(MAYASAN MARU by Ueda Kihachiro)

IJA Landing Craft Depot Ship MAYASAN MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2010-2017 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall
Revision 10

27 August 1941:
Tamano. Laid down at Mitsui Shipbuilding as a Type M cargo ship for the Mitsui Line.

Requisitioned by the IJA and ordered converted on the stocks to a 9,433-ton Landing Craft Depot Ship. The ship is fitted with a flight deck above the hull, but has no hangar.

29 June 1942:
Launched and named MAYASAN MARU.

14 December 1942:

30 December 1942:
Departs Ujina (Hiroshima) for Rabaul on her maiden voyage in convoy B-2 consisting of MAYASAN, KANAYAMASAN MARUs and possibly others with torpedoboat HATO as escort.

31 December 1942:
At 1600 at 28-56 N-132-06 E opening and closure of the stern door fails. Returns to Ujina. At 1900 returns to original course for Rabaul with a speed of 16 knots. At 1910 torpedoboat HATO is detached.

4 January 1942:
MAYASAN MARU, which has not apparently caught up with KANAYAMASAN MARU, is met by destroyer OITE at 14-25N 144-20E.

6 January 1943:
Arrives at Saipan.

E 8 January 1943:
Departs Saipan still escorted by OITE.

11 January 1943:
Oite is detached.

12 January 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul

15 January 1943:
Departs Rabaul

23 January 1943:
Arrives at Ujina.

31 January 1943:
Departs Moji

2 February 1943:
Arrives at Fusan (Pusan), Korea. Probably loads troops.

3 February 1943:
Departs Fusan.

5 February 1943:
Arrives at Ujina.

7 February 1943:
Departs Ujina. Joined by torpedo boat HATO off Saeki and they proceed south.

E 8 February 1943:
HATO is detached at 29-30N, 132-00E.

13 February 1943:
MAYASAN MARU departs Saeki in the "B2" convoy (No. 8 Military Movement) consisting of transport IKOMA and 4646 GRT TAMATSU MARU escorted by minelayer YURIJIMA and subchaser CH-37.

E 14 February 1943:
The escorts are detached at 28-30N.

22 February 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

23 February 1943:
Departs Rabaul.

8 March 1943:
Arrives at Palau and departs that same day.

12 March 1943:
Joined by torpedo boat HATO at 28-48N, 135-00E that escorts her north.

13 March 1943:
HATO is detached off Fukajima. Arrives at Ujina.

22 March 1943:
Departs Moji.

E 24 March 1943:
MAYASAN MARU departs Saeki escorted by patrol boat PB-46 and torpedo boat HATO.

E 25 March 1943:
PB-46 is detached at 30N.

29 March 1943:
Arrives at Palau. Prior to arrival at 11-20N 133-36E destroyer YUZUKI joins the ship.

10 April 1943:
Departs Palau.

28 April 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

3 May 1943:
Departs Rabaul for Truk in convoy No. 2023 consisting of MAYASAN, TATSUTAKE, KINAI MARUs escorted by destroyer KIYONAMI.

6 May 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

8 May 1943:
MAYASAN MARU departs Truk for Yokosuka in convoy No. 4508 also consisting of ammunition ship TATSUTAKE MARU and transports KUNIKAWA and KINAI MARUs escorted by torpedo boat HIYODORI.

9 May 1943:
At 0211, KUNIKAWA MARU is torpedoed by LtCdr Raymond H. Bass’ (USNA ’31) USS PLUNGER (SS-179). Two dud torpedoes hit the port bow and port stern causing light damage. At 1600, another dud hits the ship. HIYODORI counterattacks with depth charges.

10 May 1943:
About 243 nms E of Saipan. LtCdr Bass makes two attacks on KINAI MARU. At about 0400, USS PLUNGER torpedoes and damages KINAI MARU leaving her dead in the water. TATSUTAKE MARU is ordered to take off about 4,000 troops and passengers. At 0748 USS PLUNGER torpedoes TATSUTAKE MARU while she is taking off troops and passengers from KINAI MARU. TATSUTAKE MARU dodges two torpedoes but the third one hits her No. 4 hold and causes a vast explosion. Many of the evacuees as well as four crewmen are KIA. TATSUTAKE MARU sinks by the stern at 14-29N, 149-23E.
At 1253, USS PLUNGER again torpedoes and damages KINAI MARU. HIYODORI assists and rescues survivors of TATSUTAKE and KINAI MARUs but is damaged in collision with KINAI MARU.

11 May 1943:
At about 0600, USS PLUNGER finds KINAI MARU still afloat. LtCdr Bass surfaces and finishes her off with gunfire. Only one crewman is KIA.

15 May 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka, Tokyo Bay.

17 May 1943:
Arrives at Ujina.

18 May 1943:
Departs Ujina.

9 June 1943:
At 1500 departs Imari Wan in convoy Shi-902 also consisting of KITSURIN MARU escorted by patrol boat PB-38. The convoy sails at 15 knots.

10 June 1943:
At 1900 off Yushan PB-38 detaches. Later that night the convoy arrives at Woosung and later that day departs in convoy consisting of KITSURIN, MAYASAN and KANSAI MARUs with unknown escort.

20 June 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

21 June 1943:
Departs Singapore.

4 July 1943:
Arrives at Ujina.

23 August 1943:
Departs Ujina in convoy O-603 consisting of MAYASAN, KANSAI and KINUGASA MARUs. Off Saeki, the convoy is joined by kaibokan IKI and minesweeper W-33.

E 24 August 1943:
W-33 is detached at 29N.

1 September 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

4 September 1943:
MAYASAN MARU departs Palau for Rabaul in convoy N-404 also consisting of KANSAI, AMAGISAN and KINUGASA MARUs escorted by subchasers CH-38 and CH-16.

9 September 1943:
The convoy arrives at Rabaul. AMAGISAN and KINUGASA MARUs are detached.

16 September 1943:
MAYASAN MARU departs Rabaul for Palau escorting convoy O-602A also consisting of KANSAI MARU escorted by subchasers CH-38 and CH-16.

18 September 1943:
N of Manus, Admiralty Islands. At 1700, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Walter G. Ebert's (USNA ’30) USS SCAMP (SS-277) attacks the convoy and sinks army cargo ship KANSAI MARU at 00-41N, 146-28E. The ship was carrying 1024 troops and the urns of 1200 officers and men. A total of 23 troops and passengers and one crewman – a combined total of 24 are killed.
Although damaged by CH-38's depth charges, USS SCAMP remains on patrol.

19 September 1943:
At 0925, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message from SubChasDiv 24 that reads: “As a result of torpedo attacks at 1909, 2130 and 2200, KANSAI MARU sank. 265 survivors including captain taken on board subchasers No. 38 and No. 16. At 0830, convoy (rejoined position) 01-03 N, 146-27 E.”

21 September 1943:
Arives at Palau.

23 September 1943:
MAYASAN and AOBASAN MARUs depart Palau for Ujina in convoy FU-302 escorted by destroyer HARUKAZE.

29 September 1943:
Arrives at Ujina.

10 October 1943:
MAYASAN and NIGITSU MARUs depart Ujina escorted by HARUKAZE.

18 October 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

22 October 1943:
Departs Palau in the FU-202 convoy escorted by HARUKAZE.

27 October 1943:
Arrives at Ujina.

28 October 1943:
Departs Ujina.

10 November 1943:
At 1500 MAYASAN MARU departs Mutsure in convoy SA-17 consisting of KYOKUTO, OKIGAWA, MIRI, ORYOKU, USSURI and NIGITSU MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-46 and fleet tanker ASHIZURI.

14 November 1943:
At 1610 arrives at Takao.

15 November 1943:
Departs Takao.

21 November 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

26 November 1943:
Departs Cebu.

1 December 1943:
At 1400 arrives at Manila in convoy with NIGITSU MARU.

3 December 1943:
At 0630 departs Manila in Rinji convoy I with NIGITSU MARU for Takao. Kaibokan KANJU joins convoy shortly after the ships leave Manila.

5 December 1943:
Arrives at Takao where KANJU is detached.

11 December 1943:
Arrives at Ujina.

16 December 1943:
Departs Moji.

17 December 1943:
Arrives at Fusan.

18 December 1943:
Departs Fusan.

19 December 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

21 December 1943:
MAYASAN MARU departs Moji in convoy HI-27 also consisting of cargo-transport MIIKE MARUs, transport KUNIKAWA MARU, cargo- transport NOTO MARU, submarine tender TSUKUSHI MARU and oilers KYUEI and OTORISAN MARUs escorted by destroyer ASAKAZE. NOTO MARU carries the 72nd Field AA Battalion, 14th Shipping Eng Regiment and she and the convoy also carry the 1st echelon of the 53rd Division consisting of Div Hq, 53rd Div, 128th Infantry Regiment and div troops (including comms, transportation, veterinary, supply, maintenance etc.), 234th Naval Construction Unit, 43rd Independent Field AAA Company, 46th Field Ops Machine Cannon Company, 47th Field Ops Machine Cannon Company and 12th Independent Searchlight Company.

24 December 1943:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa. NOTO, MIIKE and MAYASAN MARUs are all detached.

25 December 1943:
Departs Takao.

26 December 1943:
At about 1100, LtCdr (later Captain) Robert D. Risser's (USNA ’34) USS FLYING FISH (SS-229) torpedoes and sinks KYUEI MARU at 21-25N, 118-05E. 54 of those on board are KIA.

28 December 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

1 January 1944:
At 1200 MAYASAN MARU departs Manila in Q Convoy also consisting of cargo-transports MIIKE and NOTO MARUS escorted by the torpedo boat MANAZURU. The convoy sails at 14.5 knots.

3 January 1944:
At 0300 arrives at Takao.

20 January 1944:
At 1200, MAYASAN and KIBITSU MARUs depart Moji in convoy HI-37 also consisting of cargo-transport MIIKE and NOTO MARUs and tankers OMINESAN, AMATSU and TENSHIN MARUs escorted by kaibokan MIYAKE and KANJU.

The convoy carries elements of the 53rd Division's 3rd Echelon: Division headquarters (main); Hq, 119th Infantry; 3rd Battalion, 119th Infantry; 53rd Engineer Regiment; and 53rd Signal Regiment as well as troops of unknown units.

25 January 1944:
Arrives at Manila. KIBITSU and MAYASAN MARUs are detached.

2 February 1944:
Departs Manila probably in convoy MATA-01 consisting of tanker SAN PEDRO MARU and two unidentified ships (probably KIBITSU and MAYASAN MARUs escorted by destroyer WAKATAKE.)

4 February 1944:
MATA-01 arrives at Takao. MAYASAN and KIBITSU MARUs probably transfer to convoy TAMO-01A consisting of three unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan SADO. TAMO-01A departs Kirun on 7 February and arrives at Moji 12 February.

13 February 1944:
Arrives at Ujina.

25 February 1944:
Arrives at Ominato, then departs and arrives at Otaru, Hokkaido.

26 February 1944:
Departs Otaru in RO Convoy also consisting of TAKASHIMA MARU escorted by destroyers KASUMI and SHIRAKUMO.

28 February 1944:
MAYASAN MARU and KASUMI arrive at Musashi Wan at about 1600 while TAKASHIMA MARU and SHIRAKUMO arrive at near by Suribachi Wan.

29 February 1944:
Arrives at Kataoka Bay, Shimushu Island, Kuriles.

3 March 1944:
Arrives at Musashi Bay, Paramushiro and departs and arrives at Suribachi Bay. Later, departs for Ujina.

28 March 1944:
Departs Ujina for Moji.

1 April 1944:
MAYASAN MARU departs Moji in convoy HI-57 also consisting of oilers ITSUKUSHIMA, OTOWASAN, RYOEI and OMUROSAN MARUs, landing craft depot ship SHINSHU MARU and probably tankers SHINCHO and ZUIHO MARUs, and transports SEIA and KINUGASA MARUs, escorted by escort carrier KAIYO, kaibokan IKI, ETOFORU, CD-8, CD-9 and torpedo boat SAGI.

The convoy carries elements of the IJA’s 53rd Division's 4th Echelon: 151st Infantry Regiment’s; 1st and 2nd Battalions, 119th Infantry Regiment; Hq, 53rd Artillery Regiment; 2nd Battalion, 53rd Artillery Regiment and the 53rd Reconnaissance Regiment.

2 April 1944:
The convoy encounters extremely severe weather and returns to Moji.

3 April 1944:
At 0600, the unchanged convoy departs Moji.

7 April 1944:
At 1450, arrives at Takao.

8 April 1944:
At 1000, MAYASAN MARU departs Takao for Singapore convoy HI-57 consisting of tankers OMUROSAN, ITSUKUSHIMA, OTOWASAN and RYOEI MARUs, landing craft depot ship SHINSHU MARUs, transports SEIA and KINUGASA MARUs, and probably tankers SHINCHO and ZUIHO MARUs, escorted by escort carrier KAIYO, kaibokan IKI, SHIMUSHU, SAGI, CD-8 and CD-9.

12 April 1944:
At 1930 arrives at Camranh Bay.

13 April 1944:
At 1200, departs Camranh Bay.

16 April 1944:
At 1240, arrives at Singapore.

21 April 1944:
At 0700, MAYASAN MARU departs Singapore for Moji in convoy HI-58 also consisting of landing craft depot ship SHINSHU MARU, transport KACHIDOKI MARU (ex PRESIDENT HARRISON), oilers ITSUKUSHIMA, RYOEI, OMUROSAN and OTOWASAN MARUs, and probably ZUIHO MARU, escorted by escort carrier KAIYO and kaibokan IKI, SHIMUSHU, CD-8 and CD-9.

24 April 1944:
E of Saigon. USS ROBALO (SS-273) under LtCdr Manning M. Kimmel (USNA ’35) (son of Admiral H. E. Kimmel (USNA ’04) , former CINCPACFLT at Pearl Harbor) attempts to attack the convoy, but is sighted by a Nakajima B5N2 "Kate” of the 931st NAG detachment from KAIYO. The B5N2 drops one 250-kg depth-charge on the submerged submarine and causes medium damage.

29 April 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

3 May 1944:
HI-58 arrives at Moji. Kaibokan ETOROFU and tankers ITSUKUSHIMA and OMUROSAN MARUs were detached earlier that day for Sasebo and Nagasaki.

4 May 1944:
Arrives at Ujina.

17 May 1944:
At 1700, departs Takao in convoy TAMA-18 also consisting of TETSUYO, NICHIZUI, SHINNO and ASO MARUs escorted by destroyers ASAKAZE, HARUKAZE, TSUGA, kaibokan CD-11, auxiliary subchaser CHa-75, auxiliary minesweeper MISAGO MARU No. 8, auxiliary minelayer CHOAN MARU and auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU.

23 May 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

27 June 1944:
Arrives at Ujina. Loads troops. MAYASAN MARU carries men of Hq, 58th Independent Mixed Brigade, 378th Independent Infantry Battalion, elements 379th Independent Infantry Battalion (others on TOZAN MARU), 380th Independent Infantry Battalion, brigade engineers and elements of the 9th and 12th Independent Tank Companies and elements (one platoon) of the 323rd Independent Motor Transportation Company and field artillery battalion.

3 July 1944:
MAYASAN MARU departs Moji for Manila in convoy MOMA-01 also consisting of KASHII, TOZAN, NISSHO, TAMATSU, MIZUHO, RAKUYO and NICHIRAN MARUs escorted by destroyer HARUKAZE and kaibokan CD-11, CD-20, CD-26, CD-28 and subchaser CH-28. The convoy is transporting the IJA's 5th Field Heavy Artillery and 58th Independent Mixed Brigade.

7 July 1944:
Formosa Straits. Convoy MOMA-01 is ordered to turn back to Keelung, Formosa.

9 July 1944:
Departs Keelung escorting MOMA-01. ARABIA MARU may have joined the convoy at this point.

12 July 1944:
Bashi Strait. At 0330, LtCdr (later Cdr) Walter P. Schoeni's (USNA ’31) USS APOGON (SS-308) fires a full bow spread of torpedoes at MAYASAN MARU. Schoeni fails to damage her, but USS APOGON is rammed during the attack. At 0720, LtCdr Harold E. Rubles' (USNA ’33) USS PIRANHA (SS- 389) torpedoes and sinks NICHIRAN MARU carrying elements of the IJA's 5th Field Heavy Artillery and 58th Independent Mixed Brigade at 18-50N, 122-40E. KASHII MARU rescues survivors, but 1,238 troops, one gunner and 15 crewmen are KIA. The convoy seeks shelter in Aparri Harbor, Philippines.

13 July 1944:
At 0800, departs Aparri.

15 July 1944:
Arrives at Manila

24 July 1944:
At 0600, convoy HI-68 departs Manila for Moji. The convoy sails in three columns consisting of MAYASAN MARU, oilers NICHINAN MARU No. 2, OTORISAN MARU and escort carrier TAIYO in column No. 1; landing ship KOZU MARU (a.k.a. TAKATSU MARU) and transports TOSAN, KASHII, NISSHO and AKI MARUs in column No. 2 and ex-seaplane tender KIYOKAWA MARU and oilers ITSUKUSHIMA, TOA, TOHO and SHIMPO MARUs in column No. 3. The convoy is escorted by kaibokan HIRADO (F), KUSAGAKI, KURAHASHI, MIKURA, CD-11, CD-20 and torpedo boat HIYODORI.

A three-submarine wolf pack of Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Reuben T. Whitaker’s (USNA ’34) USS FLASHER, LtCdr Franklin Hess’s (USNA ’35) USS ANGLER (SS-240) and LtCdr (later Captain) Francis D. Walker’s (USNA ’35) USS CREVALLE (SS-291) tracks the convoy.

25 July 1944:
Off NW Luzon. At 1540, transports AKI and TOSAN MARUs successfully evade an attack by USS CREVALLE.

26 July 1944:
Off Luzon. At 0311, in a night surface radar attack, USS FLASHER damages TOSAN MARU, and sinks AKI MARU and OTORISAN MARU. 46 men aboard OTORISAN MARU are KIA. On AKI MARU some 24 passengers are killed as are 14 gunners, and 3 crewmen; a total of 41 dead. Hess’s USS ANGLER torpedoes and blows the bow off KIYOKAWA MARU. At 0655, the ship leaves the convoy and heads for Takao, Formosa. At 1137, LtCdr Walker’s USS CREVALLE torpedoes and damages TOSAN MARU. Later, she catches fire.

27 July 1944:
At 0430, the fires ignite 1,000 stored shells and by 1045 TOSAN MARU sinks. Nine crewmen, eight gunners & 18 passengers are KIA. The remainder of the convoy arrives at Takao. SHIMPO MARU detaches.

28 July 1944:
At 2000, MAYASAN MARU departs Takao in convoy HI-68 also consisting of oilers ITSUKUSHIMA, TOA, TOHO and SHINPO MARUs and NICHINAN MARU No. 2, landing craft depot ship TAMATSU MARU, transport NOSHIRO MARUs and cargo ships KASHII and NISSHO MARUs escorted by kaibokan MIKURA, KURAHASHI, HIRADO, CD-1 and CD-11.

29 July 1944:
CD-1 is detached to Kirun (Keelung) and later returns to Takao.

3 August 1944:
At 1600, arrives at Moji.

6 August 1944:
Departs Ujina.

10 August 1944:
MAYASAN, TAMATSU and KIBITSU MARUs depart Imari Bay (south of Moji) for Singapore in convoy HI-71 also comprised of fleet oiler HAYASUI, oilers AZUSA, TEIYO, EIYO, ZUIHO, KYOKUTO and NIYO MARUs and HAKKO MARU No. 2, food-supply ship IRAKO, transports TEIA (ex French ARAMIS), AWA, ORYOKU, NOTO, HOKKAI and NOSHIRO and cargo ships KASHII, NISSHO MARUs escorted by destroyers FUJINAMI and YUNAGI, kaibokan HIRATO, KURAHASHI, MIKURA, SHONAN and CD-11 and escort carrier TAIYO. The 631st Naval Air Group provides air cover with 12 BN5 Kate torpedo-bombers.

15 August 1944:
HI-71 arrives at Mako, Pescadores. HAKKO MARU No. 2, NIYO and ORYOKU MARUs and IRAKO are detached.

17 August 1944: Operation "SHO-1-GO" (Victory) - The Defense of the Philippines:
MATSUWA arrives at Mako from Takao with destroyer ASAKAZE and kaibokan SADO, ETOROFU and HIBURI, all sent by the 1st Surface Escort Division to strengthen the escort of convoy HI-71.

Convoy HI-71 is part of the “SHO-I-GO” Operation, transporting troops and supplies for the defense of the Philippines. At 0800, in typhoon weather, convoy HI-71 sorties from Mako for Manila comprised of new fleet tanker HAYASUI, food-supply ship IRAKO, tankers TEIYO, AZUSA, EIYO, ZUIHO, AMATSU and KYOKUTO MARUs and transports TEIA (Ex-French ARAMIS), AWA, NOSHIRO, NOTO and HOKKAI, MARUs landing craft depot ships TAMATSU and MAYASAN MARUs and cargo ships KASHII and NISSHO MARUs.

The convoy's screen is provided by Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kajioka Sadamichi (39) (former CO of KISO) of 6th Escort Convoy escort carrier TAIYO, destroyers FUJINAMI and YUNAGI, kaibokan HIRATO, KURAHASHI, MIKURA, SHONAN and CD-11. TAIYO's 631st Naval Air Group provides air cover with 12 BN5 “Kates”.

18 August 1944:
At 0524, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Louis D. McGregor's (USNA ’30) USS REDFISH (SS-395) torpedoes and damages EIYO MARU. ASAKAZE and YUNAGI are detached to escort her back to Takao.

Off Cape Bolinao, Luzon. At 2210, LtCdr (later Captain) Henry G. Munson's (USNA ’32)USS RASHER (SS-269) torpedoes and sinks oiler TEIYO MARU in a surface radar attack. 41 crewmen and 58 passengers are KIA. At 2222, Munson torpedoes and sinks carrier TAIYO at the rear of the convoy. Because of the fire and speed of sinking, most of her crew are lost and about 790 passengers perish; but by some miracle, Captain Sugino Shuichi (46) is among the just over 400 surviving crew and passengers. At 2310, USS RASHER, hits transport TEIA MARU with three torpedoes. The ex-French liner is set afire and sinks. TEIA MARU was carrying 4,795 Army and 427 civilians. 2,316 troops, 275 passengers, six guards, four gunners, 10 special lookouts, and 54 crewmen are KIA.

19 August 1944: Operation "SHO-1-GO" (Victory) - The Defense of the Philippines:
Destroyer ASAKAZE and kaibokan HIBURI, MATSUWA, ETOROFU and SADO arrive from Takao on orders of 1st Surface Escort Division to strengthen convoy HI-71's escort forces. The convoy splits into two groups. Just past midnight, USS RASHER, still running on the surface, closes on an eastbound group of three large ships and one escort. At 0033, LtCdr Munson puts two radar-directed torpedoes into the port sides of AWA and NOSHIRO MARUs. Both ships beach themselves near Port Currimao. LtCdr Charles M. Henderson's (USNA ’34) USS BLUEFISH (SS-222) and LtCdr (later Captain) Gordon W. Underwood's (USNA ’32) USS SPADEFISH (SS-411) join in the attack on HI-71. At 0320, USS BLUEFISH hits and sinks HAYASUI. Captain Sugiura Keizaburo (49) is KIA. He is promoted Rear Admiral, posthumously. The number of survivors is unknown. USS SPADEFISH hits TAMATSU MARU with two torpedoes and the big landing craft depot ship rolls over and takes down 4,755 troops and 135 crewmen. HI-71 makes for San Fernando.

21 August 1944:
Rear Admiral Kajioka orders SADO, HIBURI and MATSUWA to proceed to Manila. MAYASAN MARU arrives at Manila.

22 August 1944:
Hidai Bay, 25 nms W of Manila Bay. At 0456, Cdr (MOH, posthumously) Samuel D. Dealey’s (USNA ’30) USS HARDER (SS-257) torpedoes both MATSUWA and HIBURI in their port sides and stops them dead in the water. SADO signals for assistance.

At 0524, SADO is torpedoed by LtCdr (Rear Admiral-Ret) Chester W. Nimitz Jr’s (USNA ’36) USS HADDO (SS-255). At 0649, MATSUWA is sunk by USS HARDER. 134 sailors including her CO, LtCdr Tsuchitori Akira, are KIA and 12 wounded. At 0720, USS HADDO fires three torpedoes at the two remaining derelicts. One torpedo misses, but the others hit SADO squarely and sink her at 14-15N 120-25E. Cdr Taniguchi Nobuyoshi (45) and 72 crewmen are KIA. Cdr Taniguchi is posthumously promoted Captain. At 0755, HIBURI also sinks bow first at 14-15N, 120-25E. 154 hands are killed and wounded.

An intercepted Japanese message reads: "At 0650, heard sound of motor dead ahead. We increased speed and found one of MATSUWA's motor boats with a machinist and six men. Position 14-25N, 120-00E."

27 August 1944:
At 0900, MAYASAN MARU departs Manila for Moji in convoy MAMO-02 also consisting of KASHII, NISSHO and NOTO MARUs escorted by kaikoban SHIMUSHU, SHONAN, ETOROFU, CD-7, CD-12 and CD-28, subchaser CH-41 and patrol boat PB-102 (ex-USS STEWART, DD-224). At 1548, anchors in Subic Bay.

28 August 1944:
At 0600, departs Subic Bay.

30 August 1944:
Arrives at Takao. Destroyers WAKABA and HATSUSHIMO join the escort. Subchaser CH-41, patrol boat PB-102 and kaibokan CD-7 and CD-28 are detached.

31 August 1944:
Departs Takao. Later that day, ORYOKU MARU joins the convoy.

4 September 1944:
At 0500, arrives at Moji.

6 September 1944:
Departs Moji and later that day arrives at Ujina.

7 September 1944:
Departs Ujina.

9 September 1944:
Arrives at Fusan. Probably loads troops.

13 September 1944:
Departs Fusan.

14 September 1944:
Arrives at Ujina.

15 September 1944:
Departs Ujina.

16 September 1944:
Arrives at Fusan. Probably loads troops.

20 September 1944:
Departs Fusan.

22 September 1944:
Arrives at Ujina.

24 September 1944:
Departs Ujina.

27 September 1944:
Arrives at Fusan. Probably loads troops.

2 October 1944:
Departs Fusan.

9 October 1944:
Arrives at Ujina.

10 October 1944:
Departs Ujina.

11 October 1944:
Arrives at Fusan. Probably loads troops.

12 October 1944:
Departs Fusan.

14 October 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

15 October 1944:
Departs Ujina.

17 October 1944:
Arrives at Fusan. Probably loads troops.

21 October 1944:
Departs Fusan.

23 October 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

24 October 1944:
Departs Ujina.

28 October 1944:
Arrives at Fusan. Probably loads troops.

11 November 1944:
Departs Fusan.

13 November 1944:
Arrives at Imari Wan.

14 November 1944:
MAYASAN MARU departs Imari Bay for Singapore in convoy HI-81 also consisting of HASHIDATE, SHINSHU, AKITSU, ARITA, OTOWASAN, KIYOKAWA, TOA, MIRI and KIBITSU MARUs escorted by escort carrier SHINYO, destroyer KASHI and kaibokan ETOROFU (F), TSUSHIMA, DAITO, KUME, SHONAN, CD-9 and CD-61. The convoy stops overnight at Goto Island.

15 November 1944:
Departs Goto Island. Escort carrier SHINYO takes up position at the rear of the center of three columns of vessels.

Korean Strait, At 1156, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Charles E. Loughlin's (USNA ’33) USS QUEENFISH (SS-393) torpedoes and sinks AKITSU MARU at 33-17N, 128-11E. 67 crewmen, 140 gunners and 2,093 of 2500 men of the IJA's 64th Infantry Regiment are KIA. The load of IJA's 20th Sea Raiding Battalion 104 “Maru-ni” explosive motor boats (EMB) aboard are also lost. SHINYO's planes attempt to locate and destroy the submarine, but fail to find her. Landing craft depot ship SHINSHU MARU drops depth charges during and after the sinking of AKITSU MARU.

16 November 1944:
Off Korea. The convoy anchors near Chinto (Strange Island) and shelters there.

17 November 1944:
At 0800, convoy HI-81 departs for the Shushan Islands near Shanghai. MAYASAN MARU is carrying 4,387 soldiers of the IJA 23rd Division, most from the division headquarters, the division’s artillery regiment, the 72nd Infantry, and divisional engineers. Also aboard are 88 boy Army communications school graduates and even more young graduates of tank, heavy artillery, field artillery, and antiaircraft artillery schools and the 24th Sea Raiding Battalion with “Maru-Ni” explosive motorboats, large non-divisional units, landing craft and 204 horses. More than 740 replacements for Southern Army are also aboard, as are specialists in wooden boats, water purification, weapons repair, aircraft maintenance, and wire communications.

At 1815, LtCdr (later Cdr) Evan T. Shepard's (USNA ’35) USS PICUDA (SS-382) torpedoes and sinks MAYASAN MARU in rising seas at 33-17N, 124-41E. She sinks in two and a half minutes taking down 56 crewmen, 194 gunners and 3,187 troops and the 204 horses she was carrying. All “Maru-ni” explosive motor boats (EMB) of the IJA's 24th Sea Raiding Battalion are also lost. The escorts rescue about 1,300 men. [1]

At 2002, kaibokan ETOROFU asks for rescue of MAYASAN MARU at 33-17N 124-45E.

At 2040, kaibokan SHONAN claims sinking a sub at 33-10'N 124-40E after detecting the sub 3 miles west of the 1815 MAYASAN MARU disaster at 33-17N, 124-45E. SHONAN reports searching with DAITO. 30 depth charges expended.

At 2309, LtCdr (later Captain) Gordon W. Underwood’s (USNA ’32) USS SPADEFISH (SS-411) torpedoes and sinks escort carrier SHINYO with the loss of 1,130 officers and men. Escort destroyer KASHI counterattacks with uncertain results, then rescues with kaibokan TSUSHIMA about 200 survivors.

18 November 1944:
At 1600, the convoy arrives at an anchorage E of Shanghai.

19 November 1944:
At 1920, Shanghai radios Manila: "The MAYASAN MARU of HI-81 struck a mine ---- and sank at---the 17th. 1200 ---- of the passengers, members of (Seibu Units?) No. 33 (143rd Inf Replacement Unit) No. 17 (23rd Inf Reg Replacement Unit), --- No. 124 (248 Air Regiment?) and No. 45 (Depot Division HQ).

An unidentified escort delivers survivors from MAYASAN and AKITSU MARUs to SHINSHU MARU at "the Yangtze River estuary.

20 November 1944:
At 1405, kaibokan SHONAN sends: "In reply to serial 191806. At 1855 on 17th after MAYASAN MARU disaster, at 15 degree ----- with (made sub contact, but failed to hold. At 0105 detected position by radar 00-59 degrees. (Depth charged, results unclear).

22 November 1944:
At 1410, 1st Lt Maezawa Takao and 95 men of MAYASAN MARU standing by at Shanghai. At 1750, the 1st Transport at Moji asks for Woosung to "please report on situation of shipwreck of MAYASAN MARU and on movements of HI-81 after arriving."

E 1944:
Removed from the IJA Ship List.

Authors’ Notes:
[1] The loss of 204 horses was important to the foot-mobile Japanese, especially the 23rd Division’s artillery regiment, because horses had replaced its vehicles for the trip to the Philippines.

Thanks go to John Whitman and Tony Tully for data on the troops carried by MAYASAN MARU. Grateful thanks also to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France for general assistance.

Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall