ZATSUYOSEN!

(MITAKESAN MARU, prewar)

IJN MITAKESAN MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement


2011 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


9 June 1937:
Aioi. Laid down by Harima K.K. Zosensho shipyard as a 4,164-ton cargo ship for Kaburagi Kisen K.K., Tokyo.

6 November 1937:
Launched and named MITAKESAN MARU. [1]

21 January 1938:
Completed and registered at Tokyo. Her Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT) is amended to 4,441-tons.

10 February 1938:
Chartered to Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) Line for their Kobe ~ Shanghai line.

28 April 1938:
Chartered again to NYK. Makes another Kobe ~ Shanghai voyage.

22 August 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN.

3 September 1941:
Begins conversion to military role at Uraga shipyard, Uraga Dock K.K.

20 September 1941:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary transport under internal order No. 1093 and attached to the Yokosuka Naval District. Her home port is Yokosuka Naval Base.

30 September 1941:
The conversion is completed.

E October 1941:
Assigned to Yokosuka Naval District as an auxiliary transport, (Ko) category. [2]

6 October 1941:
Departs Moji.

E October 1941:
Operates in the South Seas area (Japanese mandated islands).

27 November 1941:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

E November 1941:
Departs Yokosuka at an unknown date.

26 November 1941:
Arrives in southern China waters.

13 December 1941:
At 0730, departs Camranh Bay, Occupied French Indochina, with the Miri and Seria, Borneo invasion convoy. At an unknown point, MITAKESAN MARU is detached to the Philippines.

16 December 1941:
Arrives at Luzon, Philippines. Departs at an unknown date.

5 January 1942:
Arrives at Saigon, Indochina.

7 January 1942:
Departs Saigon.

26 January 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

28 January 1942:
Departs Saigon.

12 February 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

18 February 1942:
Departs Saigon for Yokohama.

28 February 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama. Departs and arrives at Yokosuka at unknown dates.

6 March 1942:
Departs Yokosuka for Osaka.

8 March 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

13 March 1942:
Departs Osaka.

24 March 1942:
Arrives at Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture.

27 March 1942:
Departs Nagoya.

10 April 1942:
Arrives at Tokuyama, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

12 April 1942:
Departs Tokuyama and arrives the same day at Tsukumi, Oita Prefecture, Kyushu.

17 April 1942:
Departs Tsukumi for Kobe.

18 April 1942:
Arrives at Kobe.

22 April 1942:
Departs Kobe and arrives the same day at Aioi, Hyogo Prefecture. Probably undergoes repairs and maintenance at Harima Zosensho shipyard.

20 May 1942:
Departs Aioi for Tokuyama.

23 May 1942:
Arrives at Tokuyama.

25 May 1942:
Departs Tokuyama. MITAKESAN MARU steams unescorted in the Bungo Suido (Strait), heading south.

19 July 1942:
Departs Saipan, Marianas towing auxiliary transport KEISHO MARU that sustains an engine breakdown.

24 July 1942:
Arrives at Haha-Jima, Ogasawara Gunto (Bonins).

25 July 1942:
Departs Haha-Jima for Osaka.

28 July 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

31 July 1942:
Departs Osaka for Yokohama.

1 August 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

9 August 1942:
Departs Yokohama for Hakodate, Hokkaido.

11 August 1942:
Arrives at Hakodate.

15 August 1942:
Departs Hakodate and arrives the same day at Ominato, Aomori Prefecture, Honshu.

21 August 1942:
Departs Ominato for Otaru, Hokkaido.

22 August 1942:
Arrives at Otaru.

25 August 1942:
Departs Otaru.

E September 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul, New Britain.

9 September 1942:
Recoals auxiliary gunboats NIKKAI and SEIKAI MARUs.

21 September 1942:
Recoals again auxiliary gunboat SEIKAI MARU.

22 September 1942:
Recoals again auxiliary gunboat NIKKAI MARU (until 23 September).

E October 1942:
Departs Rabaul at an unknown date.

5 November 1942:
Arrives at Fushiki, Toyama Prefecture, Honshu.

7 November 1942:
Departs Fushiki for Niigata, Niigata Prefecture.

8 November 1942:
Arrives at Niigata.

11 November 1942:
Departs Niigata for Muroran, Hokkaido.

12 November 1942:
Arrives at Muroran.

15 November 1942:
Departs Muroran for Tokyo.

17 November 1942:
Arrives at Tokyo.

21 November 1942:
Departs Tokyo for Jaluit Atoll, Marshalls.

4 December 1942:
Arrives at Jaluit.

20 December 1942:
Resupplied with raw food products by auxiliary stores ship KITAKAMI MARU.

E January 1943:
Departs Jaluit at an unknown date.

14 January 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Departs Yokosuka at unknown date and arrives that day at Yokohama

18 January 1943:
Departs Yokohama for Muroran.

21 January 1943:
Arrives at Muroran.

23 January 1943:
Departs Muroran for Yokosuka.

25 January 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

1 February 1943:
Departs Yokosuka in convoy 3201 also consisting of AIKAWA MARU (42, 364 GRT) escorted by minesweeper W-17.

2 May 1943:
At 0650, departs Palau in convoy No. P-502 also consisting of MYOKO, MUKO, NISSHO, SHICHISEI and MYOGI MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-46.

9 May 1943:
About noon, auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 3 joins the escort.

10 May 1943:
At 1145, the convoy arrives at Saeki, Kyushu. Later, MITAKESAN MARU departs for Wakamatsu, Fukuoka Prefecture.

11 May 1943:
Arrives at Wakamatsu.

13 May 1943:
Departs Wakamatsu and arrives the same day at Tsukumi.

19 May 1943:
Departs Tsukumi for Osaka.

20 May 1943:
Arrives at Osaka. Probably undergoes maintenance and repairs.

8 June 1943:
Departs Osaka for Yokohama.

11 June 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama.

13 June 1943:
Departs Yokohama, calls at Yokosuka and departs the same day for Truk, Carolines in convoy No. 3613A with unknown escort.

22 June 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

28 June 1943:
Departs Truk for Kwajalein.

30 June 1943:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

3 July 1943:
At 1230, Arrives back at Kwajalein, probably after returning from nearby Roi Namur.

5 August, 1943:
Departs Kwajalein with convoy No. 6053 also consisting of MANJU (ex-SANTOS MARU) and KAISHO MARUs with subchaser CH-33 as escort. Steams at 11.5 knots.

9 August 1943:
Arrives at Truk via northern channel.

21 August 1943:
Departs Truk for Yokosuka in fleet convoy No. 4821 also consisting of transports MANJU (ex-SANTOS MARU), KENAN and KAISHO MARUs and colliers SOYO MARU and MIKAGE MARU No. 18 escorted by destroyers IKAZUCHI and YUZUKI and auxiliary gunboat SHOEI MARU.

22 August 1943:
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 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 TULLIBEE's position. Brindupke takes TULLIBEE 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:
The remainder of the convoy arrives at Yokosuka.

5 September 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Osaka.

6 September 1943:
Arrives at Osaka.

8 September 1943:
Departs Osaka for Kure.

9 September 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

13 September 1943:
Departs Kure and arrives the same day at Saeki.

16 September 1943:
Departs Saeki for Rabaul via Palau in convoy O-608 also consisting of KASHU, TAMAHOKO, TOUN, OSAKA, TOYOOKA, MEXICO and RYUOSAN MARUs escorted by torpedo boat SAGI, minelayer YURIJIMA, auxiliary minesweeper TAMA MARU and auxiliary patrol boat SHINKO MARU.

E 17 September 1943:
At 29 degreees north all escorts except SAGI are detached.

27 September 1943:
At 1300 arrives at Palau.

3 October 1943:
At 1500 departs Palau in a convoy also consisting of KASHU, TOYOOKA and MEXICO MARUs with unknown escort.

8 October 1943:
About 85 nms N of Manus Island, Admiralties. At 0123, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Norvell G. Ward (USNA 35) USS GUARDFISH (SS-217) sights the convoy and torpedoes Army transport KASHU MARU. One torpedo is evaded but two others hits in her No.1 and No.4 holds. At 0140, KASHU MARU sinks at 00-26S, 146-17E. Only one crewman is KIA.

10 October 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul. MITAKESAN MARU sustains without damage various major 5th AF USAAF raids while at anchor.

4 November 1943:
Transfers building and welding materials to auxiliary transport KANAYAMASAN MARU (until 05 November).

7 November 1943:
Tows auxiliary transport HAKUSAN MARU to Karavia (Keravia) Bay, S of Simpson Harbor, Rabaul after this ship is heavily damaged in the major 5th AF USAAF attack of 2 November.

8 November 1943:
Departs Rabaul for Truk in convoy consisting also of TOKYO MARU escorted by destroyer SHIGURE.

9 November 1943:
At 0925, the convoy is attacked and bombed by B-17s aircraft but sustains only slight damage.

10 November 1943:
About 240 nms SSW of Truk Atoll. LtCdr (Rear Admiral-Ret) Walter G. Ebert's (USNA 30) USS SCAMP (SS-277) intercepts the convoy. At 0918, Ebert fires a spread of four Mark-14 Type 3A torpedoes at auxiliary transport TOKYO MARU, three are evaded but one hits her boiler room and No. 4 hold, at 04-06N, 150-17E. The escort counterattacks and forces Ebert to go deep. After evading, Ebert fires three more torpedoes into the listing target, but scores no hits. At about 02100, crippled TOKYO MARU is observed being towed away by MITAKESAN MARU.

12 November 1943:
Due to increased flooding, the tow cable breaks. TOKYO MARU sinks shortly thereafter, at 1455. Three crewmen are KIA. MITAKESAN MARU picks up the survivors and arrives at Truk later that day.

20 November 1943:
Departs Truk for Yokosuka as the only merchant ship. in convoy No. 4201 escorted by destroyer INAZUMA, minesweeper W-28 and auxiliary gunboat CHOKO MARU No. 2 GO.

29 November 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

11 December 1943:
At 1000, departs Yokosuka for Truk in convoy No. 3211A also consisting of HAKOZAKI MARU escorted by kaibokan OKI, patrol boat PB-46 and subchaser CH-31.

14 December 1943:
At 0800, HAKOZAKI MARU is detached for Chichi-Jima, Ogasawara Gunto (Bonins) with engine trouble.

20 December 1943:
At 0800, the convoy arrives at Truk.

11 January 1944:
At 0500, departs Truk for Yokosuka in convoy No. 7125 also consisting of HAKUSAN, HAKOZAKI and KIMISHIMA MARUs escorted by destroyer SHIRATSUYU, kaibokan HIRADO and subchaser CH-29.

20 January 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

23 January 1944:
Departs Yokosuka for Muroran.

25 January 1944:
Arrives at Muroran.

27 January 1944:
Departs Muroran for Yokosuka.

29 January 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

6 February 1944:
Departs Yokosuka for Kure.

10 February 1944:
Arrives at Kure.

14 February 1944:
Departs Kure for Kobe.

15 February 1944:
Arrives at Kobe.

19 February 1944:
Departs Kobe and arrives the same day at Wada-Misaki.

21 February 1944:
Departs Wada-Misaki and arrives at Yokosuka at an unknown date.

25 February 1944:
At 0622, departs Yokosuka for Futami-Ko, Hyogo Prefecture in convoy No. 3225 consisting only of MITAKESAN MARU escorted by minesweeper W-27.

27 February 1944:
At 0929, the convoy arrives at Futami-Ko.

3 March 1944:
Departs Futami-Ko for Saipan.

8 March 1944:
Arrives at Saipan. Departs at an unknown date.

19 March 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

22 March 1944:
Departs Yokosuka for Aioi.

27 March 1944:
Arrives at Aioi. Probably undergoes maintenance and repairs at Harima Zosensho shipyard.

8 April 1944:
Departs Aioi for Yokosuka.

11 April 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Later, departs and arrives at Yokohama at unknown dates.

25 April 1944:
Departs Yokohama and arrives the same day at Kisarazu on Tokyo Bay, Chiba Prefecture.

28 April 1944:
At 0600, departs Kisarazu in "Higashi Matsu" Convoy No.7 (outbound) also consisting of TATSUHARU, ASAHISAN, OKINAWA, YAMATAMA, BINGO, MEIRYU, MOJI and MIHO MARUs bound for Saipan; ASAKA MARU and landing ships T.128 and T.150 for Palau; KOSHIN and BOKUYO MARUs for Yap and TAITO MARU for Chichi-Jima. The convoy arrives safely at these destinations.

6 May 1944:
Arrives at Saipan. Disembarks passengers and unloads cargo.

11 May 1944:
About 20 nms W of Lalo point, Saipan. LtCdr (later Captain) Malcolm E. Garrison's (USNA 32) USS SANDLANCE (SS-381) sights MITAKESAN MARU. At 1514, Garrison torpedoes and sinks MITAKESAN MARU at 14-57N, 145-30E. Only one crewman is KIA.

10 July 1944:
Removed from the Navy List under internal order No. 855.


Authors Notes:
[1] Also known as MITSUKESAN MARU.

[2] There were two categories of Zatsuyosen. (Ko) category with an IJN Captain as supervisor aboard and (Otsu) category without.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan.

-Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


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