YUSOSEN!


(KYOKUTO MARU as an Iino Kaiun tanker)

IJN KYOKUTO MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2005-2013 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.
Revision 8


25 November 1933:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki Shipbuilding as a 10, 051-ton merchant tanker for Iino Shoji K. K.

11 October 1934:
Launched and named KYOKUTO MARU

15 December 1934:
Completed.

1935:
Completes nine voyages; seven for the IJN and two for Mitsui Bussan.

1936:
Completes 11 voyages; seven for the IJN, one for Mitsui Bussan, one for Nomura Jimusho, one for Nippon Sekiyu and one for Chosen Sekiyu oil companies.

1937:
Completes nine voyages; seven for the IJN and two for Chosen Sekiyu oil companies.

1938:
Completes three voyages for the IJN.

1 July 1938:
Registered as a Auxiliary Fleet Replenishment Vessel (Oil Supply) in the Sasebo Naval District under internal order No. 587. Captain Nagata Shigeru (51) is appointed Commanding Officer.

5 July 1938:
Requisitioned by the IJN.

July 1938:
Kobe. Begins conversion at Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

E July 1938:
Assigned to the Combined Fleet.

22 July 1938:
Departs Sasebo for Chinese waters.

4 August 1938:
Returns to Sasebo.

10 August 1938:
Departs Sasebo for China.

28 August 1938:
Returns to Sasebo.

5 September 1938:
Departs Mako for China.

16 September 1938:
Arrives at Sasebo.

25 September 1938:
Departs Sasebo for South China.

2 November 1938:
Arrives at Mako.

16 November 1938:
Departs Sasebo for South China.

24 November 1938:
Arrives at Mako.

27 December 1938:
Departs Sasebo for South China.

31 December 1938:
Arrives at Mako.

1939:
Her registered port is changed to Higashi-Maizuru.

18 January 1939:
Departs Mako for South China.

25 January 1939:
Arrives at Mako.

3 February 1939:
Departs Sasebo for South China.

15 February 1939:
Arrives at Mako.

17 February 1939:
Departs Mako for South China.

21 February 1939:
Arrives at Sasebo.

25 February 1939:
Departs Sasebo for South China.

10 March 1939:
Arrives at Mako.

20 March 1939:
Departs Sasebo for South China.

3 April 1939:
Arrives at Mako.

9 April 1939:
Departs Sasebo for South China.

22 April 1939:
Arrives at Mako.

30 April 1939:
Departs Sasebo for China.

17 May 1939:
Arrives at Mako.

20 May 1939:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Mizuno Junichi (37) is appointed Commanding Officer.

10 October 1939:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kusakawa Kiyoshi (38) is appointed Supervisor.

16 November 1939:
Departs Sasebo for China.

22 November 1939:
Arrives at Sasebo.

29 November 1939:
Departs Mako for South China.

3 December 1939:
Arrives at Mako.

22 December 1939:
Departs Mako for China.

7 January 1940:
Arrives at Sasebo.

29 March 1940:
Departs Kirun (Keelung), Formosa (Taiwan) for the South China area.

1 April 1940:
Arrives at Mako.

1 July 1940:
Confirmed as a “Tokusetsu Unsokan” or Auxiliary Fleet Replenishment Vessel in the Sasebo Naval District. Captain (later Vice Admiral) Kusakawa Kiyoshi (38) is appointed the Commanding Officer.

25 August 1940:
Departs Yokosuka for south seas area.

24 September 1940:
Arrives at Genzan.

7 October 1940:
Departs Yokosuka for North America, probably the Associated Oil Company's refinery at Port Costa, California.

9 November 1940:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

15 November 1940:
Departs Yokosuka for the North America, probably Port Costa, California.

20 December 1940:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Seki Ikuya (43) (later CO of escort carrier UNYO) is appointed Commanding Officer.

21 December 1940:
Arrives at Kawasaki.

27 December 1940:
Transferred to the Maizuru Naval District.

6 January 1941:
Departs Kure.

13 January 1941:
Arrives at Truk.

27 January 1941:
Departs Truk.

31 January 1941:
Captain Ota Masanao (39) is appointed Commanding Officer.

2 February 1941:
Arrives at Kure.

7 February 1941:
Departs Kure.

28 February 1941:
Departs Nakasusuka Wan for the South China area.

3 March 1941:
Arrives at Takao.

24 March 1941:
Departs Yokosuka for North America.

31 March 1941:
Owner's name restyled as Iino Kaiun K. K.

24 April 1941:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

12 May 1941:
Departs Kure for Dutch East Indies.

29 May 1941:
Arrives at Tokuyama.

15 June 1941:
Departs Tokuyama for the South Seas area.

4 July 1941:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

30 October 1941:
The Chief of Staff 1st Air Fleet, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kusaka Ryunosuke (41)(former CO of AKAGI) signals KYOKUTO and SHINKOKU MARUs that when installation of gear for refueling undertow and preparations for action have been completed, KYOKUTO and SHINKOKU MARUs will depart Sasebo and Kure, respectively, on the 13 November and proceed to Kagoshima Bay, conducting exercises with carriers en route. Kusaka further requests their COs load fuel oil for refueling purposes before departure.

10 November 1941:
Kure. The Chief of Staff of the Kure Naval District advises Rear Admiral Kusaka that arrangements have been made to reequip oilers KYOKUTO, SHINKOKU, KENYO, KOKUYO MARUs for simultaneous port and starboard refueling by 13 November.

13-14 November 1941:
Oilers KYOKUTO, KENYO, SHINKOKU and KOKUYO MARUs conduct fueling at sea exercises with CarDiv 1's AKAGI, DesRon 1, CruDiv 8, CarDiv 2's SORYU and HIRYU and CarDiv 5's SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU.

18 November 1941: The Hawaii Operation:
Departs Saiki. Seven oilers are assigned to the Hawaii Operation, but the IJN’s practical experience in refueling at sea is almost nil. Earlier in the month, three refueling exercises were held in Sukumo Bay and the Ariake Sea. Now, while enroute to the Kuriles, all units in the carrier formation are refueled ten times.

26 November 1941:
Etorofu Island, Kuriles. KYOKUTO MARU (F) departs Hitokappu Bay with Captain Ota Masanao's (39) Supply Group No. 1's oilers KOKUYO, KENYO and SHINKOKU MARUs and Captain (Rear Admiral posthumously) Niimi Kazutaka's (40) (former CO of light cruiser TAMA) Supply Group No. 2's oilers TOHO (F), NIPPON and TOEI MARUs. Provides fuel for Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi's (36) Carrier Striking Force ("Kido Butai") CarDiv 1's AKAGI, KAGA, CarDiv 2's HIRYU and SORYU, CarDiv 5's SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU.

The Support Force consists of Vice Admiral Mikawa Gunichi's (38) BatDiv 3/1's HIEI and KIRISHIMA, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Hiroaki's (39) CruDiv 8's TONE, CHIKUMA and Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Omori Sentaro's (41) (former CO of battleship ISE) DesRon 1's light cruiser ABUKUMA and DesDiv 17's ISOKAZE, URAKAZE, TANIKAZE and HAMAKAZE, DesDiv 18's ARARE, KASUMI, KAGERO and SHIRANUHI and CarDiv 5's AKIGUMO and Captain (later Rear Admiral) Konishi Kaname's (44) Midway Bombardment Unit's DesDiv 7's SAZANAMI and USHIO.

Nagumo's orders from Admiral (Fleet Admiral, posthumously) Yamamoto Isoroku, (32) CINC, Combined Fleet, are that if refueling proves impossible in the stormy winter waters of the Northern Pacific, Nagumo is to detach AGAKI, SORYU and HIRYU and his destroyers and make the attack with only KAGA, SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU that need no refueling.

2 December 1941:
940 miles N of Midway Island. Nagumo’s Force receives the coded signal "Niitakayama nobore (Climb Mt. Niitaka) 1208" from the Combined Fleet. It signifies that X-Day hostilities will commence on 8 December (Japan time).

4 December 1941: [1]
N Pacific. Weather conditions worsen. Rough seas cause the Striking Force's ships to roll up to 45 degrees. Refueling is cancelled.

5 December 1941: [1]
600 miles N of Oahu, Hawaii. At about 1130, after fleet refueling is completed, the 2nd Supply Group's oilers TOHO, NIPPON and TOEI MARUs and destroyer ARARE are detached from the Striking Force and turn towards a designated rendezvous point with the carriers for the retrurn trip to Japan.

6 December 1941: [1]
400 miles N of Oahu, Hawaii. At 0630, the entire Striking Force engages in its final refueling. At 0810, after refueling is complete, the 1st Supply Group's oilers SHINKOKU, KENYO, KOKUYO and KYOKUTO MARUs and destroyer KASUMI are detached and turn N towards a designated rendezvous point with the carriers for the retrurn trip to Japan.

At 1130, the Striking Force increases speed to 24 knots and proceeds due S to Hawaiian waters. Vice Admiral Nagumo dispatches ABUKUMA and DesDiv 17's TANIKAZE to Supply Group No. 1 at the rendezvous point following final refueling before the attack. At about 2100, the two warships reach the oilers, refuel and return with the oilers to the First Air Fleet.

7 December 1941: Operation "Z" - The Attack on Pearl Harbor: [1]
At 0618, the Carrier Striking Force launches attacks that later sink battleships USS ARIZONA (BB-39), OKLAHOMA (BB-37) and CALIFORNIA (BB-44) and damage NEVADA (BB-36), PENNSLYVANIA (BB-38), TENNESSEE (BB-43), MARYLAND (BB-46), WEST VIRGINIA (BB-49) and other smaller ships. 2,335 American servicemen die in the attack, most on ARIZONA. After recovering all but 29 of its aircraft lost in the attack, the Striking Force departs Hawaiian waters NNW towards Japan.

8 December 1941:[1]
Begining at 0230, KYOKUTO MARU provides destroyer AKIGUMO with 250-tons of fuel.

23 December 1941:
Arrives at Hashirajima.

26 December 1941:
Arrives at Kure.

7 January 1942:
Departs Kure.

15 January 1942:
Renamed OYASHIMA MARU by her owners, but the Imperial Navy continues to refer to her as KYOKUTO MARU.

4 February 1942:
Arrives at Tokuyama.

10 March 1942:
Arrives at Staring Bay.

11 March 1942:
Departs Staring Bay.

17 March 1942:
Arrives at Mako.

24 March 1942:
Departs Mako.

31 March 1942:
Arrives at Operation "C" refueling point A (09S-106E).

2 April 1942: Operation “C” – The Raids into the Indian Ocean:
KYOKUTO MARU refuels the Striking Force's AKAGI, CarDiv 2, CarDiv 5, BatDiv 3, CruDiv 8, DesRon 1 plus destroyers ARARE, KAGERO, MAIKAZE, HAGIKAZE and AKIGUMO.

9 April 1942:
After the air attacks on the British naval bases at Columbo and Trincomalee, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), the Striking Force departs the Indian Ocean Area.

15 April 1942:
Departs Mako for trials returning to port later that day.

19 April 1942:
Departs Mako.

22 April 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

23 April 1942:
Arrives at Aioi. Probably undergoes repairs and maintenance.

19 May 1942:
Departs Aioi.

20 May 1942:
Arrives at Hiro.

24 May 1942:
Departs Hiro and later that day arrives at Hashirajima.

26 May 1942:
Departs Hashirajima.

26 May 1942: Operation “MI” – The Battle of Midway:
KYOKUTO MARU departs Hashirajima with Captain Ota Masanao's Supply Group No. 1’s oilers NIPPON, KOKUYO, KENYO and SHINKOKU MARUs escorted by destroyer AKIGUMO.

Enroute to Midway, KYOKUTO MARU refuels CarDiv 2's HIRYU.

27 May 1942:
At 0600 (JST), Vice Admiral Nagumo's First Mobile Force, Carrier Strike Force consisting of CarDiv 1 AKAGI and KAGA, CarDiv 2's HIRYU and SORYU, BatDiv 3/2’s HARUNA and KIRISHIMA, CruDiv 8's TONE and CHIKUMA, DesRon 10's light cruiser NAGARA with DesDiv 4’s NOWAKI, ARASHI, HAGIKAZE and MAIKAZE, DesDiv 10’s KAZAGUMO, YUGUMO and MAKIGUMO and DesDiv 17’s URAKAZE, ISOKAZE, TANIKAZE and HAMAKAZE departs Hashirajima.

28 May 1942:
At 1430 (JST), the Carrier Strike Force rejoins the Supply Group. Cruising speed is maintained at 14 knots.

3 June 1942:
At 0307 (JST), the Supply Group concludes its refueling activities and is detached from the Carrier Strike Force.

25 June 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

13 July 1942:
Transits the Bungo Straits escorted by minelayer NATSUSHIMA. Later that day, arrives at Kure.

16 July 1942:
Arrives at Hiroshima Bay.

1 August 1942:
Captain Ota is relieved by an unknown captain.

7 August 1942: American Operation “Watchtower” – The Invasion of Guadalcanal, British Solomons:
Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Richmond K. Turner's (USNA ’08) Amphibious Task Force 62, covered by Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Frank J. Fletcher’s (USNA ’06) Task Force 61 and Rear Admiral (later Admiral) John S. McCain's (USNA ’06) Task Force 63’s land-based aircraft, lands Maj Gen (later Gen/MOH/Commandant) Alexander A. Vandergrift’s 1st Marine Division on Florida, Tulagi, Gavutu, Tanambogo and Guadalcanal opening the campaign to take the island.

8 August 1942:
Departs Mergui, Burma via Makassar and Tarakan, Borneo for the Solomons with oiler NIPPON MARU and destroyers SHIKINAMI and URANAMI.

August 1942:
Refuels at Tarakan.

21 August 1942:
Joins the fleet N of the Solomons.

24 August 1942: The Battle of the Eastern Solomons:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Frank J. Fletcher’s Task Force 61's USS SARATOGA (CV-3) and ENTERPRISE (CV-6) launch aircraft that find and sink light carrier RYUJO. In turn, CarDiv 1’s SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU launch aircraft that find and damage ENTERPRISE. That evening, aircraft from SARATOGA damage seaplane carrier CHITOSE. KYOKUTO MARU is in the fleet supply train and not involved in the air attacks.

14 September 1942:
Transits the Bungo Straits. Later that day arrives at Kure.

18 September 1942:
Departs Kure.

30 September 1942:
Transits the Bungo Straits heading north.

3 October 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

7 October 1942:
Departs Kure for Truk.

11 October 1942:
Sorties from Truk with the Supply Group’s oilers KYOKUTO, TOHO, TOEI and KOKUYO MARUs to provide refueling for Vice Admiral Nagumo's Striking Force’s CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU and ZUIHO, CruDiv 7’s KUMANO and destroyers AMATSUKAZE, HATSUKAZE, TOKITSUKAZE, YUKIKAZE, ARASHI, MAIKAZE, TERUZUKI and HAMAKAZE.

17-24 October 1942:
N of the Solomons. Destroyer NOWAKI arrives from Shortlands. The Supply Force refuels the fleet at sea for eight consecutive days.

26 October 1942: - The Battle of Santa Cruz:
Nagumo's Carrier Strike Force engages Task Force 16's ENTERPRISE (CV-6) and Task Force 17's HORNET (CV-8) in an air battle. Nagumo's planes sink HORNET and damage SOUTH DAKOTA (BB-57) and SAN JUAN (CL-54).

30 October 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

1 November 1942:
Arrives at Hiroshima.

7 November 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

6 June 1943:
At 0400 arrives at Truk escorted by destroyer ONAMI.

26 June 1943:
Departs Truk for Surabaya escorted by an unknown destroyer to a point 150 miles beyond Truk.

28 August 1943:
At 1400, departs Singapore in the "Rinji A" (Special) convoy consisting of KYOKUTO MARU and cargo liner NANKAI MARU with an unknown, if any, escort.

3 September 1943:
AKI MARU joins the convoy as it arrives at Mako.

4 September 1943 :
The convoy departs Mako, now escorted by destroyer SHIOKAZE.

7 September 1943:
At 2050, arrives at Moji.

8 September 1943:
Arrives at Tokuyama.

10 October 1943:
At 0730, departs Truk escorted by destroyer URAKAZE to a point 200 miles beyond Truk's reef.

20 October 1943:
At 1200, arrives at Surabaya.

10 November 1943:
Departs Mutsure in convoy SA-17 also consisting of oilers OKIGAWA and MIRI MARUs; IJA landing craft depot ships NIGITSU and MAYASAN MARUs and cargo-passenger ship USSURI MARU with fleet oiler ASHIZURI and patrol boat PB-36 as the nominated escort.

13 November 1943:
Arrives at Kirun. At 0830 departs Kirun in Rin-Toku convoy also consisting of 6530 gt cargo ship KOSHIN MARU and cargo-passenger ship ORYOKU MARU bound for Takao.

14 November 1943:
Arrives at Takao. Steams to Mako later that day.

21 November 1943:
Arrives at Singapore in convoy with tankers MIRI, OKIGAWA MARUs and fleet oiler ASHIZURI and possibly others.

2 December 1943:
At 1700, departs Singapore in an unescorted convoy consisting of oilers TERUKAWA (ex cargo), KYOKUTO and NICHIEI MARUs.

11 December 1943:
Destroyers SHIMAKAZE and TAMANAMI join as escorts at about 135 degrees E longitude. Later stops at Palau.

12 December 1943:
Departs Palau. The same convoy is now numbered 1040.

15 December 1943:
At 1730, arrives at Truk.

26 December 1943:
Departs Truk in convoy consisting of oilers KYOKUTO and NICHIEI MARUs escorted by destroyers UZUKI and AMAGIRI.

29 December 1943:
Destroyer HAYANAMI joins as an escort after leaving Palau.

30 December 1943:
UZUKI and AMAGIRI detach at 14-00N, 135-00E.

2 January 1944:
HAYANAMI detaches at 130 degrees E longitude and patrol boat PB-102 (ex-USS STEWART, DD-224) takes over escort duties.

6 January 1944:
Arrives at Surabaya.

17 January 1944:
At 0825, departs Balikpapan in convoy KU-702 consisting of tankers KYOKUTO and NICHIEI MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-2.

22 January 1944 :
At 1345, at 130 degrees E longitude, destroyers SHIMAKAZE and TAMANAMI join as escorts replacing patrol boat PB-2 that is detached for Palau.

26 January 1944 :
At 1030, arrives at Truk.

5 February 1944:
At 1600, departs Truk in the "NICHIEI MARU" convoy consisting of oilers KYOKUTO, KOKUYO and NICHIEI MARUs escorted by destroyers OITE, SHIMAKAZE and IKAZUCHI.

11 February 1944:
At 1300, arrives at Davao.

12 February 1944:
At 1240, departs Davao with only SHIMAKAZE as escort.

15 February 1944:
At 0907, arrives at Balikpapan. Loads a cargo of crude oil.

21 February 1944:
At 1647, departs Balikpapan in a convoy consisting of oilers KYOKUTO, NISSHO and KOKUYO MARUs escorted by SHIMAKAZE.

25 February 1944:
Off Mindanao, Phillipines. KYOKUTO MARU is in convoy with oiler NISSHO MARU. At 0100, the convoy is attacked by LtCdr Victor B. McCrea's (USNA ‘32) USS HOE (SS-258). McCrea fires four torpedoes in a surface radar attack and gets two hits on KYOKUTO MARU at 05-38N, 126-00E that cause heavy damage. At about 0220, McCrea sinks NISSHO MARU at 05-50N, 126-00E with all hands (38 crewmen). Later that day, KYOKUTO MARU arrives at Davao and undergoes temporary repairs.

At 0745, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message from the CO of KYOKUTO MARU that reads: “At 0105 picked up enemy sub to starboard about 2000 meters. At 0117 received torpedo attack. Two hits. Position 05-38N, 126-00 E. Could still navigate at 8 knots and took refuge at Davao. No personnel casualties.”

29 February 1944:
Departs Davao.

5 April 1944:
At Singapore. Undergoes repairs.

18 June 1944:
Undocked and transfers to No. 2 Wharf.

28 June 1944:
Transfers from No. 2 Wharf to No. 3 Wharf.

29 June 1944:
Transfers from No. 3 Wharf to Army Supply Section Wharf.

1 July 1944:
Transfers from Army Supply Section Wharf to Singapore roadstead.

8 July 1944:
At Manila refuels following destroyers with No.1 Grade Fuel Oil: HIBIKI (165 tons), YUNAGI (130 tons).

9 July 1944:
Refuels destroyer FUJINAMI with 446 tons of No.1 grade fuel oil.

10 July 1944:
Departs Manila.

2 July 1944:
Completes repairs and departs Singapore escorted by repaired light cruiser KITAKAMI. Enroute, KITAKAMI begins to take on water in the area of her repairs.

7 July 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

8 July 1944:
At Manila refuels following destroyers with No.1 Grade Fuel Oil: HIBIKI (165 tons), YUNAGI (130 tons).

9 July 1944:
Refuels destroyer FUJINAMI with 446 tons of No.1 grade fuel oil.

10 July 1944:
Departs Manila.

17 July 1944:
Arrives at Kure.

6 August 1944:
Departs Kure but suffers an engine breakdown. After some delay at 1830 the problem is fixed and the ship resumes her voyage.

7 August 1944:
Arrives at Hesaki.

8 August 1944:
Departs Hesaki to Mutsure and then to Imari Wan.

10 August 1944:
Departs departs Imari Bay (Moji) for Singapore in convoy HI-71 also consisting of of tankers AZUSA, TEIYO, EIYO, ZUIHO, AMATSU and NIYO MARUs, HAKKO MARU No. 2, fleet oiler HAYASUI, food-supply ship IRAKO, transports TEIA (ex-French liner ARAMIS), AWA, NOTO, HOKKAI, NOSHIRO MARUs and IJA landing craft depot ships MAYASAN and TAMATSU MARUs and cargo ships KASHII, NISSHO and ORYOKU MARUs. The screen is provided by the 6th Escort Convoy under convoy commander Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kajioka Sadamichi (39) (former CO of NAGARA) with destroyers FUJINAMI and YUNAGI, kaibokan HIRADO, KURAHASHI, MIKURA, SHONAN and CD-11 and escort carrier TAIYO. The 631st KU provides air cover with 12 BN5 “Kates”.

15 August 1944:
HI-71 arrives at Mako, Pescadores. NIYO, HAKKO and ORYOKU MARUs and IRAKO are detached.

17 August 1944: Operation "SHO-1-GO" (Victory) - The Defense of the Philippines:
At 0800, HI-71 sorties from Mako for Manila, part of the SHO Operation, transporting troops and supplies for the defense of the Philippines. Kajioka's escort forces are further strengthened by five more warships sent from Takao on the orders of 1st Surface Escort Division. They are old destroyer ASAKAZE and kaibokan SADO, ETOROFU, MATSUWA and HIBURI.

18 August 1944:
Alerted by an "Ultra" signal based on code-breaking, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Louis D. McGregor's (USNA ’30) USS REDFISH (SS-395) intercepts and at 0524 torpedoes and damages EIYO MARU. Destroyers ASAKAZE and YUNAGI detach to escort her back to Takao.

Off Cape Bolinao, Luzon. At 2222, TAIYO, at the rear of the convoy, is hit by torpedoes fired by LtCdr (later Captain) Henry G. Munson's (USNA ’32) USS RASHER (SS-269) and sinks at 2248 in position 18-10'N, 120-22'E. Because of the fire and speed of sinking, most of her crew was lost. If common practice obtained, including passengers about 1,200 were probably aboard. Of these reportedly 747 perished; but by some miracle, Captain Sugino Shuichi (46) was among the just over 400 surviving crew and passengers. . At 2310, USS RASHER torpedoes transport TEIA (ex-French ARAMIS) MARU. The big ex-French liner carrying 4,795 Army and 427 civilians passengers is set afire and sinks. 2,316 troops, 275 passengers, 6 guards, 4 gunners, 10 special lookouts, and 54 crewmen are KIA.[3]

19 August 1944:
The convoy splits into at least two distinct groups. Just past midnight, Munson's USS RASHER closes on an eastbound group of three large ships with one escort. At 0033, torpedoes blow open armed merchant cruiser NOSHIRO MARU and transport AWA MARU. Both vessels are beached near Port Curimao.

80 miles NW of Cape Bolinaro, Luzon. USS REDFISH is joined in the attack by LtCdr (later Cdr) Charles M. Henderson's (USNA ’34) USS BLUEFISH (SS-222). At 0325, HAYASUI is probably hit by two of four torpedoes fired by BLUEFISH in a night surface radar attack. HAYASUI goes dead in the water.

At 0433, in a submerged radar attack, LtCdr Gordon W. Underwood's (USNA ’32) USS SPADEFISH (SS-411) hits TAMATSU MARU with two torpedoes. The big landing craft tender sinks in 10 minutes taking down 4,755 troops and 135 crewmen.

At 0603, oiler TEIYO MARU, already hit, awash to midships and abandoned, is hit again by two torpedoes and sinks taking down 41 crewmen and 58 passengers. At 0818, LtCdr Henderson fires three more torpedoes at the drifting HAYASUI that hit and sink her.

Arrives at San Fernando.

20 August 1944:
Departs San Fernando and later that day arrives at Santo Tomas.

22 August 1944:
Departs Santo Tomas and later that day arrives at Manila.

25 August 1944:
At 1650, a convoy consisting of KYOKUTO, HOKKAI, AZUSA, ZUIHO, KYOKUHO and AWA MARUs left Manila escorted now by destroyer FUJINAMI, kaibokan HIRADO, KURAHASHI, MIKURA, CD-11 and subchaser CH-28. At 1845, KYOKUHO MARU develops engine trouble and drops behind escorted by FUJINAMI. Later catch up with the convoy.

1 September 1944:
At 1356, arrives at Singapore. Re-bunkered by SHORYU MARU.

6 September 1944:
At 0748, departs Singapore in a convoy consisting of the ex-seaplane tender KAMOI and oiler OKIGAWA MARUs escorted by destroyer SATSUKI and subchasers CH-30 and CH-33.

8 September 1944:
At 1030, OKIGAWA MARU and CH-30 forge ahead for Miri, Borneo. At 1858, the rest of the convoy arrives at Miri.

9 September 1944:
At 0722, departs Miri in a convoy consisting of KYOKUTO and KYOKUHO MARUs escorted by SATSUKI and subchasers CH-28, CH-30 and CH-33. Soon after leaving, KYOKUHO MARU suffers engine problems and returns to port. CH-28 departs at 1117. At 1903, KYOKUTO MARU arrives at Brunei Bay.

10 September 1944:
At 1252, departs Brunei Bay.

11 September 1944:
At 1947, arrives at Culusian Bay, Palawan Island.

12 September 1944:
At 0640, departs Culusian Bay. At 1842, arrives at Boayan Island off Palawan. News of the American carrier task force causes the convoy to wait.

13 September 1944:
At Boayan Island refuels CH-33 (15 tons) and CH-30 (9 tons) with No. 1 Grade Fuel oil.

19 September 1944:
At 0652, departs Boayan Island. At 1845, arrives at Talampulan Island, off W coast Busuanga Island.

20 September 1944:
At 0617, departs Talampulan Island. At 2122, arrives at Manila.

21 September 1944:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's (USNA ’10) (former CO of HORNET, CV-8) Task Force 38 begins strikes on shipping in Manila and Subic Bays, Cavite Navy Yard and Clark and Nichols Air Fields near Manila.

Manila. Task Group 38.1, 38.2 and 38.3's planes sink over 20 ships at Manila and damage many more. At 1039, and again at 1042, KYOKUTO MARU is hit by bombs and splits open. At 1100, Army ship SHORYU MARU comes alongside and takes off 171 people. At 1115, KYOKUTO MARU sinks in shallow water in 210 degrees from northern end of southern breakwater within Manila Bay. Her funnel protrudes two metres above the surface.

October 1944
Salved and towed to Binacayan Bay adjacent to Cavite Naval Base.

13 November 1944:
Damaged by USN air attack.

19 November 1944:
Manila. In a further air attack the after part of the engine room is hit by a bomb and eventually the ship sinks again.

1 December 1944:
The IJN records its intention to have the 103rd Repair Unit at Cavite Navy Yard repair KYOKUTO MARU at a later date.

10 March 1945:
Removed from Navy List under internal order No. 232.

1945:
The hulk of KYOKUTO MARU is declared "Not Subject to Wreck Clearance."

22 April 1948:
The Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Co. applies to the Philippine Government for permission to remove the wreck. This appears not to have been granted and the ship was instead raised by the Philippine Government.

1948:
The hulk of KYOKUTO MARU is raised and sold to Madrigal & Co. of Manila who resells the hulk to Nippon Yusosen K. K. The wreck is towed to Osaka where an existing donkey boiler built in 1919 is fitted.

1952:
Osaka. Reconstruction is completed by Hitachi Zosen (Sakurajima). KYOKUTO MARU is renamed CALIFORNIA MARU.

26 August 1964:
Hirao, Japan. Scrapping begins.


Authors' Note:
[1] Hawaiian time.

[2] KYOKUTO MARU was renamed OYASHIMA MARU from about 1940, but nearly all records, except official naval records, continued to carry the name KYOKUTO MARU.

[3] Because the total aboard is unknown, TAIYO's casualties are uncertain, but in all likelihood she carried about 350-400 passengers or more as was common practice before and after with the CVEs. The 747 lost figure sometimes quoted seems of little value, being simply the standard complement of the carrier given in basic sources. (Implying almost all hands lost). Actually, TAIYO and UNYO's assigned complement as of 31 July 1944 was 834 officers and men, and since the rescued were a little over 400, this suggests a loss figure coincidentally close to the 747, but more like 790. Again, the question mark is how many passengers were aboard. Japanese times for the hit differ somewhat from USS RASHER's but state she went down in twenty-eight minutes.

Thanks goes to Anthony Tully for details provided on TAIYO’s sinking.

Thanks for assistance goes to Sander Kingsepp of Estonia and Allan Alsleben of Oregon. Thanks also go to John Whitman of Virginia for info on CNO intercepts of Japanese messages.

Thanks go to Toda Gengoro of Japan for information in Revision 4. General thanks to Gilbert Casse of France.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.


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