YUSOSEN!

(Wartime Standard Merchant Tanker 1TL)


IJN MIRI MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2007-2016 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

Revision 4


1 April 1943:
Nagasaki. Laid down at Mitsubishi Shipbuilding for Mitsubishi Shoji Sekiyu (Tokyo) as a 10,564-ton Standard Merchant 1TL tanker.

June 1943:
Mitsubishi Shoji Sekiyu is restyled Mitsubishi Kisen.

19 July 1943:
Launched and named MIRI MARU.

4 September 1943:
Completed.

10 September 1943:
MIRI MARU probably departs Moji in convoy HI-09.

21 September 1943:
Arrives at Cap St Jacques, Indochina.

28 September 1943:
At 1900, MIRI MARU departs Cap St Jacques for Moji in convoy HI-10 consisting of ASAMA MARU and tanker TATEKAWA MARU (and possibly OTOWASAN MARU) and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan MATSUWA.

6 October 1943:
Convoy HI-10 is amalgamated with convoy MA-06 (composition unknown).

9 October 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

10 October 1943:
Arrives at Shimotsu.

14 October 1943:
Departs Shimotsu

15 October 1943:
Arrives at Nagasaki.

6 November 1943:
Departs Nagasaki.

7November 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

10 November 1943:
MIRI MARU departs Mutsure in convoy SA-17 consisting of KYOKUTO, OKIGAWA, NIGITSU, ORYOKU, USSURI, NIGITSU and MAYASAN MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-36 and fleet tanker ASHIZURI.

14 November 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

15 November 1943:
Departs Takao. [1]

21 November 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

25 November 1943:
MIRI MARU departs Singapore in special convoy G consisting of tanker OKIGAWA MARU, Naval tanker ASHIZURI and transports ASAMA, ASOSAN and AOBASAN MARUs and two unidentified ships escorted by destroyer URANAMI.

30 November 1943:
Arrives at Manila, URANAMI is detached and kaibokan TSUSHIMA takes over as escort.

1 December 1943:
At 2000 arrives at Takao.

2 December 1943:
At 1430 departs Takao in Special G convoy (Part 2) also consisting of SAKITO, NISSHO and ASOSAN MARUs escorted by kaibokan TSUSHIMA.

7 December 1943:
At 1000 arrives at Mutsure.

8 December 1943:
Departs Mutsure.

9 December 1943:
Arrives at New Port at Omishima. Later, departs Omishima for Nagasaki.

1 February 1944:
At 0700, MIRI MARU departs Moji in convoy HI-41 consisting of AWA, ASAMA, TEIA and NANKAI MARUs and tanker NAMPO MARU escorted by kaibokan MATSUWA.

2 February 1944:
At 0730, minesweeper W-27 joins the convoy.

11 February 1944:
At 1430, arrives at Singapore.

16 February 1944:
At 1600, MIRI MARU departs Singapore in convoy HI-42 consisting of MIIKE MARU and tanker SEISHIN MARU and two unidentified vessels escorted by kaibokan MATSUWA.

25 February 1944:
At 1025, arrives at Keelung. ASAMA MARU probably joins the convoy there and possibly tanker SHIOYA.

26 February 1944:
At 0900, departs Keelung.

28 February 1944:
At 0600, arrives at Moji.

29 February 1944:
Departs Moji.

1 March 1944:
Arrives at Omishima.

2 March 1944:
After discharging 4822 tons of cargo, steams to Iwakuni the same day and discharges an identical amount.

4 March 1944:
Departs Iwakuni.

5 March 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

8 March 1944:
At 0900, MIRI MARU departs Moji for Singapore in convoy HI-53 consisting of tanker GENYO MARU and an unidentified merchant ship with an unidentified escort. MIRI MARU carries about 500 soldiers and civilian passengers and ten fighter planes as deck cargo. Some of the troops are bound for Burma.

11 March 1944:
At 1900, arrives Takao. Destroyer AMAGIRI and kaibokan KANJU join the escort.

13 March 1944:
At 1000, departs Takao. The convoy is attacked by an unidentified submarine that fires two torpedoes at MIRI MARU, but the oiler applies hard starboard rudder and avoids them.

18 March 1944:
At 1730, arrives at Singapore.

29 March 1944:
At 0950, MIRI MARU departs Singapore in convoy HI-54 consisting of NANKAI, ARIMASAN and KYOKUHO MARUs escorted by kaibokan AWAJI.

31 March 1944:
Arrives and anchors at Cap St. Jacques, Indochina.

11 April 1944:
Cap St. Jacques. Convoy HI-54 is joined by convoy HI-56 consisting of tanker ASANAGI MARU, OTORISAN, SARAWAK, TOKUSHIMA MARUs, NICHINAN MARU No.2 and one unidentified ship escorted by torpedo boat HATO and kaibokan MATSUWA.

14 April 1944:
At 0800, reconstituted convoy HI-56 departs Cap St. Jacques for Takao, Formosa.

19 April 1944:
Arrives at Takao. The old destroyer KURETAKE joins as an additional escort.

24 April 1944:
At 1930 arrives Moji.

29 April 1944:
Arrives at Hikoshima.

30 April 1944:
Arrives at Iwakuni and departs later that day.

30 April 1944:
Arrives at Ujina.

4 May 1944:
Departs Ujina. Later that day, arrives at Innoshima.

9 May 1944:
Registered in Yokosuka Naval District as an special transport ship (oil supply) in (Otsu) category under internal order No. 642-2.

10 June 1944:
Requisitioned by the IJN.

11 June 1944:
Innoshima. Conversion to a fleet tanker begins at Hitachi Zosen's yard.

15 June 1944:
The conversion is complete.

16 June 1944:
Departs Innoshima. Later that day, arrives at Kure.

19 June 1944:
Departs Kure. Later that day, arrives at Moji.

20 June 1944:
At 1930, MIRI MARU departs Moji for Singapore in convoy HI-67 consisting of oilers, OTORISAN, SARAWAK and SHINEI MARUs and NICHINAN MARU No. 2 and transports MANJU, NANKAI, KINUGASA, ASAKA, ASAHISAN, GOKOKU and HAKOZAKI MARUs escorted by destroyer KURETAKE, kaibokan KURAHASHI, HIRADO, CD-5 and CD-13, minelayer SHIRATAKA and subchaser CH-61.

E 26 June 1944:
Destroyer ASAGAO and kaibokan CD-2 join the escort of convoy HI-67 at sea.

29 June 1944:
W of Luzon. At 1510, LtCdr Anton R. Gallaher's (USNA ’33) USS BANG (SS-385) torpedoes and damages MIRI and SARAWAK MARUs at 17-13N, 118-22E. Both tankers are hit in the bow, but each manages to proceed to Manila under its own power.

30 June 1944:
The main convoy arrives at Manila. MIRI, SARAWAK, GOKOKU and ASAHISAN MARUs are detached.

30 June-23 July 1944:
Undergoes temporary repairs.

23 July 1944:
At 1545, MIRI MARU departs Manila for Moji in convoy MI-08 consisting of MIZUHO, CHIHAYA, SAN DIEGO, MANILA, SANKO (YAMAKO) , SAN LUIS, ARABIA, TATSUBATO, RYUSHO, HAKUROKU and NITTETSU MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD-1, CD-18, CD-28, torpedo boat SAGI, minesweeper W-17, minelayer ENOSHIMA and subchaser CH-61.

27 July 1944:
At 0920, auxiliary subchaser CHa-74 and auxiliary transport OYO MARU join the escort. At 1605, the convoy arrives at Takao where it is reorganized.

30 July 1944:
At 1545, MIRI MARU departs Takao for Moji in convoy MI-08 consisting of ZUIHO, CHIHAYA, SAN DIEGO, BOKO, MANILA, SANKO (YAMAKO), SAN LUIS, TSUYAMA, ARABIA, TATSUBATO, RYUSHO, YAGI, TOUN, EIHO and NITTETSU MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD-1, CD-18, torpedo boat SAGI, minesweeper W-17 and auxiliary netlayer KISHIN MARU. The convoy's speed is 7 knots.

1 August 1944:
At 1400, the convoy arrives at Keelung.

4 August 1944:
At 1600, departs Keelung.

9 August 1944:
At 1510, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Robert A. Keating's (USNA ’33) USS BARBEL (SS-316) torpedoes and sinks YAGI (ITACHIGI) MARU with 31 crewmen and three gunners KIA and BOKO MARU (casualties unknown) at 27-56N, 128-47E. The escorts counterattack and drop 21 DCs that damage BARBEL. The convoy puts into Koniya on Amami-Oshima.

11 August 1944:
At 0400, departs Amami-O-Shima.

13 August 1944:
The convoy arrives at Moji.

16 August 1944:
Departs Moji.

17 August 1944:
Arrives at Nagasaki. MIRI MARU transfers to Mitsubishi, Nagasaki where she undergoes extensive repairs to her bow.

14 November 1944:
MIRI MARU departs Imari Bay for Singapore in convoy HI-81 consisting of SHINSHU, KIBITSU, AKITSU, ARITA, HASHIDATE, KIYOKAWA, MAYASAN, OTOWASAN and TOA MARUs escorted by kaibokan ETOROFU (F), TSUSHIMA, DAITO, KUME, SHONAN and escort destroyer KASHI. 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. At 1156, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Charles E. Loughlin's (USNA ’33) USS QUEENFISH (SS-393) torpedoes and sinks IJA landing craft depot ship AKITSU MARU. 67 crewmen, 140 gunners, 2,093 of 2500 men of the IJA's 64th Infantry Regiment are KIA. IJA's 20th Sea Raiding Battalion 104 “Maru-ni” explosive motor boats (EMB) aboard also are lost. SHINYO's planes attempt to locate and destroy the submarine, but fail to find her.

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

17 November 1944:
At 0800, HI-81 departs for the Shushan Islands near Shanghai. At 1815, USS PICUDA (SS-382) torpedoed and sinks IJA landing craft depot ship MAYASAN MARU of 56 crewmen, 194 gunners and 3187 troops of the 4,387 men and 204 horses of IJA’s 23rd Division. All maru-ni Explosive Motor Boats (EMBs) of IJA's 24th Sea Raiding Battalion also are lost. At 2309, LtCdr (later Captain) Gordon W. Underwood’s (USNA ’32) USS SPADEFISH (SS-411) torpedoes and sinks escort carrier SHINYO with over 700 men KIA. About 200 survivors are picked up by the escorts. Escort destroyer KASHI counterattacks the submarine with uncertain results.

18 November 1944:
At 0315, kaibokan TSUSHIMA attacks a submarine with fifteen depth-charges. At 1600, the convoy arrives at anchorage" E of Shanghai.

21 November 1944:
The convoy departs for Mako, Pescadores.

23 November 1944:
Formosa Srait. The convoy anchors in the Nanjih Channel. CD-61 joins escort.

24 November 1944:
At 0730, departs the Nanjih area.

25 November 1944:
CD-61 is detached.

26 November 1944:
Arrives at Mako. MIRI MARU is detached and departs for Takao.

November 1944:
Takao. Undergoes repairs to damaged water tanks.

1 December 1944:
At Takao MIRI MARU and patrol boat No. 102 (ex-USS STEWART (DD-224) join convoy HI-83 consisting of tankers KYOKUUN, HARIMA, SEISHIN, TOA and EISHO MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD-63, CD-64, CD-35, CD-207 and escort carrier KAIYO.

3 December 1944:
At 0522, MIRI MARU opens fire on a surfaced enemy submarine. One hour later, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Frank W. Fenno's (USNA ’25) USS PAMPANITO (SS-383) torpedoed and damages SEISHIN MARU. At 0607, LtCdr (later Cdr) William N. Deragon's USS PIPEFISH (USNA ’34)(SS-388) torpedoes and sinks CD-64. The convoy breaks up and each ship independently retreats towards Hainan Island.

5 December 1944:
At about 1000, PB-102 discovers previously torpedoed SEISHIN MARU that ran aground. At 1630, MIRI MARU takes SEISHIN MARU under tow.

6 December 1944:
At 1200, the three ships arrive at Brandon Bay, Indochina. At 1730, MIRI MARU and PB-102 depart.

7 December 1944:
At 1300, MIRI MARU and PB-102 arrive at Yulin, Hainan Island and rejoin convoy HI-83.

9 December 1944:
Arrives at Quinhon Bay, Indochina.

10 December 1944:
Departs Quinhon.

13 December 1945:
Arrives at Singapore.

26 December 1944:
At 1158, MIRI MARU departs Singapore for Moji in convoy HI-84 consisting of oiler TOA MARU, transport AWA MARU and tanker RYOEI MARU and four unidentified ships escorted by escort carrier KAIYO, kaibokan OKINAWA, CD-27 and CD-63 and patrol boat P-102 (ex-USS STEWART, DD-224).

29 December 1944:
At 1157, convoy HI-84 arrives at Cape St. Jacques (near Saigon) and departs at 1625 the same day.

30 December 1944:
South China Sea. Northbound convoy HI-84 passes CarDiv 4's hybrid battleship/carriers ISE and HYUGA, cruisers OYODO and ASHIGARA, DesDiv 2's ASASHIMO and DesDiv 18's KASUMI enroute south from Camranh Bay. Later that day, convoy HI-84 arrives at Binhoang Bay, Indochina.

31 December 1944:
At 0745, the convoy departs Binhoang Bay. Soon after departure, LtCdr Otis R. Cole's (USNA ’36) USS DACE (SS-247) fires three torpedoes at KAIYO, but gets no hits. There is no counterattack, as the convoy seems unaware of the attack. At 1804, the convoy arrives at Quinhon, Indochina.

1 January 1945:
Departs Quinhon.

2 January 1945:
At 0105, arrives at Shiran Bay, Indochina.

3 January 1945:
S of Hainan Island, China. MIRI MARU strikes a mine and her engine room floods. She is left behind, but manages to reach Hong Kong.

January 1945:
Hong Kong. Undergoes repairs.

E 9 January 1945:
Departs Hong Kong for Takao, but turns back because of impending air raids.

10 January 1945:
At 1000, arrives at Hong Kong. Departs later that day.

11 January 1945:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores.

13 January 1945:
At 1710, arrives at Tsoying (near Takao). Begins discharging cargo which also includes 544 sacks of tungsten and 48 mailbags.

15 January 1945:
Off Takao. Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) John S. McCain’s (USNA ’06) Task Force 38 attacks shipping off Formosa. Carrier planes from USS LEXINGTON (CV-16), HANCOCK (CV-19) and HORNET (CV-12) sink MIRI MARU. 10 crewmen and 17 gunners are KIA.

3 May 1945:
Removed from the Navy List under internal order No. 327.


Authors' Notes:
[1] Some sources say Mako. Almost certainly the passenger/troop carrying vessels detached at Takao.

[2] Probably by USS SEA CAT (although USS PIPEFISH is credited)

Thanks for assistance goes to Sander Kingsepp of Estonia. Thanks also go to John Whitman and Gilbert Casse of France.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.


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