(Type 2TL by Ueda Kihachiro)
Tabular Record of Movement
© 2014 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.
21 June 1944:
Aioi. Laid down at Harima Zosensho as a 10,045-ton Type 2TL wartime
Standard Merchant Tanker for Showa Tanker Co., Ltd.
6 September 1944:
Launched and named MUNAKATA MARU.
30 September 1944:
18 October 1944:
At 0700, MUNAKATA MARU departs Imari Bay near Sasebo
via Cape St. Jacques, Indo-China for Miri, Borneo in convoy MI-23 also consisting of
EBARA, HIKACHI (NISSHO), MATSUMOTO, KOSHIN, EININ, RITSUEI, YAMASONO, ENREKI
(ENRYAKU), SHOEI, HIROTA, UNZEN, YOKAI and SHIROTAE MARUs, YUZAN MARU No. 2 and
survey ship HAKUSA escort by kaibokan CD-14, CD-20, CD-34, CD 38, CD-39, CD-46 and
patrol boats PB-38 and PB-102.
20 October 1944:
Anchors in Raro Bay off South Korea.
22 October 1944:
At the Shushan anchorage, E of Shanghai.
24 October 1944:
75 miles ENE of Foochow, China. At 1000, HIROTA,
UNZEN and YOKAI MARUs are detached for Takao escorted by P-103 and P-38.
25 October 1944:
Formosa Strait. At 0208, Cdr (later Rear
Admiral-Ret) Richard H. OíKaneís USS TANG (SS-306), running on the surface,
torpedoes and sinks EBARA MARU at 25-04N, 119-35E.
MATSUMOTO MARU, following behind EBARA MARU, alters course intent on
ramming TANG, but one of the torpedoes fired at EBARA MARU strikes onrushing
MATSUMOTO MARUís No. 1 hold. Her bow plunges under and she comes to a halt. Two
machine guns on her bridge open fire and drive the submarine under where the
water depth is a mere 131 feet.
The convoy speeds onward. CD-34 drops a few depth-charges. Nine American
submariners are found drifting on the surface including Captain OíKane. CD-34
rescues the survivors and later claims to have sunk TANG, but, in fact, she was
sunk by one of her own defective Mark-18 torpedoes. CD-34 is detached with the
POWs for Takao, Formosa. At 2000, convoy MI-23 arrives at Chuanchow Bay where
MATSUMOTO MARU is grounded; however, she lists heavily.
26 October 1944:
MATSUMOTO MARU capsizes and becomes a total loss. At
0600, the convoy anchors outside Amoy Harbor, and departs the same day at 1800.
29 October 1944:
At 0700, the convoy departs Amoy for Cape St.
30-31 October 1944:
Aircraft attack the convoy, but no damage is
4 November 1944:
At 1803, arrives at Cape St. Jacques.
9 November 1944:
At 0235, departs Cape St. Jacques.
12 November 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.
17 November 1944:
MUNAKATA MARU departs Singapore in convoy HI-80
also consisting of TENEI, MATSUSHIMA, RYOEI, ARIMASAN, KUROSHIO, NICHINAN and KAIHO
MARUs escorted by light cruiser KASHII (F), kaibokan MANJU, UKURU, NOMI, KASADO,
MIYAKE, CD-17, CD-23 and CD-51 and minelayer NIIZAKI.
20 November 1944:
At 1240, CD-17 is detached for Saigon.
27 November 1944:
At 0930, RYOEI and ARIMASAN MARUs escorted by
NIIZAKI are detached for Takao.
4 December 1944:
HI-80 arrives at Sasebo.
31 December 1944:
At 0820, MUNAKATA MARU departs Moji for Singapore
in convoy HI-87 also consisting of fleet oiler KAMOI and tankers TENEI, KAIHO, HASHIDATE,
KUROSHIO, MATSUSHIMA, MIRI, MITSUSHIMA and SARAWAK MARUs and passenger-cargoman
TATSUWA MARU escorted by destroyers SHIGURE, HATAKAZE and DesDiv17ís HAMAKAZE
and ISOKAZE and kaibokan KURAHASHI, YASHIRO, MIKURA and CD-13. Light carrier RYUHO
provides air cover.
7 January 1945:
East China Sea. The convoy is sighted by "Loughlin's
Loopers" submarine wolf pack consisting of Cdr (later Rear Admiral/MOH) Eugene R. Fluckey's USS BARB (SS-220) and LtCdr Evan T. Shepard's PICUDA (SS-382), later joined by Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Charles E. Loughlin's QUEENFISH (SS-393).
28 n miles NW of Fukikaku, Formosa. At 0905, in high seas, Shepard's PICUDA inflicts severe damage with four torpedo hits on MUNAKATA MARUís bow at 25-42N, 121-08E. She is assisted by kaibokan KURAHASHI, then proceeds separately to Kirun (Keelung).
9 January 1945:
Keelung. MUNAKATA MARU is moored at Quay No. 18 during an air attack by Task Force 38. Her gunners fire 135 rounds of 25-mm and 326 rounds of 13-mm AA. Two Smoke pots are released. Although a plane passes directly overhread, only minor damage is suffered by MUNAKATA MARU.
10 January 1945:
An over flight by reconnaisance planes results in MUNAKATA MARU's gunners firing a further 84 rounds of 25-mm and 115 rounds of 13-mm AA.
15 January 1945:
At 1015 and 1245, further attacks by TF 38 result in MUNAKATA MARU's gunners firing 195 rounds of 25-mm and 112 rounds of 13-mm. One smoke pot is released. Despite this, the ship is targeted by three aircraft, but suffers only light damage.
21 January 1945:
Keelung. Carrier aircraft of Vice Admiral John S. McCainís Task Force 38ís USS YORKTOWN (CV-10) and CABOT (CVL-28) attack Kirun from 0910 to 1525. Seven smoke pots, 105 rounds of 25-mm and 1060 rounds of 13-mm are fired. At 1448, two bombs hit amidships causing a large fire that spreads throughout the ship. Aboard MUNAKATA MARU, one AA gunner and three crewmen are KIA.
22 January 1945:
MUNAKATA MARU suffers further air attacks. Four more crewmen are wounded. 260 rounds of 13-mm AA are fired. The ship continues to burn and explode and becomes a Comprehensive Total Loss.
- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.
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