(A Type 1TM Standard Tanker underway)
IJN ICHIU MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement
© 2011 Bob Hackett
Osaka. Laid down at Hitachi Zosen K.K., as a 5,068-ton Standard Type
1TM tanker for Kyodo Kigyo, K.K., Tokyo.
Launched and named ICHIU MARU.
Completed and requisitioned by the Japanese
Government's Senpaku Uneikai wartime civilian shipping authority. Chartered to
the Imperial Army with a civilian crew.
1 December 1943:
ICHIU MARU departs Singapore in Part 1 of convoy
HI-23 also consisting of tankers Part OMUROSAN and ASASHIO MARUs and two
unidentified ships escorted by destroyer NAMIKAZE. 
5 December 1943: The second echelon of convoy HI-23 departs Moji
consisting of oilers TATEKAWA, ITSUKUSHIMA and BOKUEI MARUs with SUNOSAKI, OSE
(ex-Dutch GENOTA) and probably TAKASAKI, all escorted by OSE.
7 December 1943:
ICHIU MARU departs Takao in convoy HI-23 now also
consisting of tankers OMUROSAN, ITSUKUSHIMA, TATEKAWA, RYUEI, BOKUEI, fleet
oilers TAKASAKI, SUNOSAKI and OSE and cargo passenger ships NOSHIRO and AKI
MARUs plus GOYO and ICHIYO MARUs escorted by destroyer NAMIKAZE and kaibokan
10 December 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques, Indochina where the convoy
Departs St Jacques. Arrives at Singapore.
Departs Singapore for Balikpapan.
30 December 1943:
S Java Sea, near Karimata Strait. At 1715 (H),
LtCdr George E. Porterís (USNA '32) USS BLUEFISH (SS-222) sights a target ship
in relatively shallow water (13 fathoms), making heavy black smoke and doing
about 12 knots. Porter decides to wait for darkness and attack on the surface.
After surfacing at 1933, BLUEFISH pursues the target at full speed. At
2234, Porter fires five bow torpedoes by radar bearings. He gets five hits that
turn ICHIU MARU into an inferno. She sinks with all hands at 02-45S,109-10E.
Porter notes that the tanker probably was loaded with hi-octane (aviation)
 Oiler RYUEI MARU and passenger cargo ships AKI and
NOSHIRO MARUs were also in the convoy, but which part is unclear.
 ICHIU MARUís wreck was found in 2005.
- Bob Hackett
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