(A wartime Standard Type 1TL tanker)


Tabular Record of Movement

© 2010-2012 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

Revision 2

2 August 1943:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki Jukogyo, K. K. as a 10,022-ton Type 1TL Wartime Standard Merchant Tanker for Asano Bussan K.K.

28 December 1943:
Launched and named NIYO MARU.

E February 1934:
Placed under the Senpaku Uneikai control (Civilian Shipping administration) and allotted to the Imperial Army (A/C-AO) with assigned number No. 5115.

19 February 1944:

1 March 1944:
Arrives at Iwakuni.

8 March 1944:
Departs Iwakuni and later that day arrives at Moji.

10 March 1944:
Departs Moji.

13 March 1944:
Arrives at Dairen, Manchuria.

18 March 1944:
Departs Dairen.

20 March 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

22 March 1944:
Departs Moji.

23 March 1944:
Arrives at Kobe.

20 April 1944:
At 0600, NIYO MARU departs Moji-Mutsure for Singapore in convoy HI-59 also consisting of tankers NIPPPO, OKIKAWA, MANEI (BANEI), OTORISAN and EIHO MARUs and probably KINUGASA, NOSHIRO and TEIRITSU (ex-French LECONTE DE LISLE) MARUs and tanker NICHINAN MARU No. 2 escorted by kaibokan KURAHASHI, CD-10, CD-11 and CD-20.

26 April 1944:
Departs Ssu Chiao Shan. Later that day the ship suffers an engine breakdown and is towed by MANKO MARU to Woosung with CD-11 as escort.

30 April 1944:
At 2310 arrives at Woosung. Apparently temporary repairs are then undertaken. An estimate of one month for repairs is stated in a radio signal intercepted by Allied codebreakers.

6 May 1944:
Arrives back at Kobe where permanent repairs are undertaken

29 July 1944:
Departs Kobe.

30 July 1944:
Arrives at Iwakuni and departs later that day.

31 July 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

8 August 1944:
Departs Moji and later that day arrives at Imari Bay.

10 August 1944:
NIYO MARU departs Imari Bay for Singapore in convoy HI-71 also consisting of oilers AZUSA, KYOKUTO, TEIYO, EIYO, ZUIHO MARUs, HAKKO MARU No. 2, fleet oiler HAYASUI, fleet food supply ship IRAKO, transports TEIA (ex-French ARAMIS), AWA, NOTO, HOKKAI, NOSHIRO, KASHII, NISSHO and ORYOKU MARUs and Army landing craft depot ships MAYASAN and KIBITSU MARUs escorted by destroyers FUJINAMI and YUNAGI, kaibokan HIRADO, KURAHASHI, MIKURA, SHONAN, CD-11 and escort carrier TAIYO. The 631st NAG provides air cover with 12 BN5 “Kates”.

12 August 1944:
Off Nansei Shoto. IRAKO collides with TEIA MARU (ex-French liner ARAMIS), but the damage is minor.

15 August 1944:
HI-71 arrives at Mako, Pescadores. NIYO, IRAKO and ORYOKU MARUs and HAKKO MARU No. 2 are detached.

21 August 1944:
At 0900, NIYO MARU departs Takao, Formosa for Manila in convoy TAMA-24A with oiler HAKKO MARU No. 2 escorted by old destroyers ASAKAZE and YUNAGI.

19 August 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

21 August 1944:
At 0900, NIYO MARU and HAKKO MARU No. 2 depart Takao for Manila in convoy TAMA-24A escorted by destroyers ASAKAZE and YUNAGI. En route, the tankers suffer repeated engine and machinery breakdowns.

22 August 1944:
Luzon Strait. At 1415, Cdr (later Captain) Gordon W. Underwood’s (USNA ’32) USS SPADEFISH (SS-411) torpedoes HAKKO MARU No. 2 at 18-48N, 120-46E. Hit amidships and under the bow, she begins to flood. The escorts counterattack dropping 11 depth charges, but fail to damage SPADEFISH. Still able to make four knots, HAKKO MARU No. 2’s captain beaches her at Pasaquin Bay, N Luzon.

SPADEFISH makes several attempts to penetrate the bay and finsh off HAKKO MARU No. 2, but is foiled by YUNAGI. Meanwhile, the Japanese manage to refloat HAKKO MARU No. 2. She moves off to deeper water and drops anchor. After many hours of stalking YUNAGI, SPADEFISH fires four stern torpedoes at YUNAGI, but the destroyer jinks at the last moment and they all miss. After surviving a counter attack, Underwood withdraws.

NIYO MARU is ordered to proceed with ASAKAZE to Manila while YUNAGI remains to assist and protect the beached cripple.

23 August 1944:
W of Lingayen Gulf. At 0700, LtCdr (Rear Admiral, Ret) Chester W. Nimitz Jr’s (USNA ’36) USS HADDO (SS-255) fires her last torpedo at destroyer ASAKAZE as she escorts NIYO MARU. The torpedo blows the bow off ASAKAZE, but she remains afloat and NIYO MARU takes her in tow for Dasol Bay. Nimitz, out of torpedoes, withdraws. As the destroyer's flooding increases dangerously, her crew abandons ship and is taken aboard NIYO MARU. 20 miles SW of Cape Bolinao, ASAKAZE rolls over and sinks at 16-06 N, 119-44 E. NIYO MARU proceeds safely into Dasol Bay.

21 September 1944:
Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher’s Task Force 38 launches strikes on shipping in Manila Bay. Planes from Task Groups 38.1, 38.2 and 38.3 sink NIYO MARU in Manila Harbor at 14-35N, 120-55E. 21 crewmen are KIA.

Thanks to Gilbert Casse of France.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

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