(Standard 2AT Tanker KENJO MARU by Ueda Kihachiro)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2011 Bob Hackett
Rev 1

E 1943:
Aioi Laid down at Harima Zosensho K.K. shipyard as a 6,933-ton Type 2A Standard Cargo Ship for Inui Kisen K.K., Kobe.

Converted to a Standard 2AT Tanker while on the ways.

28 April 1944:
Launched and named KENJO MARU

31 May 1944:

4 August 1944:
KENJO MARU departs Moji for Takao in convoy MOTA-22 consisting of GASSAN, HAKUSAN, TEIKO (ex-French D’ARTAGNAN), TEIHOKU MARU (ex-French PERSEE), TERUKUNI, TACHIBANA, NANREI, GENKAI, HIOKI, MANSHU, RAKUTO, SHIRANESAN, SHONAN and KOSHIN MARUs and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2, DAIBOSHI MARU No. 6 and five unidentified ships escorted by kaibokan HIBURI, FUKUE, ETOROFU, CD-8, CD-10, CD-25, CD-32 and CH-49, minelayer TAKASHIMA and gunboat UJI.

HAKUSAN MARU carries the 5th Independent Field Artillery Battalion. TERUKUNI MARU carries the 406th and 407th Independent Infantry Battalions, 61st Independent Mixed Brigade. The convoy also carries the IJA's 25th Tank Regiment redeploying from Baotau, North China to Formosa.

6 August 1944:
Off SW Kyushu. At 0411, LtCdr (later Admiral/CinCPacFlt) Bernard A. Clarey’s (USNA '35) USS PINTADO (SS-387) hits SHONAN MARU with three torpedoes. She sinks at 30-55N, 129-45E. She was carrying general cargo and four Daihatsu landing craft. Five crewmen are KIA.

9 August 1944:
At 1310, KOSHIN MARU's cargo suddenly explodes and the ship sinks at 26-10N, 124-15E.

10 August 1944:
At 1600, arrives at Kirun (Keelung), Formosa (Taiwan). TEIKA and HIOKI MARUs are detached from the convoy.

11 August 1944:
At 0330, departs Keelung and later that day arrives at Saei (Tsoying) near Takao.

8 September 1944:
KENJO MARU departs Keelung in convoy TAKA-808 consisting of stores ship KINEZAKI and SHINTEN, NICHIAN, SHOKEI, BUSHU, NICHIMAN MARUs and DAIBOSHI MARU No. 6 and TOYO MARU No. 1 escorted by torpedo boat MANAZURU, auxiliary NITTO MARU, and auxiliary netlayer SHINTO MARU No. 2.

At 2205, the convoy is attacked by LtCdr (later Captain)Gordon W. Underwood's (USNA '32) USS SPADEFISH (SS-411). Underwood torpedoes and sinks NICHIAN MARUs at 24-45N, 123-20E. 51 crewmen are KIA. He then torpedoes and sinks NICHIMAN MARU at 24-45N, 123-20E. 53 crewmen are KIA.

At 2320, SPADEFISH torpedoes and sinks SHINTEN MARU. Eight crewmen and two gunners are KIA. He then torpedoes and sinks SHOKEI MARU. Two crewmen are KIA.

E 14 September 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

10 November 1944:
KENJO MARU departs Miike, Kyushu for Manila in convoy MOMA-07 also consisting of NARUO, GYOKUYO, JINYO, FUKUYO, TATSUAKI (TATSUSHO), MIHO, SHIROUMA (HAKUBA) and SHINFUKU MARUs and MINO MARU and KONAN MARU No. 1 escorted by kaibokan CD-8, CD-9, CD-28, CD-54, auxiliary subchaser CHa-24 and an unidentified warship.

MIHO MARU is carrying the 20th Shinyo explosive motor boat (EMB) unit. GYOKUYO MARU carries the 14th and 15th Shinyo EMB units. TATSUAKI Maru carries elements of the 19th Division and elements of the 18th Sea Raiding Battalion (EMB). SHINFUKU MARU carries 185 men from the 12th Shinyo Unit.

11 November 1944:
Near Cape Ose Sea, Goto Archipelago. At 0906, Cdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Charles E. Loughlin’s (USNA '33) USS QUEENFISH (SS-393) fires four torpedoes and hits MIHO MARU in the bow. Unable to keep up with the convoy, she heads for Sasebo. The escorts drop 55 depth-charges on QUEENFISH, but she remains undamaged.

12 November 1944:
248 miles SW of Nagasaki. At 0420, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral/MOH) Eugene B. Fluckey’s (USNA '35) USS BARB (SS-220) torpedoes NARUO and GYOKUYO MARUs at 31-30N 125-57E. NARUO MARU, hit by one or more torpedoes, blows up and sinks instantly. She was carrying 20,000 shells and army troops. 490 passengers, 72 crewmen and 131 gunners are KIA.

GYOKUYO MARU is hit by a torpedo in the engine spaces. She goes dead in the water and begins to drift. Later, JINYO MARU attempts to tow the cripple, but the towline parts. The passengers are transfered to other ships. The escorts drop seven depth-charges on BARB and inflict slight damage.

At about 0620, LtCdr Robert H. Caldwell’s (USNA '36) USS PETO (SS-265) torpedoes TATSUAKI MARU at 31-46N, 125-40E. One strikes No. 2 hold, a huge explosion occurs. She lists over, then explodes. 145 passengers and 65 crewmen are KIA. JINYO MARU rushes to the area from where the attack came and drops depth-charges.

13 November 1944:
At 0950, arrives at the Shushan Islands, E of Shanghai.

14 November 1944:
155 miles E of Shanghai. About midnight, LtCdr Underwood’s SPADEFISH fires five torpedoes by radar bearings at GYOKUYO MARU being towed by kaibokan CD-8 towards Shanghai. Hit by several torpedoes, GYOKUYO MARU sinks at 31-04N, 125-58E. Casualties are unknown, but most passengers and crew had been taken off before the sinking.

19 November 1944:
At 1200, the convoy arrives at Takao and is dissolved.

3 December 1944:
KENJO MARU departs Takao in convoy TAMA-34 consisting of JINYO, YAMAKUNI, FUKUYO and YASUKUNI MARUs, BANSHU MARU No. 31 and SHINPUKU MARU escorted by destroyer KURETAKE, kaibokan CD-28, CD-54, subchaser CH-33 and two unidentified warships.

KENJO MARU is carrying ammunition and 379 men of the Maritime Advance Unit and the Southern Area Special Communications Unit and elements of the 18th Sea Raiding Battalion (Maritime Advance Unit). JINYO Maru has aboard elements of the 18th and 19th Sea Raiding Battalions as well as 15 trucks, bombs, 50 horses, and 120 war dogs. FUKUYO MARU carries elements of the 18th Sea Raiding Battalion, elements of the 34th Field Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion.

6 December 1944:
At 2147, a wolfpack attack begins by Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Roy M. Davenport's (USNA '33) USS TREPANG (SS-412) and LtCdr James D. Fulp's (USNA ’34) SEGUNDO (SS-398).

TREPANG torpedoes and sinks JINYO MARU at 18-30N 121-57E with 1,383 troops and 44 crewmen lost. At 2237, SEGUNDO torpedoes YASUKUNI MARU that runs aground and is later abandoned near 18-59N 120-56E.

At 2358, TREPANG hits FUKUYO MARU with three torpedoes. She blows up and sinks nearby. 913 troops, 94 crewmen and 66 gunners are KIA. BANSHU MARU No. 31 is also sunk at 18-54N, 120-49E around this time. All 23 crewmen are KIA.

7 December 1944:
W of Dalupiri Island. At 0005, Fulp's SEGUNDO fires four torpedoes by radar bearings and gets three hits that sink KENJO MARU at 18-52N, 121-57E. She takes down many of the 379 troops aboard as well as 78 crewmen.

Authors' Note:
Thanks go to John Whitman for additional info on troops aboard convoys MOTA-22, MOMA-07 and TAMA-34.

- Bob Hackett

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