(A Type 1K ore carrier underway)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2011 Bob Hackett

Tsurumi, Yokohama Laid down at Nippon Kokan K.K as a 5,396-ton Type 1K Standard Merchant cargo ship (ore carrier) for Toyo Kisen K.K., Tokyo.

Launched and named GYOKUYO MARU. [1]

December 1943:

11 June 1944:
At 1530, GYOKUYO MARU departs Moji for Miri, Borneo in convoy MI-08 consisting of MATSUURA, KAMO, SHINKOKU, NISHI, MINO, TAIKAI, KAKOGAWA, MYOGI, MARUs and tankers SAN LUIS, KOEI, TAIEI, CHIHAYA, RYUSHO and 12 unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyers ASAKAZE, ASAGAO, kaibokan YASHIRO, CD-2 and auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 3. Immediately after leaving port, KOEI MARU develops engine problems and is forced to return to port.

15 June 1944:
At 1040, anchors at Oshima Strait, Amami Oshima.

16 June 1944:
Departs Oshima Strait.

17 June 1944:
MATSUURA and KAMO MARUs with ASAGAO are detached and head for Kirun.

18 June 1944:
At 1300, arrives at Takao. Later, ASAGAO rejoins convoy. At 1955, the convoy departs Takao.

23 June 1944:
At 1800, arrives at Manila. CD-2 and ASAGAO are detached.

27 June 1944:
At 0600, departs Manila.

2 July 1944:
At 1700, arrives at Miri.

16 August 1944:
At 0700, GYOKUYO MARU departs Miri in convoy MI-12 consisting of TAKETOYO, NORFOLK, UGA, KINRYU, JUNGEN GO and GYOSAN MARUs and unknown KAITO MARU and tankers TAKETOYO, TAIEI, SEISHIN and NANSEI MARUs escorted by kaibokan SHIMUSHU, CD-16, CD-28 and CH-41 and subchasers CH-30 and CH-33.

18 August 1944:
At 1352, LtCdr William T. Kinsella's (USNA ‘34) USS RAY (SS-271) torpedoes and sinks NANSEI MARU at 08-39N, 116-39E. The convoy is ordered to seek shelter.

20 August 1944:
At 1930, arrives at Paluan Bay, NW Mindoro.

21 August 1944:
At 0556, departs Paluan Bay. Soon after kaibokan CD-28 attacks an enemy submarine contact. At 0720, a wolfpack consisting of USS RAY, GUITARRO, HADDO, HARDER and MUSKALLUNGE begin the first of a series of successful attacks.

W of Mindoro At 0720, Kinsella's RAY fires her last four torpedoes at a passenger-cargo ship. Three miss, but the fourth torpedo hits TAKETOYO MARU amidships. The escorts force Kinsella to dive, but he hears his target break up. TAKETOYO MARU sinks at 13-23N, 120-19E. 13 crewmen are KIA. RAY undergoes a sustained depth charge attack, but escapes serious damage.

22 August 1944:
At 2200, arrives at Manila.

10 November 1944:
GYOKUYO MARU departs Miike, Kyushu for Manila in convoy MOMA-07 consisting of KENJO, NARUO, JINYO, FUKUYO, TATSUAKI (TATSUSHO), MIHO, HAKUBA (SHIROUMA), SHINFUKU and MINO MARUs and KONAN MARU No. 1 escorted by kaibokan CD-8, CD-9, CD-28 and CD-54, auxiliary subchaser CHa-24 and an unidentified warship.

11 November 1944:
Near Cape Ose Sea, Goto Archipelago. At 0906, Cdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Charles E. Loughlin’s (USNA ‘33) USS QUEENFISH (SS-393) fires four torpedoes and hits MIHO MARU in the bow. Unable to keep up with the convoy, she heads for Sasebo. The escorts drop 55 depth-charges on QUEENFISH, but she remains undamaged.

12 November 1944:
248 miles SW of Nagasaki. At 0420, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral/MOH) Eugene B. Fluckey’s (USNA ‘35) USS BARB (SS-220) torpedoes NARUO and GYOKUYO MARUs at 31-30N 125-57E. NARUO MARU, hit by one or more torpedoes, blows up and sinks instantly. She was carrying army troop ans about 20,000 shells. 490 passengers, mostly IJA troops, and 203 crewmen are KIA.

GYOKUYO MARU is hit by a torpedo in the engine spaces. She goes dead in the water and begins to drift. Later, JINYO MARU attempts to tow the cripple towards Shanghai, but the towline parts. JINYO MARU takes off some passengers and crewmen. Other passengers are transfered to other ships. The escorts drop seven depth-charges on BARB and inflict slight damage. At about 0620, LtCdr Robert H. Caldwell’s (USNA ‘36) USS PETO (SS-265) torpedoes TATSUAKI MARU at 31-46N, 125-40E. One strikes No. 2 hold, a huge explosion occurs. She lists over, then explodes. 125 passengers and 65 crewmen are KIA. JINYO MARU rushes to the area from where the attack came and drops depth-charges.

13 November 1944:
At 0950, arrives at the Shushan Islands, E of Shanghai.

14 November 1944:
155 miles E of Shanghai. About midnight, LtCdr Gordon W. Underwood’s (USNA ‘32) USS SPADEFISH (SS-411) fires five torpedoes by radar bearings at GYOKUYO MARU being towed by kaibokan CD-8 towards Shanghai. Hit by several torpedoes, GYOKUYO MARU sinks at 31-04N, 125-58E. Casualties are unknown, but most passengers and crew had been taken off before the sinking.

Author’s Note:
[1] Some sources show GYOKUYO MARU as OYO MARU (2 different ships).

Photo credit and thanks go to Gilbert Casse of France.

-Bob Hackett

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