(Dutch tanker SEMIRAMIS, later KYOKO MARU, prewar )

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2009-2018 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

Revision 2

E 1917:
San Pedro, California, USA. Laid down at Southwestern Shipbuilders as a 3,887-ton tanker for Nederlandsch Indische Tankstoomboot (N.I.T.) Maatschappij lines of the Hague. [1]

E 1921:
Launched and named SEMIRAMIS.

21 September 1921:
Completed and registered in Willemstad, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles.

Dutch East Indies. In service with N.I.T.

8 December 1941:
The commander of the Goevernementsmarine (GM), on behalf of Dutch East Indies Governor-General Alidius W. L. Tjarda van Starkenborgh-Stachouwer, militarizes some ships, including SEMIRAMIS, and they become part of the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNN). She is put in service as a stationary depot and transhipment tanker for the RNN.

15 February 1942:
Singapore falls to the Japanese. SEMIRAMIS and Dutch tanker IRIS are at anchor off Palembang. The authorities decide it is no longer possible to escape from the Japanese Navy. SEMIRAMIS’ and IRIS’ crews are ordered to scuttle their ships.

SEMIRAMIS is refloated by the Japanese Navy.

22 December 1942:
Repairs are completed by Seletar Naval Base’s 101st Repair Unit. SEMIRAMIS is renamed KYOKO MARU.

23 December 1942:
Iino Kaiun Kaisha, Ltd. of Tokyo assumes management of KYOKO MARU.

1 January 1943:
Registered in the Sasebo Naval District as an auxiliary oil supply transport and attached to the Southwest Area Fleet.

16 June 1943:
At 0956 minesweeper W-16 arrives off Aru Bank and at 1318 meets up with inbound tanker KYOKO MARU. At 1700 both ships arrive at Balikpapan.

14 December 1943:
KYOKO MARU departs Ambon escorted by auxiliary minesweeper Wa-4.

15 December 1943:
Arrives at Bula.

15-18 December 1943:
Bula, NE Ceram Island. KYOKO MARU loads 7,500 tons of crude oil and departs for Kendari, Celebes (now Sulawasei), NEI.

18 December 1943:
Departs Bula escorted by auxiliary minesweeper Wa-4.

21 December 1943:
Arrives at Kendari.

26 December 1943:
At 0600, departs Kendari for the emergency anchorage in Tioro Strait, SE Celebes escorted by auxiliary subchaser CHa-101. About midnight, she departs the anchorage for a rendezvous with KUNISHIMA MARU and thence to Makassar, Celebes.

27 December 1943:
About 14 nms NW of Kabaena Island. LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Brooks J. Harral's (USNA ’32) USS RAY (SS-271) sights the unescorted tanker standing out from Tioro Strait. At 0045, when the tanker reaches open water, USS RAY fires six torpedoes and gets three hits that stop KYOKO MARU dead in the water. A huge mushroom flame shoots into the night sky. Burning furiously, KYOKO MARU breaks in two and sinks at 05-07S, 121-38E. 12 crewmen and 29 passengers are KIA. 7,500 tons of crude oil cargo are also lost. At about 1600, the remaining crewmen are rescued.

5 February 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Note:
[1] N.I. T. (Netherlands Indies Tank Steamboat Co.) was founded in 1904 for inter-island traffic in the Dutch East Indies.

Thanks to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

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