YUSOSEN!

(KYOKUYO MARU in ballast, May 1941)

IJN KYOKUYO MARU:

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2010-2014 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall
Revision 7


7 January 1938:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki as a 17, 549-ton whaling factory ship for Kyokuyo Hogei K. K., Tokyo.

28 June 1938:
Launched and named KYOKUYO MARU.

5 October 1938:
Completed.

11 October 1938:
Departs Kobe on her first Antartic whaling voyage.

7 November 1938:
Arrives at Fremantle, Australia.

1938:
Arrives at Tarakan, Borneo.

16 April 1939:
Arrives at Sasebo.

20 April 1939:
Departs Sasebo.

1939:
Arrives at Kobe.

29 October 1939:
Departs Kobe on her second Antartic whaling voyage.

19 April 1940:
Arrives at Kobe.

10 October 1940:
Departs Kobe on her third Antartic whaling voyage.

29 March 1941:
Arrives at Kobe.

1941:
Engages in transporting heavy oil from North America.

17 November 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN and registered in the Yokosuka Naval District as a chartered transport ship (oil supply).

3 December 1941:
Departs Yokosuka. Arrives at Kurihama.

7 December 1941:
Departs Kurihama.

15 December 1941:
Arrives at Mako.

17 December 1941:
Departs Mako.

18 December 1941:
Arrives at Takao.

27 December 1941:
Departs Takao.

4 January 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

9 January 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

13 January 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

16 January 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

21 January 1942:
Arrives at Mako.

28 January 1942:
Departs Mako.

29 January 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

6 February 1942:
Departs Takao.

12 February 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

16 February 1942:
Departs Osaka.

18 February 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

19 February 1942:
Departs Kure. Arrives at Kanogawa.

21 February 1942:
Departs Kanogawa. Arrives at Kure.

23 February 1942:
Departs Kure.

1 March 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

3 March 1942:
Departs Takao.

5 March 1942:
Arrives at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, Philippines.

9 March 1942:
Departs Lingayen.

19 March 1942:
Arrives at Penang. Malaya.

21 March 1942:
Departs Penang.

23 March 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

25 March 1942:
Departs Singapore.

8 April 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

9 April 1942:
Departs Kure.

10 April 1942:
Arrives at Aioi. Enters drydock.

14 April 1942:
Undocked. Departs Aioi.

15 April 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

16 April 1942:
Departs Kure. Arrives at Kanogawa.

18 April 1942:
Departs Kanogawa.

24 April 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

28 April 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

30 April 1942:
Arrives at Kanogawa.

3 May 1942:
Departs Kanogawa.

6 May 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

9 May 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

11 May 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

12 May 1942:
Departs Kure. Arrives at Kanogawa.

15 May 1942:
Departs Kanogawa.

17 May 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

21 May 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

27 May 1942:
Arrives at Saipan.

28 May 1942:
Departs Saipan.

2 June 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul, New Britain.

8 June 1943:
Departs Rabaul.

13 June 1942:
Arrives at Truk, Caroline Islands.

16 June 1942:
Departs Truk escorted by auxiliary gunboat HEIJO MARU.

17 June 1942:
HEIJO MARU is detached.

24 June 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

1 July 1942:
Departs Yokosuka. Arrives at Yokohama.

5 July 1942:
Departs Yokohama escorted by survey ship KOMAHASHI.

10 July 1942:
Arrives at Saipan.

14 July 1942:
Departs Saipan.

18 July 1942:
Arrives at Palau.

21 July 1942:
Departs Palau.

26 July 1942:
Arrives at Balikpapan, Borneo. Loads fuel oil.

30 July 1942:
Departs Balikpapan.

3 August 1942:
Arrives at Miri. Loads fuel oil.

6 August 1942:
Departs Miri.

16 August 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

22 August 1942:
Departs Yokohama and later that day arrives at Yokosuka.

28 August 1942:
At 1300, KYOKUYO MARU departs Yokosuka in a convoy with KENRYU MARU escorted by minesweeper W-17.

30 August 1942:
W-17 is detached from the convoy and returns to Japan. The two merchant ships proceed independently to Palau and then together to Rabaul.

5 September 1942:
Arrives at Palau.

6 September 1942:
At 1000, KYOKUYO and KENRYU MARUs depart Palau carrying 579 men of a navy construction unit.

11 September 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

16 September 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

20 September 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

24 September 1942:
Departs Truk escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOUN MARU.

26 September 1942:
CHOUN MARU is detached.

4 October 1942:
Arrives at Miri. Takes on fuel.

7 October 1942:
Departs Miri.

18 October 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

25 October 1942:
Departs Yokohama. Arrives at Yokosuka.

28 October 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

6 November 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

12 November 1942:
Departs Truk with Naval water tanker ASAYAMA (CHOZAN) MARU escorted by destroyer ASANAGI.

13 November 1942:
At 07-15N 149-46E ASANAGI is detached.

17 November 1942:
Arrives at Palau.

19 November 1942:
Departs Palau.

25 November 1942:
Arrives at Miri. Loads fuel oil.

28 November 1942:
Departs Miri.

12 December 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

19 December 1942:
Departs Yokohama.

21 December 1942:
Arrives at Shimotsu.

22 December 1942:
Departs Shimotsu. Arrives at Osaka.

23 December 1942:
Departs Osaka.

24 December 1942:
Arrives at Mutsure.

25 December 1942:
Departs Mutsure in convoy No. 107 consisting of KYOKUYO MARU and four unidentified merchant ships.

31 December 1942:
The convoy arrives Mako. KYOKUYO MARU steams on for Yulin, Hainan.

2 January 1943:
Arrives at Yulin.

6 January 1943:
Departs Yulin.

10 January 1943:
Arrives at Miri. Loads fuel oil.

11 January 1943:
At 1520 (H), LtCdr (later Vice Admiral/MOH) Lawson P. Ramage’s (USNA ’31) USS TROUT (SS-202) sights and correctly identifies KYOKUYO MARU moored off Miri. Ramage decides to wait for nightfall to attack. At 2109, he approaches on the surface, fires three torpedoes and gets two hits that damage KYOKUYO MARU. Ramage swings TROUT about and at 2113 fires a stern torpedo at 1400 yards, but the Mark 14-3A is a dud.

At 2254, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message that reads: “Received enemy torpedo attack with great damage while passing in vicinity of 04-24S, 113-51E.”

19 January 1943:
Departs Miri.

23 January 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

24 January 1943:
Seletar Naval Base. Begins repairs by the 101st Repair Unit.

9 June 1943:
Completes repairs. Departs Singapore in the Kyokuyo convoy consisting of KYOKUYO MARU and two unidentified merchant ships (ASO MARU possibly one) without escort.

12 June 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques, Indochina.

21 June 1943:
KYOKUYO MARU departs St Jacques in convoy No. 404 consisting of tankers KONSAN MARU and eight unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan MATSUWA.

27 June 1943:
At 0815, arrives at Mako and departs for Takao at 1300.

28 June 1943:
Departs Takao in convoy No. 276 consisting of eight unidentified merchant ships escorted by torpedo boat HAYABUSA.

2 July 1943:
Arrives at Mutsure.

3 July 1943:
Departs Mutsure.

4 July 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

5 July 1943:
Departs Kobe.

8 July 1943:
Arrives at Yokkaichi. Probably offloads fuel at the refinery.

10 July 1943:
Departs Yokkaichi. At about 2200, LtCdr (KIA) Willis M. Thomas’ (USNA ’31) USS POMPANO (SS-181) fires two Mark 14-3A torpedoes at KYOKUYO MARU using radar bearings S of Shio Saki at 33-31N, 135-24E, but both run erratically and miss ahead.

11 July 1943:
Arrives at Kobe. Departs that same day.

12 July 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

13 July 1943:
Departs Moji in convoy No. 176 consisting of KYOKUYO MARU and eight unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer KURETAKE.

18 July 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

19 July 1943:
Departs Takao. Arrives at Mako that same day.

22 July 1943:
Departs Mako in the "P" convoy consisting of KYOKUYO MARU and 10 unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer WAKATAKE.

29 July 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques.

31 July 1943:
KYOKUYO MARU departs St Jacques in convoy No. 597 with one unidentified warship escorted by an unknown warship "Tokusen (Special Ship) No. 18".

3 August 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

12 August 1943:
D Departs Singapore in convoy No. 612 consisting of KYOKUYO MARU and two unidentified merchant ships.

15 August 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques.

18 August 1943:
Departs St Jacques in convoy No. 416 consisting of KYOKUYO, SHOTO, KINMON, HAVRE, SAINAN and GYOYU MARUs and one unidentified ship escorted by auxiliary gunship CHOHAKUSAN MARU.

22 August 1943:
N of the Paracel Islands. At about 0817, LtCdr (later Cdr) Russell Kefauver's (USNA ’33) USS TAMBOR (SS-198) attacks the convoy. Kefauver fires five Mark 14-3A torpedoes at KYOKUYO MARU at 16-44N, 113-38E and gets three hits amidships, but they are duds and bounce off. She suffers little, if any, damage.

25 August 1943:
Arrives at Mako.

26 August 1943:
Departs Mako in convoy No. 296 consisting of KYOKUYO MARU and six unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer KURETAKE.

31 August 1943:
Arrives at Mutsure Island.

31 August 1943:
Departs Mutsure.

1 September 1943:
Arrives at Shimotsu. That same day, KYOKUYO MARU is requisitioned by the IJN and registered in the Yokosuka Naval District as a specially installed transport ship (oil supply). Assigned to the Department of the Navy as a refueling ship.

12 September 1943:
Departs Shimotsu. At Sasebo, loads 14 aircraft, 18 tons of freight, and 339 passengers.

13 September 1943:
At 0145 JST, KYOKUYO MARU departs Moji for Kirun (Keelung) in convoy No. 192 consisting of TAKETOYO, TOMITSU, KOSO, HONAN, SAINEI, RIKKO, SHOGEN, KINREI and TANGO MARUs escorted by torpedo boat MANAZURU and auxiliary gunship CHOJUSAN MARU.

14 September 1943:
Departs Sasebo.

15 September 1943:
The convoy retires to Sakura-Jima, Kagoshima Bay because of the threat of a submarine attack.

17 September 1943:
While the convoy is making preparations to leave Kagoshima, a typhoon warning is isssued at 0600: "typhoon, approx. 17N x 128E, atmospheric pressure 980 millibar, proceeding West-North-West with 25 to 30 km per hour, take strict caution". Despite the approaching typhoon, a decision is made to sail and convoy departs at 1730. The same night, the ocean becomes very stormy and all vessels are shaken like tree leaves. KYOKUYO MARU is carrying 330 naval officers and men and 14 aircraft.

18 September 1943:
At 1430, the transport commander orders the convoy to take shelter at Naze Harbor, Amami-O-Shima. About 1900, the convoy arrives at Naze, Amami-O-Shima.

19 September 1943:
At midnight, the typhoon passes Naze 55 km to the eastward. Atmospheric pressure at Naze Harbor falls to 961 millibar, wind velocity now reaches its maximum at 53 meters. At this time, the typhoon is reported ranking next only to the devastating Muroto Typhoon of 1934.

Off Amami-O-Shima. KYOKUYO MARU, carrying about half her standard weight, is riding a little high. She runs aground and is wrecked at 28-20N, 129-30E. One crewman is KIA. TAKETOYO, KOSO and TANGO MARUs (6900 tons) are also driven ashore by the storm.

28 September 1943:
Abandoned. Later, deemed a constructive total loss

15 December 1943:
Removed from the Navy List.

1943-1945:
Off Amami-O-Shima. The beached hulk of KYOKUYO MARU's is bombed and torpedoed by American aircraft.

19 January 1945:
Naze. LtCdr Woodrow W. McCrory’s (USNA ’38) USS PARCHE (SS-384) torpedoes the hulks of KYOKUYO MARU and TANGO MARU,.

February-March 1945:
Naze. A 120 mm gun is removed , then placed then placed on Akaogi Ko inlet on Kasari Bay for defense.

1 March 1945::
Naze. From 1400 to 1445, about thirty ( SB2C-1, TBM-13 and F-6F) aiircraft of Task Force 58's carriers USS LEXINGTON (CV-16) and SAN JACINTO (CVL-30) bomb and set KYOKUYO and TANGO MARUs afire. The planes also sink RYOSO (LUZON) MARU.

31 March 1945:
Naze. KYOKUYO MARU's is bombed by aircraft of USS BELLEAU WOOD (CVL-24).

E 1946:
Scrapped at an unknown location, possibly Keelung, Taiwan.


Authors' Notes:
Thanks for assistance goes to Sander Kingsepp of Estonia, Gilbert Casse of France and Allan Alsleben of Oregon. Thanks go to John Whitman for info on CNO intercepts of Japanese messages. Thanks also go to reader Berend of Belgium for info in Rev 6.

Photo credit goes to Ron Wolford via Gilbert Casse.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.


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