.

19 February 1945:
At 2200, the convoy anchors at Ca Na, southern Indochina.

20 February 1945:
At 0800, departs Ca Na. At 0902, LtCdr Ralph H. Lockwood's (USNA ’38) USS GUAVINA (SS-362) torpedoes EIYO MARU. Three torpedoes hit the starboard side in the vicinity of her engine room. She floods and starts to sink by the stern. At about 0930, fires break out forward as crude oil loosed into the sea catches on fire. 20 soldiers, 27 passengers and 33 crewmen are KIA.

12 miles NE of Cape Paderan light house. At 1300, engulfed in flames, EIYO MARU sinks at 11-55N, 109-20E. During the next seven hours, GUAVINA lays on the bottom at only 130 feet (40 m) while the convoy's escorts and planes drop 98 depth-charges and bombs. GUAVINA incurs some damage, but makes the Fiji Islands for refit. [1]

Author's Notes:
[1] EIYO MARU was requisitioned by the Imperial Army and returned to her owners at unknown dates, but was under civilian control at the time of her sinking.

Many thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany for providing data detailing EIYO MARU's movements during 1943 in Rev 1. Thanks also to John Whitman for troop details on SANUKI MARU when sunk in Rev 4. Thanks likewise to Gilbert Casse of France.

Readers with access to such data are requested to post the information on on the Discussion & Questions board or the IJN Ship Message Board.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

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