KYUTANYUSEN!

(MIKAGE MARU No. 18, prewar)

IJN MIKAGE MARU No. 18:
Tabular Record of Movement


© 2016 Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall

Revision 1


9 June 1936:
Kobe. Laid down by Mitsubishi Jukogyo Zosensho K.K. shipyard for Muko Kisen K.K. as a 4,319-tons cargo ship.

1 November 1936:
Launched and named MIKAGE MARU No. 18.

11 February 1937:
Completed and registered at Miei, Hyogo Prefecture.

28 February 1937:
Departs Kobe as part of NYK Shanghai route chartered vessel.

E 3 March 1937:
Arrives at Shanghai.

20 August 1937:
Departs Kobe.

E 23 August 1937:
Arrives at Shanghai.

3 November 1937:
Departs Kobe as part of NYK Bombay route chartered vessel.

E November 1937:
Arrives at Bombay (now Mumbai), India.

4 February 1938:
Departs Kobe as part of NYK Shanghai route chartered vessel.

E 7 February 1938:
Arrives at Shanghai.

1938:
Requisitioned by the IJA as Army transport No. 564.

13 November 1938:
Moored at Humen anchorage, southern China.

22 August 1939:
Arrives at Wuhu, China. Departs later.

29 August 1939:
Arrives at Nanking, China. Departs later that day.

15 October 1939:
Arrives at Jingkow (now Zhenjiang), China.

E 1940:
Released to her owners.

2 October 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN as a general requisitioned transport (Ippan Choyosen) attached to the Sasebo Naval District.

4 December 1941:
Departs Kirun, Formosa (now Keelung, Taiwan).

8 December 1941:
Arrives at Yawata, Fukuoka Prefecture.

10 December 1941:
Departs Yawata.

11 December 1941:
Arrives at Sasebo.

16 December 1941:
Departs Sasebo and arrives at Sakito, Nagasaki Prefecture later that same day.

17 December 1941:
Departs Sakito.

20 December 1941:
Arrives at Takao (now Kaohsiung), Formosa.

24 December 1941:
Departs Takao.

27 December 1941:
Arrives at Samah (Sanaa), Hainan Island, China.

29 December 1941:
At 1550, departs Samah.

31 December 1941:
Arrives at Cam Ranh, French Indochina (now Vietnam).

2 January 1942:
Departs Cam Ranh.

4 January 1942:
Arrives at Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), French Indochina.

8 January 1942:
Departs Saigon.

9 January 1942:
Arrives at Cam Ranh.

13 January 1942:
Departs Cam Ranh.

15 January 1942:
Arrives at Yulin, Hainan. Attached that same day to Sasebo transport unit under Sasebo Naval District instruction No. 14.

20 January 1942:
Departs Yulin.

23 January 1942:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores.

25 January 1942:
Registered as an auxiliary collier/oiler attached to the Sasebo Naval District with Sasebo as homeport under Navy’s instruction No. 148. That same day, Captain Sawada Minoru (38) is appointed supervisor.

26 January 1942:
Departs Mako.

1 February 1942:
Assigned to Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Inoue Shigeyoshi’s (37) Fourth Fleet as an auxiliary collier (Ko) category. [1]

5 February 1942:
Removed from Sasebo transport unit effective 25 Jan ’42 under Sasebo Naval District instruction No. 16.

6 February 1942:
Due to depart Sasebo.

14 February 1942:
Tsurumi. Conversion to military duty starts at Asano Dock K.K. shipyard.

9 March 1942:
The conversion is completed. Departs later.

27 March 1942:
Departs Kobe.

10 April 1942:
Assigned to South Seas transport Unit.

15 May 1942:
Scheduled to be fitted with one Type 92-A 7.7mm MG under Navy’s secret instruction No. 5990.

21 May 1942:
Arrives at Shibaura, Tokyo. Departs later.

3 June 1942:
Departs Miike, Fukuoka Prefecture.

16 July 1942:
Departs Truk, Central Carolines in convoy with auxiliary water tanker NIPPO MARU escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOUN MARU.

18 July 1942:
At 1000, arrives at Ponape, Eastern Carolines. Departs later that day.

14 August 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama. Departs later.

23 August 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

30 August 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

20 September 1942:
Captain Sawada is relieved by Captain Motohashi Masamitsu (35).

15 October 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

18 October 1942:
Arrives at Sakito.

20 October 1942:
Departs Sakito and arrives at Sasebo later that day.

23 October 1942:
Departs Sasebo and joins convoy that departed Yokosuka that same day consisting of auxiliary transport CHIHAYA (ex-Dutch TJISAROEA) escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOUN MARU.

31 October 1942:
The convoy is joined near Truk by auxiliary collier/oiler SOYO MARU.

2 November 1942:
Arrives at Truk. Departs later.

5 November 1942:
Assigned to South Seas Transport Unit.

22 December 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

8 January 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

E 18 January 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

21 January 1943:
At 0500, comes alongside and supplies fleet oiler TSURUMI with charcoal briquettes.

23 January 1943:
Supplies again fleet oiler TSURUMI with charcoal briquettes.

E 19 February 1943:
Departs Truk.

23 February 1943:
Arrives at Saipan.

1 March 1943:
Departs Saipan.

8 March 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama. Departs later.

21 March 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

12 June 1943:
Departs Truk in convoy No. 7123 also consisting of IJA transport YAMASHIRO MARU and one unidentified merchant ship escorted by destroyer YUZUKI and auxiliary subchaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 1. The convoy sails at 9.5 knots.

17 June 1943:
At 0751, arrives at Kwajalein, Marshalls with close escort of auxiliary minesweeper SHOWA MARU No. 7.

19 June 1943:
At 0500, departs Kwajalein escorted by destroyer ONAMI.

20 June 1943:
Arrives at Taroa, Marshalls.

8 July 1943:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

25 July 1943:
At 0500, departs Kwajalein escorted by subchaser CH-29. At 0900, both ships arrive nearby Roi-Namur, Marshalls.

21 August 1943:
Departs Truk in convoy No. 4821 also consisting of auxiliary transports KAISHO, MITAKESAN, SOYO and MANJU (ex-SANTOS) MARUs and IJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) KENAN MARU escorted by destroyers IKAZUCHI and YUZUKI.

22 August 1943:
Auxiliary transport SHOEI (1,986 GRT) MARU departs Truk and catches up with convoy No. 4821.

About 300 nms NW of Truk. LtCdr (later KIA) Charles F. Brindupke' (USNA ‘32) USS TULLIBEE (SS-284) intercepts the convoy. Brindupke, on his first patrol as CO of USS TULLIBEE, closes to 2,000 yards. He fires three Mark-14 steam torpedoes at the nearest freighter. Two minutes later, he fires three more at another ship. One of the destroyers heads towards USS TULLIBEE's position. Brindupke takes the submarine deep. At 1659, he hears a torpedo explosion, soon followed by two more, then breaking up noises. At 1706, listing to port, KAISHO MARU sinks rapidly by the stern at 10-13N, 147-20E. Three crewmen are KIA. Her survivors are rescued and the convoy proceeds. When Brindupke surfaces, he sees over 1,000 empty 50-gallon oil drums, but no ships.

29 August 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

21 September 1943:
Departs Yokosuka and arrives at Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture later that day.

22 September 1943:
Departs Tateyama in convoy No. 3921 also consisting of auxiliary repair ship HAKKAI MARU, auxiliary transports NANKAI MARU No. 2, KIKUKAWA and HIYOSHI MARUs, IJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) YAMAKUNI MARU and IJA transport TAIAN MARU escorted by kaibokan OKI and FUKUE.

E September 1943:
At some point, NANKAI MARU No. 2 probably encounters some mechanical trouble and returns back to Japan.

27 September 1943:
IJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) YAMAKUNI MARU departs Saipan, Marianas to join the convoy escorted by auxiliary subchaser KYO MARU No. 10 and auxiliary minesweeper SEKI MARU No. 3.

28 September 1943:
At 0400, YAMAKUNI MARU and escorts join the convoy. At 0715, 18 km SW of Anatahan Island TAIAN MARU is detached for Saipan escorted by auxiliary subchaser KYO MARU No. 10 and auxiliary minesweeper SEKI MARU No. 3.

1 October 1943:
At 1400, arrives at Truk. MIKAGE MARU No. 18 is rerated auxiliary collier/oiler (Otsu) category. That same day, Captain Motohashi disembarks and is assigned to Yokosuka Naval District. [1]

22 October 1943:
Departs Truk in TEI No. 3-1 transport run also consisting of auxiliary transports YAMAGIRI MARU and EIKO MARU No. 2 GO and auxiliary water tanker NIPPO MARU escorted by destroyer YUZUKI.

YAMAGIRI MARU is detached at some point and steams independently to Ponape.

23 October 1943:
Arrives at Ponape and disembarks troops. Departs later that same day for Truk.

24 October 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

26 October 1943:
Departs Truk for Ponape in convoy TEI No. 3-2 transport run also consisting of auxiliary transports YAMAGIRI MARU and EIKO MARU No. 2 GO and auxiliary water tanker NIPPO MARU with light cruiser TATSUTA and DesDiv 32's FUJINAMI, SUZUNAMI and HAYANAMI.

27 October 1943:
Arrives at Ponape and disembarks troops. Departs later that same day for Truk.

28 October 1943:
Arrives at Truk. Departs later.

10 November 1943:
Departs Mille (Mili) Atoll, Marshalls.

11 November 1943:
At 0700, due to arrive at Emiedj, Jaluit, Marshalls.

12 November 1943:
At 1500, arrives back at Mille.

21 November 1943:
At 1200, due to arrive at Kwajalein from Jaluit escorted by auxiliary subchasers CHa-19, KYO MARU No.6 and KYO MARU No. 7.

4 December 1943:
Kwajalein. Aircraft from Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Charles A. Pownall's (USNA ’10) Task Force 50’s USS YORKTOWN (CV-10), USS LEXINGTON (CV-16) and light carrier USS INDEPENDENCE (CVL-22) attack Kwajalein and Wotje Atolls. They damage auxiliary aircraft transport FUJIKAWA MARU, light cruisers NAGARA and ISUZU, auxiliary transports EIKO, KINEZAKI and KENBU MARUs and auxiliary collier/oiler MIKAGE MARU No. 18, and sink auxiliary collier/oiler ASAKAZE MARU (19 crewmen KIA), auxiliary subchaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 7 (5 crewmen KIA) and small guardboat MIKUNI MARU No. 5 (unknown casualties).

24 December 1943:
Departs Roi-Namur in convoy No. 6242 also consisting of IJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) TATEBE MARU towing auxiliary aircraft transport FUJIKAWA MARU escorted by auxiliary subchasers SHONAN MARU No. 3, SHONAN MARU No. 11 and KYO MARU No. 7.

31 December 1943:
At 1130, arrives at Truk towing damaged FUJIKAWA MARU.

19 January 1944:
At 0800, departs Truk for Yokosuka in convoy No. 4119 also consisting of IJA transport KEMBU MARU and civilian cargo ship (C-AK) HOKOKU MARU escorted by kaibokan AMAKUSA, auxiliary subchaser CHa-23, auxiliary netlayer KOKKO MARU, auxiliary minesweeper NOSHIRO MARU No. 2 GO and auxiliary gunboat CHOAN MARU No. 2 GO.

20 January 1944:
At 0900, NOSHIRO MARU No. 2 GO and KOKKO MARU are detached from the convoy and return to Truk.

31 January 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka and enters drydock for repairs.

25 March 1944:
Departs Yokosuka.

1 April 1944:
Departs Tokyo Bay alone at 12 knots.

29 April 1944:
Departs Saipan with auxiliary transport CHOAN MARU No. 2 GO to meet up with “Higashi Matsu” Convoy No.7-Go (outbound) consisting of auxiliary transports ASAHISAN, TATSUHARU and MITAKESAN MARUs, IJN requisitioned cargo/transports OKINAWA, BINGO, YAMATAMA, MEIRYU, MOJI and MIHO MARUs bound for Saipan; auxiliary transport (ex-armed merchant cruiser) ASAKA MARU and landing ships T.128 and T.150 for Palau; auxiliary transport KOSHIN MARU and IJN requisitioned cargo/transport BOKUYO MARU for Yap and auxiliary transport TAITO MARU for Chichi-Jima. Escort is provided by kaibokan NOMI, CD-12, CD-18 and CD-22 and by subchasers CH-16 and CH-18.

30 April 1944:
Arrives at Guam (renamed Omiya Island by the Japanese after its capture) with auxiliary transport CHOAN MARU No. 2 GO. At some point apparently both ships depart Guam to meet up effectively with “Higashi-Matsu” No. 7 convoy.

9 May 1944:
Departs Guam for Yap, Carolines in convoy also consisting of auxiliary transports IMIZU MARU and CHOAN MARU No. 2 GO, IJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) OKINAWA MARU and IJA transport MOJI MARU escorted by subchaser CH-30 and other unidentified small warship(s).

10 May 1944:
About 150 nautical miles NE of Yap. LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) John S. Coye's (USNA ’33) USS SILVERSIDES (SS-236) attacks the convoy. At about 0435, Coye torpedoes and sinks MIKAGE MARU No. 18 (14 crewmen KIA), CHOAN MARU No. 2 GO (41 crewmen and 12 passengers KIA) and OKINAWA MARU (15 crewmen KIA) at 11-31N, 143-41E.

10 July 1944:
Removed from the Navy’s list under instruction No. 587.


Authors' Notes:
[1] There were two categories of Kyutanyusen. (Ko) category with an IJN Captain as supervisor aboard and (Otsu) category without.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan.

- Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall.


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