(Freighter by Ueda Kihachiro)
Tabular Record of Movement
© 2018 Bob Hackett
Sunderland, England. Laid down at William Doxford & Sons Ltd. Ship Yard, as Yard No. 554, a 6,484-ton cargo ship for Britannia D/S A/S, Bergen, Norway.
2 May 1921:
Launched and named TILTHORN.
Sold to A/SD/S Tilthorn (O. Grolle Olsen & I. Hysing Olsen), of Bergen, Norway.
Sold to A S Jacob R. Olsens Rederi, Bergen.
Sold to Gran Johan (Far Eastern Steamship Co. Cosmopolite Ltd. A/S), Bergen, renamed KRONE.
15 July 1938:
Sold to Nissan Kisen, K. K., Tokyo, renamed NITTAI MARU.
16 November 1941:
Requisitoned by the Imperial Army (IJA). Allotted IJA No. 484.
30 April 1942:
NITTAI MARU departs Saigon, Vichy French Indochina for
Mako, Pescadores in a convoy also consisting of KEIZAN, KENZAN, KINJO (KINSEI) and
SHINYO MARUs escorted by minelayers KAMOME and TSUBAME.
9 May 1942:
Arrives at Mako.
5 March 1943:
At 1400, NITTAI MARU departs St Jacques in convoy No. 563 also consisting of NANEI and TEIKO (ex-Vichy French D'ARTAGNAN) MARUs escorted by destroyer WAKATAKE.
8 March 1943:
At 1554 arrives at Singapore.
9 May 1943:
At 0530, NITTAI MARU departs Saeki for Palau in convoy K-519 also consisting of transports CLYDE, KANAYAMASAN, KOCHI, KOYO, MOJI, SAIPAN and YAMAGATA
MARU escorted by torpedo boat HATO, minesweeper W-18 and auxiliary minesweeper TAMA MARU No. 6. KOCHI MARU is carrying a cargo of ammunition.
19 May 1943:
At 0530, NITTAI MARU departs Saeki for Palau, Western Carolines in convoy K-519 also consisting of transports CLYDE, KANAYAMASAN, KOCHI, KOYO, MOJI, SAIPAN and YAMAGATA MARUs escorted by torpedo boat HATO, minesweeper W-18 and auxiliary minesweeper TAMA MARU No. 6.
21 May 1943:
W-18 and TAMA MARU No. 6 are detached.
27 May 1943:
75 nms NW of Palau. At 1407, LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) John A. Tyree's (USNA '33) USS FINBACK (SS-230) fires three torpedoes by periscope and gets two hits on KOCHI MARU. She sinks in 3 minutes at 08-28N, 134-06E. Two pasengers, 3 gunners and 39 crewmen are KIA.
Later, the remainder of the convoy arrives at Palau.
4 June 1943:
At 1300, NITTAI MARU departs Palau in convoy P-604 also consisting of transports CLYDE and YAMAGATA MARUs and one unidentified merchant escorted by subchaser CH-39.
29 June 1943:
At 0440, NITTAI MARU departs depart Rabaul in convoy O-908 also consisting of transports CLYDE, MADRAS, PACIFIC and YAMAGATA MARUs, tug HOZU MARU and two unidentified vessels escorted by subchasers CH-22 and CH-24.
E 6 July 1943:
Arrives at Palau.
21 September 1943:
NITTAI MARU departs Saeki in convoy O-209 also consisting of BRAZIL, DAKAR, ERIE, FUKUYO, HOZUKAWA, KANAYAMASAN and KAYO MARUs
and SHINTO MARU No. 1 escorted by kaibokan IKI and auxiliary minesweepers AOI,
KOZAN and YACHIYO MARUs and TAKUNAN MARU No. 3 and TOKUHO MARU No. 10.
E 22 September 1943:
Auxiliary minesweepers KOZAN MARU and TOKUHO
MARU No. 10 are detached at 30N.
E 23 September 1943:
Auxiliary minesweepers AOI and YACHIYO MARUs are
detached at 28N.
2 October 1943:
Arrives at Palau.
8 October 1943:
NITTAI MARU departs Palau in convoy SO-806 also consisting of HOZUGAWA, KANAYAMASAN, KAZAN, KIBI and KOSEI MARUs and SHINTO MARU No. 1 escorted by subchasers CH-23 and CH-24
15 October 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.
7 November 1943:
At 1000, NITTAI MARU departs Palau for Wakamatsu in convoy FU-703 also consisting of SAIHO and TAITO MARUs escorted by kaibokan IKI.
E 15 November 1943:
Torpedo boat SAGI joins the escort at 29N.
17 November 1943:
Arrives at Saeki.
17 December 1943:
At 1330, NITTAI MARU departs Takao for Manila in convoy No. 782 also comprised of BUNZAN, GOZAN, JUICHISEI (HOSHI MARU No. 11), KAIRYU, NISSHU, SHOZUI, RAIZAN, TACOMA TAITO and TSUKIKAWA MARUs and one unidentified merchant escorted by destroyer FUYO, auxiliary gunboat BUSHO MARU, subchaser CH-46 and auxiliary minesweeper Wa-7.
20 December 1943:
Off Subic Bay. At 0915 (JST), LtCdr Frank G. Selby‘s USNA ’33) USS PUFFER (SS-268) torpedoes and hits FUYO´s stern with two torpedoes. She sinks in two minutes at 14-45N, 119-54E. Her CO, Lt Kakuno is among the survivors rescued by the escorts. Losses are unknown.
At 0950, USS PUFFER again attacks the convoy. GOZAN MARU reports torpedo tracks at 14-40N, 119-55E, but one prematures and four others miss. CH-46 and Wa-7 counter-attack while BUSHO MARU retires with the convoy. At 1700, the convoy arrives at Manila.
13 January 1944:
At 1500, NITTAI MARU departs Manila in convoy No. 3102 also consisting of cargo ships TEIRYU (ex-German AUGSBURG) and NITTATSU MARUs and tankers KOSHIN, RONSAN, SEINAN and TAKETOYO MARUs escorted by destroyer WAKATAKE.
17 January 1944:
Arrives at Davao.
20 January 1944:
At 1500, arrives at Miri, Borneo where the convoy is dissolved.
28 January 1944:
NITTAI MARU departs Singapore in convoy No. 654 also consisting of four unidentified merchants.
1 February 1944:
Arrives at Saigon.
25 February 1944:
At 1500, NITTAI MARU departs Manila for Kau, Halmahera Island in convoy H-19 also consisting of RYUWA, SHOGEN, SHINYU, TENCHO and YAMAGATA MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-103.
28 February 1944:
At 1000, arrives at Cebu, Philippines. The convoy is joined by KANTO MARU and auxiliary subchaser CHa-24 and auxiliary minesweeper Wa-8.
29 February 1944:
Departs Cebu. At 2330 RYUWA MARU suffers engine problems and returns to Cebu.
1 March 1944:
The escorts detect a submarine. CHa-24 drops depth charges, but without effect.
3 March 1944:
Celebes Sea, 290 miles NW of Wasili, Halmahera. At 2347, LtCdr Willard R. Laughon’s (USNA ’33) USS RASHER (SS-269) attacks convoy H-19. Laughon torpedoes and sinks army transport NITTAI MARU carrying 8,655 tons of white rice at 03-18N, 123-56E. One crewman is killed. The escorts drop seven depth charges that slightly damage RASHER.
Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.
- Bob Hackett
to IJA Transports