(Type 1TM Standard Tanker underway)
Tabular Record of Movement
© 2011-2013 Bob Hackett
Yokohama. Laid down at Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K., as a 5,136-ton Standard Type 1TM tanker for Towa Kisen K.K., Kobe.
1943: Launched and named SHINCHO MARU.
Completed and requisitioned by the Japanese Government's Senpaku Uneikai wartime civilian shipping authority. Chartered to the Imperial Army with a civilian crew.
1 April 1944:
SHINCHO MARU departs Moji in convoy HI-57 also consisting of oilers ITSUKUSHIMA, OTOWASAN, RYOEI and OMUROSAN MARUs, landing craft depot ship SHINSHU and MAYASAN MARUs and probably tanker ZUIHO MARU and an unidentified ship escorted by escort carrier KAIYO, kaibokan IKI, ETOFORU, CD-8, CD-9 and torpedo boat SAGI.
2 April 1944:
The convoy encounters extremely severe weather and
returns to Moji.
3 April 1944:
At 0600, the unchanged convoy departs Moji.
7 April 1944:
At 1450, arrives at Takao.
8 April 1944:
At 1000, SHINCHO MARU probably departs Takao for Singapore convoy HI-57 also consisting of tankers OMUROSAN, ITSUKUSHIMA, OTOWASAN and RYOEI MARUs, landing craft depot ships MAYASAN and SHINSHU MARUs and three unidentified ships (likely tankers ZUIHO MARUs and another) escorted by escort carrier KAIYO, kaibokan IKI, SHIMUSHU, SAGI, CD-8
12 April 1944:
At 1930 arrives at Camranh Bay, Vichy French Indochina (Vietnam).
13 April 1944:
At 1200, departs Camranh Bay.
16 April 1944:
At 1240, arrives at Singapore, Malaya (Malaysia).
4 May 1944: At 1030, SHINCHO MARU departs Miri for Moji in convoy MI-02 (return) also containing tankers MATSUMOTO, TACHIBANA, NITTETSU, HAKUBASAN, SANKO (YAMAKO), TAKETSU (BUTSU), NISSHIN, TENSHIN and MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 1 and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2, cargo KENSEI, TAIHEI, AKAGISAN and TAIYU MARUs and transport KURENAI MARU escorted by kaibokan AWAJI, torpedo boat SAGI and patrol boat PB-38. At 2100, anchors in Imuruan Bay, NW Borneo.
5 May 1944:
At 0530, departs Imuruan Bay.
6 May 1944:
6 May 1944:
At 0801, LtCdr Francis D. Walker's (USNA '35) USS CREVALLE (SS-291) torpedoes and sinks NISSHIN MARU at 07-19N, 116-52E. At 16,801-tons, she is the largest ship in the convoy. 15 crewmen are KIA, but the fate of her 291 passengers is unknown.
7 May 1944:
At 2000, anchors Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines.
8 May 1944:
At 1130, departs Ulugan Bay.
10 May 1944:
At 1330, arrives at Manila. TENSHIN, KENSEI, TAIHEI,
AKAGISAN and TAIYU MARUs and passenger ship KURENAI MARU are detached.
13 May 1944:
At 0552, SHINCHO MARU departs Manila for Moji in convoy MI-02 now also containing tankers MATSUMOTO, TACHIBANA, NITTETSU, HAKUBASAN, SANKO (YAMAKO), TAKETSU (BUTSU), TENSHIN and MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 1 and
YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2 and cargo ship SEISHO MARU escorted by kaibokan AWAJI, torpedo boat SAGI, patrol boat PB-38 and auxiliary gunboats PEKING and CHOJUSAN MARUs.
15 May 1944:
At 1515, an unidentified auxiliary subchaser joins the escort.
16 May 1944:
At 1705, arrives at Takao, Formosa. MATSUMOTO and HAKUBASAN MARUs, cargo ship SEISHO MARU, auxiliary gunboat CHOJUSAN MARU and the unidentified auxiliary subchaser are detached.
17 May 1944:
At 1527, departs Takao.
18 May 1944:
At 1520, arrives at Keelung. KAMO, CHIKUZEN and CHOSAN MARUs and destroyer HASU join the convoy.
23 May 1944:
At 1625, arrives at Shushan Islands E of Shanghai and departs at 2357.
25 May 1944:
At 1700, arrives at Moji.
26 July 1944:
At 0600, SHINCHO MARU departs Imari Bay (near Moji) for Miri in convoy MI-13 consisting of tankers, TEIKON, TOKUWA, KYOEI and ATAGO MARUs and cargo ships HIYORI, DURBAN, KIZAN, KINIYAMA, URAL, SHIROTAE, KOKUSEI,
CHINA, HIGANE, MATSUURA, RISSHUN and ATLAS MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 1 and OGURA MARU No. 2 escorted by kaibokan MATSUWA and CD-14, minesweeper W-18, auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 3, auxiliary gunboat CHOHAKUSAN MARU and
patrol boat No. 38, auxiliary patrol boats EIFU, FUYO, KASUGA and NUNOBIKI MARUs.
31 July 1944:
The convoy arrives at Takao. SHIROTAE, CHINA and MATSUURAs are detached and tankers SHIMPO and ZUIYO MARUs and cargo ship SHINKO MARU join the convoy. TAKUNAN MARU No. 3 and CHOHAKUSAN MARU are detached from the escort and replaced by kaibokan KUSAGAKI and YASHIRO and destroyer ASAKAZE. Naval Transport T. 3 also joins.
4 August 1944:
At 0830, the reconstituted convoy departs Takao.
7 August 1944:
At 2205, LtCdr (later Captain) Enrique D. Haskins' (USNA '33) USS GUITARRO (SS-363) torpedoed and sinks kaibokan KUSAGAKI at 14-50N, 119-57E.
8 August 1944:
At 0900, the convoy arrives at Manila. DURBAN, KIZAN, RISSHUN, KUNIYAMA, SHINKO and ATLAS MARUs are detached. SHOEI MARU joins the convoy. All of the escorts are detached except CD-14, patrol boat PB-38 and subchasers CH-30 and CH-33.
11 August 1944:
At 2100, the convoy departs Manila escorting the Miri leg of convoy MI-13 that now consists of SHOEI, HIYORI, KUNIYAMA, URAL, SHINSEI MARU No.1, HIGANE MARUs and oilers SHINCHO, SHINPO, ZUIYO, TEIKON, OGURA MARU
No. 2, TOKUWA, KYOEI and ATAGO MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD-4, patrol boat PB-38 and subchasers CH-30 and CH-33.
12 August 1944:
At 0730, LtCdr Frank G. Selby’s (USNA '33) USS PUFFER (SS-268) torpedoes and damages SHINPO MARU. She is taken under tow by SHOEI and KYOEI MARUs and beached, then abandoned. Selby also torpedoes and sinks TEIKON MARU.
CD-14 and patrol boat PB-38 drop 37 depth charges, but PUFFER slips away unscathed.
18 August 1944:
At 1700, the convoy arrives at Miri, Borneo.
19 August 1944:
SHINCHO MARUs depart Miri in convoy MISHI-07 also consisting of HIYORI, NICHIWA, URAL, HIGANE and SHOEI MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 1 and tanker KYOEI MARU escorted by kaibokan CD-14 and patrol boat PB-38.
21 August 1944:
After the escorts attack an enemy submarine without loss, the convoy arrives at Kuching, (Sarawak), Borneo.
6 September 1944:
At 0630, SHINCHO MARU departs Singapore for Moji in convoy HI-72 consisting of ASAMA, NANKAI, RAKUYO, ZUIHO and KACHIDOKI MARUs (ex-PRESIDENT HARRISON) escorted by Rear Admiral Kajioka Sadamichi's (victor of
Wake Island and former CO of KISO) 6th Escort Convoy Command’s destroyer SHIKANAMI, kaibokan HIRADO (F), KURAHASHI, MIKURA, CD-11 and auxiliary subchaser CHa-19.
11 September 1944:
S China Sea. 100 miles NE of the Paracel Islands.
At 0910, convoy HI-72 is joined by unescorted convoy MAMO-03 consisting of IJA landing craft depot ship KIBITSU MARU, armed merchant cruiser GOKOKU MARU and ex-seaplane tender KAGU MARU.
12 September 1944:
S China Sea. E of Hainan, China. At 0155, Cdr Thomas B. Oakey’s (USNA '34) USS GROWLER (SS-215) torpedoes and sinks flagship HIRADO at 17-54N, 114-59E. Rear Admiral Kajioka and 106 crewmen go down with their ship. Kajioka is promoted Vice Admiral, posthumously.
At 0500, LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Eli T. Reich’s (USNA '35) USS SEALION (SS-315) torpedoes RAKUYO MARU, but she stays afloat for another 13 hours, sinking at 1820 that evening. She is carrying 1,318 Allied POWs (601 British, 716 Australian and several US POWs), of whom 1,159 are lost. Seven POWs picked by US subs die later. Reich also torpedoes and sinks NANKAI MARU.
240 miles south of Hong Kong. At about 0700, SHIKINAMI is torpedoed by GROWLER and sinks at 18-16 N, 114-40 E. MIKURA rescues eight officers and 120 men. At 2300, LtCdr Paul E. Summers' (USNA '36) USS PAMPANITO (SS-383) torpedoes and sinks KACHIDOKI MARU with 950 Allied POWs aboard of whom 431 are lost. PAMPANITO also sinks ZUIHO MARU. The Japanese rescue a few POWs from the two prison ships. The survivors are transferred to KIBITSU MARU. 
13 September 1944:
Arrives at Samah, Hainan Island.
15 September 1944:
Arrives at Yulin, Hainan Island. The convoy is reorganized. KURAHASHI is detached.
16 September 1944:
SHINCHO MARU departs Yulin, Hainan Island for Takao in the second echelon of convoy HI-72/MAMO-03. escorted by subchaser CH-19 and auxiliary netlayer KAINAN MARU.
20 September 1944:
Off Formosa. At 0110, USAAF B-24 "Liberator" heavy bombers attack the convoy’s first echelon (Moji-bound)
at 23-20N, 119-12E. GOKOKU MARU is damaged by a direct hit and ASAMA MARU suffers a near miss aft. Both are towed into nearby Mako for repairs.
21 September 1944:
At 0159, USAAF aircraft bomb and damage SHINCHO MARU at 22-40N, 119-29E. Kaibokan CD-21 from nearby convoy HI-74 takes SHINCHO MARU in tow into Takao, then rejoins convoy HI -74. Later that day or the next, HI-72/MAMO-03 reaches Takao.
21 January 1945:
Takao Harbor, Formosa. Carrier-based planes of Vice Admiral (Admiral, postumously) John S. McCain, Sr’s
(USNA '06) Task Force 38 bomb and sink SHINCHO MARU at 22-37N, 120-15E.
15 April 1945:
The hulk of SHINCHO MARU is scuttled across the entrance of Takao harbor.
- Bob Hackett
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