ZATSUYOSEN!

(RAKUTO MARUprewar)

IJN RAKUTO MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement


© 2011-2013 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


13 April 1935:
Uraga. Laid down by Uraga Senkyo K.K. Kojo shipyard as a 2,962-ton cargo ship for Osaka Shosen K.K., Osaka.

20 July 1935:
Launched and named RAKUTO MARU.

15 September 1935:
Completed. Her registered port is Osaka. Her net registered tonnage ( NRT) is 1,723-tons. [1]

2 October 1935:
Departs Osaka on a scheduled cruise and returns at an unknown date.

16 October 1935:
Departs Osaka on a scheduled cruise and returns at an unknown date.

3 November 1935:
Departs Osaka on a scheduled cruise and returns at an unknown date.

22 November 1935:
Departs Osaka. Calls at Chongjin and Rashin, Chosen (now North Korea) and at Yuki (now Unggi, South Korea).

6 December 1935:
Departs Osaka on a scheduled cruise and returns at an unknown date.

20 December 1935:
Departs Osaka on a scheduled cruise and returns at an unknown date.

July 1937: The Marco Polo Bridge (The"First China Incident") Incident:
Hun River. Japanese troops fire blank cartridges during night maneuvers at the Marco Polo Bridge. Chinese troops across the river fire back, but do not cause injuries. At morning roll call, the Japanese discover a soldier missing and assume the Chinese have captured him. The Japanese demand entry to the Beijing suburb of Wanping to look for the soldier, but the Chinese refuse. The Japanese shell the city and an undeclared war on China begins.

21 July 1937:
Departs Osaka.

E 1937:
Her NRT is changed to 1,725-tons. Requisitioned by the IJA with alloted number No. 134.[1]

13 April 1938:
Departs Osaka.

E 1939:
Released to her owners.

12 August 1939:
Her owners are changed to Toa Kaiun K.K. and her port of registry to Tokyo.

E 1941:
Her NRT is changed to 1,704-tons. [1]

10 November 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN as a transport (Ippan Choyosen). [2]

19 November 1941:
Innoshima, Hiroshima Prefecture. Docks at Osaka Iron Works shipyard to start conversion to an auxiliary transport.

20 November 1941:
Registered in the IJN under internal order No. 1495 and attached to the Sasebo Naval District as an auxiliary transport, (Otsu) category. Her home port is Sasebo. [2]

1 December 1941:
The conversion is completed. Departs Innoshima for Osaka.

2 December 1941:
Arrives at Osaka.

5 December 1941:
Departs Osaka for Kure.

6 December 1941:
Arrives at Kure.

20 December 1941:
Departs Kure for Palau, Western Carolines in a convoy also consisting of auxiliary transports KAGU and KUNITSU MARUs escorted by destroyer WAKATAKE.

28 December 1941:
Arrives at Palau.

1 January 1942:
At 1150 departs Palau for Davao, Mindanao, Philippines with auxiliary transports CHOWA and KAGU MARUs and auxiliary oiler KOKUYO MARU.

4 January 1942:
At 1430 arrives at Davao. Later transfers to Daliao (15 km NNE of Davao).

6 January 1942: The Invasion of Dutch Borneo:
At 1100, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hirose Sueto’s (39) Tarakan Occupation Force departs Daliao. Hirose's force close escort’s include MineSweepDiv 11’s W-16, W-15, W-13, W-14, MineSweepDiv 30’s W-17 and W-18, SubChasDiv 31’s CH-10, CH-11 and CH-12, patrol boats PB-36, PB-37 and PB-38 and other auxiliary ships.

The Tarakan invasion convoy is organized into two subdivisions :

1st subdivision (right wing unit) consists of TSURUGA (IJA), LIVERPOOL (IJA), HITERU (IJA), HANKOW (IJA), EHIME (IJA), KUNIKAWA (IJN) and KANO (IJN) MARUs and transports MajGen Sakaguchi Shizuo’s Detachment (right wing forces) 56th Mixed Infantry Group elements and the Kure No. 2 Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF).

2nd subdivision (left wing unit) consists of RAKUTO (IJN), HAVANA (IJA), TEIRYU (ex-German AUGSBURG) (IJA), KURETAKE (IJA), NICHIAI (IJA), KAGU (IJN), and KUNITSU (IJN) MARUs and transports the Sakaguchi Detachment (left wing forces), 5th Construction Unit and 2nd Defense Unit. The convoy’s additional escort is provided by Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Nishimura Shoji’s (39) DesRon 4’s light cruiser NAKA with DesDiv 2’s HARUSAME, SAMIDARE, YUDACHI and MURUSAME, DesDiv 9’s ASAGUMO and MINEGUMO, NATSUGUMO and DesDiv 24’s UMIKAZE, KAWAKAZE, YAMAKAZE and SUZUKAZE. 21st Air Flotilla seaplane tenders SANUKI and SANYO MARUs provide air cover.

10 January 1942:
At 1900, both subdivisions arrive at No. 1 anchorage, approximately 16 nms E of Tarakan. In the afternoon, Tarakan Island was visible due the smoke caused by the Dutch destruction of the oilfields and other vital installations. By night the flames are so bright that the island is clearly visible in the dark.

At 1940 the Right Wing and Left Wing Unit board landing craft and start for their landing points. Initially, the Right Wing Unit, mistaking the flames from the Goonoong Tjankool oilfields for those of the Tarakan oilfield, miss its proposed landing point. The Japanese commanders realize their mistake, when the landing boats were already returning back to their ships.

At 2215, the 2nd subdivision departs No. 1 Anchorage.

11 January 1942:
At 0000, the first Japanese troops (Right Wing Unit) hit the shores on Tarakan Island’s east coast followed by Kure No. 2 Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) 30 minutes later. After reaching a point start about 2 nms N of the mouth of the Amal River, it recognizes the position and proceeds S to the mouth of the river. They soon overwhelm the small guard patrols guarding this sector. Arriving at the mouth of the river at dawn, the unit makes a shock attack against the Dutch pillbox located there and kills most of the guards, while some Indonesian KNIL soldiers are captured.

At 0100, the 2nd subdivision arrives at No. 2 Anchorage.

At 0220, the landing barges cast off from the transport ships and head towards the landing zone on the SE coast of Tarakan.

At 0300, the Left Wing Unit lands at the prearranged point and advances W into the jungle toward the rear of the Dutch coastal battery which it is supposed to destroy. Due to the dense jungle and the steep terrain, the unit is able to advance only 100 meters per hour.

During the night Dutch minelayer PRINS VAN ORANJE tries to escape the confines of Tarakan Island but is sunk by destroyer YAMAKAZE and patrol boat PB-38 with heavy loss of life.

12 January 1942:
After the Dutch troops finally surrender, Kure No. 2 Special Naval Landing Force advance rapidly to the Tarakan airfield and occupy it by the morning. During this advance the unit is bombed by Dutch bombers from Samarinda II airfield. 18 SNLF marines are killed.

At 1200, one infantry company dispatched from the Right Wing Unit also occupies the village of Djoewata which has a Dutch coastal battery located there at the north end of the island.

About 1700, after losing its way several times, the Left Wing Unit finally comes out in the rear of the Dutch coastal battery.

The IJN force receives a message that says: "Although the enemy has offered to surrender, it is feared that the coastal battery located at the south end of the island is not aware of this and it would be dangerous to proceed to the Tarakan pier, therefore hold up your sailing". In spite of the warning, the movement goes ahead as planned.

When the six minesweepers enter the bay, they are fired on by the Dutch coastal battery. W-13 and W-14 are hit by 4.7 inch shell and sink with most of their crew. These are the only IJN losses in this operation.

The IJN commander later promises amnesty for the gun crews. Based on this promise, the Dutch Island Commander persuades the gun crews to surrender. The brutal Imperial Army commander orders the prisoners to be tied in groups of three and thrown in the water where all 219 Dutch soldiers drown.

Casualties of the IJA (Sakaguchi Detachment) number only seven men KIA on the land and one man at sea, while the IJN suffers 47 KIA on land and 200 at sea. Of those 47 KIA, 18 are killed by the airstrike near the Tarakan airfield. 871 Dutch POWs are captured.

27 January 1942:
At 1645 departs Tarakan for Balikpapan, Borneo.

29 January 1942:
At 1000 arrives at Balikpapan.

5 February 1942:
At 1800 departs Balikpapan for Jolo, Philippines.

8 February 1942:
At 1500 arrives at Jolo.

11 February 1942:
At 1820 departs Jolo for Balikpapan.

14 February 1942:
At 0924 arrives at Balikpapan.

20 February 1942:
At 1800 departs Balikpapan for Bali, N.E.I.

25 February 1942:
At 0800 arrives at Bali.

1 March 1942:
Assigned to supply IJN Air Force units in the southern area.

5 March 1942:
Assigned to transport IJN Air Force Base personnel to the south.

16 March 1942:
At 1800 departs Bali for Kupang, Timor Island.

19 March 1942:
At 1100 arrives at Kupang.

27 March 1942:
Sustains an airstrike causing minor damage.

31 March 1942:
At 1600 departs Kupang for Ambon, Moluccas.

2 April 1942:
At 2400 arrives at Ambon.

7 April 1942:
At 0745 departs Ambon for Takao, Formosa (now Kaohsiung, Taiwan).

10 April 1942:
Detached from IJN Air Force Base (south unit) under Navy’s secret instruction. Attached to Kure Naval District under internal instruction No. 660. Her home port is changed to Kure.

16 April 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

19 April 1942:
Departs Takao for Osaka.

25 April 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

27 April 1942:
Departs Osaka for Seito (Tsingtao), China.

2 May 1942:
Arrives at Seito.

3 May 1942:
Departs Seito for Fushiki, Toyama Prefecture.

9 May 1942:
Arrives at Fushiki.

11 May 1942:
Departs Fushiki for Seito.

16 May 1942:
Arrives at Seito.

17 May 1942:
Departs Seito for Moji.

20 May 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

22 May 1942:
Departs Moji for Kure.

23 May 1942:
Arrives at Kure. Docks at Navy Arsenal to repair former battle-damage.

14 June 1942:
Repairs are completed. Undocked and departs Kure for Kirun, Formosa (now Keelung, Taiwan).

19 June 1942:
Arrives at Kirun.

20 June 1942:
Departs Kirun for Manila, Luzon, Philippines.

24 June 1942:
Arrives at Manila.

26 June 1942:
Departs Manila for Davao.

30 June 1942:
Arrives at Davao.

4 July 1942:
Departs Davao for Zamboanga, Mindanao.

6 July 1942:
Arrives at Zamboanga. Departs later and arrives that same day at Isabela, Basilan Island, Philippines.

10 July 1942:
Departs Isabela and arrives back that same day at Zamboanga.

11 July 1942:
Departs Zamboanga for Kirun.

17 July 1942:
Arrives at Kirun.

20 July 1942:
Departs Kirun for Mako, Pescadores.

21 July 1942:
Arrives at Mako.

23 July 1942:
Departs Mako for Osaka in convoy No. 238 also consisting of auxiliary transport KASUGA MARU No. 2 GO and IJA transport MIKAGE MARU No. 20 and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by minelayer TAKASHIMA.

27 July 1942:
Arrives at Moji. Departs later for Osaka.

28 July 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

30 July 1942:
Departs Osaka for Kure.

31 July 1942:
Arrives at Kure. Probably undergoes maintenance at the navy yard.

14 August 1942:
Departs Kure for Tokuyama, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

15 August 1942:
Arrives at Tokuyama.

16 August 1942:
Departs Tokuyama for Kure.

17 August 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

19 August 1942:
Departs Kure for Kanmon strait.

20 August 1942:
Arrives at Shimonoseki, Kanmon strait.

21 August 1942:
Departs Shimonoseki for Kirun.

26 August 1942:
Arrives at Kirun.

28 August 1942:
Departs Kirun for Mako.

29 August 1942:
Arrives at Mako.

31 August 1942:
Departs Mako for Manila.

5 September 1942:
Arrives at Manila.

9 September 1942:
Departs Manila for Davao.

12 September 1942:
Arrives at Davao.

19 September 1942:
Departs Davao for Manila.

23 September 1942:
Arrives at Manila.

2 October 1942:
Departs Manila for Takao in convoy No. 816 also consisting of one unidentified merchant ship escorted by destroyer SATSUKI.

5 October 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

6 October 1942:
Departs Takao and arrives that same day at Mako.

8 October 1942:
Departs Mako for Kure in convoy No. 273 also consisting of three unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer MIKAZUKI.

14 October 1942:
Arrives at Mutsure. Departs later for Kure.

15 October 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

21 October 1942:
Departs Kure for Osaka.

22 October 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

26 October 1942:
Departs Osaka for Kure.

27 October 1942:
Arrives at Kure. Probably undergoes maintenance at the navy yard.

11 November 1942:
Departs Kure for Sasebo.

13 November 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

16 November 1942:
Departs Sasebo for Shimonoseki.

18 November 1942:
Arrives at Shimonoseki.

19 November 1942:
Departs Shimonoseki for Kirun.

23 November 1942:
Arrives at Kirun.

25 November 1942:
Departs Kirun for Mako.

26 November 1942:
Arrives at Mako.

27 November 1942:
Departs Mako for Manila as the only merchant ship in convoy No. 728 escorted by destroyer FUYO.

1 December 1942:
The convoy arrives at Manila.

E 2-3 December 1942:
Unloads ammunition totaling 1,793-m3.

4 December 1942:
Departs Manila for Zamboanga.

7 December 1942:
Arrives at Zamboanga.

E 8-10 December 1942:
Loads salt totaling 3,300-tons.

11 December 1942:
Departs Zamboanga for Manila.

15 December 1942:
Arrives at Manila.

E 16-18 December 1942:
Unloads 150-tons of salt, 120-tons of ammunition and lands five funerary urns.

19 December 1942:
Departs Manila for Takao in convoy No. 827 also consisting of auxiliary transport TARUSHIMA MARU and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat ASO MARU.

E 21 December 1942:
ASO MARU is detached and returns to Manila.

22 December 1942:
Arrives at Takao. Replenishes coal.

23 December 1942:
Departs Takao and arrives later that day at Mako.

24 December 1942:
Departs Mako for Moji in convoy No. 212 also consisting of five unidentified ships (including possibly TOYOSAKA MARU) without escort.

29 December 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

E 30 December 1942-2 January 1943:
Unloads 3,150-tons of salt and two tracked vehicles.

3 January 1943:
Departs Moji for Kure.

4 January 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

E 5-13 January 1943:
Unloads shells totaling 186-tons. Loads steel plates totaling 1,676-tons.

14 January 1943:
Departs Kure for Moji.

15 January 1943:
Arrives at Moji. Loads 350-m3 of beer. Replenishes coal totaling 375-tons.

16 January 1943:
Departs Moji for Hong Kong.

22 January 1943:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

E 23-24 January 1943:
Unloads steel plates totaling 2,026-tons.

25 January 1943:
Departs Hong Kong for Haiphong, Indochina (now Vietnam).

27 January 1943:
Arrives at Haiphong.

E 28-31 January 1943:
Loads 2,117-tons of zinc ore and other sundries. Embarks one passenger.

1 February 1943:
Departs Haiphong for Hong Kong.

4 February 1943:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

E 5-6 February 1943:
Loads 1,350-m3 of cotton and other sundries. Embarks 30 passengers.

7 February 1943:
Departs Hong Kong for Osaka.

15 February 1943:
Arrives at Osaka.

E 16-20 February 1943:
Unloads zinc ore and other sundries totaling 2,503-tons Disembarks 31 passengers.

21 February 1943:
Departs Osaka for Kure.

22 February 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

E 23 February 1943:
Unloads empty drums totaling 37-tons. Loads two cars.

24 February 1943:
Departs Kure for Moji.

25 February 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

E 26-27 February 1943:
Loads 3,620-tons of cement and other sundries.

28 February 1943:
Departs Moji for Kirun.

5 March 1943:
Arrives at Kirun.

8 March 1943:
Departs Kirun for Takao.

9 March 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

E 10-14 March 1943:
Loads supplies totaling 3,020-m3 and 92-tons of assorted goods. Embarks three passengers.

15 March 1943:
Departs Takao for Palau.

22 March 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

E-23 March 1943:
Unloads rice totaling 85-tons. Loads one landing craft and building materials totaling 19-m3. Embarks three passengers.

24 March 1943:
Departs Palau for Rabaul, New Britain in a convoy also consisting of IJA transports ATLAS, HAMBURG, KIZAN, TOYAMA, BENGAL MARUs and YOSHIDA MARU No.3 with unknown escort.

2 April 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

3 April 1943:
Moewe anchorage near Kavieng. Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortresses" of the Fifth Air Force's 43rd Bomb Group attack moored heavy cruiser AOBA. The big bombers skip-bomb from between 75 and 250 feet with delayed-action fused 500-lb. bombs. A direct hit on AOBA explodes two Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedoes stored aboard and sets the ship afire while the B-17's .50-cal. machine guns strafe her decks. Destroyer HATSUZUKI assists in fire-fighting. AOBA is flooded and has to be beached to avoid sinking. Destroyer FUMIZUKI is also damaged lightly by a near-miss. The Americans suffer no losses and the 43rd claims two 'probable cruisers' sunk.

E 3-12 April 1943:
Unloads 71-tons of rations. Lands 71 mail parcels. Comes alongside damaged AOBA and transfers her medical supplies totaling 55-tons. Embarks 62 passengers.

13 April 1943:
Departs Rabaul for Kavieng, New Ireland.

14 April 1943:
Arrives at Kavieng.

E 15-25 April 1943:
Unloads supplies totaling 1,284-tons. Loads 308-tons of ammunition.

26 April 1943:
Departs Kavieng for Palau joining a convoy that departed Rabaul the previous day, consisting of auxiliary oiler SAN CLEMENTE MARU sailing in ballast, and IJA transports ROKKOSAN, MIYAURA, RISSHUN, TOUN and HOKO MARUs escorted by subchaser CH-37.

4 May 1943:
50 nms SE of Palau. At about 1725, LtCdr Harry B. Dodge’s (USNA ’30) USS SEAL (SS-183) attacks the slow 7-knot convoy. In a submerged attack, Dodge fires three torpedoes and hits SAN CLEMENTE MARU in her No. 4, No. 6 and No. 8 oil tanks. She lists to port and at about 2000, sinks at 06-50N, 134-28E. Only two crewmen are KIA. HOEI MARU rescues the survivors.

5 May 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

E 6-9 May 1943:
Replenishes coal and boiler water.

10 May 1943:
Departs Palau and arrives that same day at Garasumao (Babelthuap), Palaus.

E 11-12 May 1943:
Loads 2,000-tons of bauxite.

13 May 1943:
Departs Garasumao and arrives later that day at Palau.

E 14-15 May 1943:
Loads 23-tons of ammunition. Embarks 53 passengers.

16 May 1943:
Departs Palau for Niihama, Shikoku, in convoy P-516 also consisting of auxiliary transports KEISHO, SANSEI MARUs, and HINO MARU No. 5 and IJA transport TAIFUKU MARUs escorted by minesweeper W 17.

25 May 1943:
At 30-30N, 133-10E two small auxiliaries join the convoy as additional escorts.

26 May 1943:
Arrives at Niihama.

E 27-28 May 1943:
Unloads 2,000-tons of bauxite. Disembarks 73 passengers.

29 May 1943:
Departs Niihama for Kure.

30 May 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

E 31 May-3 June 1943:
Unloads cars totaling 328-tons.

4 June 1943:
Departs Kure for Komatsushima, Tokushima Prefecture, Shikoku.

5 June 1943:
Arrives at Komatsushima. Departs later for Innoshima, Hiroshima Prefecture.

6 June 1943:
Arrives at Innoshima.

E 7-11 June 1943:
Docks Osaka Iron Works shipyard for scheduled maintenance.

12 June 1943:
Undocked. Departs Innoshima for Kure.

13 June 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

E 14 June-18 July 1943:
Unloads scrap iron. Undergoes general repairs at Kure naval yard. Once those are completed, loads bombs, general cargo and postal parcels. Embarks 103 troops.

19 July 1943:
Departs Kure for Wakamatsu, Fukuoka Prefecture.

20 July 1943:
Arrives at Wakamatsu.

E 21 July 1943:
Replenishes coal and boiler water.

22 July 1943:
Departs Wakamatsu and arrives later that same day at Shimonoseki.

23 July 1943:
Departs Shimonoseki for Takao in convoy No. 179 also consisting of four unidentified merchant ships without escort.

26 July 1943:
About five miles SSE of Miyako-jima, dodges a torpedo from an unidentified submarine. [4]

28 July 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

E 29 July-1 August 1943:
Replenishes coal and boiler water. Loads general cargo. Embarks 22 troops.

2 August 1943:
Departs Takao for Manila in convoy No. 763 also consisting of IJA transports TENCHO, TENSHIN (4236 GRT), NIKKI MARUs and two unidentified merchant ships without escort.

5 August 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

E 6-7 August 1943:
Unloads aircraft weapons totaling 100-m3. Embarks two passengers.

8 August 1943:
Departs Manila for Cebu, Philippines.

10 August 1943:
Arrives at Cebu.

11 August 1943:
Departs Cebu for Balikpapan, Borneo. At some point auxiliary minesweeper Wa-103 joins and escorts the ship.

16 August 1943:
Arrives at Balikpapan.

E 17 August 1943:
Unloads iron pipes totaling 500-tons and 190-m3 of rations. Loads postal parcels. Disembarks two passengers.

18 August 1943:
Sustains an airstrike without damage.

28 August 1943:
Departs Balikpapan for Macassar, Celebes (now Sulawesi).

30 August 1943:
Arrives at Macassar.

E 31 August-1 September 1943:
Unloads general cargo. Loads postal parcels. Replenishes boiler water.

2 September 1943:
Departs Macassar for Ambon, Moluccas.

8 September 1943:
Arrives at Ambon. Sustains an airstrike without damage.

E 9-10 September 1943:
Unloads bombs and other aircraft parts and weapons totaling 630-m3, provisions totaling 250-m3 and two Daihatsu landing craft. Lands 103 troops and mail parcels.

11 September 1943:
Sustains an airstrike without damage.

11 September 1943:
Sustains another airstrike with no damage. Embarks 34 passengers.

14 September 1943:
Departs Ambon for Kendari, Celebes.

17 September 1943:
Arrives at Kendari. Unloads bombs, other aircraft parts and weapons totaling 300-m3 and other weapons totaling 50-m3.

18 September 1943:
Departs Kendari for Macassar with IJA transport NANREI MARU escorted part way by auxiliary subchaser SHONAN MARU No.2.

23 September 1943:
Arrives at Macassar.

29 September 1943:
Departs Macassar for Surabaya, Java.

1 October 1943:
Arrives at Surabaya.

E 2-10 October 1943:
Unloads all cargo. Disembarks all passengers. Loads weapons and other sundries totaling 878-m3. 235 troops embark.

11 October 1943:
Departs Surabaya for Macassar.

14 October 1943:
Arrives at Macassar.

E 15-17 October 1943:
Unloads hemp fiber and trucks. Loads nickel ore totaling 2,000-tons.

18 October 1943:
Departs Macassar for Pomalaa, Celebes.

19 October 1943:
Arrives at Pomalaa. Unloads nickel ore and truck diesel engines. 242 troops disembark. Helps to refloat the stranded IJA transport NAGARA MARU.

21 October 1943:
Strikes a mine while at anchorage in the outer harbor. Damage is extensive on her center port side, flooding the engine room. Emergency repairs are made. RAKUTO MARU is transferred later to harbor pier towed by salvage tug AKITSU MARU.

22 October 1943:
Sustains a near-miss from an airstrike.

26 October 1943:
Sustains another airstrike without additional damage.

1 November 1943:
Sustains an airstrike again with no additional damage.

3 November 1943:
Departs Pomalaa for Macassar, towed by AKITSU MARU.

5 November 1943:
Both ships arrive at Macassar.

8 November 1943:
Departs Macassar for Surabaya, still towed by AKITSU MARU.

12 November 1943:
Both ships arrive at Surabaya. Docked at the naval yard for extensive repairs.

8 January 1944:
Repairs are completed.

9 January 1944:
Departs Surabaya for Singapore, Malaya.

13 January 1944:
Arrives at Seletar naval base, Singapore.

14 January 1944:
Departs Seletar and arrives that same day at Keppel’s commercial port, Singapore.

E 15-17 January 1944:
Undergoes weapons maintenance, unloads ammunition and replenishes coal and boiler water.

18 January 1944:
Departs Singapore and arrives that same day at Bintang Island, S Singapore. Loads bauxite.

19 January 1944:
Departs Bintang and arrives later that day at Singapore.

E 20-22 January 1944:
Loads coal.

23 January 1944:
Departs Singapore for Saint Jacques, Indochina (now Vung Tau, Vietnam) in convoy No. 653 also consisting of one unidentified merchant ship without escort.

26 January 1944:
Arrives at Saint Jacques.

29 January 1944:
Departs Saint Jacques and arrives that same day at Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City).

E 30-31 January 1944:
Replenishes coal and boiler water.

1 February 1944:
Departs Saigon, calls at Saint Jacques and departs later that same day for Yulin, Hainan Island, China in convoy SATA-01 also consisting of auxiliary transport TATSUWA MARU and three unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer KARUKAYA and auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU.

5 February 1944:
Early morning. Arrives at Yulin. HUASHAN MARU and KARUKAYA are detached.

6 February 1944:
Departs Yulin for Takao in convoy SATA-01 with unknown, if any escort.

10 February 1944:
At about 2200, TATSUWA MARU is torpedoed and damaged by LtCdr (later Cdr) Joseph W. Williams' (USNA ’33) USS SPEARFISH (SS-190) at 21-55N, 119-30E.

12 February 1944:
SATA-01 arrives at Takao.

16 February 1944:
Departs Takao for Kure in convoy TAMO-04 also consisting of four unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU and auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 3.

25 February 1944:
Arrives at Kure.

E 26 February 1944:
Unloads ammunition.

27 February 1944:
Departs Kure.

E February-March 1944:
Calls at Niihama ~ Osaka ~ Tokuyama ~ Yoshiura (near Kure).

7 March 1944:
At 0755 arrives at Osaka.

15 March 1944:
Arrives at Tokuyama.

17 March 1944:
Arrives at Kure. Docks at the navy yard for repairs.

27 March 1944:
Repairs are completed.

28 March 1944:
Departs Kure.

E March-April 1944:
Calls at Wakamatsu ~ Yoshiura ~ Hirohata, Hyogo Prefecture ~ Osaka ~ Moji ~ Kobe.

26 April 1944:
Arrives at Wakayama, Wakayama Prefecture.

30 April 1944:
Departs Wakayama.

E May 1944:
Calls at Aga-Machi (near Kure) ~ Yoshiura ~ Tokuyama ~ Osaka ~ Kure ~ Komatsushima.

28 May 1944:
Arrives at Etajima, Hiroshima Prefecture.

31 May 1944:
Departs Etajima.

E June 1944:
Calls at Yawata, Fukuoka Prefecture ~ Tokuyama ~ Chinnampo, Chosen (now North Korea).

19 June 1944:
Arrives at Yoshiura.

28 June 1944:
Departs Yoshiura, arriving that same day at Innoshima. Docks at Osaka Iron Works shipyard for engine repairs.

19 July 1944:
Repairs are completed. Undocked.

20 July 1944:
Departs Innoshima.

E July-August 1944:
Calls at Kure and at Shimonoseki.

4 August 1944:
At 1600, departs Moji for Takao in convoy MOTA-22 also consisting of IJA transports/shared transports KENJO, GASSAN, HAKUSAN, TERUKUNI, NANREI, GENKAI, TEIHOKU (ex-French PERSEE), TEIKA (ex-French CAP VARELLA), MANSHU, SHIRANESAN MARUs,, and and DAIBOSHI MARU No. 6, IJA shared tankers (A/C-AO) TACHIBANA and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2, auxiliary transport KOSHIN MARU, IJN shared (B/C-AC) HIOKI MARU, civilian ore carrier (C-AC) SHONAN MARU and five unidentified ships. Among other cargo, the convoy carries the IJA's 25th Tank Regiment redeploying from Baotau, North China to Formosa.

Escort is provided by gunboat UJI, kaibokan ETOROFU, HIBURI, FUKUE, CD-8, CD-10, CD-25, CD-32 and CH-49 and minelayer TAKASHIMA.

6 August 1944:
Off SW Kyushu. At 0411, LtCdr (later Admiral/CINCPACFLT) Bernard A. Clarey’s (USNA ’34) USS PINTADO (SS-387) torpedoes and sinks ore-carrier SHONAN MARU carrying general cargo and four Daihatsu landing craft, at 30-53N, 129-45E. Five crewmen are KIA.

9 August 1944:
At 1310, KOSHIN MARU's cargo suddenly explodes and the ship sinks at 26-10N, 124-15E.

10 August 1944:
At 1600, arrives at Kirun. TEIKA and HIOKI MARUs are detached.

11 August 1944:
Departs Kirun and later that day arrives at Saei (Tsoying) near Takao. Later transfers to Takao.

22 August 1944:
At 1410, departs Takao for Manila in convoy TAMA-24 also consisting of IJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) YUKIKAWA MARU, civilian ore carrier (C-AC) BATOPAHAT MARU, IJN shared (B/C-AC) HIOKI MARU, IJA transports/shared transports TEIHOKU (ex-French PERSEE), GENKAI and MANSHU MARUs and IJA shared tankers (A/C-AO) TACHIBANA and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2 and civilian tanker (C-AO) KOTOKU MARU, escorted by kaibokan YASHIRO, CD-8, CD-25 and CD-32, torpedo boat HATO and minesweepers W-38 and W-39.

25 August 1944:
GENKAI MARU and CD-25 are detached for Pasaleng Bay to offload five MTB's from the deck of damaged HAKKO MARU No. 2 sheltering in the bay with LtCdr Iwabuchi Goro's (61) destroyer YUNAGI. YUNAGI is detached and joins TAMA-24.

At 1024, Cdr (later Vice Admiral) Glynn R. Donaho's (USNA '27) USS PICUDA (SS-382) torpedoes and sinks tanker KOTOKU MARU at 18-42N, 120-49E. 16 men are KIA. At 1026, in the same position, Donaho torpedoes and sinks YUNAGI as the destroyer attempts a counter-attack.

Off Cape Bojeador, Luzon. At 1325, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Louis D. McGregor's (USNA '30) USS REDFISH (SS-395) torpedoes and sinks ore-carrier BATOPAHAT MARU, carrying 480 troops of unknown unit, weapons and war supplies, at 18-31N, 120-32E. 17 crewmen and an unknown number of passengers are KIA.

28 August 1944:
At 2100, the remainder of the convoy arrives at Manila.

E 29 August-5 September 1944:
Loads the 99th Air Defense Unit’s troops, 2,000-tons of ammunition and 6,000-tons of other sundries.

6 September 1944:
At 0600, departs Manila for Cebu in convoy C-067 also consisting of MIJA transports MIKASA, KEIAN, GENKAI, TOYO MARUs, civilian tanker (C-AO) AYAZONO MARU, and IJA Landing Ship Transport (LST) SS-2 (ex-BANRYU MARU) and IJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) FUKUEI MARU No. 17. Escort is provided by torpedo boat HAYABUSA, patrol boat No. 103 (ex-minesweeper USS FINCH), auxiliary subchasers MOGAMI and TERUKAZE MARUs.

8 September 1944:
At 1335, the convoy arrives at Cebu.

9 September 1944:
Departs Cebu for Calaguan Island, Philippines.

10 September 1944:
Arrives at Calaguan.

11 September 1944:
Departs Calaguan for Cebu.

12 September 1944:
Off Mactan Island, near Pangian Cape south coast. US TF-38 carrier-based aircraft carry out a bombing campaign of Japanese ships and installations prior to the forthcoming landings. RAKUTO MARU is bombed and sinks at 10-20N, 124-20E taking down with her 170 troops and 29 crewmen. During those attacks, KEIAN (80 soldiers and 24 crewmen KIA), GENKAI (three passengers and 73 crewmen), TOYO loaded with drummed gasoline and ammunition (five crewmen KIA) and AYAZONO with a cargo of oil (37 crewmen KIA) MARUs also are sunk.

10 November 1944:
Removed from the Navy List under internal order No. 1258.


Authors Notes:
[1] NRT is a ship's cargo volume capacity expressed in "register tons", one of which equals to a volume of 100 cubic feet (2.83 m3). It is calculated by subtracting non-revenue-earning spaces i.e. spaces not available for carrying cargo, for example engine rooms, fuel tanks and crew quarters, from the ship's gross register tonnage (GRT). Net register tonnage (NRT) is not a measure of the weight of the ship or its cargo, and should not be confused with terms such as deadweight tonnage or displacement.
[2] See Zatsuyosen home page for full explanation.
[3] There were two categories of Zatsuyosen. (Ko) category with an IJN Captain as supervisor aboard and (Otsu) category without.
[4] No report of this attack mentioned in Allied sources.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan and Matt Jones.

-Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


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