Tabular Record of Movement

© 2011 Bob Hackett
Revision 1

Kobe. Laid down at Mitsubishi Jukogyo K. K. as a 5,401-ton Type 1K Standard Merchant ore carrier for Nippon Seitetsu K.K., Tokyo.

Launched and named HONAN MARU.

August 1942:

3 September 1943:
At 0840, HONAN MARU departs Mako, Pescadores for Sasebo in convoy No. 299 also consisting of GYOKUREI, COLUMBIA, REIYO, NAPLES, ASO and YASHIMA MARUs escored by patrol boat PB-36.

8 September 1943:
At 1230, arrives at Sasebo.

13 September 1943:
HONAN MARU departs Moji for Kirun (Keelung) in convoy No. 197 also consisting of FUTTSU, TAKETOYO, KYOKUYO, TOMITSU, KOSO and TANGO MARUs and three unidentified ships escorted by torpedo boat MANAZURU and auxiliary gunship CHOJUSAN MARU.

14 September 1943:
Departs Sasebo.

15 September 1943:
The convoy retires to Sakura-Jima, Kagoshima Bay because of the threat of a submarine attack.

17 September 1943:
While the convoy is making preparations to leave Kagoshima, a typhoon warning is isssued at 0600: "typhoon, approx. 17N x 128E, atmospheric pressure 980 millibars, proceeding West-North-West with 25 to 30 km per hour, take strict caution." Despite the approaching typhoon, at 1730 the convoy departs. That night, the seas become very high.

18 September 1943:
At 1430, the transport commander orders the convoy to take shelter at Naze Harbor, Amami-O-Shima. About 1900, the convoy arrives at Naze.

19 September 1943:
At midnight, the typhoon passes 55 km eastward of Naze. Atmospheric pressure at Naze Harbor falls to 961 millibars, wind velocity reaches its maximum at 53 meters. At this time, the typhoon is reported ranking next only to the devastating Muroto Typhoon of 1934.

Off Amami-O-Shima. KYOKUYO MARU, carrying about half her standard weight, is riding a little high. She runs aground and is wrecked at 28-20N, 129-30E, but only one crewman is lost. TAKETOYO, KOSO and TANGO MARUs are also driven ashore by the storm.

HONAN MARU is also stranded, but refloated and towed by an unknown ship from convoy 197 to Nagasaki.

September 1943:
Nagasaki. HONAN MARU undergoes repairs at Mitsubishi Jukogyo K. K.

8 April 1944:
Repairs are completed. HONAN MARU departs Nakasaki. At 2256 (I), LtCdr James B. Grady’s (USNA ‘33) USS WHALE (SS- 239), on submerged patrol between Saishu-to (Quelpart Island) and Iki Shima, makes radar contact with an unescorted target at 23,250 yards, heading west in rough seas at 12 knots. Grady begins tracking and starts an "end-around" run.

9 April 1944:
At 0140, after completing the end-around, Grady fires four torpedoes at the target and gets one hit directly under the stack. Between 0144-0145, he fires two more torpedoes at the target, but both miss. At 0152, Grady fires a stern torpedo that hits between the stack and the stern. HONAN MARU explodes and sinks in 15 seconds taking down all hands at 33-50N-128.01E.

Author's Note:
Thanks go to Peter Cundall of Australia.

-Bob Hackett

Back to the Ore Carriers Page