YUSOSEN!



(Oiler by Takeshi Yuki scanned from "Color Paintings of Japanese Warships")

IJN OGURA MARU No. 3:
Tabular Record of Movement


2008-2012 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

Revision 2


1915:
Glasgow, Scotland. Laid down at Barclay, Curle & Co. Ltd. (Yard No. 538) as MASULA for the British India Steam Navigation Co., but is bought by British Admiralty on the stocks. Converted from a cargo liner to a Royal Navy fleet auxiliary tanker and renamed OLIGARCH. The firm of Lane & McAndrew is appointed manager.

1916:
Launched and renamed LIMELEAF.

December 1916:
Completed. The nominal owner is the Shipping Controller, London.

December 1919:
Sold to N.V. Insulinde Tank Stoomboot Mij., of Bandung, Java and renamed CALIFORNIA.

1925:
Sold to the British Molasses Co. Ltd., London and renamed ATHELRILL.

1926:
British Molasses Co. is restyled as United Molasses Co. ATHELRILL is sold to Nippon Tanker K.K., Tokyo and renamed KOYO MARU.

13 September 1926:
Yokohama Dockyard. A gas explosion occurs. Later, KOYO MARU is repaired. Transports oil from California to Japan.

1931:
Renamed OGURA MARU No.3 by Ogura Sekiyu K. K. (Petroleum Corporation), Yokohama. [1]

1941:
The Japanese government merges Ogura Petroleum with Nippon Oil K. K.

24 March 1942:
Requisitioned by the IJN.

10 April 1942:
Registered in the IJN under internal order No. 663 as an auxiliary oiler, (Ko) category and attached to the Yokosuka Naval District with Yokosuka as homeport.

23 April 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

25 April 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

27 April 1942:
Departs Kure.

1 June 1942: Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Fukuzawa Tetsushiro (36) is appointed supervisor of OGURA MARU No. 3.

6 June 1942:
Departs Tokyo Bay in a coastal convoy also consisting of GOSEI and NANIWA MARUs escorted by the destroyer HATAKAZE. At some point after departure NANIWA MARU detaches and heads south to Palau. OGURA MARU No.3 is bound for Kure.

27 August 1942:
Transits the Bungo Straits and heads south.

28 November 1942:
Departs Palau.

6 December 1942:
Arrives at Balikpapan, Borneo.

22 December 1942:
At 1800, arrives at Manila with KUNISHIMA MARU.

30 December 1943:
At 0630, departs Palau for Tarakan, Borneo.

4 January 1943:
At 1200, arrives at Tarakan.

18 January 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

19 January 1943:
Yokosuka. Undergoes repairs.

28 January 1943:
An unknown captain is appointed supervisor.

10 April 1943:
Departs Yokohama.

27 April 1943:
Departs Takao.

4 June 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

6 June 1943:
Departs Takao for Moji in convoy No. 269 also consisting of passenger/cargo ships TATSUWA, NACHISAN, NITTATSU, HOKUAN MARUs and five unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU.

7 June 1943:
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 arrives later that day.

17 June 1943:
Departs Kirun.

23 June 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

1 July 1943:
Departs Kure. Later that day arrives at Kasadojima.

6 August 1943:
Departs Kasadojima, arrives the same day at Tokushima.

11 August 1943:
Departs Tokushima.

4 October 1943:
At 1430, arrives at Tarakan.

18 October 1943:
At 1420, OGURA MARU No. 3 departs Moji for Takao in convoy No. 107 also consisting of MURORAN, JINZAN, MANTAI, KENSEI, NITTATSU, NICHINAN, HOKOKU, KOHOKU, SAN PEDRO and SHOEI MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 1 escorted by patrol boat PB-36.

24 October 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

E 5 November 1943:
OGURA MARU No. 3 departs Palau for Truk with tanker HAKUBASAN MARU in convoy No. 8505 escorted by destroyer TACHIKAZE.

11 November 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

24 November 1943:
At 1200, OGURA MARU No. 3 departs Truk with tanker HAKUBASAN MARU in convoy No. 7242 escorted by subchaser CH-28

29 November 1943:
At 0800, arrives at Palau.

13 December 1943:
At 0730, OGURA MARU No. 3 departs Palau in convoy No. 2515 also consisting of tankers FUJISAN MARU, HAKUBASAN MARU and small cargo ship SHOYU MARU bound for Tarakan, Borneo. SHINKOKU MARU and ammunition ship ARATAMA MARU are bound for Balikpapan, Borneo escorted by patrol boat PB-2 and auxiliary subchasers CHa-26 and CHa-27.

17 December 1943:
At 1700, subchaser CH-6 joins the escort. At midnight, OGURA MARU No. 3, the subchaser and the Tarakan-bound ships split away from the convoy.

26 December 1943:
OGURA MARU No. 3 departs Balikpapan as only merchant ship in convoy No. 2614 escorted by patrol boat PB-2.

28 December 1943:
Recalled Captain Niimi Kazutaka (40)(former CO of TAMA) is posted CO of OGURA MARU No. 3.

30 December 1943:
At 0740, NIPPONKAI MARU joins the convoy.

31 December 1943:
At 1800, subchaser CH-33 joins convoy No. 2614 at sea.

January 1944:
OGURA MARU No. 3 is sold to Kyodo Kigyo K. K.

1 January 1944:
Arrives at Palau. That same day, OGURA MARU No. 3 is directly attached to the Combined Fleet.

3 January 1944:
At 0730, departs Palau for Truk in convoy No. 8031 consisting of OGURA MARU No. 3 escorted by subchasers CH-33, CH-24 and CH-39.

9 January 1944:
Arrives at Truk.

20 January 1944:
OGURA MARU No. 3 departs Truk for Palau in convoy No.7202 also consisting of KYOEI MARU No. 2 escorted by destroyer HAMANAMI and subchasers CH-24, CH-30, CH-33 and CH-39.

26 January 1944:
Arrives at Palau.

30 January 1944:
At 0850, OGURA MARU No. 3 departs Palau for Tarakan in convoy NE-002 with KYOEI MARU No. 2 escorted by patrol boat PB-36 and subchasers CH-22 and CH-15.

31 January 1944:
CH-22 is detached for Palau.

2 February 1944:
At 1300, auxiliary subchaser CHa-15 is detached for Davao, Philippines.

5 February 1944:
Arrives at Tarakan.

17 February 1944:
OGURA MARU No. 3 departs Balikpapan for Palau with tanker KYOEI MARU No. 2 escorted by subchaser CH-5 and auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU.

23 February 1944:
Off Halmahera, Moluccas, Dutch East Indies. At about 2300, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) James C. Dempsey's (USNA 31) USS COD (SS-224) makes a surface attack, torpedoes and sinks OGURA MARU No. 3 at 04-23N, 129-05E. Captain Niimi and 16 crewmen are KIA. Niimi is promoted Rear Admiral, posthumously.

31 March 1944:
Removed from the Navy List under internal order No. 508.


Author's Notes:
[1] The kanji for Ogura is the same as Kokura. Kokura near Moji, on the Shimonoseki Straits, has long been an oil tank farm location. It is possible that although western records, almost without exception, record the name as Ogura the correct name may be Kokura.

Thanks go to Gilbert Casse of France.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.


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