KYUHEIKAN!

(NARUTO MARU in NYK prewar service)

IJN NARUTO MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2009-2016 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.

Revision 3


27 October 1933:
Yokohama. Laid down at Mitsubishi’s Yokohama Dock Co.’s shipyard as a 7,149-ton cargo ship for Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (Japan Mail Shipping Line), Tokyo.

29 August 1934:
Launched and named NARUTO MARU.

10 December 1934:
Completed and placed in NYK service.

7 October 1941:
Departs Yokohama on NYK’s American route with calls at Manzanillo and Tocopilla, Mexico ports of call.

3 January 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

10 February 1942:
Yokohama. Begins conversion at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard. Requisitioned by the IJN.

15 February 1942:
Registered in the Maizuru Naval District as an auxiliary transport ship. Navy Captain Takesaki Takeo is appointed Supervisor.

10 March 1942:
Completes conversion. Navy Captain Katahara Tsunejiro (37) is appointed Supervisor. Attached to the 11th Naval Air Fleet.

24 March 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

1 April 1942:
Arrives at Kendari.

10 April 1942:
Assigned to the 11th Air Fleet as an auxiliary special (ammunition) transport ship.

14 April 1942:
Departs Kendari.

16 April 1942:
Arrives at Macassar.

23 April 1942:
Departs Macassar.

27 April 1942
Lands No. 6 Kushu Butai (Air Defense Unit).

29 April 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

1 May 1942:
Departs Takao.

2 May 1942:
Scheduled to be fitted with a telescopic rangefinder, related accommodation and spares under Navy’s secret instruction No. 5289.

5 May 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

9 May 1942:
Transfers from Yokohama to Yokosuka.

11 May 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

12 May 1942:
Arrives at Yokkaichi.

14 May 1942:
Departs Yokkaichi.

22 May 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

26 May 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

3 June 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

11 June 1942:
Arrives at Yokkaichi.

5 July 1942:
Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Chiya Sadae (34) is appointed Supervisor.

14 July 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

19 July 1942:
Enters Yokohama shipyard’s drydock.

4 August 1942:
Outfitting is completed. Undocked.

5 August 1942:
Departs Yokohama and arrives at Yokosuka later that day.

8 August 1942:
Departs Yokosuka and arrives at Kisarazu, Chiba Prefecture later in the day.

12 August 1942:
Departs Kisarazu and arrives back at Yokosuka that same day.

13 August 1942:
At 0000 departs Yokosuka escorted by destroyer AKIZUKI.

20 August 1942:
Arrives at Kavieng.

21 August 1942:
Scheduled to be fitted with AA MGs under Navy’s secret instruction No. 10469.

24 August 1942:
Departs Kavieng.

25 August 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

27 August 1942:
Arrives at Buka (sixth air raider landing).

7 September 1942:
Departs Rabaul for Shortland, Bougainville possibly with transport TAIFUKU MARU.

8 September 1942:
Arrives at Shortland.

10 September 1942:
Departs Shortland.

11 September 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

14 September 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

23 September 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

24 September 1942:
Departs Yokohama and arrives at Yokosuka later that same day.

29 September 1942:
At 1530 departs Yokosuka at 15 knots.

1 October 1942:
Currently assigned to transport supplies and ammunition to SE air bases. Arrives at Tokuyama.

3 October 1942:
Departs Tokuyama.

7 October 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

8 October 1942:
Departs Takao.

16 October 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

22 October 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

23 October 1942:
Arrives at Shortland. Departs later that day for Buin, Bougainville.

24 October 1942:
Arrives at Buin.

3 November 1942:
Departs Buin.

4 November 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

11 November 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

19 November 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

27 November 1942:
Departs Takao.

30 November 1942:
Arrives at Kagoshima, Kyushu. Departs later for Yokosuka.

2 December 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

12 December 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

13 December 1942:
Arrives at Yokkaichi.

16 December 1942:
Departs Yokkaichi.

24 December 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

31 December 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

14 January 1943:
Arrives at Macassar.

17 January 1943:
Departs Macassar.

19 January 1943:
Arrives at Surabaya.

25 January 1943:
Departs Surabaya.

27 January 1943:
Arrives at Balikpapan.

2 February 1943:
Departs Balikpapan.

10 February 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

24 February 1943:
Departs Rabaul in convoy witrh KYOSEI MARU escorted by sub chaser CH-30.

25 February 1943:
Arrives at Shortland.

26 February 1943:
Departs Shortland.

3 March 1943:
Arrives at Taroa.

4 March 1943:
Departs Taroa.

5 March 1943:
Arrives at Roi.

7 March 1943:
Departs Roi.

15 March 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

17 March 1943:
Departs Yokosuka but soon after returns to port.

5 April 1943:
At 0700 departs Woosung in Convoy A also consisting of JUNPO, KINRYO, AWA and SEISHO MARUs and an unknown UNKAI MARU No. (?) escorted by the minelayer TAKASHIMA.

6 April 1943:
Arrives at Tomie, Goto Retto.

25 April 1943:
Departs Tokyo.

28 April 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

3 May 1943:
Departs Yokosuka in convoy No. 3503 with water carrier NIPPO MARU escorted by destroyer OITE.

10 May 1943:
At 1400 arrives at Truk.

12 May 1943:
Departs Truk as sole ship in convoy No. 1121 escorted by destroyer YUZUKI.

15 May 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

21 May 1943:
Departs Rabaul in convoy No. 2212 consisting also of repair ship HAKKAI MARU escorted by submarine chaser CH-32.

25 May 1943:
Arrives at Truk. That same day an unknown officer is posted as Commanding Officer.

2 June 1943:
Departs Truk with auxiliary minelayer KOEI MARU escorted by torpedo boat HIYODORI.

7 June 1943:
Arrives at Saipan in convoy No. 4602.

10 June 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

14 June 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama. An unknown officer is posted Supervisor.

19 June 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

20 June 1943:
Arrives at Yokkaichi.

22 June 1943:
Departs Yokkaichi.

23 June 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

27 June 1943:
Departs Kure.

29 June 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

2 July 1943:
Departs Yokosuka as sole ship in convoy No. 3702 TOKU escorted by destroyer SAWAKAZE.

8 July 1943:
Arrives at Truk and departs later that same day.

18 July 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul (air fuel, weapon landing).

26 July 1943:
At 0500, NARUTO MARU departs Rabaul for Saipan in convoy No. 2262 consisting of KEISHO MARU escorted by torpedo boat OTORI and subchaser CH-30.

29 July 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

31 July 1943:
Convoy No. 4731 consisting only of NARUTO MARU escorted by destroyer ASANAGI departs Truk for Saipan.

3 August 1943:
At about 1700, arrives at Saipan.

5 August 1943:
Departs Saipan, arrives at Tinian and returns to Saipan later that day.

6 August 1943:
At 0900, departs Saipan for Yokohama carrying 198 passengers, 2,000 empty drums, approximately 10,000 sacks of sugar and 100 tons of miscellaneous goods, escorted by destroyer ASANAGI.

8 August 1943:
At 0558, LtCdr (later Cdr) Albert C. Burrows’ (USNA ’28) USS WHALE (SS-239) torpedoes NARUTO MARU at 24-03N, 142-45E. She is hit first in the starboard engine room aft and then a second torpedo hits between No. 5 and No. 6 holds, starboard side. Violent flooding occurs and the ship starts to sink by the stern, then her own depth charges explode. Abandon Ship is ordered. ASANAGI rescues 300 survivors, but four crewmen, 14 gunners and 12 passengers are KIA.

At 0558, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message from ASANAGI that reads: NARUTO MARU hit by one torpedo. In danger of sinking. Position: 24-10N, 142-45E."

At 0604, codebreakers intercept and decrypt another message from ASANAGI that reads: NARUTO MARU sank. Am rescuing survivors."

At 1140, a final message from ASANAGI is intercepted and decrypted that reads: "Conducted depth charge attacks in vicinity of NARUTO MARU. Took aboard 300 men.----"

15 October 1943:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors' Note:
Thanks go to John Whitman for info on USN decrypts of IJN message traffic and to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France for general assistance .

- Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.


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