RIKUGUN HAITOSEN!

(Type 1TM Standard Tanker underway)

ICHIYO MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

©2012-2013 Bob Hackett
Revision 2


1941:
Osaka. Laid down at Osaka Tekkosho K.K. as a 5,106-ton Sandard Type 1TM tanker for Asano Bussan, K.K., Tokyo.

E 1943:
Launched and named ICHIYO MARU.

20 March 1943:
Completed and requisitioned by the Japanese Government's Senpaku Uneikai civilian wartime shipping authority. Chartered to the Imperial Army with a civilian crew.

19 April 1943:
Departs Mako in convoy No. 386 also consisting of SEINAN, TAKETSU, CELEBES and NORFOLK MARUs without escort.

24 April 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques, Indochina.

1 May 1943:
Departs St Jacques in convoy No. 576 also consisting of NICHIRAN, TAIJIN and OGURA MARU No.1 without escort.

4 May 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

14 June 1943:
At 1600 departs Takao in convoy No. 755 also consisting of SHUNTEN, and AKASHI MARUs without escort. Steams at 11.5 knots.

17 June 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

29 September 1943:
Departs Moji in convoy TE-01 also consisting of NIPPO, NAMPO MARUs and four unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan SADO.

3 October 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

20 November 1943:
At 1800, ICHIYO MARU departs Moji in convoy HI-21 consisting of tanker GOYO MARU and army cargo-passenger ship NEKKA MARU escorted by kaibokan WAKAMIYA.

23 November 1943:
East China Sea, S of Shushan Island. At 0330, LtCdr William S. Postís USS GUDGEON (SS-212) launches an attack on the convoy at 28-38N, 122-05E. Post fires torpedoes at either GOYO MARU or NEKKA MARU (similar profiles), but hits WAKAMIYA. She blows up and sinks immediately, only four of her 161 crewmen survive. WAKAMIYA's loss leaves the convoy unescorted.

Shortly thereafter, GUDGEON fires four more torpedoes, but the convoy avoids three. The fourth torpedo strikes NEKKA MARU's portside coal bunker, but fails to explode.

At 0400, undamaged ICHIYO and GOYO MARUs seek refuge in Taichow Bay. At 0458, GUDGEON attacks again and hits NEKKA MARU starboard amidships. Twenty minutes later, Post makes a follow-up attack that results in two more hits. NEKKA MARU sinks. Of NEKKA MARU's over 1400 crew and troops, 387 are lost. Later, ICHIYO and GOYO MARUs return to the scene to rescue survivors, then proceed to Micao Bay.

25 November 1943:
At 1230, kaibokan KANJU arrives to take up escort.

26 November 1943:
At 1230, arrives at Kirun (Keelung).

27 November 1943:
At 1430, departs Kirun still in convoy.

28 November 1943:
At 1421, arrives at Takao.

1 December 1943:
The first echelon of Convoy HI-23 departs Moji consisting of tankers OMUROSAN, ICHIU, ASASHIO, RYUEI MARUs and cargo-passenger ships AKI and NOSHIRO MARUs and possibly others escorted by destroyer NAMIKAZE. [1]

5 December 1943:
At 0730, the first echelon arrives at Takao. Three of the merchant ships are detached. At the same time, the second echelon of convoy HI-23 departs Moji consisting of tankers ITSUKUSHIMA, TATEKAWA, BOKUEI MARUs and fleet aviation gasoline tanker SUNOSAKI protected by fleet oiler OSE (ex-Dutch GENOTA). This second section, also called convoy SA-19, steams south at fast speed south. [2].

7 December 1943:
At 1000, ICHIYO and GOYO MARUs (survivors of convoy HI-21) depart Takao in the second echelon of convoy HI-23 escorted by destroyer NAMIKAZE and kaibokan KANJU. At an unknown date, the SA-19 section officially joins the convoy formation, although the two sections appear to steam separately. [3].

10 December 1943:
At 1400, the convoy arrives at St Jacques, Indochina where it is officially disbanded. Later, most/all of the ships steam to Singapore.

19 December 1943:
At 1200, departs Singapore in HI-24 also consisting of ASAHIO, ARABIA, BOKUEI, ICHIYO, ASAHI, ASAHISAN, GOYO MARUs and cargo liner ARABIA MARU escorted by kaibokan KANJU.

28 December 1943:
Arrives at Takao. ASAHISAN, GOYO and RYUEI MARUs are detached

29 December 1943:
Departs Takao.

E 30 December 1943:
TERUKUNI MARU joins the convoy.

4 January 1944:
Prior to arrival at Mutsure, TERUKUNI MARU collides with and sinks tanker BOKUEI MARU at 34-04N 130-32E. The rest of the convoy arrives at Moji at 1000.

26 January 1944:
At 1300, departs Moji in convoy HI-39 also consisting of NICHIRIN, NANEI MARUs and NICHINAN MARU No.2 escorted by Kaibokan SHIMUSHU.

9 February 1944:
At 1100, arrives at Singapore.

13 February 1944:
At 1600, ICHIYO MARU departs Singapore for Moji in convoy HI-40 also consisting of tankers NANEI, KOKUEI, NICHIRIN, NAMPO and ASAMA MARUs escorted by kaibokan SHIMUSHU. ICHIYO MARU is carrying 7500 tons of oil.

19 February 1944:
South China Sea, 300 miles W of Luzon. At 0545, Captain (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Thomas M. Dykersí USS JACK (SS-259) attacks convoy HI-40. JACK torpedoes and sinks KOKUEI and NANEI MARUs at 14-34N, 114-11E, NICHIRIN MARU at 15-40N, 115-48E and ICHIYO MARU at 15-46N, 115-57E.

28 of ICHIYO MARUís crewmen are KIA.


Author's Notes:
[1] Sources conflict as to how many ships were in this first section. Author Komamiya states five, but that appears too low. Another source shows as many as 13 vessels; therefore, in view of these conflicts, only those ships most probably in the first section are listed in this TROM. For example, TAKASAKI, shown in earlier TROMs as likely being in this convoy, now appears to have been at Tokuyama until 9 December and so is excluded.

[2] The identity of all three ships that were detached at Takao is not clearly known, but evidence indicates AKI MARU was detached. The other two detached may possibly have been NOSHIRO and ICHIU MARUs, but this is speculative. Another possibilty is that fewer than three ships were detached at Takao.

[3] Transports KINUGASA, SHINSHU, TOZAN and ARIMASAN MARU are known to have departed Takao on 7 December and arrived at Singapore 12 December (or 11 December for KINUGASA MARU) and probably were associated with convoy HI-23. More research is needed to determine the correct identities and numbers of all ships in this complex convoy.

Thanks go to Gilbert Casse of France and to Peter Cundall for info in Rev 1 concerning convoys HI-23 and HI-24.

-Bob Hackett


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