(NANKING MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2017 Bob Hackett

Osaka. Laid down by Osaka Iron Works Co., Ltd. Sakurajima Plant as a 3, 185-ton cargo ship for Osaka Mercantile Co., Ltd., (O.S.K. Line) Osaka.

August 1914:
Launched and named NANKING MARU.

29 September 1914:

October 1914:
Departs Osaka on her maiden voyage to Takao, Formosa (Kaohsiung, Taiwan).

Placed on O.S.K.'s Japan ~ Australia run.

Placed on O.S.K.'s Japan ~ Batavia, Java (Jakarta, Indonesia) run.

Placed on O.S.K.'s Japan ~ European run.

24 April 1933:
Sold to Nippon Steamship, Otaru. Olaced on their Osaka ~ Otaru run.

6 March 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Navy (IJN) as a B-AK.

9 May 1941:
Released by the IJN back to her owners.

25 November 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA). Allotted Army No. 734.

December 1941:
NANKING MARU departs Ujina carrying troops to Rabaul, New Britain.

25 May 1942:
NANKING MARU departs Karatsu Bay, N Kyushu for Shanghai in a convoy also consisting of ROKKO, YURI, KOKI, SURABAYA and UJINA MARUs escorted by auxiliary gunboat TOMITSU MARU. The convoy is carrying 6,600 men of the IJA 70th Infantry Division.

28 May 1942:
At 1519, arrives at Shanghai.

13 December 1942:
KIZAN MARU departs Saeki in Military Movement No. 8’s convoy “H” also consisting of KASHU, MIYADONO, NANKING, TOMIURA and YAGUMO MARUs escorted by torpedo boat HATO and subchaser CH-36.

E 14 December 1942:
Both escorts are detached at 29N.

31 March 1943:
NANKING MARU departs Manila in convoy No. 840 also consisting of KAMO, KOYO and TAIHEI MARUs escorted by destroyer KURETAKE.

5 April 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

19 June 1943:
Reclassified as a Haitosen Army/Civilian (A/C-AK) shared employment cargo ship. Allotted Army No. 5569.

15 November 1943:
Transferred to Osaka Merchant Marine, Osaka.

11 September 1944:
At 1500, NANKING MARU departs Moji for Takao in convoy MOTA-26 also consisting of DAIKYO, DAIKU, DAIZEN, FUYUKAWA, GASSAN, HAKUSAN, HIDA, HOTEN, JUNHO, MACASSAR, MANILA, MURORAN, PEKING and SEIZAN MARUs and NICHIYU MARU No. 2 and tanker DAISHO MARU escorted by destroyer HARUKAZE, kaibokan CD-9 and CD-26 and subchaser CH-56.

16 September 1944:
GASSAN, HAKUSAN and SEIZAN MARUs are detached for Kirun (Keelung).

17 September 1944:
At 1300, arrives at Takao, Formosa.

1 October 1944:
At 1300, NANKING MARU departs Takao for Manila, Philippines in convoy TAMA-29 also consisting of EIKO, EJIRI, KOSHO, JOGU, PEKING, RYUEI, TEIFU (ex-Vichy French BOUGAINVILLE), TOKO and TOYOKAWA and URATO MARUs, BANEI MARU No. 6 and one unidentified merchant ship escorted by minesweepers W-38 and W-39, subchaser CH-61 and auxiliary subchasers CHa-95 and CHa-96.

3 October 1944:
At 1703, the convoy arrives at Camiguin Island.

5 October 1944:
JOGU MARU and BANEI MARU No. 6 are detached for San Vicente.

6 October 1944:
At 1900, the convoy departs Camiguin Island.

8 October 1944:
The convoy arrives at North San Fernando. NANKING and PEKING MARUs and W-38 and W-39, auxiliary subchaser CHa-95 and CHa-96 and subchaser CH-61 are all detached

9 November 1944:
At 0640, NANKING MARUdeparts Santa Cruz escort by patrol boat PB-103. At 2140 anchors in Manila Bay.

10 November 1944:
At 0900 arrives at Manila.

12 November 1944:
At 1800, NANKING MARU departs Manila for Takao in convoy MATA-32 that consists of fleet supply ship KURASAKI and UNKAI MARU No. 5 escorted by destroyer KURETAKE and kaibokan CD-1, CD-3 and CD-7.

14 November 1944:
Off Cape Bolinao, Luzon, Philippines. At 2218, LtCdr William T. Kinsella’s (USNA ‘34) USS RAY (SS-271) torpedoes and sinks CD-7 at 17-46N, 117-57E. At 2225, LtCdr Maurice W. Shea’s (USNA ‘37) USS RATON (SS-270) torpedoes and sinks UNKAI MARU No. 5. 43 crewmen are KIA.

15 November 1944:
W of Luzon. At 0025, Shea’s USS RATON torpedoes and sinks KURASAKI at 17-27N, 117-43E.

11 December 1944:
NANKING MARU departs Keelung for Kagoshima, Japan in convoy TAKA-107 also consisting of TENSHO MARU and fourteen unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan CD-42 and CD-44, torpedo boat MANAZURU, minelayer NUWAJIMA, minesweeper W-15 and auxiliary minesweepers TAKUNAN MARU No. 3 and TOSHI MARU No. 7.

22 January 1945:
At 0600, NANKING MARU departs Moji in convoy MOTA-33 also consisting of CLYDE, TEIKA MARU (ex-Vichy French CAP VARELLA), NIKKO, NANKING, TAKUSAN, SANJIN, MIYAJIMA and SHOKA MARUs escorted by destroyer KIRI and kaibokan CD-14, CD-16 and CD-46.

29 January 1945:
40 miles N of Keelung. LtCdr (later Cdr) Evan T. Shepard’s (USNA ‘35) USS PICUDA (SS-382) torpedoes and sinks CLYDE MARU at 25-20N, 121-06E. Survivors have little hope in the freezing water. 972 troops, 66 gunners and 61 crewmen are KIA of 1, 577 soldiers and crewmen aboard,

30 January 1945:
At 0900, arrives at Kirun (Keelung).

16 March 1945:
At 0100, NANKING MARU departs Kirun for Moji in convoy TAMO-49 also consisting of AIZAN, IKOMASAN and KITAKATA MARUs escorted by kaibokan IKUNA and CD-41 and minesweeper W-17. A USN PB4Y (B-24) attacks TAMO-49 and damages KITAKATA MARU at 29-09N, 122-07E.

17 March 1945:
Off Fuchow, China. At about 0100, Cdr (later Rear Admiral) William S. Post’s (USNA ’30) USS SPOT (SS-413) torpedoes and damages IKOMASAN MARU at 25-58N, 119-58E. Seven passengers, four gunners and six crew are KIA. She is beached off Matsu Island.

At 0335, Cdr Post torpedoes and sinks NANKING MARU at 25-33N, 120-10E. NANKING MARU was carrying 411 passengers, 32 ship’s gunners and 60 crewmen, all of whom are KIA. USS SPOT is damaged by gunfire of the escorts.

Author's Note:
Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

Bob Hackett

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