YUSOSEN!

(HOZAN MARU sistership of NITTATSU MARU, in wartime)

IJN NITTATSU MARU :
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2017 Berend van der Wal, Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall


1942:
Innoshima. Laid down by Osaka Iron Works K.K. for Nissan Kisen K.K., Tokyo as a Standard Peacetime (C) Type 2,858 GRT cargo ship.

December 1942:
Completed and named NITTATSU MARU.

10 December 1942:
Scheduled to be requisitioned from 13 Dec ’42 under the Third Secret Military Preparation instructions.

23 February 1943:
Completed as a primary emergency tanker. Registered by the Department of the Navy as a general transport (refueling ship) and attached to the Kure Naval District. Departs Innoshima.

24 February 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

1 March 1943:
Loads consignment goods and confidential documents. Departs Kure and arrives at Hiro later this day. Loads 3,260kg heavy oil cans.

3 March 1943:
Departs Hiro.

5 March 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo. Unloads 3,260kg heavy oil cans, the confidential documents and the consignment goods. Loads aviation weapons, transport trucks, water trucks, 12,280m3 car water sprinkler systems and 65 military mail bags.

9 March 1943:
Departs Sasebo and arrives at Ebisu Bay later that day. Equipped with flares and 15m3 signal bullets. Departs Ebisu Bay and joined convoy No. 135 also consisting of one unidentified merchant ship escorted by destroyer SHIOKAZE.

13 March 1943:
At 1300, arrives at Takao, Formosa (now Kaohsiung, Taiwan). Unloads aviation weapons, transport trucks, water trucks, 12,280m3 car water sprinkler systems and 65 military mail bags. Loads canteen goods, propeller, oil, 104m3 tanks and 55 military mail bags.

15 March 1943:
At 0930, departs Takao for Manila, Philippines in convoy No. 741 consisting of two unidentified merchant ships, escorted by patrol boat PB-2. At some point PB-2 is detached.

18 March 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

18 ~ 19 March 1943:
Unloads canteen goods, propeller, oil, 104m3 tanks and 55 military mail bags.

19 March 1943:
Departs Manila.

24 March 1943:
Arrives at Miri, British Borneo. Loads 3,676m3 crude oil.

25 March 1943:
Departs Miri.

28 March 1943:
Arrives at St. Jacques, French Indochina (now Vung Tau, Vietnam).

31 March 1943:
At 1830, departs St Jacques in convoy No. 484 with TAINAN MARU and five unidentified merchant ships escorted by torpedo boat SAGI.

6 April 1943:
At 1730, arrives at Takao. Supplied with 120t drinking water.

9 April 1943:
At 1200, departs Takao in convoy No. 250 with TAINAN MARU and five unidentified merchant ships escorted by torpedo boat SAGI.

14 April 1943:
At 1100, arrives at Moji.

15 April 1943:
Arrives outside Kobe port. Departs there and arrives at Shimotsu later that day. Unloads 3,676m3 crude oil.

19 April 1943:
Departs Shimotsu and arrives at Osaka later that same day. Supplied with 140t drinking water.

21 April 1943:
Departs Osaka towing oil barge NANYU No. 24.

22 April 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

23 April 1943:
Departs Kure and arrives at Innoshima later that day. Hull and engine repairs start at the Osaka Iron Works K.K. shipyard.

28 April 1943:
Depart Innoshima.

29 April 1943:
Arrives at Kure. Loads 180t fuel oil, 80t drinking water and 5t coal, and canteen goods.

1 May 1943:
Departs Kure.

2 May 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

5 May 1943:
Loads 33t drinking water. At 1500, departs Moji in convoy No. 154 also consisting of TOKUWA and LIVERPOOL MARUs and seven unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOJUSAN MARU. Arrives at Dairen, Manchuria (now Dalian, northern China) sometime after. Departs there later that same day.

10 May 1943:
At 1850, arrives at Takao.

13 May 1943:
Supplied with 60t drinking water. Departs Takao and arrives at Mako, Pescadores later that day. Supplied with 35t drinking water.

17 May 1943:
At 1540, departs Mako in convoy No. 392 consisting of HOKUAN, LIVERPOOL and SAN LUIS MARUs, Fleet oiler TSURUMI and four unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU. At some point midway is detached from the convoy with HOKUAN MARU for Miri.

23 May 1943:
Arrives at Miri. Loads 3,841.52 kiloliters crude oil.

25 May 1943:
Supplied with 105t fuel oil. Departs Miri.

28 May 1943:
Arrives at St. Jacques.

29 May 1943:
At 1300, departs St. Jacques in convoy No. 499 also consisting of auxiliary emergency tanker HOKUAN MARU, KEMBU MARU and one unidentified ship escorted by auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU.

4 June 1943:
At 1900, arrives at Mako. Departs later with HOKUAN and KEMBU MARUs and arrives at Takao later that day.

6 June 1943:
At 1000, departs Takao in convoy No. 269 also consisting of auxiliary transports TATSUWA and NACHISAN MARUs, auxiliary oilers HOKUAN MARU and OGURA MARU No. 3 and five unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU.

7 June 1943:
Tanker OGURA MARU No. 3 collides with auxiliary transport TATSUWA MARU at 24-05N, 122-59E. However, damage is light and both ships resume their course to Kirun, Formosa (now Keelung, Taiwan) where they arrive later that day.

10 June 1943:
At 1400, arrives at Mutsure. Departs there later and arrives at Moji later that same day.

11 June 1943:
Departs Moji.

12 June 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

13 June 1943:
Departs Kobe.

15 June 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama. Unloads 3,841.52 kiloliters crude oil. Hull repairs start at the Mitsubishi Zosen K. K. shipyard.

27 June 1943:
Departs Yokohama. Arrives at Shimuzu later and departs there later that day.

29 June 1943:
Arrives at Yokkaichi. Loads 3,490kg type 3 heavy oil.

1 July 1943:
Departs Yokkaichi.

2 July 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Unloads 3,490kg type 3 heavy oil.

5 July 1943:
Transfers to Yokohama later that day.

7 July 1943:
Departs Yokohama.

9 July 1943:
Arrives off Hesaki lighthouse.

10 July 1943:
Departs Hesaki lighthouse and arrives at Moji later that day. Loads 250 cans creosote oil and 460 flat glass boxes. Departs Moji later this day at 1500 in convoy No. 175 also consisting of tankers KOZUI and TATSUNO MARUs and transports TEIRITSU MARU (ex- Vichy French LECONTE DE LISLE), DAINICHI, RAKUYO, FUSEI, WAKATSU, MACASSAR and KASHU MARUs escorted by destroyer ASAGAO.

16 July 1943:
Arrives outside Takao port.

17 July 1943:
Arrives at Takao. Unloads 250 cans creosote oil and 460 flat glass boxes. Embarks 32 Taipei university students.

19 July 1943:
Departs Takao and arrives at Mako later this day. Unloads one water truck and disembarks the 32 Taipei university students. Supplied with groceries.

20 July 1943:
Departs Mako in convoy No. 309 also consisting of KOZUI, CHINA MARUs and one unidentified merchant ship without escort.

28 July 1943:
Arrives at St. Jacques and departs later. Arrives at Saigon, French Indochina (now Ho-Chi-Minh-Ville, Vietnam) later that day. Loads 262.6 kg cargo and embarks two passengers.

30 July 1943:
Departs Saigon and arrives at St. Jacques later that same day. Disembarks two passengers.

31 July 1943:
At 1000, departs St. Jacques in ‘Nittatsu Maru’ convoy also consisting of TOHO and KOZUI MARUs with unknown escort. The ships sail at 9 knots.

3 August 1943:
At 1800, arrives at Miri. Loads 3,429 kg crude oil.

5 August 1943:
Departs Miri.

8 August 1943:
Arrives at St. Jacques.

12 August 1943:
Departs St. Jacques in convoy No. 417 also consisting of KOZUI, PANAMA, TAKETSU (BUTSU), HEIWA, RYUOSAN MARUs and ten unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU. The convoy splits after sailing into two parts.

17 August 1943:
Arrives at Mako.

20 August 1943:
Departs Mako in convoy No. 294 also consisting of KOSO, TAKETSU (BUTSU), HAKKO MARUs, TAMON MARU No. 8 and eleven unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU.

25 August 1943:
Arrives at Mutsure. Scheduled to be derequisitioned from 27 August 1943 under the Third Secret Military Preparation instructions. Departs Mutsure later this day and arrives at Moji later that day. Unloads 262 kg cargo.

26 August 1943:
Departs Moji and arrives at Kudamatsu later that day.

30 August 1943:
Departs Kudamatsu and arrives at Hiro later this day. Loads 3,534 kg crude oil from Karafuto (now Sakhalin, Russia).

31 August 1943:
Derequisitioned. Departs Hiro.

1 September 1943:
Requisitioned again. Attached to the Kure Naval District.

29 September 1943:
Departs Oha for Ominato.

1 October 1943:
Designated the 19th special Naval ship.

18 October 1943:
At 1420, departs Moji in convoy No. 107 also consisting of MURORAN, JINZAN, MANTAI, KENSEI, NICHINAN, HOKOKU, KOHOKU, SAN PEDRO and SHOEI (2764 GRT) MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 2 and SHINSEI MARU No. 1 escorted by patrol boat PB-36.

24 October 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

27 October 1943:
At 0700, departs Takao in convoy No. 333 consisting of OGURA MARU No. 2, MIKAGE MARU No. 8 and three unidentified merchant ships without escort.

2 November 1943: Arrives at St. Jacques.

E 3 November 1943:
Departs St. Jacques.

E 7 November 1943: Arrives at Miri.

E 11 November 1943:
Departs Miri in the TOKU convoy also consisting of OGURA MARU No. 2 and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan ETOROFU.

E 15 November 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

19 November 1943:
At 1200, departs Manila in convoy No. 874 also consisting of SHUNKO, MURORAN, ROKKO, HINODE, TACHIBANA (6521 GRT) and SHONAN MARUs, SHINSEI MARU No. 1 and OGURA MARU No. 2 escorted by kaibokan ETOROFU. Auxiliary minesweeper CHOUN MARU No. 21 escorts the convoy initially.

24 November 1943:
At 1520, arrives at Takao.

26 November 1943:
At 1030, departs Takao in convoy No. 222. consisting of HAKONE, AKITSU, HAWAII, TACHIBANA, SEINAN, SHUNKO, HOTEN, ROKKO MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 2 escorted by torpedo boat TOMOZURU.

27 November 1943:
At 0800, in the Formosa Strait the convoy is attacked by China based North American “Mitchell” B-25s that badly damage HAKONE MARU at 25-04N, 119-40E. TOMOZURU is also strafed and damaged. With HAWAII MARU, assists HAKONE MARU. NITTATSU MARU attempts to tow HAKONE MARU but the latter sinks at 1715 without casualties. HAWAII MARU picks up about 900 survivors.

28 November 1943:
Rescues 84 crewmen and passengers from HAKONE MARU.

3 December 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

4 ~ 5 December 1943:
Departs Moji.

6 December 1943:
Arrives at Shimotsu.

7 ~ 8 December 1943:
Unloads 3,700 kiloliters crude oil.

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

9 December 1943:
Departs Shimotsu.

10 December 1943:
Arrives at Innoshima. Maintenance starts at the Osaka Iron Works K.K. shipyard.

17 December 1943:
Maintenance is completed. Departs Innoshima.

18 December 1943:
Arrives at Tokuyama.

E 19 December 1943:
Loads 1,000 drums.

20 December 1943:
Departs Tokuyama and arrives at Moji later that day.

21 December 1943:
At 0600, departs Moji in convoy No. 123 also consisting of HAVRE (5652 GRT), TOKUSHIMA and SAINEI MARUs, SHINSEI MARU No. 5 and four unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan MIYAKE.

27 December 1943:
At 1000, arrives at Takao.

E 28 ~ 29 December 1943:
Loads 200t cargo and embarks 250 passengers.

30 December 1943:
Departs Takao.

E 3 January 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

13 January 1944:
At 1500, departs Manila in convoy No. 3102 consisting of tankers KOSHIN, RONSAN, SEINAN and TAKETOYO MARUs and cargo ships TEIRYU and NITTA MARUs, escorted by destroyer WAKATAKE.

17 January 1944:
Arrives at Miri.

18 ~ 20 January 1944:
Loads 3,700 kiloliters crude oil.

21 January 1944:
At 1200, departs Miri in convoy No. 3202 consisting of tankers KOSHIN, RONSAN and SEINAN MARUs, escorted by destroyer WAKATAKE.

22 January 1944:
At 1736, LtCdr Donald F. Weiss' (USNA '29) USS TINOSA (SS-283) attacks the convoy. Weiss torpedoes and sinks KOSHIN MARU at 07-27N, 115-07E. 22 crewmen are KIA.

Then Weiss torpedoes and sinks SEINAN MARU at 07-19N, 116-52E. 29 crewmen and 16 gunners are KIA. WAKATAKE drops 17 depth charges, but USS TINOSA escapes.

E 23 January 1944:
Arrives at Maeda Island (Labuan).

26 January 1944:
Off Labuan the convoy joins convoy No. 3203, consisting of tankers SAN PEDRO and TAKETOYO MARUs and four unidentified merchant ships escorted by torpedo boat MANAZURU, which departed from Miri, that same day.

31 January 1944:
At 1300, arrives at Manila.

9 February 1944:
At 0800, departs Mako in convoy TAMO-02 also consisting of RONSAN, TOYOKUNI and ATAGO MARUs and six unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer WAKATAKE and torpedo boat MANAZURU.

12 February 1944:
RONSAN MARU is torpedoed and badly damaged by LtCdr Russell Kefauver's (USNA '33) USS TAMBOR at 27-44N 128-42E.

13 February 1944:
Carries out salvage operations on RONSAN MARU but the ship sinks with the loss of 19 crewmen.

17 February 1944:
At 1030, arrives at Moji.

18 February 1944:
Departs Moji.

19 February 1944:
Arrives at Amagasaki.

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

20 ~ 21 February 1944:
Unloads 3,700 kiloliters crude oil.

22 February 1944:
Departs Amagasaki.

24 February 1944:
Arrives at Tokuyama. Starts loading 2,000 cans and drums.

25 February 1944:
Loading is completed. Departs Tokuyama and arrives at Moji later this day.

1 March 1944:
Departs Moji in convoy MOTA-07 also consisting of TEIKA (ex-French CAP VARELLA), YAMAHAGI, KONSAN, CHIYODA, SUGIYAMA, KENSEI, SARAWAK, HAKUROKU (HAKUSHIKA), RIKKO, ATAGO and KUNIKAWA MARUs escorted by destroyer AMAGIRI and minesweeper W-30.

2 March 1944:
Departs Kagoshima.

4 March 1944:
Convoy MOTA-05, consisting of NISSHIN and one unidentified merchant ship joins convoy MOTA-07. Second class destroyer ASAGAO and minelayer MAESHIMA join as escorts.

7 March 1944:
HAKUROKU MARU suffers engine problems and straggles but at 1620, rejoins the convoy.

8 March 1944: Straggles but at 0700, rejoins convoy. Off northern Formosa TEIKA (ex-French CAP VARELLA) and YAMAHAGI MARUs are detached.

9 March 1944: BR> At 1400, arrives at Takao.

10 ~ 12 March 1944:
Loads 200t charcoal briquettes.

13 March 1944:
Departs Takao presumably in convoy TAMA-11 also consisting of SUGIYAMA, TOYOOKA, KONSAN and CHIYODA MARUs and two (one if NITTATSU MARU is counted) unidentified merchant ships escorted by minesweeper W-30.

17 March 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

E March 1944:
Unloads 200t charcoal briquettes. Departs Manila.

21 March 1944:
At 1000, departs Takao in convoy TAMA-12 also consisting of ATAGO, BUNZAN, RIKKO, SAN LUIS, TAIYU and TAKETOYO MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 2 escorted by second class destroyer KURETAKE.

24 March 1944:
At 1830, arrives at Manila.

27 March 1944:
At 0700, departs Manila in convoy MAMI-06 also consisting of RIKKO, ATAGO, TAKETOYO and SAN LUIS MARUs escorted by second class destroyer KURETAKE.

31 March 1944:
At 1231, arrives at Miri.

1 April 1944:
Arrives at Miri.

2 ~ 5 April 1944:
Loads 3,800t crude oil.

6 April 1944:
At 1700, departs Miri in convoy MIMA-11 also consisting of RIKKO, SAN LUIS, TAKETOYO MARUs and one unidentified merchant ship escorted by second class destroyer KURETAKE.

10 April 1944:
At 2200, arrives at Manila.

11 ~ 12 April 1944:
Loads 55t paint.

13 April 1944:
At 0900, departs Manila in convoy MATA-18 consisting of SAN LUIS, RIKKO, YOSHU and TAKETOYO MARUs and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by light cruiser KISO, second class destroyer KURETAKE (part journey) and auxiliary subchaser CHa-9 (part journey).

18 April 1944:
Arrives at Saei, Formosa (now Tsoying, Taiwan).

19 ~ 23 April 1944:
Unloads cargo.

24 April 1944:
Departs Saei and arrives at Takao later that day.

25 ~ 27 April 1944:
Loads 250t coal.

28 April 1944:
Departs Takao for Manila in convoy TAMA-17 also consisting of KENNICHI, KUROGANE, BELGIUM, PEKING, SHIROGANESAN, TAKEGAWA, TSUSHIMA, SAN LUIS, WALES, YAMAHAGI and SHIROTAE MARUs escorted by destroyer HARUKAZE, minesweeper W-17 and auxiliary gunboat CHOHAKUSAN MARU.

29 April 1944:
Destroyer ASAKAZE joins the escort. At 2155, LtCdr Anton R. Gallaher's (USNA ’33) USS BANG (SS-385) torpedoes and sinks TAKEGAWA MARU at 19-20N, 118-50E. Seven crewmen are KIA. Also lost are 17 Daihatsu barges and two lighters.

At 2240, NITTATSU MARU starts rescuing survivors from TAKEGAWA MARU.

30 April 1944:
At 0050, completes rescuing TAKEGAWA MARU survivors.

At 0419, NITTATSU MARU is torpedoed by LtCdr Anton R. Gallaher's (USNA ’33) USS BANG (SS-385) at 19-22N, 118-450. The tanker sinks after hits in the starboard second hold and the bridge at 19-11N, 119-10 E, about 97 nautical miles WNW off Cape Bojeador, northern Luzon. Four crewman are KIA. [1]


Author’s notes:
[1] At the time of her sinking, NITTATSU MARU was under civilian control (C-AO).

[3] SHOEI MARU may have travelled alone or with some of the ships mentioned above. She may have been part of convoy SHIMI 09 ( 24 ~ 25 Aug ‘44).

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan.

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


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