(HOYO MARU by Ueda Kihachiro)


Tabular Record of Movement

© 1998-2018 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

Revision 10

15 October 1935:
Yokohama. Laid down at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard as a 8, 691-ton merchant tanker for Nippon Shosen K. K. of Tokyo.

29 August 1936:
Launched and named HOYO MARU.

5 November 1936:
Completed and registered in Tokyo. Placed into service as a merchant tanker.

January 1937:
Ariake Bay, Kyushu. On her second voyage HOYO MARU runs aground in stormy weather off Tanegajima and her hull is heavily damaged. She is salvaged and repaired by Asano Shipyard in Kanagawa Prefecture.

28 February 1937:
Transfers heavy oil to TAKATORI MARU No. 2.

15 April 1940:
Transfers to Nitto Kogyo Kisen.

25 December 1940:
Requisitioned by the IJN and registered as a Converted Merchant Transport (Oil Supply) in the Kure Naval District. Captain-Retired (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Nakamaruo Yoshizo (36)(former XO of JINGEI) is appointed Supervisor.

A tripod kingpost is fitted aft of her funnel.

20 February 1941:
Departs Kobe.

21 March 1941:
Arrives at San Francisco Bay, California.

6 April 1941:
Arrives at Yokkaichi.

15 April 1941:
Departs Kure for the Dutch East Indies.

4 May 1941:
Arrives at Tokuyama.

15 May 1941:
Departs Kure for the North American coast.

24 June 1941:
Arrives at Yokkaichi.

12 July 1941:
Arrives at Samah, Hainan Island.

24 July 1941:
Departs Samah.

27 July 1941:
Arrives at Pulau Sambu (near Singapore), Dutch East Indies.

29 July 1941:
Departs Pulau Sambu.

7 August 1941:
Arrives at Tokuyama.

29 August 1941:
Begins conversion to a naval auxiliary.

11 October 1941:
The conversion is completed. Rerated a Converted Transport (Oil Supply). Captain Nakamaruo is appointed the Commanding Officer. Attached to the Fourth Fleet based at Truk.

15 October 1941:
Rerated back to a Converted Merchant Transport (Oil Supply). Captain Nakamaruo reverts from CO to Supervisor.

21 November 1941:
Departs Yokosuka for Truk.

3 December 1941:
Arrives at Truk.

13 December 1941:
Departs Truk.

17 December 1941:
Arrives at Roi.

20 December 1941:
Refuels minelayer TSUGARU with 200t heavy oil.

22 December 1941:
Departs Roi.

26 December 1941:
Arrives at Lamotrek.

27 December 1941:
Departs Lamotrek.

29 December 1941:
At 0520 arrives at Roi.

2 January 1942:
Transfers from Roi to Kwajalein.

4 January 1942:
Departs Kwajalein.

13 January 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

17 January 1942: - Operation "R" - The Invasions of Rabaul and Kavieng:
Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi’s (36) Carrier Striking Force's CarDiv 1’s AKAGI and KAGA, CruDiv 5’s SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU, BatDiv 3/1 HIEI and KIRISHIMA, CruDiv 8’s TONE and CHIKUMA and DesRon 1’s light cruiser ABUKUMA with DesDiv 17's ISOKAZE, URAKAZE, TANIKAZE, HAMAKAZE, DesDiv 18's ARARE, KASUMI, KAGERO, SHIRANUHI and unattached destroyer AKIGUMO depart Truk.

CruDiv 18's TENRYU and TATSUTA also depart Truk with oiler GOYO MARU and troop transports KINRYU and AZUMASAN MARUs escorted by DesRon 6's light cruiser YUBARI and DesDiv 23's KIKUZUKI, UZUKI and YUZUKI. They are screened by CruDiv 6's AOBA, KINUGASA, KAKO and FURUTAKA, minelayers TSUGARU and OKINOSHIMA and CarDiv 11's seaplane carrier CHITOSE.

20 January 1942:
N of New Ireland. CarDivs 1 and 5 launch 100 bombers and fighters to attack Rabaul, New Britain and Kavieng, New Ireland. That evening, CarDiv 5 is detached and moves to a position in the Bismarck Sea.

21 January 1942:
HOYO MARU departs Yokosuka in support of the Operation “R” Naval Force escorted by auxiliary gunboat KASAGI MARU.

That same day, CarDiv 1 launches another strike on Rabaul and CarDiv 5 launches attacks on Madang, Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea. After CarDiv 5 recovers her aircraft, she departs the Bismarck Sea area that evening to rendevous with CarDiv 1.

22 January 1942:
CarDiv 1 launches a 45-plane strike against Rabaul. After the launch, CarDiv 5 makes the rendevous with CarDiv 1. When CarDiv 1 completes recovery of her strike aircraft, Nagumo's Carrier Striking Force (KdB) heads north to Truk.

22/23 January 1942:
The invasion forces land at night, swiftly overcome light Australian opposition and occupy Rabaul and Kavieng.

25 January 1942:
Captain Nakamaruo is reassigned to the Yokosuka Naval District. A new, but unknown, officer is posted Supervisor.

28 January 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

5 February 1942:
Departs Truk.

7 February 1942:
Arrives at Kavieng.

8 February 1942:
Departs Kavieng and later that day arrives at Rabaul.

9 February 1942:
Minelayer TSUGARU comes alongside and is supplied with 145t oil. This is completed at 1110.

18 February 1942:
Rabaul. Transfers 300 tons of L1 grade oil to auxiliary seaplane tender KIYOKAWA MARU.

20 February 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

21 February 1942:
Arrives at Mussau Island.

23 February 1942:
Departs Mussau.

25 February 1942:
Captain-Ret (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Mori Ryo (38) is appointed Supervisor.

26 February 1942:
Arrives at Truk. Refuels aircraft carrier SHOHO with 1500t heavy oil.

Late February 1942:
Departs Truk.

7 March 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

14 March 1942:
Departs Yokosuka for Truk.

22 March 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

26 March 1942:
From 0803 till 0940 minelayer TSUGARU lies alongside and is supplied with heavy oil.

28 March 1942:
Departs Truk in a convoy.

31 March 1942:
S of New Ireland. HOYO MARU is attacked by an unidentified submarine on the surface, but outguns the submarine. The oiler escapes with no damage. Eventually, HOYO MARU is credited with a submarine "kill”. Later, she arrives at Rabaul.

1 April 1942:
At Rabaul refuels 6th Squadron cruisers.

13 April 1942:
At 1600 departs Rabaul.

14 April 1942:
Anchors in Mowe Harbour, near Kavieng.

15 April 1942:
Departs Mowe.

20 April 1942:
Arrives at Palau.

23 April 1942:
Departs Palau.

27 April 1942:
Captain Takahashi Eikichi (36) is appointed Supervisor. That same day arrives at Truk. Takes on fuel oil from NISSHIN MARU No. 2.

30 April 1942:
Departs Truk escorted by destroyer UZUKI.

2 May 1942:
At 1230 the ships arrive at Rabaul. HOYO MARU refuels auxiliary minesweepers SEKI MARU No. 3 and FUMI MARU no. 2

4 May 1942: Operation “MO” – The Invasion of Tulagi and Port Moresby: Departs Rabaul in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Koso's (40) (former CO of HIEI) Transport Force of five Navy, six Army transports, oilers HOYO and GOYO MARUs, IRO (at anchor at Shortland area with destroyer UZUKI), minelayer TSUGARU, minesweeper W-20, minesweepers HAGOROMO MARU, NOSHIRO MARU No. 2 and FUMI MARU No. 2 and repair ship OJIMA.

The Transport Force is covered by Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kajioka Sadamichi's (39) (former CO of NAGARA) Port Moresby Attack Force of DesRon 6’s light cruiser YUBARI and destroyers OITE, ASANAGI, MUTSUKI and YAYOI with a patrol boat. Steams towards Jomard Pass in the Louisiade Archipelago to an area off Misima Island.

6 May 1942:
At 0530 arrives at Deboyne Is with carrier SHOHO.

9 May 1942: The Battle of the Coral Sea:
After the Battle of the Coral Sea, the Attack Force returns to Rabaul.

Some ships sail to Shortland where they are refuelled by HOYO MARU, IRO and OMUROSAN MARU.

11 May 1942:
Departs Shortland and is met by destroyer OITE.

12 May 1942:
At 0500 arrives and later departs Deboyne Island escorted by auxiliary gunboat NIKKAI MARU.

13 May 1942:
FURUTAKA and KINUGASA are refuelled at Shortland by HOYO MARU.

14 May 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

15 May 1942:
At 1530 destroyer YAYOI departs Kieta to meet HOYO MARU.

18 May 1942:
At 0640 south of Truk, HOYO MARU, escorted by destroyer YAYOI, reports sighting am enemy submarine. Later that day arrives at Truk.

20 May 1942:
At Truk minelayer TSUGARU is refuelled by tankers HOYO MARU and TONAN MARU No. 2.

30 May 1942:
Departs Truk.

3 June 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

2 July 1942:
At sea transfers fuel to cruiser KAKO.

4 July 1942:
Arrives at Kieta.

5 July 1942:
At Kieta from 1630 transfers 295 tons fuel oil to light cruiser TENRYU and 290 tons fuel oil to light cruiser TATSUTA.

6 July 1942:
At 05-30S 137-30E refuels CruDiv 6's KAKO and AOBA at sea.

9 July 1942:
Off Kieta, Bougainville. Refuels CruDiv 6's FURUTAKA and KINUGASA at sea then heads to Rabaul.

11 July 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

13 July 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

16 July 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

17 July 1942:
Departs Truk.

24 July 1942:
Arrives at Kure. Undergoes repairs well into August.

22 August 1942:
Departs Kure and arrives at Hiro. Later that day departs Hiro.

4 September 1942:
Arrives at Jaluit.

5 September 1942:
Departs Jaluit Atoll, Marshall Islands escorted by destroyer YUZUKI.

9 September 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

13 September 1942:
Departs Truk in a convoy also consisting of YAMASHIMO and YAMAKUNI MARUs with unknown escort.

17 September 1942:
Arrives at Palau, although it is probably HOYO MARU had already detached and headed north.

20 September 1942:
Transits the Bungo Straits.

21 September 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

23 September 1942:
Departs Kure.

24 September 1942:
Transits the Bungo Straits.

1 October 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

4 October 1942:
Departs Truk.

11 October 1942:
Transits the Bungo Straits in a convoy with an unknown vessel heading north.

12 October 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

14 October 1942:
Transfers from Kure to Hiro.

16 October 1942:
Departs Hiro.

24 October 1942:
At sea in Truk area destroyer ASANAGI meets with Ammunition ship NICHII MARU and tanker HOYO MARU. HOYO MARU is inbound and arrives at Truk later that day.

25 October 1942:
ASANAGI is detached.

26 October 1942:
HOYO MARU and cargo ship NIKKI MARU escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOUN MARU departs Truk.

2 November 1942:
Off Toi Misaki. Joined by minelayer NATSUSHIMA that escorts her to Fukajima.

4 November 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

6 November 1942:
Departs Kure.

7 November 1942:
Off Fukajima. Joined by torpedo boat HATO that escorts her to the outer ocean.

14 November 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

23 November 1942:
Departs Truk.

4 December 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

7 December 1942:
Departs Singapore.

19 December 1942:
Northern Marianas. Damaged by unknown causes, possibly a mine, at 18-55N, 150-16E. Soon after arrives at Truk. Remains there for the rest of the month and all January, February and March.

10 February 1943:
Captain-Retired (Rear Admiral, posthumously)(former CO of KOMAHASHI) Watanabe Tsutomu (34) is appointed Supervisor.

24 February 1943:
The owner’s name is restyled as Nitto Kisen.

Damaged during a bombing attack. Returns to Japan.

4 April 1943:
HOYO MARU and TONEI and MOGAMIGAWA MARUs depart Truk at 0600. HOYO and TONEI MARUs are bound for Kure. MOGAMIGAWA MARU is bound for Yokosuka. The ships are escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOAN MARU No. 2.

15 April 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

16 April 1943:
Undergoes battle-damage repairs by Hitachi Zosen, at their Innoshima yard at Osaka.

8 July 1943:
Repairs are completed and the sjhip arrives at Kure.

11 July 1943:
Captain Hojo Risaburo (35) (former CO of KAMOI) is appointed Supervisor. Captain Watanabe is reassigned to the 11th Base Group.

14 July 1943:
Osaka. Repairs are completed. Returns to service.

15 July 1943:
Departs Kure. Later that day arrives at Mutsure.

17 July 1943:
At 1800, departs Moji in a convoy consisting of oilers HOYO, TACHIBANA and TAKETSU MARUs, Army transport ARIMASAN MARU and Navy transports DURBAN and HAKONE MARUs and three unidentified ships with torpedo boat SAGI and an auxiliary gunboat as escorts.

22 July 1943:
At 1320, arrives at Takao, Formosa. Later that day, arrives at Mako, Pescadores. Still later, departs for Singapore.

6 August 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

10 August 1943:
Departs Singapore.

25 August 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

15 September 1943:
Departs Balikpapan for Tarakan with 4503-tons of crude oil for refining. Then returns to Balikpapan.

23 September 1943:
At 0830, departs Balikpapan for Truk making 10.5 knots with another load of crude oil.

4 October 1943:
At 1000, arrives at Truk escorted by destroyer FUKUE that joined the ship earlier that day.

5 October 1943:
Transfers 1270 tons fuel oil to light cruiser NAKA and 1300 tons fuel oil to light cruiser ISUZU.

17 October 1943:
The Japanese intercept radio traffic that suggests the Americans are planning another raid on Wake Island. Admiral Koga Mineichi (34) sorties from Truk to intercept the enemy carriers with BatDiv 1's YAMATO, MUSASHI and NAGATO, BatDiv 2's FUSO, Bat Div 3's KONGO and HARUNA, CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU and ZUIHO, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA and CHOKAI, CruDiv 7's SUZUYA and MOGAMI, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and TONE and light cruisers AGANO, NOSHIRO and OYODO and destroyers.

19 October 1943:
The fleet arrives at Brown Atoll, Eniwetok.

21 October 1943:
Departs Truk for Eniwetok with destroyer AMATSUKAZE to provide refueling support for the fleet.

23 October 1943:
The fleet departs Brown Is. and sorties to a position 250 miles south of Wake. Returns after no contact is made with enemy forces.

26 October 1943:
The fleet arrives back at Truk.

27 October 1943:
HOYO MARU and AMATSUKAZE arrive at Truk.

29 October 1943:
Transfers 1259 tons fuel oil to light cruiser NAKA and 1290 tons fuel oil to light cruiser ISUZU.

5 November 1943:
Departs Truk for Palembang, Sumatra and Singapore, Malaya in a convoy consisting of oilers HOYO and GENYO MARUs escorted by old destroyer YAKAZE, food stores ship HAYAZAKI and auxiliary minelayer KINJO MARU.

6 November 1943:
Near Orolup Island. Auxiliary Minelayer KINJO MARU joins as escort.

Ysabel Channel, off New Ireland, Bismarcks. At 0200, the convoy is attacked by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Roy M. Davenport’s (USNA ’33) USS HADDOCK (SS-231) in a surface radar attack at 07-54N, 150-06E. Davenport fires six torpedoes at HOYO and GENYO MARUs from 3,000 yards. He then swings around and fires his four stern torpedoes at YAKAZE from about 4,000 yards.

The convoy switches on searchlights and opens fire. During the action, YAKAZE collides with the stern of GENYO MARU and the escort’s bow is bent badly. Explosions and a fire are reported.

Davenport pulls off, reloads and about an hour later makes a second attack. He fires his last four torpedoes from 3,000 yards, two at each oiler, and claims sinking both. Actually, HOYO MARU is hit in the stern, engine damaged and set afire. She floods and settles by the stern. HOYO MARU's Captain Hojo Rinsaburo orders her abandoned, but stays aboard with about a dozen crewmen.

Later, YAKAZE rescues 90 crewmembers including Captain Hojo. At 1130, light cruiser NAGARA arrives. At 1710, she reports the fires aboard HOYO MARU have been put out.

At 0010, USN codebreakers intercept a message from YAKAZE that reads: “We received bombardment from surfaced submarine in position 08-04 N, 150-04 E. While engaging it, we rammed the stern of GENYO MARU and split our bow. The bow is flooding. We can probably make six knots. At present, we are continuing to press the attack. Please send escort ship to escort convoy.” Action occurred while escorting HOYO MARU and GENYO MARU.

At 1130, USN codebreakers intercept a message from the CO of NAGARA that reads: "Arrived at scene [of HOYO MARU] at 1130. After section of HOYO MARU burning heavily and ship down by the stern about 15 degrees. Apparently no one remaining aboard -----.”

At 1710, USN codebreakers intercept another message from NAGARA that reads: “Fire aboard HOYO MARU now extinguished. ------. Because there is danger of (tow rope ?) breaking, will proceed to Truk in company with KINJO MARU upon her arrival -----.”

NAGARA awaits the arrival of KINJO MARU to assist in towing HOYO MARU. YAKAZE transfers the survivors included wounded to NAGARA where two men die. GENYO MARU and YAKAZE then return to Truk.

Cable layer escort TATEISHI, subchaser CH 33, and auxiliary minesweeper NOSHIRO MARU No.2 are sent out from Truk in support roles.

7 November 1943:
At 1700, DesDiv 61 arrives to protect HOYO MARU. At 2100, NAGARA uses her bilge pumps to pump out the aft section of the HOYO MARU. [1]

8 November 1943:
KINJO MARU continues to stand by damaged HOYO MARU.

10 November 1943:
Arrives at Truk where repair ship AKASHI provides emergency repairs. The ship remains under repairs up until the time of her sinking.

7 February 1944:
HOYO MARU is assigned to the Fourth Fleet's Inner South Seas Force.

17 February 1944: American Operation "Hailstone" - The Attack on Truk:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher’s (USNA ’10) Task Force 58's five fleet carriers and four light carriers, supported by six battleships, ten cruisers and 28 destroyers, launch air attacks on airfields, shore installations and ships in the lagoon. Mitscher launches 30 strikes of at least 150 aircraft each. Beginning at dawn, the strikes are launched about every hour for two days.

E of Fenfan Island. HOYO MARU is anchored in the Repair Anchorage. In the second strike that afternoon, Douglas SBD "Dauntless" dive-bombers the USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6) attack HOYO MARU. She is hit by 1,000-lb GP bombs aft of the bridge on the starboard side and another forward of the aft superstructure near her previously damaged stern and set afire. Six crewmen are KIA.

HOYO MARU capsizes and sinks. She comes to rest upside down in the sand at about 80 feet on her midship superstructure and breaks in two. A section of her keel and screw are visible above water.

During the two day raids, TF 58 sinks 31 merchant transports and 10 naval vessels, destroys nearly 200 aircraft and damages severely about 100 more. Truk is eliminated as a major fleet anchorage for the IJN.

Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Notes:
[1] Probably DesDiv 61's SUZUTSUKI and HATSUZUKI, but this has not been confirmed.

Thanks go to the late John Whitman for information on intercepted Japanese messages, Sander Kingsepp of Estonia Matt Jones on CO's and to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France and Berend van der Wal of Netherlands for general assistance and review.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

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