KYUHEIKAN!

(NICHIRO MARU prewar)


IJN NICHIRO MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement



© 2009-2016 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall
> Revision 3


1 March 1939:
Innoshima (Hiroshima). Laid down at Osaka Iron Works dockyard as a 6,534-ton cargo ship for Nissan Kisen K.K., Tokyo.

30 July 1939:
Launched and named NICHIRO MARU.

10 January 1940:
Completed.

21 August 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN.

25 August 1941:
At Kure Navy yard.

5 September 1941:
Begins conversion. Registered as an auxiliary transport ship in the Kure Naval District.

15 October 1941:
Completes conversion. Assigned directly to the Combined Fleet.

1 December 1941:
At Kure until 7 January 1942.

20 December 1941:
Further conversion work is completed.

7 January 1942:
Departs Kure.

16 January 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

3 February 1942:
Departs Truk.

7 February 1942:
Arrives at Palau.

March 1942: Operation "C" - The Raids in the Indian Ocean:
Attached to the Indian Ocean Raiding Force's Replenishment Group No. 2 with oiler KYOEI MARU No. 2 and storeship HOKO MARU.

2 March 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

10 March 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

17 April 1942:
Arrives at Mako.

21 April 1942:
Departs Mako.

27 April 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

May 1942: Operation "MI" - The Battle of Midway:
Attached to the Midway Force's Replenishment Group No. 2 with oiler KYOEI MARU No. 2 and storeship HOKO MARU.

15 May 1942:
Navy Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Shibata Zenjiro (38) is appointed Supervisor.

25 May 1942:
Captain Shibata is appointed Commanding Officer.

14 August 1942:
Attached to the Guadalcanal Island Transport Support Mobile Unit's Replenishment Group No. 2.

20 August 1942:
Departs Kure.

21 August 1942:
S of Kyushu. At 1854, LtCdr Elliot E. Marshall’s (USNA ’31) USS CUTTLEFISH (SS-171) fires three torpedoes and gets two hits that damage NICHIRO MARU at 31-00N, 130-00E. USS CUTTLEFISH also fires a torpedo at an unidentified escort (probably patrol boat PB-46, which had been sent to assist) with unknown results.

21 August 1942:
Returns to Kure. Undergoes battle-damage repairs.

22 September 1942:
Departs Kure.

26 October 1942:
Attached to the South Pacific Ocean Mobile Fleet's Replenishment Group.

21 May 1943:
Departs Truk in convoy No. 4521 also consisting of ONOE, TATSUMIYA, NICHIZUI, MOGAMIGAWA and YAMAGIRI MARUs and storeship MAMIYA escorted by destroyer YUZUKI.

30 May 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

15 June 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

17 June 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

19 July 1943:
NICHIRO MARU departs western part of Inland Sea that day in a convoy consisting of ammunition ship NICHII MARU escorted by light cruiser OYODO, destroyer SAZANAMI and five other unidentified escorts.

28 July 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

2 August 1943:
Departs Truk.

5 August 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

August 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

27 August 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

23 September 1943:
Departs Kure for Truk carrying 1200 small mines.

29 November 1943:
Captain Shimizu Ryutaro (36) is posted as Commanding Officer.

25 December 1943:
Assigned directly to the Combined Fleet.

12 February 1944:
NICHIRO MARU departs Truk for Palau in convoy No. 7125 consisting of fleet oiler SATA, tanker HISHI MARU No. 2, destroyer tender KAMIKAZE MARU and stores ship KITAKAMI MARU escorted by destroyer HAMANAMI, subchaser CH-30 and auxiliary subchasers TAKUNAN MARU No. 2 and SHONAN MARU No. 5.

17 February 1944:
150 miles NE of Palau. At about 2200, LtCdr Philip W. Garnett's (USNA ’33) USS SARGO (SS-188) intercepts convoy 7125. Garnett fires eight torpedoes at SATA and gets one hit, but it disables the oiler.

At 2206, SARGO fires two torpedoes that hit NICHIRO MARU. She explodes and sinks immediately at 08-50N,135-40E. 50 crewmen including Captain Shimizu are KIA. He is promoted Rear Admiral, posthumously.

18 February 1944:
KITAKAMI MARU participates in the rescue of survivors that she lands at Palau the next day.

31 March 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.


Author's Note:
Thanks go to Gilbert Casse of France for his conribution to Rev 1.

Thanks to Johm Whitman of Virginia and Gengoro Toda of Japan for info about supply ship KITAKAMI MARU.

- Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.


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