Tabular Record of Movement

© 2016 Berend van der Wal, Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall
Revision 3

E 1942:
Uranosaki, Saga Prefecture, Kyushu. Laid down by Kawaminami Kogyo K.K. for Taiyo Kogyo K.K, Tokyo as a 1,945-tons cargo ship.

December 1942:
Launched and named NICHINAN MARU.

10 December 1942:
The ship will be requisitioned from 13 December 1942 under the Third Secret Military Preparation instructions.

16 January 1943:
Registered by the Department of the Navy as a general transport (refueling ships), attached to the Sasebo Naval district jurisdiction. Conversion for military duty as an oil tanker (primary emergency oil tanker) starts at the Uranosaki Zosen shipyard.

17 January 1943:
Main hull completed.

24 March 1943:
Conversion completed.

25 March 1943:
Departs Nagasaki.

26 March 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

28 March 1943:
Supplied with charcoal, water and food. Departs Sasebo.

3 April 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

5 April 1943:
Departs Kure. Arrives at Hiro the same day. Departs Hiro later that day.

6 April 1943:
Arrives at Shimotsu.

12 April 1943:
Departs Shimotsu.

14 April 1943:
Arrives at Kure. Supplied with fuel and water.

15 April 1943:
Loads ballast and the engine is being repaired.

2 May 1943:
Loading ballast and engine repairs are completed.

3 May 1943:
Departs Kure.

4 May 1943:
Arrives at Kannai Port, Yokohama.

5 May 1943:
Departs Kannai Port.

6 May 1943:
Arrives at Kagoshima.

10 May 1943:
Departs Kagoshima. At 1300 departs Yamakawa in ROKU-8 convoy also consisting of KEIUN, RYUKYU, BANSHU, AMOY and RYUTO MARUs escorted by auxiliary netlayer KUMANO MARU.

11 May 1943:
Arrives at Naze, Amami Oshima. Apparently detached from the convoy as a result of naterial defects.

12 May 1943:
Departs Naze. Arrives at Kuji, Amami Oshima the same day.

13 May 1943:
Departs Kuji.

15 May 1943:
Arrives at Nagasaki. Repairs of the main engine and hull begin.

21 June 1943:
Repairs are completed.

24 June 1943:
Departs Nagasaki and joins convoy Shi-414 off Tomie also consisting of KITSURIN, JUNYO, KINRYO, TOYOURA, NANKA, KOKKO, MALAY, DAIYA, TOTAI, TAITO, SAINEI, TSUSHIMA and MISAKI MARUs escorted by minelayer TAKASHIMA and destroyer MINEKAZE. At 1630 the convoy departs Tomie at 8 knots.

E 26 June 1943:
NICHINAN MARU is detached from the convoy and heads south with SAINEI, TSUSHIMA and MISAKI MARUs.

30 June 1943:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores.

4 July 1943:
Departs Mako in convoy No. 305 also consisting of SYDNEY and HEIWA MARUs and three unidentified merchant ships without escort. At some point NICHINAN MARU is apparently detached.

12 July 1943:
Arrives at St. Jacques, Indochina (now Vung Tau, Vietnam).

15 July 1943:
Departs St. Jacques in convoy No. 593 also consisting of OTORISAN, TSUKIKAWA and KOKUEI MARUs without escort.

18 July 1943:
At 1630 arrives at the Seletar Naval port, Singapore.

27 July 1943:
Departs Seletar.

29 July 1943:
Arrives at Palembang, Sumatra.

30 July 1943:
Departs Palembang.

1 August 1943:
Arrives at Bukum Island, Singapore (now Pulau Bukom).

5 August 1943:
Departs Bukum Island.

7 August 1943:
Arrives at Palembang.

8 August 1943:
Departs Palembang.

10 August 1943:
Arrives at Bukum Island.

15 August 1943:
Departs Bukum Island.

17 August 1943:
Arrives at Palembang.

18 August 1943:
Departs Palembang.

20 August 1943:
Arrives at Bukum Island.

23 August 1943:
Departs Bukum Island.

The ship will be derequisitioned from 27 August 1943 under the Third Secret Military Preparation instructions. (new charter schedule from 31 August).

25 August 1943:
Arrives at Palembang.

27 August 1943:
Departs Palembang.

30 August 1943:
Arrives at Bukum Island.

2 September 1943:
Departs Bukum Island.

4 September 1943:
Arrives at Palembang.

11 September 1943:
Departs Palembang with NASUSAN MARU.

13 September 1943:
Arrives at Bukum Island.

15 September 1943:
Derequisitioned. Registered as a Naval auxiliary supply ship attached to the Sasebo Naval District Jurisdiction. [1]

21 September 1943:
At Singapore for maintenance and repairs.

25 September 1943:
At 1700 departs Palembang.

27 September 1943:
Arrives at Singapore:

3 October 1943:
Departs Singapore.

4 October 1943:
At 1935 arrives at Palembang.

10 October 1943:
At 1640 due to arrive at Palembang from Singapore.

21 October 1943:
At Singapore.

26 October 1943:
Departs Singapore.

30 October 1943:
Back at Singapore.

5 November 1943:
Under repair at Singapore.

8 November 1943:
Arrives at Palembang.

11 November 1943:
At 1500 arrives at Singapore.

24 November 1943:
Departs Singapore.

28 November 1943:
At 1800 departs Singapore for Medan.

4 December 1943:
Reported at Palembang with engine problems.

8 December 1943:
Scheduled to be registered as a Navy supply ship under the Third Secret Military Preparation instruction No. 422.

30 December 1943:
At 1900 arrives at Palembang.

1 January 1944:
At anchor at Palembang.

6 January 1944:
At 0800 NICHINAN and KOKUEI MARUs depart Singapore and at 1640 both arrive at Palembang.

7 January 1944:
At 1730 due to depart Palembang for Singapore.

10 January 1944:
At 2200 arrives at Singapore.

13 January 1944:
At 1430 arrives at Palembang from Seletar.

15 January 1944:
At 2000 arrives at Singapore.

24 January 1944:
At 1800 due to arrive at Singapore from Medan.

27 January 1944:
At 1530 departs Singapore.

15 February 1944:
At 1700 departs Palembang.

20 February 1944:
Scheduled to be registered as a Navy supply ship under the Third Secret Military Preparation instruction No. 216.

4 March 1944:
Due to depart Palembang.

9 March 1944:
At 2140 arrives at Palembang.

18 March 1944:
At 1700 arrives at Singapore from Palembang.

20 March 1944:
At 0900 due to depart Singapore.

21 March 1944:
At 1700 arrives at Palembang.

25 March 1944:
At 1435 arrives at Palembang from Singapore.

14 April 1944:
At 0900 due to depart Singapore.

15 April 1944:
At 1800 due to arrive at Palembang.

17 April 1944:
At 1700 due to arrive at Singapore.

18 April 1944:
A convoy consisting of tankers NICHINAN, KAIKO, SHONAN and KOTOKU MARUs and KYOEI MARU No. 6 is due to depart Singapore for Pangkalan Susu.

20 April 1944:
At 1300 arrives at Pangkalan Susu.

25 April 1944:
At 1600 the same convoy departs Pangkalan Susu.

26 April 1944:
Arrives at Belawan.

31 May 1944:
Departs Singapore.

2 June 1944:
Arrives at Palembang. Loads 2,200t heavy oil.

3 June 1944:
Departs Palembang.

5 June 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

E 6 June 1944:
Unloads 2,200t heavy oil.

7 June 1944:
Departs Singapore.

9 June 1944:
Arrives at Palembang. Loads 2,050t heavy oil.

10 June 1944:
Departs Palembang.

12 June 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

E 13 ~19 June 1944:
Unloads 2,050t heavy oil and loads 2,200 heavy oil.

20 June 1944:
At 1900 departs Singapore in convoy SHIMI-04 consisting also of MATSUMOTO, NANSEI, NICHINAN (5175 grt), KOTOKU and ZUIHO MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 2, escorted by minesweeper W-18 and auxiliary minesweepers TOSHI MARU and CHOUN MARU No. 6.

21 June 1944:
Scheduled to be registered as a Navy supply ship under the Third Secret Military Preparation instruction No. 558.

24 June 1944:
Arrives at Miri, Borneo.

27 June 1944:
At 1650, departs Miri in convoy MI-06 consisting also of tankers OGURA MARU No. 2, YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2, MATSUMOTO, TACHIBANA, TOKUWA, CERAM, KOTOKU, NANSEI, ATAGO, NICHINAN (5175 grt), ZUIHO and BAIEI MARUs and UNKAI MARU No. 5 escorted by kaibokan CD-14, patrol boat PB-38 and minesweeper W-18.

2 July 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

E 3 July ~ 5 July 1944:
Unloads 2,200t heavy oil.

6 July 1944:
Departs Manila.

11 July 1944:
Arrives at Miri.

E 12 ~16 July 1944:
Loads 2,150t type 3 crude oil.

E 18 July 1944:
Departs Miri in convoy MI-10 also consisting of DAIZEN, HIDA, HINAGA and FUYUKAWA MARUs KENZUI, TEIFU (ex French BOUGAINVILLE), MARUs, WAKO GO and tankers HAKUBASAN, SHUNTEN, TAKETSU (BUTSU), CHIYODA, SHIMOTSU, KOSHIN, KOTOKU, and SHIMOTSU MARUs plus 11 unidentified ships, escorted by destroyer ASAKAZE, kaibokan CD-3, minelayer MAESHIMA, kaibokan YASHIRO and auxiliary gunboats PEKING and KAZAN (HUASHAN) MARUs

E 23 July 1944:
Arrives at Manila where convoy MI-10 is joined by tankers OEI MARU and KYOEI MARU No. 6 and KAKOGAWA, TSUKUBASAN, ROKKO, RASHIN, FRANCE, MYOGI MARUs and UNYO MARU No.7. Tanker TAKETSU (BUTSU) MARU detaches and joins convoy MI-08 .

27 July 1944:
At 1100, reconstituted convoy MI-10 departs Manila.

28 July 1944:
At 1040, HAKUBASAN MARU carrying 7,351-tons of oil and 710-tons of rubber, is torpedoed by LtCdr Francis D. Walker's (USNA ’35) USS CREVALLE (SS-291) and sinks at 1305 at 16-28N, 119-38E taking down three of her crew.

E 30 July 1944:
CD-20 joins the escort, having departed Takao two days before.

2 August 1944:
At 1000 arrives at Takao, Formosa. NICHINAN MARU and MATSUMOTO MARU, ASAKAZE and YASHIRO are detached. FRANCE and RASHIN MARUs are probably also detached. SEIGA and HAKOZAKI MARUs join.

E August 1944:
Departs Singapore for Takao.

E September 1944:
Unloads 2,150t type 3 crude oil.

18 September 1944:
Departs Takao in convoy TAMA-26 consisting also of MIZUHO, SHIRANESAN, EIMAN, ARABIA, TOSHIKAWA, HOTEN, AWAJI, TSINGTAO MARUs and TOYO MARU No. 3, escorted by subchasers CH-20, CH-41 and CH-63, minesweepers W-17 and W-20.

21 September 1944:
At 0300, the convoy departs Musa Bay. HOTEN MARU has engine trouble and remains at Musa Bay. At 0700, a Japanese aircraft flies to a position forward of the convoy from which it dive-bombs a submarine. At 0705, Cdr (later Vice Admiral) Glynn R. Donaho's (USNA ’27) USS PICUDA (SS-382) torpedoes and sinks AWAJI MARU carrying 600 passengers and 500-tons of ammunition, at 18-43N, 120-53E. 284 passengers, 3 escort troops and 40 crewmen, a total of 327 people are killed. NICHINAN MARU rescues survivors.

At 0835, Cdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Louis D. McGregor's (USNA ’30) USS REDFISH (SS-395) torpedoes and sinks MIZUHO MARU at 18-37N, 120-41E. 1,313 passengers 81 crewmen and three gunners of the 2,150 troops and 3,029 civilian employees she was carrying are lost with her. W-17 counterattacks while the other vessels pick up survivors. CH-20 rescues 622 survivors, CH-63 rescues 150 men, W-20 rescues 370 men, TOYO MARU No. 3 rescues 980, tug/rescue vessel KEISHU MARU (ex British HENRY KESWICK) rescues 1630 men and motorized sailboats BANGI and SAROMAGE rescue 268 survivors.

At 2215, the convoy arrives at Lapoc Bay.

26 September 1944:
The convoy arrives at North San Fernando, Philippines.

2 October 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

4 October 1944:
Departs Manila in convoy MAMI-11 also consisting of TATSUSHIRO, ATSUTA, ARAOSAN MARUs and supposedly small tanker NANSHIN MARU No. 7 (dubious as likely too slow) escorted by destroyer TAKE and submarine chaser CH-63.

5 October 1944:
At 1420 in 13-02N 120-16E USS COD torpedoes and sinks TATSUSHIRO MARU and damages ATSUTA MARU.

14 October 1944:
Arrives at Miri.

E 15 ~ 18 October 1944:
Loads 2,447 type B heavy oil.

19 October 1944:
At 1600 departs Miri in convoy MISHI-11 consisting also of HIDA, HACHIJIN, ARAOSAN, KAZAN, MARUs and eleven unidentified merchant ships, escorted by submarine chasers CH-3, CH-19 and CH -63 auxiliary minesweepers CHOUN MARU No. 6 and CHOUN MARU No. 7. That same day at 1600 Submarine chaser CH-1 departs Surabaya.

E 21 October 1944:
CH-1 joins the convoy.

23 October 1944:
At 1900 arrives at Singapore.

E 23 ~ 31 October 1944:
Unloads 2,447 type B heavy oil.

1 November 1944:
Departs Singapore.

2 November 1943:
Arrives at Port Swettenham (now Port Klang), Malaya.

4 November 1944:
Departs Port Swettenham.

6 November 1944:
Arrives at Belawan, Sumatra.

7 November 1944:
Departs Belawan. Arrives at Pangkalan Susu, Sumatra the same day. Loads 1,474 kiloliters heavy oil.

8 November 1944:
Departs Pangkalan Susu.

11 November 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

18 November 1944:
Scheduled to transport supplies to Sumatra with SHONAN, RITSUEI, SHOEI and AYAYUKI MARUs and Subchaser CH-35 and minesweeper W-34 as assigned escorts, under June confidential instruction no. 182140.

Loads 1,474 kiloliters heavy oil, 10t assault weapons, 245 empty wooden barrels and embarks 41 people.

19 November 1944:
At 1000 departs Singapore for Pangkalan Susu, in a convoy consisting of tankers SHONAN, RITSUEI, SHOEI and AYAYUKI MARUs, escorted by minesweeper W-34.

Malacca Straits. At 1837 that same day torpedoed and sunk by British Lt Clifford R. Pelly's submarine HMS STRATAGEM at 25 miles NE of Bengkalis Island, Sumatra (01-37N, 102-53E). Nine crewmen are KIA.

1] After transfer to the Navy on 15 September 1943 the ship appears to have been unofficially named NICHISAI (NISSAI) MARU (“western sun” as distinct from Nichinan “southern sun”). The records from 10 October 1943-26 April 1944 are all based on decrypts based on NICHISAI MARU which is known to be a large unit engaged in the regular oil transfer shuttle service from Palembang (and north-eastern Sumatra) and Singapore. The name only appears to have been used in communications by the Dai San Senpaku Yuso Shireibu (Third Shipping Area) and when NICHINAN MARU left the area the ship reverted to her normal name. It seems highly probable the name change was done to avoid confusion with the peacetime 1TM NICHINAN MARU (42, 5175 grt) which coincidentally was also engaged on the Palembang-Singapore oil shuttle service in September 1943.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan.

- Berend van der Wal, Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall.

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