(Wartime ore carrier by Ueda Kihachiro)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2011 Bob Hackett
Revision 1

2 September 1942:
Kobe. Laid down at Mitsubishi Jukogyo K. K., building number 664, as a 5,588.46-ton ore carrier for Toa Kaiun K. K., Tokyo.

22 February 1943:
Launched and named HOREI MARU.

9 April 1943:
Completed and registered in the port of Tokyo. Assigned call sign JYXR. Captain Tamura M. is in command

15 December 1943:
At 1500, HOREI MARU departs Takao for Moji in convoy No. 227 also consisting of SEATTLE, HORAIZAN, GYOKUREI, KENREI, NIKKO and NIGITSU MARUs, and KOTO MARU No. 2 escorted by minelayer NUMAKAZE.

16 December 1943:
ORYOKU and TEIYO MARUs join the convoy at Keelung. NIGITSU MARU probably is detached and steams to Palau.

17 December 1943:
At 1800, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a signal from the CO of DesDiv 11 that reads: "The entire bow of NUMAKAZE has broken off from three meters above vicinity -----. There is a hole above and below the waterline on both sides of the ship forward of #1 main bulkhead. Another hole along the #7 beam starboard side above waterline 1 meter and about 30 centimeters. Have completed one patch and able to do eighteen knots.”

18 December 1943:
50 miles ENE of Naha, Okinawa. LtCdr (later KIA) John A. Moore’s (USNA '29 ) USS GRAYBACK (SS-208) (later lost in action) torpedoes and sinks NUMAKAZE with all hands at 26-29 N, 128-26 E.

At 2130, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt another signal that reads: : “NUMAKAZE under tactical command commander DesDiv 1 left Takao escorting convoy No. 227. Route Moji. On 18 December at 2130 in position 26-30N, 128-13E reported sighting enemy submarine and depth charging same. Since then, nothing has been heard from said vessel. ----. A large quantity of material washed ashore at Betozaki in Okinawa.”

14 January 1944:
At 1700, HOREI MARU departs Yulin, Hainan Island for Takao in a convoy also consisting of MENADO and SHOKEI MARUs with an unknown escort. MENADO MARU is carrying 230 passengers and 1,400 tons of iron ore, ammunition and five training aircraft.

20 January 1944:
155 miles S of Formosa. At 1158, the convoy is attacked by three aircraft that make repeated bombing and strafing passes. At 1210, a bomb explodes off MENADO MARU's stern. At 1215, a near miss bomb destroys her engines and causes flooding. At 1220, a bomb is skipped into her engine room. Abandon Ship is ordered. SHOKEI MARU rescues survivors. At 1300, MENADO MARU sinks. 30 passengers and 29 crewmen are KIA.

E 21 January 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

19 February 1944:
At 1500, HOREI MARU departs Mutsure for Takao in convoy MOTA-05 also consisting of TEIKON, GYOKO and SHONAN MARUs escorted by kaibokan IKI. HOREI MARU is carrying aircraft spares, wooden items, conveyor belts and other cargo.

23 February 1944: 100 miles W of Okinawa. At 0510, LtCdr Ralph M. Metcalf’s (USNA '35) USS POGY (SS-266) torpedoes TEIKON MARU, but she does not sink. A few minutes later, Metcalf also torpedoes HOREI MARU that goes dead in the water. IKI does not counter-attack. SHONAN MARU takes HOREI MARU in tow, but she splits in two and sinks off Naha harbor, Okinawa at 26-13N, 127-38E. One crewman is KIA.

Author's Note:

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

- Bob Hackett

Back to the Ore Carriers Page