(Japanese wartime ore carrier by Ueda Kihachiro)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2011 Bob Hackett

Tsurumi, Yokohama. Laid down at Nippon Kokan K. K. as a 5,947-ton ore carrier for Toa Kaiun K.K., Tokyo.

Launched and named KINREI MARU.

September 1942:

February 1943:
Sorong. KINREI MARU loads various oil types from tanker KAIJO MARU.

22 June 1943:
KINREI MARU departs Yawata, Kyushu for Takao, Formosa in convoy No. 169 also consisting of fleet oiler OSE (ex-Dutch GENOTA) and SEISHIN, NASUSAN, HOKUAN and RYUSOAN MARUs escorted by torpedo boat HAYABUSA.

24 June 1943:
W of Amami O-shima, Ryukyus. At 1124, LtCdr (later Rear-Admiral) Charles O. Triebel’s (USNA ’29) USS SNOOK (SS-279) torpedoes and severely damages OSE at 28-50N, 126-56E.

27 June 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

17 July 1943:
At 0800, KINREI MARU departs departs Takao for Moji in convoy No. 283 also consisting of SHONAN, TOFUKU and HAGURO MARUs and KYOEI MARU No. 5 escorted by patrol boat PB-36.

24 July 1943:
At 0850, arrives at Moji.

7 January 1944:
At 1500, KINREI MARU departs Moji for Takao convoy No. 127 also consisting of ASUKA, YAHIKO, GETSUYO, NIKKI, HOKOKU, ROKKO and IKUTAGAWA (ex-Italian RAMB II) MARUs escorted by destroyer KARUKAYA and minesweeper W-27

10 January 1944:
At about 1230, on the surface in heavy weather, LtCdr (later Cdr) Royce L. Gross' (USNA ‘30) USS SEAWOLF (SS-197) attacks the convoy. Gross torpedoes and damages YAHIKO MARU, then torpedoes ASUKA MARU that sinks at 1239. KARUKAYA and GETSUYO MARU, working in the storm, rescue 105 survivors.

GETSUYO MARU tows YAHIKO MARU towards Naha, Okinawa, but SEAWOLF tracks them. At about 2300, Gross again torpedoes YAHIKO MARU. She sinks immediately. SEAWOLF hits GETSUYO MARU with two torpedoes and she sinks at 2345. 16 crewmen and four passengers are KIA

15 January 1944:
At 1110, the convoy arrives at Naha. At 1930, the same day, the convoy departs now consisting of KINREI, NIKKI, HOKOKU, ROKKO, IKUTAGAWA MARUs escorted by destroyers KARUKAYA and KURI and minesweeper W-27.

18 January 1944:
At 1455, arrives at Takao.

5 April 1944:
At 0530, KINREI MARU departs Moji in ore convoy TE-03 also consisting of SHORYU, DAIBU, YULIN, DAIYOKU and TOYOHI MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD-1, torpedo boat HATSUKARI, auxiliary gunboat KAZAN (HUASHAN) MARU and minesweeper W-18.

14 April 1944:
At 1700, arrives at Takao.

19 April 1944:
At 0800, an amalgamation of three convoys TASA-17, TE-03 and No. 82 departs Takao consisting of KINREI MARU and cargo ships FRANCE, SHORYU, DAIBU, YULIN, TOYOHI, HOKKA, NARUO, DAIYOKU, WAKO GO, JINJU, RAKUZAN, SEISHO, IKOMASAN, KAIKO, OAKITA, YOSHUN, HIROTA and NINGPO MARUs and tanker TENSHIN MARU escorted by kaibokan CD-1. torpedo boat HATSUKARI, auxiliary gunboat KAZAN (HUASHAN) MARU and minesweeper W-18.

21 April 1944:
At 1000, the convoys split. Ore convoy TE-03 with CD-1 and KAZAN MARU head for Yulin, Hainan Island. Convoys TASA-17 and No. 82 with HATSUKARI and W-18 head for St Jacques.

23 April 1944:
At 1655, CD-1 and convoy TE-03 arrive at Yulin.

30 April 1944:
At 1700, KINREI MARU departs Yulin loaded with iron ore for the steel mills at Yawata, Kyushu in renumbered convoy TE-04 also consisting of iron ore carriers YULIN, SHORYU, DAIYOKU, TOYOHI and DAIBU MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD-1 and auxiliary gunboat KAZAN MARU.

3 May 1944:
Minelayer MAESHIMA joins the escort.

4 May 1944:
South China Sea, west of Bashi Channel. At 0008, LtCdr Donald F. Weiss' (USNA ’29) USS TINOSA (SS-283) torpedoes and sinks TOYOHI MARU at 20-50N, 118-00E. 56 crewmen, 16 gunners and 15 guards are KIA.

At 0106, LtCdr Anton R. Gallaher's (USNA ’33) USS BANG (SS-385) torpedoes and sinks KINREI MARU at 20-50N, 117-55E. Six crewmen are KIA. At 0113, Weiss' TINOSA torpedoes and sinks DAIBU MARU at 20-50N, 117-55E. One crewman is KIA.

At about 0300, LtCdr (later Vice Admiral/MOH) Lawson P. Ramage's (USNA ’31) USS PARCHE (SS-384) torpedoes and sinks SHORYU MARU at 20-50N, 117-55E. 44 crewmen and 20 passengers are KIA. Ramage also torpedoes and sinks DAIYOKU MARUs at 20-50N, 117-55E. 12 crewmen, 15 gunners and two passengers are KIA.

47,000-tons of iron ore are lost with the five ships sunk by the American submarines.

-Bob Hackett

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