YUSOSEN!

(OGURA MARU No. 1 prewar)

IJN OGURA MARU No. 1:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2010-2014 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

Revision 3


20 December 1928:
Nagasaki. Laid down by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as a 7,270-ton tanker for Ogura Sekiyu K. K. (Petroleum Corporation), Yokohama.

10 June 1929:
Launched and named OGURA MARU No. 1.[1]

31 August 1929:
Completed.

1931-1941:
In Ogura Petroleum Corporation’s service.

1 June 1941:
The Japanese government merges Ogura Petroleum Corporation with Nippon Sekiyu K. K., Tokyo. Port of registry is changed from Yokohama to Tokyo.

1941:
Requisitioned by the IJA with assigned number No. 953. [2]

16 September 1942:
At 1000 departs off Futtsu in a west bound convoy also consisting of TAICHU and TAIRYU MARUs escorted by auxiliary gunboat KASAGI MARU. The convoy sails at 9 knots.

24 February 1943:
At anchor at Saigon.

25 February 1943:
Departs St Jacques in convoy No.561 also consisting of ENJU, TAISHO, RIKKO, NORFOLK and GYOKO MARUs without escort.

28 February 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

1 May 1943:
Departs St Jacques in convoy No.576 also consisting of NICHIRAN, TAIJIN and ICHIYO MARU without escort.

4 May 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

27 May 1943:
OGURA MARU No.1 departs Mako in convoy No. 266 also consisting of tankers KIYO, HAKUBASAN MARUs and cargo ship JUYO MARU and nine unidentified merchant ships escorted by patrol boat PB-2.

1 June 1943:
Arrives at Tokuyama.

4 July 1943:
At 1100 departs St Jacques for Miri in a convoy also consisting of tankers CHIYODA, SEINAN MARUs and one unidentified ship with unknown escort.

9 September 1943:
An Allied radio intercept advises OGURA MARU No.1 and two other ships are due to arrive at Mako at 1700.

20 September 1943:
At 1800, OGURA MARU No. 1 departs Takao for Moji in convoy RINJI-B (Special-B) also consisting of fleet oiler SHIRIYA, tankers SHOYO MARU and OGURA MARU No.2 and freighters ARGUN, MANTAI, KIYO, HOKUYO, GYOKU MARUs escorted by kaibokan WAKAMIYA.

21 September 1943:
East China Sea. NE of Keelung, Formosa. LtCdr (later Captain) Robert E. Dornin's (USNA ’35) USS TRIGGER (SS-237) is patrolling submerged 30 miles N of the Hoka Sho light. At 2058, Dornin makes a visual surface attack. At 1500 yards, he fires three torpedoes at the lead oiler and three at the second oiler. One hits the lead ship, SHIRIYA carrying aviation gasoline. She explodes and sinks at 26-27N, 122-40E. The second ship, freighter ARGUN MARU is hit by a torpedo amidships, breaks in half and sinks immediately with the loss of two crewmen and 8,295-tons of rice. [3]

LtCdr Dornin brings USS TRIGGER about and fires three stern tubes at OGURA MARU No. 1, but misses. Dornin crash-dives to escape gun fire from a third oiler. He comes to periscope depth and fires two bow torpedoes at SHOYO MARU that hit her to starboard and sends her down by the bow. SHOYO MARU sinks at 26-33N,123-10E taking down five crewmen.

Dornin makes two more attacks on a freighter, but all of his Mark 14 torpedoes either miss or are duds. Still, GYOKU MARU is damaged in the attacks. The remainder of the convoy arrives at Moji. USS TRIGGER returns safely to Midway Island for refit.

25 September 1943:
At 0830, arrives at Moji.

19 November 1943:
OGURA MARU No. 1 departs Moji in convoy No. 115 also consisting of cargo ships NIPPONKAI, LONDON, GYOKUREI MARUs, KOTO MARU No. 2 GO and three unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOHAKUSAN MARU. Several of these vessels departed from Sasebo and joined convoy. Soon after departure, CHOHAKUSAN MARU's engine breaks down and the ship returns to port.

24 November 1943:
At 0400, at 26-0N,120-10E, KOTO MARU No. 2 GO is detached for Hong Kong and GYOKUREI MARU is detached for Keelung.

26 November 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

28 November 1943:
At 1700, OGURA MARU No. 1 departs Takao in convoy No. 780 also consisting of tanker SAN DIEGO MARU, cargo ships TOSEI, BIZEN, RYUYO, NIPPONKAI, NORWAY, NICHIWA, KINSHU, YAMAHAGI, CHIYO and RYUUN MARUs and four unidentified ships escorted by destroyer FUYO and kaibokan KANJU.

3 December 1943:
At 1400, arrives at Manila.

10 December 1943:
A radio intercept states OGURA MARU No.1, SAN DIEGO MARU and MIYAURA MARU are all awaiting loading at Miri.

19 January 1944:
At 0730, OGURA MARU No. 1 departs Moji for Takao in convoy No. 130 also consisting of tanker SAN DIEGO MARU, passenger/cargo liner TERUKUNI MARU, cargo ships PANAMA, ATSUTA, MAYA and YASUKUNI MARUs and hospital ship ASAHI MARU escorted by auxiliary guard boat MYOJIN MARU No. 2, small auxiliary patrol boat SHINEI MARU and salvage and repair tug KASASHIMA.

23 January 1944:
China coast. 14th Air Force North American B-25 "Mitchell" medium bombers attack the convoy at 27-15N 120-45E. PANAMA MARU is sunk with the loss of one crewman and two gunners, and YASUKUNI and ATSUTA MARUs damaged.

24 January 1944:
The convoy anchors off Incog Island. B-25's bomb and sink escort MYOJIN MARU No. 2. Patrol boat SHINEI MARU is hit and damaged. Lighthouse tender RYUSEI (ex-Chinese LIU HSING), nearby, but not part of the convoy, is also sunk.

25 January 1944:
Formosa Straits. At 0620, OGURA MARU No. 1 and MAYA MARU oiler collide. MAYA MARU is moderately damaged. KASASHIMA and auxiliary gunboat SHINKO MARU No. 1, that happens to be in the area, steam to render assistance, but are attacked by five B-25's. At 1347, KASASHIMA sinks. The rest of the convoy is diverted from Takao and arrives at Kirun (Keelung) later that day.

28 January 1944:
OGURA MARU No.1 arrives at Tokuyama implying the ship has sailed independently directly to Japan.

30 January 1944:
Departs Tokuyama.

16 February 1944:
Departs Manila in convoy MAMI-02 also consisting of TEIKO (ex French D'ARTAGNAN), KIKUSUI, SAN DIEGO, SANKO (YAMAKO), TACHIBANA MARUs and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by the old destroyer KURETAKE.

21 February 1944:
TEIKO MARU (ex French D'ARTAGNAN) and KIKUSUI MARU detach and later that day the convoy arrives at Miri.

7 March 1944:
OGURA MARU No. 1 departs Manila in MATA-10 convoy also consisting of tankers SAN DIEGO, TACHIBANA, SANKO (YAMAKO) MARU, TAKETSU (BUTSU), NITTETSU MARUs, passenger/cargo TAITO MARU and cargo ships TARUYASU, KENWA, KOHO and SORACHI MARUs escorted by destroyer KARUKAYA and minesweeper W-17.

12 March 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

15 March 1944:
At 1200, OGURA MARU No. 1 departs Takao for Moji in convoy TAMO-11 also consisting of TAITO, MUTSU, HINODE, MANILA, MANKO, ASAHI, BELGIUM, SORACHI, KOHO, TARUYASU, KENWA, KANO, KOAN, ASAHISAN, KENZUI, BRAZIL, KENNICHI and TAKETSU (BUTSU) MARUs and UNKAI MARU No. 12 and tankers TACHIBANA, NITTETSU, SAN DIEGO and SANKO MARUs escorted by destroyers SHIGURE, SHIRANUI and NOKAZE, minesweeper W-17 and subchasers CH-37 and CH-38.

16 March 1944:
At 1600, TOYO and TEIKA (ex-French CAP VARELLA) MARUs join the convoy from Keelung (Kirun).

21 March 1944:
At 0430, MANKO, ASAHI and TOYO MARUs are detached from the convoy. At 1200, that part of the convoy arrives at Nagasaki.

22 March 1944:
UNKAI MARU No.12, ASAHISAN and KOAN MARUs are detached for Karatsu Wan (Bay). Later that day the rest of the convoy arrives at Moji.

5 April 1944:
At 0240, OGURA MARU No. 1 departs Imari Bay for Takao in convoy MOTA-16 also consisting of TENSHIN MARU, TACHIBANA, NITTETSU, SANKO, HIROTA and MITSU MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-38 and minesweeper W-18.

15 April 1944:
Arrives at Takao. Later that same day at 1244, OGURA MARU No. 1 departs in convoy TAMA-16 also consisting of tankers YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2, TACHIBANA, MATSUMOTO, TAKETSU (BUTSU), YAMAKO (SANKO), HAKUBASAN, NITTETSU MARUs, fleet tanker ASHIZURI and cargo ships OMINE, BIZEN, TOSHO, SORACHI, SHIRAHAMA and SHONAN MARUs and YOSHIDA MARU No. 3 escorted by destroyers HASU patrol boat PB-38, torpedo boat SAGI, and auxiliary mine sweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 3.

16 April 1944:
At 0930, destroyer HASU and auxiliary mine-sweeper TAKUNAN MARU No.3 finish escort duty and are detached.

17 April 1944:
At 0725, torpedo boat HAYABUSA joins as an additional escort. At 1550, auxiliary gunboat KISO MARU and special sub-chaser CHa-39 join as additional escorts.

18 April 1944:
HASU and TAKUNAN MARU No. 3 having detached arrive back at Takao.

19 April 1944:
At 1312 arrives at Manila.

22 April 1944:
At 0615, OGURA MARU No. 1 departs Manila in convoy MI-02 (outward) also consisting of fleet oiler ASHIZURI and tankers TACHIBANA, NITTETSU, HAKUBASAN, SANKO (YAMAKO), TAKETSU (BUTSU), MATSUMOTO MARUs and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2 escorted by torpedo boat SAGI. At 1040, patrol boat PB-38 joins as an additional escort.

23 April 1944:
At 2000, arrives at Pagdanan Bay, Palawan.

24 April 1944:
At 0720, departs Pagdanan Bay.

25 April 1944:
At 1200, ASHIZURI is detached from convoy MI-02 and proceeds independently toward Tarakan. At 1925, the convoy arrives at Marudu Bay, North Borneo.

26 April 1944:
At 0800, departs Marudu Bay. At 1755, arrives at Jesselton, Borneo.

27 April 1944:
At 0915, departs Jesselton.

28 April 1944:
At 0045, arrives Brunei Bay, Borneo. Later that day, arrives at Miri at 1325.

4 May 1944:
At 1030, OGURA MARU No. 1 departs Miri, Borneo for Moji in convoy MI-02 (return) also consisting of TACHIBANA, NITTETSU, KENSEI, HAKUBASAN, SANKO, TAKETSU (BUTSU), TAIHEI, AKAGISAN, TENSHIN, MATSUMOTO, TAIYU, NISSHIN, SHINCHO and KURENAI MARUs and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2. escorted by kaibokan AWAJI, torpedo boat SAGI and patrol boat PB-38.

5 May 1944:
At 0530, departs Imuruan Bay.

6 May 1944:
SW of Balabac Island. At 0801, LtCdr (later Captain) Francis D. Walker Jr's (USNA’35) USS CREVALLE (SS-291) fires torpedoes at NISSHIN MARU. Three hit aft and heavy flooding begins. At 0810, she sinks at 07-19N, 116-52. At 16,801-tons, she was the largest ship in the convoy. 15 crewmen are KIA but the fate of her 291 passengers is unknown. The escorts counter-attack and drop 13 DCs, but without success.

10 May 1944:
At 1330, the convoy arrives at Manila. KENSEI, AKAGISAN, TAIHEI, TENSHIN, TAIYU and KURENAI MARUs are detached. SEIYO MARU joins the convoy. Auxiliary gunboats PEKING and CHOJUSAN MARUs join the escort.

13 May 1944:
At 0552, the convoy departs Manila for Takao.

16 May 1944:
At 1705, the convoy arrives at Takao. SEIYO, HAKUBASAN and MATSUMOTO MARUs and auxiliary gunboat CHOJUSAN MARU are detached.

17 May 1944:
At 1527, convoy MI-02 departs Takao.

18 May 1944:
At 1520, the convoy arrives at Keelung. KAMO, CHIKUZEN and CHOSAN MARUs join the convoy, as does second-class destroyer HASU.

23 May 1944:
At 1700, convoy MI-02 arrives at Moji.

13 June 1944:
Owner Ogura Sekiyu K. K. merges with Nippon Oil of Tokyo.

12 July 1944:
At 1500, OGURA MARU No. 1 departs Moji for Miri, Borneo in convoy MI-11 also consisting of EIKYU, YOSHINO, MIHO, ENOSHIMA, MANKO, HACHIJIN, DAKAR, FUSO, TEIRITSU (ex-French LECONTE DE LISLE) and FUKUJU MARUs, BANSHU MARU No. 16 and tankers KOEI, TAKETOYO, AYAYUKI, SHICHIYO, AYAGUMO and HARIMA MARUs escorted by destroyer SHIOKAZE, kaibokan SHIMUSHU, minesweepers W-38 and W-39, subchaser CH-55 and auxiliary gunboat KAZAN MARU.

21 July 1944:
The convoy arrives at Takao, Formosa.

29 July 1944:
At 0500, reorganized convoy MI-11 departs Takao for Miri now consisting of EIKYU, YOSHINO, KOEI, TAKETOYO, MIHO, MANKO, ENOSHIMA, HACHIJIN, DAKAR, FUSO, SHICHIYO, HARIMA, AYAYUKI, AYAKUMO, TEIRITSU and FUKUJU MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 1 escorted by destroyer SHIOKAZE, kaibokan SHIMUSHU, minesweepers W-28 and W-39, subchaser CH-55 and auxiliary gunboat KAZAN MARU.

31 July 1944: :
Luzon Strait. A wolfpack patrols the Strait under Captain (later Rear Admiral) Lewis S. Parks (USNA’25) consisting of LtCdr (later Vice Admiral/MOH/COMSUBLANT) Lawson P. Ramage's (USNA’31) USS PARCHE (SS-384)(F), LtCdr (later Captain) David L. Whelchel's (USNA’30) USS STEELHEAD (SS-280) and LtCdr John C. Martin's (USNA’34) USS HAMMERHEAD (SS-364).

280 miles NNW of Cape Mayraira, Luzon. At 0332, LtCdr Ramage's USS PARCHE torpedoes and sinks KOEI MARU carrying 1,050 Army troops. Nine crewmen and about 150 soldiers are KIA. About the same time, OGURA MARU No. 1 is hit forward by one or possibly two torpedoes. She slows, but does not sink.

At 0340, Ramage torpedoes and sinks transport (ex-hospital ship) YOSHINO MARU. She carries down 2,442 soldiers, 18 naval gunners and 35 sailors and a cargo of ammunition. At 0420, Whelchel's USS STEELHEAD torpedoes DAKAR MARU, but she does not sink. At 0455, Whelchel torpedoes and sinks transport (ex-hospital ship) FUSO MARU. She takes down 1,384 troops and crewmen and a cargo of 36 railway carriages and 1,120-tons of other military supplies. At 0514, Ramage's USS PARCHE torpedoes and sinks MANKO MARU. She carries down several hundred naval personnel and crewmen and a cargo of ammunition.

3 August 1944:
At 1730, the remainder of MI-11, less OGURA MARU No. 1, arrives at Manila.

4 August 1944:
Off Luzon. At 0711, LtCdr Maurice W. Shea's (USNA’37) submerged USS RATON (SS-270) sights a ship at 15,000 yards hugging the coast on a southerly course from Cape Bolinao. The ship is identified as a large tanker, probably a cripple, making less than 5 knots escorted by a small maru, probably one of the auxiliary gunboats. At 0738, USS RATON's crew also sights a Japanese plane circling overhead. Shea continues to tracks the tanker. At 1002, he fires a spread of four torpedoes and gets one hit on OGURA MARU No. 1 at 16-01N, 119-43E and then goes deep. The plane drops four bombs and a marker flare. At 1048, USS RATON comes to periscope depth and Shea sees OGURA MARU No. 1 down by the stern and listing to starboard about 15 degrees.The escorting maru drops one depth charge, but USS RATON evades. OGURA MARU No. 1 takes refuge at Santa Cruz.

7 August 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

August - September 1944:
Undergoes torpedo damage repairs at an unknown location, possibly Cavite.

19 September 1944:
At 0800, OGURA MARU No. 1 departs Manila for Cebu, Philippines in convoy MATA-27 also consisting of SURAKARUTA, YUKI, HOFUKU, SHICHIYO and NANSEI MARUs escorted by kaibokan SADO, CD-1, CD-3, CD-5, CD-7, minelayer ENOSHIMA and auxiliary cable layer OSEI MARU. That evening the convoy arrives and anchors at Subic Bay.

21 September 1944:
Departs Subic Bay. At 1028, N of Masinloc Sea, about 40 carrier-based aircraft of Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher’s (USNA’10) Task Force 38 attack the convoy and sink HOFUKU MARU taking down 11 crewmen and 150 passengers.

At 1056, a second raid begins. About 1130, OGURA MARU No. 1 is bombed and later abandoned. Five crewmen are KIA. The wreck drifts ashore off the coast of San Marcellino.

March-April 1945:
The wreck is used as a skip bombing practice target for B 25's of the 345th BG. During these attacks the wreck catches fire and is burnt out.


Author's Notes:
[1] The kanji for Ogura is the same as for 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, that the correct name may be Kokura.

[2] Returned to her owners at an unknown date.

[3]The tanker TAKETSU MARU was shown in earlier TROMs as in this convoy. The source was Shinshichiro Komamiya's Senji Yuso Sendan Shi. Recent research strongly suggests TAKETSU MARU was not in convoy and further that HOKUYO MARU and OGURA MARU No.2 were convoy members. These have been shown accordingly.

Thanks go to Gilbert Casse of France and Ralph Lotito of USA.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.


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