(SANSEI MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

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

24 July 1936:
Laid down by Uraga Senkyo K.K. Uraga shipyard for Yamashita Kisen K.K. as a 2,386-tons cargo ship.

10 October 1936:
Launched and named SANSEI MARU.

30 November 1936:
Completed and registered at Kobe.

11 December 1941:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Requisitioned as a general requisitioned transport (Ippan Chosen) attached to the Yokosuka Naval District.

December 1941:
Assigned to ammunition transport mission under instruction No. 826.

27 December 1941:
Departs Yokosuka.

30 December 1941:
Arrives at Otaru.

1 January 1942:
Departs Otaru.

2 January 1942:
Arrives at Niigata.

4 January 1942:
Departs Niigata.

8 January 1941:
Arrives at Kobe.

11 January 1942:
Departs Kobe.

12 January 1942:
Arrives at Tokuyama.

14 January 1942:
Departs Tokuyama.

22 January 1942:
Arrives at Davao, Mindanao, Philippines.

14 February 1942:
Departs Davao.

18 February 1942:
Arrives at Balikpapan, Borneo, Netherlands East Indies (NEI).

2 March 1942:
Departs Balikpapan.

3 March 1942:
Arrives at Sanga-Sanga, Mahakam river estuary, Borneo.

8 March 1942:
Departs Sanga-Sanga and arrives at Samarinda, Borneo, later that day.

11 March 1942:
Departs Samarinda and arrives at Sanga-Sanga later that day.

17 March 1942:
Receives a message that the ship will be derequisitioned at Yokosuka after completion of current mission.

9 April 1942:
Anchors at Sanga-Sanga.

10 April 1942:
Registered as an auxiliary collier attached to Kure Naval District under Navy’s instruction No. 663.

10 ~ 17 April 1942:
Attached to Vice Admiral Sugiyama Rokuzo’s (38) Third Southern Expeditionary Fleet.

17 April 1942:
Departs Sanga-Sanga and arrives at Loa Buhit (along the river Mahakam, upstream Samarinda). Departs there later that day.

18 April 1942:
Arrives at Sanga-Sanga.

20 April 1942:
Departs Sanga-Sanga.

27 April 1942:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa (Now Kaoshiung, Taiwan).

29 April 1942:
Departs Takao. Calls at Mako, Osaka, Moji, Chemulpo, Chosen (now Incheon, South Korea) and Kenjiho, Chosen, (now North Korea).

15 May 1942:
Attached to Kure Naval District as an auxiliary collier (Otsu) category. Scheduled that same day to be fitted with one Type 92 7.7mm mod. A MG and 5 type 38 Arisaka rifles under Navy’s secret instruction No. 5990. [2]

29 May 1942:
Departs Kenjiho.

2 June 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

3 June 1942:
Departs Osaka. Calls at Yawata (now Kitakyushu), Sasebo, Kenjiho and Yokosuka.

June 1942:
Assigned to ammunition transport mission under confidential instruction No. 898.

28 June 1942:
Departs Yokosuka and arrives at Yawata later that day.

1 July 1942:
Departs Yawata and arrives at Sasebo. Departs there and calls at Kure, Tokyo and Yokosuka.

28 July 1942:
At 1030, departs from off Futtsu, Tokyo Bay in a convoy also consisting of SEIKO and PALAU MARUs escorted by auxiliary gunboat HIYOSHI MARU No. 2 GO. The ships sail at 10 knots.

31 July 1942:
Arrives at Yawata.

1 August 1942:
Departs Yawata. Calls at Osaka, Moji, Yokohama and Tokyo.

22 August 1942:
Departs Tokyo for Kure. Later that day at Yokosuka joins a westbound convoy consisting of tankers SAN LUIS MARU and KYOEI MARU No. 5 escorted by auxiliary gunboat DELHI MARU. The convoy sails at 9 knots.

23 August 1942:
At 1030, the convoy departs from off Futtsu and calls at Kure.

31 August 1942:
Arrives at Yawata.

1 September 1942:
Departs Yawata. Calls at Nagoya and Yokosuka.

E 9 September 1942:
Loads 37-tons of building materials.

10 September 1942:
Departs Yokosuka. At 0830, departs from off Futtsu in a convoy also consisting of KASUGASAN and KURETAKE MARUs and tanker ZUIYO MARU (that drops out) escorted by auxiliary netlayer MATSU MARU. The ships sail at 9 knots. Calls at Kobe, Sasebo, Yawata and Nagoya.

30 September 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

1 October 1942:
Departs Moji. Calls at Kagoshima, Shanghai, Osaka and Yawata.

31 October 1942:
Arrives at Nagoya.

1 November 1942:
Departs Nagoya. Calls at Osaka, Moji and Kagoshima.

17 November 1942:
At 1700, departs Kagoshima.

19 November 1942:
At 0800, arrives at Naha, Okinawa.

21 November 1942:
Departs Naha, Okinawa.

24 November 1942:
Arrives at Shanghai, China.

27 November 1942:
Departs Shanghai.

29 November 1942:
Arrives at Seito (Tsingtao, now Qingdao), China.

2 December 1942:
Departs Seito.

13 January 1943:
Departs Osaka.

14 January 1943:
Arrives at Yawata.

18 January 1943:
Departs Yawata.

19 January 1943:
Off Kobe joins an eastbound convoy (number not stated but probably 8119) also consisting of RYUA, MATSUURA and HOKUSUI MARUs escorted by torpedo boat MANAZURU.

21 January 1943:
Arrives at Tokyo.

25 January 1943:
Departs Yokohama and at 1230, departs Yokosuka in convoy No. 7125A also consisting of KOAN, TONEGAWA, WAKATAKE MARUs and HOKKA GO escorted by minesweeper W-18.

26 January 1943:
At 2230, the convoy arrives off Yura.

27 January 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

29 January 1943:
Departs Kure.

31 January 1943:
Arrives at Nagasaki.

2 February 1943:
Departs Nagasaki and arrives at Sasebo later that day.

4 February 1943:
Departs Sasebo.

5 February 1943:
Arrives at Yawata.

7 February 1943:
Departs Yawata.

8 February 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

10 February 1943:
Departs Kure.

14 February 1943:
Arrives at Wakamatsu.

16 February 1943:
Departs Wakamatsu.

17 February 1943:
Arrives at Osaka.

20 February 1943:
Departs Osaka.

24 February 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Transfers later to Yokohama.

1 March 1943:
Departs Yokohama.

4 March 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

6 March 1943:
Departs Sasebo and arrives at Nagasaki later that day.

8 March 1943:
Departs Nagasaki. At 2100, reported off Koshiki Jima.

9 March 1943:
Arrives at Yawata.

12 March 1943:
Departs Yawata.

13 March 1943:
Arrives at Nagasaki.

15 March 1943:
Departs Nagasaki. At 2300, reported off Aino Shima.

18 March 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

23 March 1943:
Departs Sasebo.

25 March 1943:
Arrives at Kenjiho.

28 March 1943:
Departs Kenjiho.

2 April 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

5 April 1943:
Departs Kure.

6 April 1943:
Arrives at Yawata.

8 April 1943:
Departs Yawata.

9 April 1943:
Arrives at Nagasaki. At 0400, reported off Mushima.

11 April 1943:
Departs Nagasaki.

15 April 1943:
Arrives at Nagoya.

18 April 1943:
Departs Nagoya.

24 April 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

26 April 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

3 May 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

10 May 1943:
Departs Kure for Yawata.

28 May 1943:
Departs Yokohama in convoy No. 7528A consisting of auxiliary transport AMAGISAN MARU escorted by patrol boat PB-101 (ex-HMS THRACIAN), bound for Kobe. At 1523, AMAGISAN MARU is detached and arrives at Nagoya later that day. At 1557, patrol boat PB-101 is bombed.

29 May 1943:
At 0800, escort ends off Hinomisaki. At 0845, arrives at Yura. Departs there at 1054 and arrives at Kobe at 1445.

E 1 June 1943:
Departs Kobe. Arrives at Yawata later that day.

2 June 1943:
Departs Yawata and arrives at Osaka later that day. Calls at Hirohata, Sasebo, Kobe, Shimizu, Tokyo, Yokosuka, Nagoya, Kure, Shimotsu, Moji and Maizuru.

25 June 1943:
At 0600, reports sighting an enemy submarine in position 31-50N, 122-00E near Bell Buoy, Yangtse estuary.

11 September 1943:
Minelayer YURIJIMA, auxiliary gunboat CHOUN MARU and auxiliary patrol boat NITTO MARU No. 12 conduct an overnight sweep in preparation of the arrival of convoy FU-206 consisting of auxiliary collier SANSEI MARU and IJA transports YOSHIDA MARU No. 3, YASUSHIMA, EHIME, YUBAE and SHINRYU MARUs escorted by minesweeper W-18 and auxiliary minesweepers TAKUNAN MARU No. 8 and TAMA MARU No. 7.

19 October 1943:
At 1630, arrives at Paramushiro, Kuriles.

30 November 1943:
Arrives at Yawata.

2 December 1943:
Departs Yawata. Calls at Kobe, Yawata, Tokuyama, and Maizuru.

6 March 1944:
Unloads a Motor Boat and other sundries totalling 329-tons.

E 6 March 1944:
Departs Maizuru. Calls at Yokohama and Yokkaichi.

31 March 1944:
Arrives at Sasebo.

3 April 1944:
Departs Sasebo. Calls at Yawata, Kure, Kobe, Nagoya, Yokosuka, Ominato, Muroran, Tokyo, Tokuyama and Wakamatsu.

24 May 1944:
Arrives at Sasebo.

2 June 1944:
Departs Sasebo.

10 June 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

16 June 1944:
Departs Takao for Hong Kong.

25 June 1944:
Arrives at Shanghai. Departs later that day for the Moji port center with a load of tin, copper, peanut oil, mines and a car.

28 June 1944; Tsushima Strait. About 0752, LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Eli T. Reich's (USNA '35) USS SEALION (SS-315) running submerged, fires a spread of three Mark XVIII Type 1 torpedoes and scores one hit on SANSEI MARU starboard amidships. The auxiliary collier rapidly lists and sinks by the bow at 33-53N, 128-59E, 10 nautical miles off Tsutsu Misaki SSW coast with the loss of four passengers and 22 crewmen.

10 August 1944:
Removed from the Naval list under instruction No. 949.

Authors' Notes:
[[1] Not to be confused with the auxiliary transport (3,234 GRT, 31’).

[2] There were two categories of Kyutansen. (Ko) category with an IJN Captain as supervisor aboard and (Otsu) category without.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan.

- Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall.

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